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  Seva Cafe on History Channel

Imagine a Restaurant where there are no prices on the menu and where the check reads Rs.0 with only this footnote: "Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those dine after you." That's Seva Cafe, a experiment in 'peer to peer' generosity. Driven by volunteers and operated by modest staff, our meals are cooked and served with love, and offered to the guest as a genuine gift. To ... read full story

Posted by Kishan Gopal on Jan 7, 2017 | permalink

  One Small Step at a Time

"Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower." - John Harrigan. Is the seed sown? I believe, yes. It’s only a matter of time that a beautiful flower blossoms. But do we wait before plucking the flower? Nimo answered this question beautifully as he opened the Surat retreat with these lines: I spent a long time running' I never knew then, what I know I know now That the fruits they always coming' But you can’t go around just knockin’ them down... read full story

Posted by Linkee Arora on Dec 27, 2016 | permalink

  Four Poems, When I Was Moved by Love

OM I was introduced to ServiceSpace last year, while I was preparing for my TedX speech. It was my dream to be a Ted speaker, and TedX was good enough to excite me if not the Ted. So I started looking for the best Ted talks to pickup some tips that I could use in my speech as well.  That is when I heard Nipun Bhai's Ted talk. And soon I was fortunate enough to listen to him in person at IIS 2015, where my mentor Ferose had invited him as a speaker.  I was blown away by his th... read full story

Posted by Ashwin Karthik on Dec 12, 2016 | permalink

  "We Redefined Disablity"

Inclusion Retreat was one of its first kind organized by Service space in Ahmedabad. It was a chilled morning when I landed at Ahmedabad Airport where my friend and volunteer of Service Space Madhur was waiting along with Devasish Bhai. The journey of hugs and act of kindness began from here. We entered ESI, in Sugadh and I was moved by its scenic beauty. At breakfast table I met Nipun-bhai and all other guests and volunteers. Here I met Varsha who is an aspiring scientist. We became fr... read full story

Posted by Priyanka on Dec 8, 2016 | permalink

  "There is fun in being ordinary" (Awakin Talk with Jayesh bhai)

A couple of months ago, Jayesh bhai was in Pune silently serving many in the community there by his presence. Here are some excerpts from his Awakin talk at the Urban Ashram. In a separate post, we will publish the Q & As that followed after. God is the smile on someone’s face; God is the compassion in his heart. I don’t know if God has a form but it is definitely in the form of values. Praying to the form is religion and going beyond the form to look at inculcating values is ... read full story

Posted by Neerad Trivedi on Dec 1, 2016 | permalink

  Planting Seeds

Yesterday was one of the most memorable days of my life. We were planting seeds literally. For over a year, I have been feeling helpless with this urge to do something every time I visited the Matunga Children’s Home.  Why? because: 1. the children there have a hunger to do something and learn something but lack opportunities and 2. the children are mostly addicted to churan (bhang goli), are just waiting to pass their time, sitting idle and have nothi... read full story

Posted by Sachi Maniar on Nov 30, 2016 | permalink

  Inclusion Retreat in Bangalore

We had a half-day ‘Inclusion retreat’  on 2nd  October, 2016 in Bangalore. Jaideep, Priyanka and I invited few guests and it was a close gathering of 9 of us with Deepa, Ajit, Ashwin & Bharat, and Madhumitha as participants and Sreepriya, Vinoth, Jaideep and myself as volunteers. We also had few people from the apartment complex walking by and spending some time as audience. All the guests were completely new to such programs and also our team. Yet, in-spite o... read full story

Posted by Madhur Khanna on Nov 24, 2016 | permalink

  Maitri Inside and Maitri Outside

The gathering opened with a sharing on the story of the mythical bird 'simurgh' from the classic poem of Persian poet Fariduddin Attar. 30 birds undertook an arduous journey to meet the Simurgh who eventually was a reflection of themselves wrote Attar, in a way 42 of us gathered to dip into the river of 'Maitri' as we opened the circle with a seed question on - What was a key shift that took place in our lives in the past year and any ripples from it. As we all entered the Maitri hall for... read full story

Posted by Moved by Love on Nov 23, 2016 | permalink

  Now I’m inspired even when I lose!

How happy can we ever be , if we lost a game? I was wondering this when I was reminded of a very sweet experience. I met my friend Reva , a five year old girl who taught me the happiness in losing. One day I visited her, and we played games after games. Initially she won, but later she started losing the games and still she was really happy. I was amazed to see that how a five year old can not get upset over losing. When I questioned her that why are you not sad after losing the games, her an... read full story

Posted by Vidhi Desai on Nov 18, 2016 | permalink

  Transformation without and Transformation within

Just as the Navratri celebrations culminated signifying the ending of the old and beginning of the new, it was time for another Head, Hands, Heart retreat from October 14-16, 2016. With the festivities still lingering on, about 40 of us gathered at ESI, Sughad to explore these new beginnings – Rebirth – Transformation, whatever one may choose to call it. With the Peace Pole as the witness, Madhusudan led us into a beautiful opening as we began with the peace walk in silence arou... read full story

