Some years back, somebody I knew asked me a rather strange question one day. Well, it wasn’t just the oddity of the query, but the queer manner in which it was both fashioned and presented.My curious friend took the pains of coming up to me, fixing an appointment to ask me the strangest secret of my life. And he asked rather seriously and critically, “I have seen very few people who remain as cheerful at the end of the day as you do. How do you manage to do that?”For a while, I felt both funny and important. Was it so? Did I really do that? Thank God, people hadn’t seen me cribbing and cursing at the car parking, packing off from office and calling names. Thank heavens, I didn’t yell aloud at the coffee boy, for that syrupy mug; thank God, I said “XXXXX” in an undertone when I walked out of a not-so-favorite colleague’s work station. And not to forget the unpardonable forbidden word that sometimes suffices for punctuations marks in my conversations with myself!! Anyway, my interviewer was adamant. He categorically listed the events and days on which, if I were “any other person” I would have blown my top, and insisted that I had managed to be as chirpy and cheerful as ever, even in times of stress!Now, it was my turn to indulge myself in another bout of high self esteem--importance!!Before Piush, my inquisitive friend asked me, I had never really given it a serious thought. Was I generally a happy person? Did I do it involuntarily or did I have to put an effort to remain happy? Well, that particular friend Piush, ran a stress-management consultancy and for him, more than a friendly colleague, I was an interesting case-study!Chewing on a thought, I told him, smiling again, “I think, I do it with a little effort. Every morning, when I wake up, I give myself two choices—either to be happy or be sad. And deliberately each morning, I opt to be happy.”My one-man audience was positively impressed! He even made vague references to the possibility of "Annie" being a reincarnated Zen monk and noted down my words on his scribble pad!When I walked out of his office, I left him with a smile and a thought for myself.Let me share it with you. All these years, I had believed people only noticed tear-stained faces. Never did I once imagine that one day the world would be so stressed and so bogged down playing catch up, waging an endless war against cut-throat competition and running blind on the fast track that a humble cheerful smile could make them sit up and take note!!
How do I manage to glue that smile on my face? Well, from girl to woman, from woman to wife, and graduating to a mother has been an interesting journey, and in hindsight, seems like a happy repertoire of fun-filled events, wherein lie frames of fleeting moments like snapshots of a celluloid dream.I am an emotional fool, they sometimes tell me. Tears are a part of my very own existence. I cry when I am happy and still smiling; weep when I am upset and still ‘trying to smile’, and howl in grief, hoping to smile again. A miserably confused description, which does not agree with my happy disposition! However, fighting it all, I still will perhaps always consider myself to be a very positive person, the kind who chooses to close her eyes to the dirty dark black world and tries to hunt for the moon even in an eclipse!!! Escapist, one might say. My other word for it? Brave!
I strongly emote to the fact that before and after everything, Noah's Ark or Doomsday, life is worth its smiles. And how do I live on that conviction? Let me share my secret with you today.Think with me. You must have often heard people using words such as pure happiness. What exactly does one mean? Unadulterated, pure, doubly refined (doesn't that sound more like sunflower oil????) pleasure??? Is that how one defines happiness? Or does one put himself on a self assumed measuring scale, weigh it and conclude, “okay I am happy...One TON!”!Just like pain, I think pleasure is very personal and has its own undefined measuring tool. Each one of us has a separate and distinctly designed beam balance for weighing our pains and pleasures. Clearly, one set of Vernier Callipers may not be applicable for another! Pain and pleasure have varied standards, depending on individual scales.No common rules can accommodate personal emotions and sense of judgment!With time, I have understood is that everything in life is momentary and ephemeral! All our lives we speculate and chase the most unidentifiable visage of life called "Future", never realizing for a while, that life spans between two fleeting moments, living only between an inspiration and expiration!I also think life’s charm lies in the fact that happiness is such a transient phase and the comfort of pain lives in the truth that it does not last forever! Thank god, nobody ever heard me cursing and cribbing aloud about life and its idiosyncrasies!! Did you? Shhhhhhhh!!!Just happy, without a rhyme or a reason,
Mon khushi…emni emni..