My name is V Vijay Harsha, I live in Bangalore and study in New Horizon Gurukul. I had first heard of the Colors Of Joy program from my mother. To be honest I was hesitant to go as I thought it would not be needed for me and also thought that I was going to waste the Dussehra vacations. I was also unfortunately challenged by the fact that I could not take my phone with me. However, half-forced and half-curious, I attended the Medha Yoga course.
I boarded the bus in Girinagar, Bangalore surprised to see that within an hour or so of being in the bus many people started conversing in such a way that I felt like everyone, including myself, had known each other for a very long time. The whole time until we reached the Mysore Ashram, we danced, played, sang songs and had a lot of fun. When we reached the Ashram at about 11:00 in the night, we were all assigned different rooms. I feel that the only downside to the whole trip for me was that I felt somewhat lonely and scared as this was my first night away from family and relatives. The next morning, when I woke up, I found that I was scared for no reason as I mingled and talked with everyone in and out of my room.
In the entirety of the course, I felt as if I was born anew every day. With the self-imposed 3 am walks, the composting, the exercises and the games which at first involved everyone in the Medha Yoga course, then later everyone in the Ashram, I felt as if I was discovering new parts of myself that had been shadowed by the stress and pressure of a student. In the first 2 days itself, I found such a huge positive build in my character that I was excited about the next 3 days. I knew I needed these changes in my character and welcomed them with joy.
On the third day, everyone in the ashram was taken on a day out. Leaving as early as 6.30 a.m, we reached Varuna lake for a very exciting session of water sports activities. The water sports activities were filled with fun, team spirit and joy. Most of the activities showed us the importance of a cohesive team like the canoeing and the kayaking activities out of which one (canoeing) required 15 people to row simultaneously and the other (kayaking) needed 2 people to row to move to effect. In the activities, we found out how if we split the work we can achieve a better and more likable outcome. After lunch in the ashram, we got to spend more time with our friends as we went to a Bird Sanctuary where we saw a huge range of birds and then later went to a Wax and Instrument Museum at which snacks were served. We returned home to the Ashram for dinner and a well-deserved and beckoning sleep.
On the last day, I felt another major change when we were made to do an exercise in which we had to list our problems. After doing the same I found that I was not that bothered about the same, whereas if I was asked to do the same before the course I would have been worried as to how I would solve all of my problems. But by the last day, my mindset had changed to ” My problems will be there even if I worry, I will deal with it when the time comes until then I will live life as it comes”. If I had known such a big change would occur in a short span of 5 days, then I would have attended the course as soon as I had turned 13. Those 5 days I did not think about my phone even once. I enjoyed the freedom that I obtained when my phone wasn’t with me. I defeated the constant need to keep checking my phone.
On the first half of the bus ride to Bangalore, we all could not stay in our seats. I still feel the joy in the air as everybody danced to music and jumped without second thoughts or inhibitions. However as all good things come to an end so did this, in the second half of the bus ride, everyone stood, hugged each other and shed tears for the friends-turned-family that were now leaving. I too felt sad to leave my friends but was still excited to implement the knowledge and blessings given to me by my teachers in all spheres of my life. And I left ready to face the world.
I believe that all children across the world have to attend this course. It doesn’t matter if they are half in depression or think they have the world in their grasp, if all children attend this course then our generation will have an amazing and bright future. I thank Art Of Living for conducting such a course which helps us to live life to the fullest. I thank my teachers, Vivek Anna and Nandini Akka for giving me their blessings and being such wonderful and approachable teachers. I thank Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Gurudev for blessing me with the opportunity to participate in this gem of a course.