Stories about happiness

What a street boy taught me

I blinked hard and tried to concentrate on the report I had to submit shortly. Blood rushed to my head, making it pound fiercely. I am 26 years old, a research medical officer working day and night to meet the expectations of my boss. I wonder as I gaze at the fading computer screen; the arduous struggle, the moral strife, my turmoil for a little breath… was I stressed out? All these thoughts flickered through my mind; I shook my head as if trying to exorcise such thoughts away and stepped into my boss’ room to deliver the scientific report ...

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My sister: Always the apple of my eye

My sister and I, like a lot of other siblings, have a love-hate relationship. We can be the best of friends at times but can also turn into the worst of enemies. We still don’t hug or even shake hands when we see each other after a long time. Yet, the smiles on our faces are enough for both of us to understand how much we’ve missed each other. She is probably the most energetic and witty person I’ve known. She truly is the life and soul of our house. I still remember when she went off to medical school ...

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Seven ‘little wins’ that make my day!

I truly enjoy the small things in life. You know, the ‘choti choti khushiyan’. The other day one of these things, I call them ‘little wins’, happened and it got me thinking about the little wins that we all get and about what mine are specifically. So, these are just the little things that somehow can turn a bad day around on a dime: 1. I can’t stress how excited I get when I grab a soda from one of the vending machines or coolers at a supermarket and I pop it open, only to find it is partially frozen! It’s ...

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Riding the roller coaster of happiness that is Facebook

Facebook is not just a social network, it is a phenomenon that has changed our lives in significant ways. No matter how real it seems, with the familiar faces of our friends and family, at the end of the day it is a virtual, make-belief world, which lacks reality. For most of us, life has become too busy. The rat race coupled with our relentless pursuit of growth and finding happiness in some distant part of the world has resulted in us being more disconnected with our close ones. It is not surprising that about a billion people are active ...

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Smiling through a bad day

I disembarked the airplane thinking of how discontent I was with the 35 hour journey. I was determined to write letters of complaint to the involved airline for their disorganized conduct. Now, I had a total of 12 hours of nothing to do. I felt vexed and disgusted.  I found a secluded bench, dropped my bag, and sat down to engage in what travelers typically do at airports – people-watching.  After looking around for several hours, I came across an elderly gentleman who would not stop smiling. It seemed that nothing could faze this man.  He entertained a couple to whom ...

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The key to happiness: Stand your ground

Whoever told me, happiness just magically comes your way, should’ve been tripped headfirst. Because it really doesn’t sneak up on you, it doesn’t tickle your toes and makes its way into your heart and head. Happiness is a 24/7 job, and a tough one at that. It’s a time-consuming process. A tantrum throwing toddler that constantly seeks your attention. Call ethereal happiness a self-created sand castle on your personal shore. Every now and then waves of grief and anger will constantly wash over it, and more often than not, strong winds of disappointment will topple it over, but you’ve got ...

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The algebra of happiness

We spend the greater  part of our lives calculating, constructing, accumulating and chasing our perceived parameters of happiness. Such parameters are usually the rational outcome of pre-established formulas and algebraic equations that have been fed to our brains by the more accomplished happiness seekers and by our interdependent social structures. Interestingly, the recognized achievers of this unparalleled feeling have also constructed their algebra based on collective judgment and the common societal beliefs. Under the simplest of formula, we are told that happiness is the derivative of good education, followed by a great job, tons of wealth, a happy family life ...

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The warm smiles on their faces and things we take for granted

I was out shopping one day, when I was stopped in the parking lot of a super market by the sound of a dhol and voices of children singing. Right there, I saw a sight that warmed my heart and made me smile with genuine awe. A few children, between the ages of seven and eleven, clad in ragged clothes, in a condition that clearly said “deprived”, were sitting in a circle playing the dhol on the footpath. They had around them a few used boxes of KFC. Singing, laughing, and engaged in some cheerful discussion, these minors seemed oblivious to ...

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