Gifts on a Birthday
It was the 19th of December again. Over the past couple years, I've actively tried to be 'against' celebrating my birthday :) But my experience with last year taught me to not be as much of an activist :) Although I didn't make a big deal out of it, I was just blown away by some beautiful gifts I received. In the morning, Lahar decided to offer her gift by writing letters to 10 people that she was grateful for! My uncle decided to 'Smile' at 5 strangers during the day, while Madhusudan promised to write me an inspiring story. At night, I received this incredible email from Anupreet and Goli from Bangalore!
"I loved your Birthday last year. More than that, I loved the gifts you asked for last year :) Inspired by Lahar, your mom, and so many people writing 10 things they were grateful for, inspired me to start maintaining my gratitude diary. [...] :) I want to be honest and confess I don't do it everyday, but manage to write 4 times a week :) Thanks for getting me into practicing this. I have started valuing a lot of smaller things, and sometimes when I am in the flow, I end up writing 50+ things I am grateful for. I wanted to offer this practice of mine as a birthday gift to you with a promise that I would write at least one something everyday until your next birthday :)
With love and hugs, and good wishes for a fantastic year ahead.
Happy Birthday again :)"
But things really started to snowball when I received another email from two special 20 year olds - Darpan and Drishti, who were inspired by Trupti's recent experiment with generosity. The two of them decided to go out with some friends and perform acts of kindness on the streets of Mulund, a suburb in Mumbai. Here's pictures and excerpts from the email that I received - I thought the only way I could honour these gifts would be to share it with the larger collective!
"Somehow we recollected that its your birthday on 19th December and were just thinking what gift we can give you :) And the answer was some more kindness. The answer made us so happy deep within our heart . So we both decided to do some random acts of kindness for you today :) We were really grateful that four of our cousins joined us to do these acts of kindness :) So here are the acts of kindness which we did and also your most favorite part photos :)
- Random tagging of good morning and other message cards to random people in garden . Many people were touched. One uncle just said 'No I don't want anything from you!' .But then he saw us giving everyone, and came to us smiling and said that he would now like one. One aunt was really happy and was going to tag some more people :) One aunt just started crying when we were talking to her and at-last felt very good .
- Anonymous tagging with smile cards at the Tea-vendor . We paid money and said that anyone who comes next give them chai for free. We gave chai to our daily heroes (pan wala uncle, vegetable vendors , newspaper vendors, rickshaw drivers and many more ) . There are uncountable heroes who make our life so much comfortable .
- Gave smile cards to a juice vendor and he gave it to that person who came to him for juice. An older gentleman was really confused that he was standing there for a long time with a hope that he may find us :)
- Made Rangoli with flowers in front of unknown people's houses :)
- We approached a betel leaf vendor, gave him money and asked him to offer free leaves to the next 2 persons and offer them a smile card . And the amazing person returned the money back with a big smile and said for that you don't need to pay i will do it from my side as an offering :) This person touched all of our hearts so much.
- Offered juice to a police officer, and to the persons standing in sun who ensure that everyone gets a rickshaw :)
- Gave a water to a fast food vendor :)
- Gave juice to an old gentleman sitting at a telephone booth besides juice center. He was so so so happy . And after we asked him for a photo he became more happy.
- Gave chocolates to so many random people and policemen and sweepers :) One lady said, "You all are showing us that the love and connection with everyone which I always felt was missing in India." :) She shared chocolate with us to show her gratitude and love towards us. And she told that she would share this with as many as possible :)
- Cleaned some random cars and wrote a message and left a smile card :)
- Talked to a handicap person who was going to hospital for check up and gave him chocolate . He was touched and very very happy :)
- Prayed to god for the most kind person who spread so much love in this world and touch so many souls he come across :)
- Distributed fruits to random people :)
This is just a small drop of water in the ocean of your dreams :) This is really a small effort to make you smile. Wish you many many happy returns of day once again :)"
~ May Peace Prevail on Earth ~
Posted by Siddharth Sthalekar on Dec 19, 2013 | permalink
kishan wrote ...
Gratified to read this post ! its simply inspiring :) Thank you and thanks to all...
Ashima wrote ...
so beautiful! Thanks for sharing :) Very grateful to all the kind souls..
Audrey wrote ...
Beautiful. So inspiring to witness such grace and love unfold in the world, one little act at a time! :-)
nisha wrote ...
super duper! belated happy birthday :)
Joserra wrote ...
Wonderful brother!!! Thanks for sharing!!! Lots of gratitude and love from Spain!!!!!
Trupti wrote ...
Ammmmmaaaazzzziiiinggggggggg :-) u guys rock. i am all smiling and dancing after reading this. Thank u for sharing. Its very inspirational
meghna wrote ...
waaah so so inspiring.. may we all find such beautiful excuses to celebrate all the days of happiness. Thanks so much for sharing ur beautiful experiences.. and thanks to all who offerred their gifts of goodness to the world.