Posted by Aabha Gupta on Nov 1, 2016 | permalink

  Maitri Meals - Meals for Friendship

A Maitri Meal as the name suggests is meal for friendship, a meal which not only connects friends but connects the cook with the one who is enjoying it. This friendship is not an ordinary friendship, in Maitri you connect with those beautiful souls whose beauty has always been hidden. These women spend their life in just nurturing their outer beauty, they never get a chance to really feel how beautiful their heart is. But with every box of Maitri Meals, these women are getting that chance to con... read full story

Posted by Gitanjali Babbar on Oct 25, 2016 | permalink

  Beauty in Monotony — Teach for India Retreat

Teach for India teachers were recently in ESI Sughad campus for a 2-day service retreat. Whether it was sitting in silence, picking rags, serving food, prayer rounds or interactions with local heroes and children; every activity led to exploring, reinforcing and even challenging their values and beliefs. Lovingly served by volunteers and staff at ESI, these gardeners (as teachers truly are!) left with a renewed sense of purpose, commitment and inspiration. Below are some pictures and a bouquet o... read full story

Posted by Teach for India team on Oct 18, 2016 | permalink

  'What I Learned From My Time With Jayeshbhai'

There are few things more difficult than capturing profound experiences in words. Language becomes like fetters that limit how far one can venture. However, fettered in language, I still try to capture time spent with Jayesh Patel (Jayeshbhai) of Manav Sadhna. Why did I ‘shadow’ Jayeshbhai? Those who are connected to Jayeshbhai have a sense of the impact his presence can leave you with. For me he represents a living legacy of Gandhian ideas. At times, he simplifies metaph... read full story

Posted by Abhishek Thakore on Oct 17, 2016 | permalink

  Reflections from a Recent Adventure with Life and Death

It’s amazing how time keeps moving on leaving behind subtle traces of learning to be picked up and placed in such a way so as to complete the puzzle. My life was almost turned upside down when I was diagnosed with a rare cancer mutation of the blood. No form of medication was available in India and whatever was to be imported was super expensive but more importantly not proven, so I would be in the initial line of guinea pigs. The only other alternative was a bone marrow transplant, which&... read full story

Posted by Neerad Trivedi on Oct 8, 2016 | permalink

  Seeing the Extra ordinary in The Ordinary

The Moved by Love retreat this September had a beautiful theme woven into its gentle yet expansive being. As 40 beautiful pilgrims from across the country gathered to meet each other in 'Maitri', cultivating deeper friendship and understanding, with the bhaav to transcend the meeting of kindred souls with a deeper understanding of what binds us together. What roots are interconnecting us beneath the surface and what stirs within us to engage with each other in the spirit of 'Vasudeva Ku... read full story

Posted by Drishti Trivedi on Oct 3, 2016 | permalink

  The Joy of Serving from the Heart at Seva Cafe

“Atithi devo bhava”- All of us thoroughly know the connotation, “The guest is equivalent to God" but do we honestly feel the happiness we gain via this opportunity to serve The God here? I used to think- yes! And then I visited “Seva Cafe” in Ahemdabad. It altered the way I felt about this. Seva, in its true sense can be observed in this place. Yes, it can also be spotted in many places around the world and I have had the opportunity to visit two of them - one ... read full story

Posted by Linki Arora on Oct 1, 2016 | permalink

  Discovering the light beyond darkness

 In June, we started holding sharing circles with 20 children being tried for sexual offenses at the Observation Home. In a session on gratitude, the children expressed the desire to do something for their teachers on Teacher’s Day. We started brainstorming and without realising it, all eighty children had been included, groups been formed and anchors appointed. Since we were introducing the children to team work from our side, we used this opportunity to discuss effective leader... read full story

Posted by Sachi Maniar on Sep 25, 2016 | permalink

  Flowers Bloom at Different Speeds, So Do Children

[Vijayam Kartha is a life-long educator. Her journey started as a librarian in 1974, then kept getting prompted till she became principal of a 3200 children school, and then director of a network of schools in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand and Orissa. She's received many national awards, including "Most Outstanding Social Worker" and more. And most recently, while based in Pune, she's been working on re-imagining schools and education.] Ramesh was a 'naughty child, so said the teachers. He ... read full story

Posted by Vijayam Kartha on Sep 12, 2016 | permalink

  Lessons from Living in Nature

On a rainy Sunday evening, several of us came together at The Urban Ashram, Pune, for a heart-lifting conversation with Nisha. Presented below is a transcript of her candid sharing followed by Q&A. The Journey from Circumstances to Aspirations I feel that all of us have a set of aspirations and also have a set of circumstances – sometimes these circumstances are empowering and sometimes limiting. If our aspirations are deep enough, we can flip the circumstances around so that we se... read full story

Posted by Sheetal Vaidya on Aug 30, 2016 | permalink

  Unseen Delicacies - an inclusion event

On 18th June 2016, an inclusion event was held at Bangalore called "Unseen Delicacies". This event was one of its own kind-- as the theme was to demonstrate culinary skills of a person having visual disability. I approached Madhur, a volunteer of Servicespace and expressed an interest to organize a cooking event. She was thrilled and we started our planning. Earlier in 2015, the idea of doing an inclusion event came up during my introduction with Nipun Mehta sir, at India Inclusion ... read full story

Posted by Priyanka Agarwal on Aug 29, 2016 | permalink

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