Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Second Free Hugs

Last Sunday, 12th June was the International Couchsurfing Day. And for the second time in my life, I had the pleasure of participating in a Free Hugs event. The first time was last May, also as a Couchsurfing event.

This time, the event was held at the Gateway of India and at Marine Drive. When a fellow couchsurfer put up on the forum that we should do "something" on International CS day, he suggested Free Hugs as an option. But I guess everybody was apprehensive about whether it'd be a good idea or not in Bombay. So, they refrained from saying anything more than "We're in, whatever the plan. Let us know." Finally, (thankfully too) a Free Hugs event was decided on.

To be very honest, even I wasn't entirely sure of how it'd go and I really hoped that there wouldn't be any ugly scenes or anything. To top it all, I was the only girl from the Forum to be there. But, I have blind faith in CS. Not only do I find it safe, I've always seen that CS manages to lift up my spirits and restore my optimism. It's in the philosophy of trusting, sharing and exchanging that the faith rests. Of course, it doesn't give me best friends forever and all. But it gives me a hope that if a bunch of strangers can trust, come together and spend time - whether it's a heritage walk around the city, a sit-down dinner and a chat, a hike or an evening of hugging random people on the road - the world's innocence is still alive somewhere. In fact, at the end of the day, one of the guys even dropped me home in his car. I was meeting him for the first time but I had no qualms going alone with him. You might call me stupid but this is the kind of faith I have in CS. I'm not saying there are no bad experiences there. But the percentage is just very little.

And about the Free Hugs, what can I say? The experience was extremely liberating. We baffled many people, scared many people and made many people happy. :) But more importantly for me, this time, I made myself happ(y) (-ier than I have been in the last 6 months or so). Plus, there are probably at least 5 new CS-ers in the world today, thanks to us! ;) Also, I met many like-minded people, some of whom, I absolutely adored! Such genuine, nice people. :)

And as far as my worries about unpleasant experiences were concerned, when I was surrounded by 14 awesome boys, I didn't even notice any lewd glance that might have come my way! :)

Okay, moral of the story: Couchsurfing Rocks! :D


  1. I love the whole idea of Free Hugs. One of my seniors in college had done it a couple of years ago. I didn't know there were other people in Mumbai doing that :)

  2. :D I'd be sure to let people know beforehand next time. :)