Sunday, 4 November 2012

Your Turn Now!

I am a person who, forever, wears a smile on her face. I smile at people I know. I smile at strangers. I smile at, practically, everyone. A few of my friends find this rather odd but based on my personal experience, I have seen that every time I have smiled at anybody on the street, the smile has always been returned - it does not matter if the person was someone known to me or a stranger. The moment a person starts to smile, his or her mood automatically becomes happy. Even when I have been down in the dumps - and believe me - there have been many such times - I have experienced instant moments of happiness each and every time someone succeeded in causing my face to break into a smile.

A couple of months ago, I had heard about the Your Turn Now! initiative from a colleague of mine. I was told that in this initiative, people are issued 'Your Turn Now!' cards.  Whenever this card-holder does a deed of kindness, he or she passes on the card to the person who is grateful of the kindness so that the person can remember that he or she must do a good deed ahead, and the chain continues with the card getting passed on from one kind act to the next. I found this concept to be rather fascinating. If people actually become a part of this chain, there will be kindness, joy, and contentment everywhere because the entire city will be bustling with people who are on the look-out of doing good deeds for someone.

A week ago, my colleague and I received our stack of cards. I got a chance to pass on my card to someone the very next day! I was returning home from class, travelling in an unpleasantly crowded local train. A superfluity of nuns were also on the train. Most of them seemed middle-aged though a few of them looked quite old. They were all carrying heavy bags. As the destination neared, there was an entire swarm of women waiting to get inside so much so that it was difficult for the people to even get down. One of the nuns was just stuck and she looked petrified! I had got off the train safely and her reaction did not surprise me - the Mumbai locals can daunt the strongest of spirits if they are not used to travel and she appeared to be a hapless, old woman. I was reminded of my initial days of travelling and how uncomfortable it used to be on days when there were huge crowds...I somehow managed to break through the crowd and help the woman get down with her bags. As soon as she got down, she was surrounded by the other nuns who were comforting her. They all thanked me for helping her get down. Usually I would have shrugged it off and merely dismissed it as being a very small thing but I was, suddenly, reminded of the card in my wallet. I just handed 1 card to the nun saying, "Don't thank me. Just keep this card until you have done a good deed and then pass it on." The nun merely smiled. She thanked me again and blessed me.

As I walked back home from the station, I couldn't help smiling. Although I had helped someone else, I was the one who was feeling high on life! It is indeed true when people say that if you want your day to be bright, just go ahead and try to brighten up somebody else's! We all are extremely busy in our daily lives but all it takes is one moment to make a positive difference in somebody else's universe.

If you feel that this post has brought a smile on your face or inspired you in any way to pitch in for a good cause, do become a part of the Your Turn Now! movement and spread smiles everywhere! These cards are free of cost and can be ordered on their website: http://yourturnnow.in. You can also text your postal address at +919029602897 or email rushabh@yourturnnow.in to get your cards. 

37 comments:

  1. Wow, that's a nice concept. Really nice one!

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  2. Beautiful. Certainly brought a smile in my face. I wrote a somewhat similar post on February 16, 2010. Please read and let me know what you think.

    http://sg-shootthebreeze.blogspot.com/2010/02/whodunit.html

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    1. Hi :) I visited your post :) Really interesting :) Surprising someone else just to make any random person happy - that sounds nice :) :)

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  3. Oh, boy! Am I smiling now!!!
    I got you, Divya!!!

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  4. Lovely.... and very interesting too!

    It is so thoughtful of you and yes I love smiling too though people think its kind of abnormal :)

    Rushing to that your turn now link...to grab my cards!

    Thanks so much for sharing this Divya.

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    1. Ha!Ha! You are welcome :) :) Keep smiling and hope you spread many smiles around :D

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  5. :) That's what i call an 'Amelie Moment':) well done:)

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  6. 'It is indeed true when people say that if you want your day to be bright, just go ahead and try to brighten up somebody else's!'
    Lovely thought and so true!! Am going to do it consciously from today :) Thanks for this wonderful post ..

