Savji-bhai's Ripples In Surat

Posted by Parag Shah on Feb 8, 2016
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Some of you might've read Savji-bhai's story in Nipun-bhai's India update. In brief, he is a very wealthy but community oriented diamond merchant in Surat. At our retreat in December, he raised the question of whether love and profit can co-exist and by the end, he enthusiastically told us that his question had disappeared. He remembered one of his most cherished memories -- of connecting with his father, and then facilitating all his thousands of staff to reconnect with their fathers, on the same day at the same train station -- and wondered why he wasn't doing more of that, in everyday moments.

In the short time since retreat, many ripples have already emerged. In place of Tulsi plants as gift, their companies are now giving out thousands of Smile Decks (in Gujarati) to all their staff. A local Karma Kitchen is starting this month. 21-Day Challenges on various kinds are being initiated. At their factories, in place of "Complaints Box" and "Suggestions Box", they are adding a "Kindness Box" -- and hoping to amplify the stories. Beyond all that, his whole family is also very keen to "ladder" others by hosting another retreat.

His son, Dhravya, who recently visiting from New York, on holidays. He came to the January Moved by Love retreat, and when he came back, he personally came back to hug me as an expression of his gratitude. At the retreat, he had shared another story of his father: "After the Surat retreat, my Dad found himself on a boat and noticed that the boat man didn't have any shoes. So as he left, he just gave him his expensive pair of shoes! Hearing this, I checked my own closet and saw bunch of extra pairs of shoes, and I decided to give those away too."

For an hour an a half, Dhravya shared stories. I was completely blown away.

After his retreat, in Sughad, he decided to spend an extra day in Ahmedabad, visiting Safai Vidyalaya and Gandhi Ashram, and really just observing the world through this new lens of "inner sanitation" and moment to moment practice in small ways.

By late evening, he had returned back home to Surat. He spent the next 4 hours -- till 2:30AM -- with his Dad (Savji-bhai). Incidentally, he took out a Smile Deck, which was gifted to him at the retreat, and both he and Dad pulled one card each and decided to do the act first thing in morning.

Savji-bhai's act of kindness was to sweep and clean the neighborhood and Dhravya act of kindness was about serving tea to all people working on the street in the morning. As context, these are folks who gifted cars to their employees at Diwali. Such acts of kindness aren't a typical part of their life! Both father-son decided to do these acts, and since they were morning kind of acts, they both agreed to wake up at 5:30AM and do them together. From my own experience, doing kind acts with my son, I can only imagine the kind of connection they must've felt -- within themselves, with each other, and with the community.

I don't know what happened next, but stay tuned. This ripple has just started. :)   

Posted by Parag Shah | | permalink

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Comments (1)

  • Matt Perry wrote ...

    Thanks you Parag for your beautiful ripples of kindness.