District 41


Ranked #1 District (2016-17)

Smedley Distinguished (2019-2020)

A Livewire Article

Switch on the light

When you enter a dark room, what is the first thing you do? Switch on the light? Similarly, in your dark times, if you remember to switch on the light, you can create your own happiness.

In the book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore says a wonderful line, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one, only, remembers to turn on the light.”

We are the creator and the owner of our happiness and we have the control button of it too.

When the lockdown began, all schools were closed and the work from home culture started. As a woman, I was and still am wearing multiple hats of a homemaker, mother, educator, student, cook, guard, cleaner and toastmaster. This multitasking was extremely challenging and there were times when my day would go haywire and there was complete chaos. My four year old son, had nothing productive to do, my daughter returned from her boarding school and my husband was working from home. I could either complain, condemn and criticize or switch on the light.

One evening, I sat down with my family and together, we made a new schedule for all of us. All household tasks were divided as per ability, the meal times were adjusted, the study time for children were moderated and most importantly the play time was settled. This little exercise created a spark of joy and all of us were happy and content. Although it did take time to adapt the new schedule, it was our first step towards creating our own happiness ,in our own little world.

When the in-person Toastmasters meetings were called off, I was disheartened but soon the virtual platform took over. This new era of communication was challenging but created yet another spark of joy in the dark times. Soon, this spark spread like wildfire and enlightened the entire Toastmasters community, converting local meetings to national and international ones, from the comfort of our homes.

Toastmaster International sets an example that learning and growth can never take a backseat, it will continue to elate and exhilarate, however we have to switch on the button and let there be light.


Shradha Bhajanka


Tinsukia Toastmasters Club


Create Your Own Happiness


August 2020