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    1. I am so glad to hear that! Do share your experiences :)

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  7. Heylo! My first time here :)
    That's a beautiful concept. And I smile at strangers too and have got it back most of the times.
    Recently, I shared this post on paying it forward which is so much like what you have menioned :)
    You may want to see this post if you are interested: http://kismitoffeebar.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/my-favourite-lines-4-pay-it-forward/

    Loved reading this! I am so signing up for it - no idea if they send this to people in Singapore, but am definitely making myself these cards if they don't :) Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. GOTO www.yourturnnow.in or email on rushabh@yourturnnow.in or text your address on +919029602897

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    2. @kismitoffeebar - I just visited the post and dropped in a comment :) I haven't seen the movie but intend on catching it soon :) :)

      @Rushabh: I added the details on the blogpost itself :D :D

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  8. So beautifuland inspiring :) the concept and post both :)

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  9. Divya, congrats for having the conviction and courage to take up noble initiatives. At your age, few aspire to serve others.What you are doing is teaching you something very important and valuable, hope it inspires you to do greater things. All the best.

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    1. Thanks for the wishes and that message :)

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  10. very nice friend..best wishes always:)

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  11. Hahaha! I remember you telling me about the Nun incident and your hilarious description. Somehow, I find it very strange though you are right in taking the time out to help someone I don't think I would give it a second thought. Yes, there have been times when I have helped people in some small way but that is usually when I am not in a tearing hurry to go somewhere. Perhaps, it is the city vibe - Each man for himself - that reaffirms my attitude; people just don't have that kind of time for someone they don't know.

    Today, I was reminded of this post of yours and wish I had one of those cards with me. I was really tired today and wanted to take an auto home. The place was swarming with autos but very few were stopping and even fewer ferrying people. A young American woman (or so I think, given her accent)and I were looking for an auto. I stopped one and she asked if I was going straight. I wasn't and in any case, I wasn't keen on sharing an auto with a stranger. So, I said no. Then, she asked the auto driver (since he declined to take me to my preferred destination), and he agreed to take her. To my surprise, she asked if I needed a lift somewhere. Fatigued as I was and seeing nothing wrong as she was a woman, I accepted. We didn't chat much during the short auto ride (I got off mid-way and she moved on in the same auto), but I was touched. Here was someone so willing to help! I wanted to give her one of these cards, but didn't have any with me :( I think I should order them now.

    I do think the place you come from conditions you. This is something I also think is the case with you - you are always willing to help no matter whether or not you know the person. Personally, I am also wary of people helping me out. I am quite clumsy and tend to slip at stations and have hurt myself quite a few times in the process. I can't recall a single instance when someone has helped me out. Another incident I recall is when I was in my first year of college I used to take the 9am train back home. I would normally get off quickly as people tended to rush in before letting people alight. To my horror, I saw my own mother pushing me out saying, "Chalo chalo, jaldi utaro!" Her friend who noticed me called out to her and both of us burst out laughing and I scolded her for pushing me. Maybe, what goes around comes around :P

    Love,
    Sanika

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    1. LOL @ that incident where your own mother was screaming at you to get down - the Bombay trains can do that to you...I don't know how fair it is to blame the city for the way you have been conditioned but I get what you mean at some level...
      I remember speaking to someone in Mumbai who said that people in Kolkata are too 'nosy' - they are interested in knowing what's happening...I feel it's just to check if you are ok but I guess it is alright if others want to construe it in any other way...

      People keep talking of the 'Mumbai spirit' that never dies - be it blasts, rains, whatever - life just goes on. I, personally, don't see it as a sign of bravery or courage - it disturbs me to see how disconnected people are....I don't know if I am right to be disturbed or not but then, as they all say - it is all a matter of perception :) :)

      I have some extra Your Turn Now! cards - technically, you are the one who had a kind deed done on you, so you need to pass the card to someone else :D (The lady should be giving you the card if she had one)...You can borrow a card from me to remind you to do a kind deed and then pass it on :) :)

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  12. A beautiful concept...TFS, Divya!

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  13. This s d third post m reading about kindness recently.. its really a great read.. loved it.. :)

    n i loved d concept.. really a grt initiative.. Love it totally..


    m smiling :)

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    1. Ha!Ha! Thanks :) :) Become a part of it and spread smiles everywhere :) :)

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  14. Good Start, Keep it up...!!!

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  15. Hi Divya,
    Good to read your blog. You have put across your thoughts nicely..Even I am a YTN club member!so far have passed on three cards!
    Had written about Rushabh and his applaudable YTN initiative in my Gujarati Newspaper Janmabhoomi Pravasi column 'Blog Ne Zarookhe Thee...' few months back. (If you can read gujarati, you may visit my Blog 'blognezarookhethee.blogspot.com'
    Keep spreading good thoughts and smile all around!
    Regards,
    Vikas

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    1. Thank You! I don't know Gujarati but yes, it is a wonderful initiative :) :) I am glad to be a part of it :)

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