People make me happy. Seeing them happy makes me happier. Being a people’s person, connecting with people instantly comes to me easily. The word networking in our times has attained a somewhat negative connotation. However for me networking is a power-packed positive word. It is about making new connections and building bridges where roads don’t exist, making associations with new people whilst still holding onto to the old ones dearly. So, from where I see it, it’s all about people. And that is the constant source of happiness for me.
The corporate world and my stints in Human Resources have taught me the people power well enough. But what I enjoy most about people connections is connecting friends with friends for no specific reason. And that is where true joy lies and in it lies the story of The Jokes Junction… the what, where, when and how of it all.
A few years back when the Blackberry was a rage thanks to the Blackberry messaging (BBM) service, I had too many connections on it, most friends, a few colleagues and associates too. Just chatting on BBM was so much fun and one day I realised that I could make a group of my BBM connections. I thought it would be fun to connect my friends with each other and become one large group. In that hope, I created a group on BBM and christened it – The Jokes Junction (JJ). I added a few very close friends (albeit without their permission) on the group initially to see their early reactions. Some were comfortable, some not very comfortable; but since I was the sutradhar no one objected to being a part of a unique group; where none knew each other. I was the only common factor!
It was pretty quiet on JJ initially. After a few days, some naughty ones started posting jokes on it, which annoyed a few people. But still, since it was my group, they didn’t complain, and resorted to muting the pings. Some friends were enthusiastic though and started responding to the jokes. It was after a few weeks, and when the cricket world cup was on in 2011, when the real fun started on JJ. A friend who was traveling asked for the match scores, and that just started what I call is the one of the best friendships in the world. That day itself there were a few hundred messages that got posted on the group. We had a live cricket commentary going on and there wasn’t a single member who did not participate. The atmosphere on JJ was electrifying; with some soul stirring conversations in progress, and people no longer seemed to even mind the use of expletives as well! It was an India Pakistan match and it sealed the JJ bonhomie forever!
I started getting requests for allowing spouses and other friends to become a part of JJ, and I happily obliged. I realised that each one of them added the other on the personal messaging and had become friends of sorts. The initial discomfort had disappeared and there was a lovely happy tone to JJ every day. The pinging never stopped throughout the day and night since we had members from all across the world. My friends who lived in the US, Australia, Dubai, Malaysia, England, Singapore and India ofcourse were all part of the group and JJ never slept.What started off as a BBM group, became friendships for life... our Jokes Junction #Humor #Iamhappy #Coke Click To Tweet
One morning when I woke up, I looked at the phone and thought to myself that it would be great if we could arrange a JJ get-together. I realised that a few friends were going to be in India soon. I sent feelers to a few people and they were excited at the prospect of meeting with the others. Finally they would have a face to the name too and that would be awesome. So I soon arranged a JJ party at TGIF and as they say the rest is history. What I witnessed at the get-together was something I never imagined. The friendship, proximity and affection amongst people who didn’t even know each other a few months back was a treat. My eyes were moist on seeing the events of that evening. Ofcourse, alcohol leads to good friendships becoming great; but the hugs at the end of the evening were memorable, the sign of deep bonds that were built for life.
Well, I can go on and on about JJ. The happiness that the mere thought of the group brings to each member is totally unheard of. They are all close friends now and I feel jubilant to have orchestrated this intimacy and closeness amongst my friends. Complete strangers had become dear friends who were there for each other in moments of happiness and grief too, in all highs and lows of life; they had become one happy strong unit.
The Jokes Junction means happiness to me. 🙂
Image source: Flickr (Laughing Men, Vancouver)