By Kshitiz Anand:
As a designer and teacher, I have attended many workshops and lectures where people say things like “Finding your passion changes everything” and “Everyone is in the pursuit of happiness.” But I have always wondered about the correlation between these two words – ‘passion’ and ‘happiness’. Often, people do not seem happy even when they choose their profession or occupation. It is also true, that there are countless people in our country who simply do not have the means of pursuing their passion – they do not have the choice to even attempt to be happy. So, can we point out a definite path to happiness?
Vatsala – my wife – and I found joy in living in the moment, and doing things that gave us inner peace. Our moment of extreme happiness came from spending a lot of time with children in Bihar, Bengaluru, West Bengal and Noida, through our NGO, Happy Horizons Trust. Listening to their stories and their struggle towards getting a good quality of education has been a very humbling experience. Creating opportunities for girls from high schools to become social leaders – who can further drive our message of the importance of holistic education, especially in rural areas – has been nothing short of absolute satisfaction. The more we engaged with these people, the more eager we were to share testimonies and involve others in our endeavors. However, we were not sure where this process of sharing could take place.
We have traveled around the world, met a lot of people, tasted various cuisines, spent time with loved ones, read books, seen movies and a lot more. Over the years, we realised that happiness lay in finding oneself and the purpose of life. Easier said than done, we admit! We feel our purpose in life is to serve others, collaborate with professionals, educate children about the practical world and different cultures, and provide learning facilities for newer skills that enhance employability and self-esteem. Our discovery of all of this has, of course, been aided by long storytelling sessions over chai.
As we have grown, we have felt the need and desire to interact with more and more professional/amateur artists, designers, filmmakers, photographers, authors, social entrepreneurs etc. We wish to continue finding like-minded people, who do commendable work. Good conversations and new ideas are the fuel for survival. We have craved for a place to share travel stories with others, hold exhibitions, conduct masterclasses and provide opportunities for inspiration in general. In short, we have always wanted a place where people can pursuit happiness collectively and in an unbridled manner. So, we decided to create this space for ourselves and others, and we called it ‘The Happy Hub’.
The Hub is our office in Noida, but we also aim to make it a welcoming and accessible space for all. We plan to hold a wide range of events at this venue (from book launches to hackathons), which will be open to all, irrespective of class or creed. By hosting street vendors and impoverished artists, and bridging gaps between talent and recognition, we hope to bring technology and art to everyone. We cannot do this alone and invite all of you to join us at the Hub. Let us spread happiness to all – especially those who are left out when we organise workshops and music concerts. Let us help each other become happy!
Our launch event can be found here.