“How can I cheer up in pandemic?”

“How can I celebrate my birthday without friends?”

My son asked me such questions near his birthday and I had no answer, though was confident that I will make sure that he cheers up on his birthday. As he is a Harry Potter fan, I decided to surprise him with Potter gifts and decor. When he woke up on his birthday, he was thrilled and excited. And I was happy with myself that at least on his special day, I could make him happy.

This wasn’t the first time that I had planned a surprise for someone. It’s one of the best ways to cheer someone up. I remember when I accompanied my younger sister Prabhjot for orientation as she was entering her college. She was going to start a new journey, away from her family. She has always been my best buddy and my baby sister as well. As I was getting emotional, I thought to do something that will cheer her up. So, before leaving, I took some paper slips and wrote messages in them like- ‘I love you’, ‘Miss you’, ‘See you soon’, ‘Study hard’, etc. I folded and hid them in various places in her room- in her pencil case, her handbag, her toiletries kit and shoved the rest here and there in her belongings. I smiled in my heart thinking about her reaction.

Later, on finding slips, Prabhjot would call me & ask, “When did you do this? I am getting a slip almost every week.” We laughed when she told me that even a month later, slips would pop out.

When we love someone, we want to make them happy in some way or the other. Surprises help in doing so. With gifts or just with words, it’s easy to bring a smile on the faces of your loved ones. So, surprise them and cheer them up!


In life, we crave certainty, surety and sameness of things. We mostly take decisions or make our moves cautiously. Randomness is equated with rashness, but sometimes, randomness can also lead to a happy ending.

When Chiradeep told me this week’s topic, I thought, “Gosh, I don’t have theme based pics at all”. He kindly pointed out to me that I could write on random as a topic, with pictures. It didn’t make sense to me at first, but as I frantically combed my store of pictures, I realised I did have a theme – Random Happiness. There are so many little moments in my life that have happened by sheer happenstance, on a random day. Nothing planned, nothing certain about them.

I’m sure there must be incidents in your life too when random acts or incidents have worked out. Like a random act of kindness to a beggar. Or a random prank on a friend turning into the best moment of your friendship. We all have an element of randomness in ourselves that we try to subdue. Indeed, we should take precautions and think rationally before we take decisions. But randomness needn’t be scary all the time.

Randomness can be rewarding at moments like these…

When a random walk in the neighbourhood brings you across such rare views.

Stray cat lazing in the January sun’s warmth

I caught this kitty cat-napping sprawled across a car’s windshield. Fine place you picked, kitty-cat! Eating, napping and soaking up the sun should be our national pasttimes.

When random people on the road become friends.

Neighbourhood strangers, now friends

These kids are from my neighbourhood. They both belong to less-fortunate backgrounds but their hearts are just as big. They met me and my daughter while we were walking one day and have been friends with her ever since.

When random incidents become etched in your memory for all the right reasons.

Daughter caught at the right moment

I found my daughter reading her own baby book one day, rather pensively. I’m sure it must be the pictures that fascinated her, but the sheer coincidence of reading her own baby book made it special for me. Catching up with your own goings-on, eh, daughter dearest?

When random bouts of creativity make you aware of your own stupidity.

Cardboard Airplane Fail

I don’t know what I was thinking! I saw a cute cardboard airplane on the internet and thought, “Huh! Looks easy enough”. I know better now. On the plus side, it earned us a lot of mommy-daughter time.

When random culinary experiments turn out to be the tastiest fail of your life.

Happiness in a Bowl

This was a lazy, weekday attempt at making a soup that used up all the leftovers in the fridge. It looked like it woud fail miserably, but did not. Read about why here.

When random acts show you that you’re bringing up your child right.

My daughter offering me a flower

My daughter offered me a flower because I lost my own while we were walking (she has a habit of picking up sticks, stones, flowers and whatnot when she’s taking a walk). She thought I’d be sad, so she wanted to give me her own.

And when random, seemingly bad pictures show you just what true happiness is.

Me and Mine

My friend took this and didn’t want to share it with me because she thought it was a bad picture – too bright, overexposed. But it had all the good in all the right places.


The message in these pictures?

Don’t cringe from randomness. You never know what happiness it may bring you.

Pradita Kapahi.




As I was about to start writing this article, I received a call that my paternal uncle passed away this afternoon. I didn’t have a chance to see him for the last time. He is already cremated as suggested by doctors. I could not control my tears when I glanced at the puppy dog toy he gifted me. 

My uncle was very much fond of dogs. They had 5 dogs in their home. When I was 13,  I had been there for a summer vacation. I was very afraid of dogs. Literally, so scared that I would never even think of a dog. He took my hand into his and said  “Dear, I want you to meet the newer addition to our family, Bullet. He is very loving and would be glad to meet you. Would you come with me?” Though my heart beat picked up, I followed him to the room where dogs are kept.  

After seeing him I knew why his name is Bullet. He was 4 feet tall, jet black, looking very big. I was instantly sweating. Bullet came running to me wagging his tail,  I hid myself behind my uncle… Bullet made three rounds around us and sat beside me. My uncle made me pat his back and then bullet grew seamlessly friendly with me. That was my first close encounter with a dog.  

My heart is taking me back to so many memories… If I continue to write, I would end up writing a lot. I can no more talk with my uncle, but I have tons of memories that I can recollect anytime. Memories, which can never be stolen or erased…

Even before starting this article, I gave a lot of thought as to what my prized possessions are. There are a lot of things that I am very attached to, mostly of my close friends and family –  some books, picture frames, signed greeting cards, antique collection of my grandfather. Those objects remind me of them at times. But, if you ask me,  if I need those articles to be reminded of them? Absolutely not. Possessions may come and go, but often the emotional attachment associated with them remains eternal.

Memories, memories, memories.. Memories are my prized possessions.

When I travel away from my family and friends or when I am alone, I take a stroll through the memory lane. I re-read many mails, browse through pictures. If someone were to offer me all the money in the world in exchange for my memories, I would decline it in an instant.

We are blessed to be living in this era, where technology has made it possible to store our memories with a single click.Smart phones, laptops enable us to store memories in digital form. It’s also easy to take our memories along with us when we move to a different city or country…

Our memories are like diamonds in the rough. They keep us moving in tough times. We brought nothing when we are born and would take nothing when we leave this world, all we have are the experiences. Instead of focusing on material pleasures, if we make emotional bonding with people around us, we would  make a lot of memories. To feel happy and fulfilled, we need to make the best out of our life, which is a one time gift.

Memories are priceless treasures. Let’s try to make every moment of life a memory.