#Profile 3: Happiness Initiative- Spreading Happiness All Around
What will you do to make someone happy? Will you help out that poor old man begging for alms on the street, without a second thought? Or will you seek money for bringing smile on someone’s face? If you are ready to forgo anything to bring a smile on someone's face then The Happiness Initiative is meant for you. What’s so special about this initiative? Read on.
Indelible Musings caught up with the mind behind this initiative, 25 year old, Priyanka Kandpal. Though Priyanka had dreamt of becoming a journalist, her love for theatre transformed her into an artist instead. Now she has her own theatre group formed along with her fellow batchmates from graduation days. Her love for content writing during her graduation days landed her with internships at advertising agencies where her written words found a medium to express themselves.
Theatre was her calling always, which she realised during her performances in plays organised by her college's dramatic society. "Thus I and my friends decided to start Roobaroo," says Priyanka. "Another set of surprises, and I found myself learning French. I taught French in a Delhi-based public school for a year, experimented with Online French Trainings for corporates, tried my hands at learning violin, jumped around taking theatre workshops for NGOs and Schools. And today, here I am, sitting at home with no job in hand but a few freelance writing projects. I am happy and thus I launched— The Happiness Initiative,” she adds.
About Happiness Initiative
The Happiness Initiative, as the name suggests is all about spreading happiness. The interesting part is that it’s not confined to a particular stratum of society. It comprises of all small-little pleasures of life- says Priyanka.
Ask her about how she came up with this idea, she is quick to respond, “The idea came from my innate desire to be able to start an NGO. But honestly, I am not a person who has high-goals and extraordinary aspirations. I am a person of tiny-little imaginations. So instead of an NGO, I thought I should start an initiative at a very small scale—may be, just within friends and my network.”
She discussed the same with her friend and thus was born Happiness Initiative. “Our first idea was to organize a dance class for grand-parents, followed by providing food for the less fortunate, initiatives for street dogs, convincing bosses to sanction a sudden leave, give-away free French classes, etc. I basically wanted to do something that I could handle on my own—without having to bother about heavy expenses.” Now that sounds interesting. Imagine you are in the middle of a meeting at your workplace and your friend barges in to convince your boss to grant you leave for the day!! What bliss!
The initiative at present consists of a few friends and friends-of-friends. “Like I said earlier, for me it started with my own set of people. More people joined-in because they felt something feel-good about it,” she adds.
Priyanka clears out that her being a theatre person has nothing to do with this initiative. The moment you mention about her theatre group, Roobaroo, her eyes brighten up to talk about it- a topic that she loves to the core. “We formed Roobaroo some four years back. We were fresh out of college and were missing theatre. Most of us were from the same college and some others joined-in via common contacts. The motive was to do good theatre and create an intellectually stimulating space for everyone through our discussions. We have had members from various professional and academic backgrounds including Copywriters, Engineers, Medical Students, Psychology students, teachers, media professionals, painters, poets, and even those who know nothing about theatre. We have had healthy associations with Atelier Theatre Group, The YP Foundation, Karmaarth, Aman Biradari, etc.”
So what does this fairy have in her diary of future plans? “Roobaroo will continue to entertain audience with its self-scripted plays. We really wish to create a small rehearsal space, not only for ourselves but also for several other theatre groups that do not have one. But at the moment, the money that we earn from our plays goes straight into the next production/performance so in terms of savings, we’re usually left with a very meager amount. So may be, when we are financially more stable, we’ll too, have a space of our own. As for The Happiness Initiative, I have plans to launch more happiness campaigns, and it could be something as simple as giving away thank you cards to people,” says Priyanka.
“I have plans to study more of French and theatre. I am also interested in the study of linguistics. I intend to have a French Café-cum-library, one day. And that will be the place Roobaroo and THI (The Happiness Initiative) would operate from. The mornings in the cafe would be reserved for French classes, the afternoons will greet book-lovers, and Roobaroo rehearsals would enliven the evenings,” she adds.
But in a world, where money matters, will she be able to strike a chord with the people through her Happiness Initiative? Priyanka is not only positive but confident about the fact that there are "generous" people still on this planet who would extend their support.
"We have dancers who are ready to join the initiative and give free dance sessions; we have a few individuals ready to share their rooms to let us conduct our events. I agree money plays a vital role in almost everything but there are still those who are ready to lend their services for free, for the larger good of the society. And honestly, I am happy to have those very few with me. I don’t intend to do something extraordinary with this initiative of mine, I just want to reach-out to people, slow and steady—and make them happy. It’s that simple. If more people join-in, it’ll be a grand success, if not; it’ll still be a success.
Apart from being a French “teacher” and Theatre lover, Priyanka bares her heart out on her blog, Pretty Mornings. In case, you feel you too want to spread happiness just like that, give a shout to Priyanka here and help spread happiness all around.