When I joined the WhatsApp group there was a huge discussion on ‘Sholay’ going on and I was a surprised yet a silent spectator. Next day they were sharing pictures of all sorts of delicious food. Laughing and teasing each other. Writers were supposed to be the serious intellectual types. Right? But here everyone seems almost normal, I mean quite similar to me!
Yes these were my first thoughts when I joined the Candles Online group. I was almost afraid to say something lest I look like a fool among all the scholarly kinds. I only knew them from the articles they had written. Some of these articles had profound meaningful thoughts, others had a solid backing of research and huge data. How could I ever match up to them?
But as I got to know everyone I realised how wrong I was. These were such beautiful souls handpicked by Chiradeep, who never judged anyone. I was accepted whole heartedly into the group. Each and every member is so emotionally enriched, some of them have conquered huge personal tragedies and made a place for themselves in their domain. A motley group of varied age groups, diverse backgrounds, spread across the globe with a common aim – To churn out motivating, heart touching or rather life altering articles week after week.
Being a part of this group has given a new meaning to my life. Every week’s topic gives a new leash of life to my thought process. The way Chiradeep creates a healthy competition among us by ‘popular votes’ or ‘most viewed articles’ makes this whole process even more exciting. Each and every like and comment on my article puts me on cloud nine. So far the journey has been beautiful and I am sure it will be even better in the future. Thankyou fellow Candelians, you are my friends for life.
When we were kids and growing up in our native places life was very different. Festivals had a significance when the whole family used to get together and celebrate. We have memories of our childhood of various rituals and celebrations in each festivals. But now that we have moved away from our home town and living in nuclear families. We are so caught up in our routines that the sparkle in our celebrations has dimmed. I thought we were depriving our kids of some beautiful experiences and memories. With this thought in mind a few of our society members came together and formed a cultural committee. We started very small but slowly and steadily we grew. Now we are organising 10-15 events in a year ranging from the national holidays to the festivals lohri, Pongal, Navratri, holi, Diwali, Christmas, dahi handi, Ganpati etc. and also fun fair and sports events in the society premises itself. And our children get first-hand experience of how some of the major festivals of India are celebrated.
This PPCC group is like a family now. Sometimes we are haggling with the vendors for best price, at other times we are covering up for some last minute goof ups, collecting money from residents, arranging the catering, games, entertainers overall it’s an exhilarating experience. We all are juggling this hobby along with our family and work responsibilities. What bring us together is the fun we have in the whole process. We laugh together, we fight and get upset too, we face criticism together. But nothing beats the adrenaline rush before the event is about to start and the immense satisfaction of a job well done after all the hullabaloo is over. Jhumur, Ritu, Krishna, Rajshree, Venkat, Ramesh, Riddhi, Sapna, Sushantu and Shubhomoy thanks for getting together and giving me a sense of purpose.