Monday, December 10, 2012

Eat, Pray, Love, Happiness & Jayaraj

"...and when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt-- this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life, it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.    -Eat, Pray, Love

Confession time, the only book I read all the way through during my six months in India was “Eat, Pray, Love”.  This is surprising to me considering I fell asleep within the first ten minutes of the movie a year prior.  Nevertheless, I read it, and ended up loving every page.  There were so many things that I could relate to in the book, but one quote (above) stood out to me the most because of an amazing Southern Indian man named Jayaraj.

If you have ever volunteered at Rising Star Outreach, then chances are you have already met Jayaraj and know why this quote above embodies everything this spectacular human being is about.  If you haven’t met Jayaraj, believe me when I say that if you do meet him, he will leave a lasting impression on you and you will become a happier person by just being in his presence. 

Jayaraj getting a medical checkup...and cracking up as usual!!

Jayaraj with his wife and Dance Master Catherine
Jayaraj has leprosy and lives with his wife in a small Leprosy colony a few hours from Chennai called Mogalvadi, or Moot.  I don't know his entire story, but I do know that people with leprosy in India are forced out of normal society to live in leprosy colonies away from others who do not have the disease.  They suffer from not only major physical ailments (such open infected ulcers and losing finger/toes/etc...), but they also can suffer emotionally.  Many people all over the world still think of people with leprosy as "cursed" people, or that they have leprosy because they are not clean (which is obviously false!). If you would like to learn more about leprosy, I would encourage you to read on Rising Star Outreach's website at for a more in depth explanation. 

Back to Jayaraj and his AMAZING SPIRIT.  I was lucky enough to go out with the medical team at Rising Star Outreach many times to the Moot Colony, which I always looked forward to!  I realize we were going out to the colonies to give aid to the leprosy afflicted, but I truly feel I received so much more from this happy man than I could ever imagine giving him. 

Jayaraj LOVES to dance, and a dance party was a must every time we visited.  He obviously has better moves then me.  I just look ridiculous, but we can't all be as cool as Jayaraj.   

Jayaraj finds beauty in life, in his surroundings, and even in his trials. "You were given life, it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life". Jayaraj helps me to see the beauty in my own life just by his positive attitude.  Now, when I think of my trials, I just say to myself, "what would Jayaraj do?".  And the answer is obvious.  DANCE and BE HAPPY!

No comments:

Post a Comment