Away from the glamourous life that she led in India as a successful actress, Somy Ali who now runs an NGO in the US called No More Tears, says that making others happy is what brings her joy and fulfilment as well. The NGO works day and night to rescue women and children who are abused at home and help them make a life for themselves.
“Happiness is moments, small and ordinary moments like watching a child who was abused and is rescued by my NGO and is now sitting on the floor playing with toys as if nothing ever bad happened to him or her. Happiness is dedicating your life to bringing joy to others and rescuing the voices that have been screaming yet remain unheard. At least for me, this is the true definition of happiness,” she says.
Somy adds that the pandemic brought in a lot of struggle and tragedy in people’s lives. “Given that we had over six million deaths worldwide and the most affected countries were the US and India there is not an iota of happiness left inside me and in those who lost their loved ones. This is perhaps the most devastating plague after the Spanish flu which began in 1918 and ended in 1920; 40 million people died due to the Spanish flu,” she says, adding, “Initially, I was in a state of shock because I knew due to the lockdown globally the numbers of domestic abuse would rise to an unprecedented level. This was the core reason for the absence of my happiness considering I take immense pride and joy in my work with No More Tears. I was beyond devastated and terrified of what and how my NGO will survive during this pandemic.”
However, there were those who wanted to help! “Miraculously, a donor, who wants to remain anonymous, donated a very large sum of money in the peak of the pandemic and we were able to continue our work and save over 252 victims. Since all the domestic violence shelters were at full capacity the cops were calling us as we have a unique form of safe housing which I can’t disclose to protect the victims. If it were not for this specific donor who not just once, but five times donated to keep NMT afloat, we wouldn’t have survived. I will be eternally grateful to this gentleman and his foundation along with the victims he helped save,” says Somy.
Talking about what happiness means to her, Somy adds, “For me, happiness is never constant and if anyone assumes that they are fooling themselves. Life is filled with bouts of sorrow, disillusionment, joy, love, heartbreak and many more emotions. Thus, being a realist, I do not believe in a constant state of happiness as there is no such thing. Otherwise, celebrities and world-renowned writers starting from the 1920’ would not be self-medicating themselves with drugs and alcohol and in some instances committing suicide like Heath Ledger and Kurt Cobain.”