Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hello Happiness!

Everyday for me is a routine. A mundane one at that: Getting up at 5, having my breakfast and leaving for work by 9. The next 9 hrs pass by sitting in front of my desktop making reports and overseeing logistical work. Strike 6 and it’s time to get back home again, have dinner and go off to sleep. Only to get up at 5 again the next morning and repeat the same sequence again.

The other day, as I was combing my hair (here’s another one of those mundane activities!) while standing in front of the mirror, my gaze suddenly fixed itself towards my lips. I inched closer, now eyeing them a bit more intently and stretching them out a bit. The realization was compelling!

When was the last time I had smiled?

Where was my smile?

The now forcefully smiling lips seemed to be asking all sorts of questions to me. I wanted to swab them all away with a wipe of my hand but the thoughts stuck, refusing to go away: all through the entire day.

In the daily humdrum of life, had I forgotten to smile? Why?

In the midst of this dilemma, my attention suddenly turned towards my mom who was busy washing clothes in the bathroom. Unmindful of the intense heat of the season, she laundered the clothes with truckloads of sweat rolling down her forehead. Yet, she projected an epitome of calm and peace. Despite the strenuous activity she was doing, I could clearly see bliss writ large on her face.

Bhaiyya, paper le lijiye! (Here is your newspaper, friend!) The call of the newspaper delivery boy broke my gaze. With ear phones tucked in his ears, he was smiling for some odd reason. Inquisitively, I asked him: Aap kaafi khush lag rahe hain? (You are looking very happy?) Snapping an ear plug out of his left ear, he smiled wider this time and said, Wo gaane ki wajah se. Music sunna acha lagta hai. (It’s because of the music, I love listening to music). Saying this, he plugged the ear phone back and went about delivering the other newspapers in the locality.

As soon as he left, I heard Manan, the 12 year old lad next door shout out a ‘Hi, Bhaiyya’ to me. Even from a distance, I could very well gather the toothy smile he flashed as he ran towards me. With a heavy bag flung on his shoulders, he was on his way to school. Bhaiyya, today is our English exam, wish me luck na! He said this in a tone so cheerful; I doubted if he actually had an exam and if he had one he must definitely know the questions beforehand!

Ah, yes. All the best!

I saw him climb his school bus and wave goodbye with a smile that had now got even bigger and brighter. All the best effect, perhaps. I wondered.

As the bus pulled out, Leelaben – the rag picker of our society came into my view. She was dedicatedly collecting and assorting all the trash that had been thrown out by the members of the society. Her job was laborious and one that was filled with filth and even frowned upon, yet there was a sense of freshness on her face. No wonder, our building
was one of the cleanest in the entire area.

Leelaben - A million dollar smile

What was her motivation?

From where did she derive the inspiration for such dedication?

Did she like her profession? 
I wondered.

For a moment, I felt ashamed to sit in an air-conditioned cabin the whole day and still come home frustrated, cribbing about my job.

Soon enough, my pick up cabbie was at the door, Rikshaw puller Rambhai. Bhaiyya, aaj office nahin jaana kya? (Don’t you have office today?) And even before I could frame any reply, what I noticed was the smile clearly etched on the face of this cheery 30-something-recently-married guy. I was amazed. Why? What was the reason that was making him so happy? After all, he was just going about doing his job: To pick me up and drop me at my office. Was he happy for no reason?

All these questions and all my experiences since morning were now making my head spin. But I knew what had to be done.

I did not go to office that day. I had a far more important job to do. I had to find my missing smile back. And I knew the people who could help me get it back to me. Now all that was remaining was to connect with them and to find value in those connections, to surround myself with the loving and cheerful people I see every day but never care to talk... It was time now to get together... to WeChat, ask them the secret for their happiness and get inspired in return.

The next day, I left for office dot at 9 as usual with my office bag but most importantly, with a smile on my face and a sparkle in my eyes.

This entry is a contest participation in the topic WeChatNow with IndiBlogger. To vote for this entry, please click here

Links to my other two WeChat contest posts:

WeChat -- Connecting friends
A Chat with my inner brats


Jayashree Srivatsan said...

I guess contentment is the secret of happiness of every other smile that you mentioned! Something missing in todays rat race!

T F Carthick said...

Ah! A philosophical entry! Nice.