The silver lining beneath every dark cloud conveys a glimmer of hope to succor anxious hearts. Silver linings become prominent only when the clouds are the darkest.

The pains and gains, sorrows and joys of life are relative and subjective. When the Covid pandemic struck the world towards the fag end of 2019 resulting in lockdowns and shutdowns making normal life difficult, nature had a gala time. There were images and videos being widely shared over social media of birds and animals moving around fearlessly in areas of otherwise busy human habitations, skies being clearer than in the decades earlier, seas healing up and natural colours appearing vibrant than ever before. Nature lovers savoured each glory that nature displayed – all while there was pain, suffering, deaths and tears going on in the background.

There is a cost for joy! Joy is never offered free on a platter. Consciously striving for joy never fetches it. You and I pass through numerous hardships and sufferings in the course of this lifetime, only to recognize ‘joy as joy’ when we come face to face with it (provided our senses haven’t been numbed by the intensity of hardships enroute meeting ‘joy’).

The story is told of a rich girl who married an aspiring young lad hailing from a poor family. The girl encouraged her husband to pursue his dreams and invested in all his pursuits. While he strived to fulfill his ambitions in a far away land, she waited patiently for him. Years passed by before fortune struck gold and days of prosperity flowed in. The man returned home to his wife with the jubilation of success, only to see his wife living a life of misery, sickness and loniless. She had sacrificed her all to see her husband joyous!!

No pain, no gain. No thorn, no throne.

However, it is not always so!

Not all pains end up in joyous gains. Not all thorns yield golden thrones. A woman having borne her child for nine months has short-lived joy of child birth when the same child raises his hand against her. So, I say that the concept of sorrow leading to joy is highly subjective and relative.

Having said that, I would also say that when joy does come after misery, no matter for how short a time span it may be, it is phenomenal.

We all yearn for joy in life. We wish and pray for misery to be shooed away from our lives and others. But if truth be said, as long as we are in the flesh, the pains of the life will cling on to us. We cannot taste ‘joy’ for what it is while we are in this world. The little trinkets of happiness are just silver linings which create within us cravings for joy.

Being a believer in the existence of heaven and hell after earthly life ceases, I look forward to the place ‘what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,what God has prepared for those who love him’ – a place of absolute joy sans poverty, worries, anxieties, sicknesses and sorrows.

Our earthly cups of miseries would yield vials of joy in eternity if we strive to live our lives in acknowledgement of the Creator’s designs.