Project FUEL (Forward the Understanding of Every Life Lesson), founded in 2009 by Deepak Ramola, collects life lessons from people all over the world and turns them into interactive session with performance activities, to pass on the learning. The passing on happens by way of workshops, seminars, and sometimes even over coffee. To facilitate more such exchanges Project FUEL initiated Pop–Up cafe, a place where people can pass on and receive all the wisdom from each other.
On 18th March, Saturday, Project FUEL organised the first ever Delhi version of Pop-Up Cafe at Cafe 121, Satya Niketan from 4pm- 7pm. DU Beat had a wonderful opportunity to be part of the meet up.
A diverse crowd of 35-40 people gathered at Cafe 121 and soon after a brief introduction session by the volunteers everyone was randomly allotted a seat at different tables. It was made sure that on each table everyone is a stranger.
To start off, everyone was asked to give an introduction and then, was asked to assign three adjectives and talk about the first impression of everyone at their table. To make sure that the conversations keep flowing and things stay interesting, small games and appetising snacks were infused. For instance, people were given a placard each with various questions on it which resulted in a fun question and answer session. These placards were later given out as souvenirs. At the end, everyone was told to give one advice, tip, or any life lesson that they thought would add value in one’s life.
Later in the day after two hours of surprisingly unreserved chats the session was called to an end, but it wasn’t all. Before leaving, the oldest member of project fuel Miss. Sharaddha taught us the “Happiness Song” which was followed by an impromptu open-mic session where people recited poems, shayaris and songs.
Acceptance is the first step in overcoming bad memories and moving beyond the unjust happenings of past. It takes a great deal of courage to acknowledge the troubling aspects of one’s life, but with support and impartial understanding speaking out become easy. Keeping this in mind the last activity of the day was conducted. Based on the principles of Sociometry it encouraged people to speak out. Many individuals came forward and shared their life experiences with others, and with the uplifting display of solidarity and catharsis the meet-up was concluded.