The Ripples of Small Actions

What is the joy of togetherness?

The joy of togetherness is laughing around a dinner table, enjoying the taste of sweet Gujarati chutney paired with savory deep fried puri. The topic of discussion ranges from Indian food to Bollywood movies. The subject of conversation doesn’t really matter, so long as the stress and pressure of home is dispelled from your mind by the torrent of happiness and enjoyment stemming from your friends. The wide smiles on the faces around you are enough to bring joy into your night. The positive energy of the group frees you from cynicism and allows you to flow freely, enjoying the moment, living in the now.

The joy of togetherness is cleaning dishes in a scorching hot kitchen for people you have never met. Even as sweat pours down your brow and collects on your arms, you smile and joke as if this was your dream job. One of the regular dishwashers approaches your dish washing partner to flip the drying bowls over, scolding the two of you across the language barrier in a combination of Gujarati and broken English. You grin at your friend and shake your head in mock disappointment, this is the third time he’s made the same mistake. Your friend laughs back and the dish washing regular joins in, her laugh bridging the language barrier in a way words could not.

The joy of togetherness is being caught by a newly made friend as you slip on muddy red clay while trekking up the green and rocky mountainside on the way to a remote fort. The gates of the fort seem exceptionally far away, shrouded in mist at the top of the steep and tree-filled incline ahead of you. Despite the seemingly obvious concerns, apprehension does not cross your mind, no matter how dirty your jeans might get in the streams of muddy water running down the very path you climb. Only pure happiness and excitement fill you as you sprint up the gray crumbly rocks, not wanting to fall behind your racing friends.

We learned in Ahmedabad that “no matter the question, love is the answer.” The joy of togetherness is love.