It was our first day at college and the orientation programme started. It was a five day programme. The purpose of the programme was to prepare the students for the next 4 years of rigorous curriculum and for life.
I cannot remember the exact sequence of events in those 5 days but there were many lectures, talks by Professors. There were few movie screening and I remember the "Karate Kid" very clearly (( just a part of the movie where the kid is getting started with training and as part of it he has to paint a car and clean the floor)) and the discussion that followed. It was very interesting. There were talks on "why did you choose the branch you are in?" because almost all of us had choosen our branch based on our ranks and less on our interests (it was year 2007, August, we were sitting in Dogra Hall, IIT Delhi, which in my opinion was the last high quality batch before caste based reservations "diluted" the quality). There were talks on environment and how the onus was on us engineers to save the world and preserve for the future generations. There were talks on how we should see the whole world as a family and should not use our knowledge for destructive technologies. Talks on how course material was outdated compared to research going on in labs and "learning to learn for life".
But on the last day of the programme the very last lecture just won me. NRCVEE(National Resource Centre For Value Education In Engineering) is the body which was behind the organisation of the programme as it's founder ( or maybe head, I don't remember) came to give a talk using a power point presentation on the very last day. It was about happiness. It started with a round of questions. He asked do you remember things which give you happiness? What is happiness anyway?
For someone having ice-cream is happiness. But how long does that happiness last? It fades away exponentially as soon as we "get" it. He asked us to do an experiement. Share that ice cream with someone. Your joy will be two times. Then he asked to try giving the ice-cream to a small poor kid nearby and observe the duration of happiness that you experience. Those who had done that in past admitted it lasts much longer. I was one of them. I knew what he was talking about.
What was the moment when you were the happiest? Most of us recalled that clearing IIT JEE was easily the happiest moment in our life as it was a very recent event. And how long did this happiness last? It depends. It depends on how much happiness it gave to your parents and others. If it was just for yourself the happiness would fade away very soon. But when you do something for others, that is a long lasting happiness. Do it for your country, your parents, for your friends, for someone in grave need. The joy of giving is the biggest joy of all times.
Back then, about 10 years ago, I didn't realise what value addition it was, just like rest of my batch. Now I can see it, maybe partially just yet.