More Pain, More Happiness you are Rewarded with

It is said that ” the height of emotional pain we endure, measures the amount of happiness we gain”.
What do you say?

Happiness is not just a stand-alone emotion, it is a comparative emotion.

If you notice, some people are overjoyed with even little things in life, because they have suffered the most inwardly and everything else they receive in life seems to give them the strong gush of happiness.
It is told that, if we do not experience darkness, we do not value the light we receive. It is hard to measure in terms of how much joy it gives, but if you feel your heart is uncontrollably happy and thumping, then you have the joy of your life.

Being a mother, i felt this joy, when I look into my daughter’s eyes, the immeasurable joy i find being with them, cannot be even expressed in words.
Some days, i get too tired and exhausted that i feel like the world is hanging upon me, especially when I was going through the postpartum depression state, it is hard but i guess most moms can relate to it. In such a state, the pain induced into our mind, due to insecurity, the helplessness, the chaos in life, the acceptance of becoming a mom, the madness of mad hours and much more is like a crazy drive, but again, in the end, when i hit the bed, be it like 12 in the night, or maybe like early morning 2, i just fall into the bed, and then comes, the soft little fingers looking for me, the moment it touches my skin… it is like magic.
I feel like being lighter and floating in some cloud. As if i am transported into another world and every burden seems to fly away from me. It is like a cradle holding me up in the world, protecting me from the thorns of expectations, troubles and much more. And all i need that tiny hands to hover upon me and put me to sleep.

This joy is immeasurable !!!
The joy of motherhood.
All pain disappears and all I need is my angels near me.

As i said, you cannot enjoy the joy every moment gives you, without enduring the pain.
People build walls around them to protect themselves from the emotional pain, but they forget, the higher they build the wall, the lesser happy they are gonna be. When we build walls, we disconnect from the world, which is also bound to give you happiness too.

Pain does serve several purposes in life.
It signals us to pure joy and happiness that is like a rainbow after the rain. But the more we run away from everything in life, we are gonna miss what is in store for us.
You can’t reach a destiny when all you want to do is stay indoors.

The intensity of the struggle determines the happiness you will receive.

A GRATEFUL HEART SOWS SEED OF JOY

It was in 1996-97, a group of kids in the age group of 10-12 years were having fun at the marriage banquet hall. It was all colorful and merry. And the food stalls, the important attraction of every marriage other than the groom and bride were just set up.

Hot piping coffee, tangy street food, scrumptious Indian desserts, colourful indo-chinese noodles, Indian cuisine ranging from north to south, enticing ice cream and everything that spells “delicious” was being served.

Kids rushed to the food counters to make the most of it (what else marriages could have meant to kids in that age and that period of time). As they were filling their tiny tummies with one delicacy the other one was winking at them as if saying “mind space in your stomach, won’t you try me“. Amidst all the fun and frolic they saw two pairs of eyes watching them in utter silence standing at the front of the gate outside the marriage venue. Faces worn out, clothes torn out, eyes filled with hunger coming directly from the burgling stomachs. Their faces moved these kids standing on the other side of the fence. They huddled together, had a brief chatting and soon were hopping from counter to counter to fill their plates. Anyone who had a look at their plates could tell something was wrong, the proportions on plate were nowhere proportional to their appetite.

With four overflowing plates they made a move towards their counterparts and slightly gestured to come and have food. But to their surprise those kids ran to their parents who were sitting on the pavement there. It was a reflection of values despite their economic status. Values aren’t reserved parking areas, affluent involved in scams and poor people returning bags full of money proves it. These kids followed them with food. They offered the food to their parents, at first instance they also refused “free food” (unlike people fighting for free food and abusing delivery men 😜). But the group of kids insisted them on accepting food as it was clear that they were hungry for days now. At the end parents gave in for they can’t see their kids go hungry for one more day. This group made turns to the venue to get more food till all of them were full. They blessed these kids with folded hands.

That was enough for the kids to come back with hearts filled with joy. Joy of being blessed, joy of satiating hunger, joy of giving when you clearly have more than enough. I am fortunate enough to be in that gang of carefree kids. We at that time may have acted out of impulse but thinking about that incident over a period of time have shaped two of my principles in life – Respect Hunger and Be grateful. I have already spoken about my viewpoint about hunger in one my article on the same platform:

Coming back to the second one – being grateful, I strongly believe that unless a heart is filled with gratitude it is devoid of LOVE. It is incapable of giving back, hence it is incapable of maintaining an equilibrium in the society. Just like other values and hunger, gratitude ain’t a prerogative of a specific class or section of society. I know people from both ends of the spectrum. There are people who despite of accumulated riches always have a frown on their face. Whenever asked how they are doing, their standard reply “don’t ask, what an hard time we are having, just surviving”. They are in one tone frame of mind that the world around them, from their house maid to the prime minister of the country is conspiring to rob them. They really find it difficult to part away with things.

Well, let’s make a 180° turn as the ungrateful souls are not our point of focus as of now. Our inspiration should come from the likes of Shri Ratan Tata, Shri Narayanan Krishnan, Shri Sundarlal Bahuguna etc and many unsung heroes from our own families and surroundings. Gratefulness must not be only restricted to having the purchasing power (read economically sound). If you are capable of bridging the gap between the mouth and hands, be grateful. If you are healthy, be grateful. If you have a square meal, a roof and clothes to keep you safe be grateful for there are wars being waged for the same.

While this all sounds preachy that too at a higher octane the simplest way to say “Thank you” to the almighty is “give what you can”. If you are rich and powerful create avenues for many to earn their livelihood. If you are moderately well off then make charity a part of your budget, no one needs to know it. We have national and international organizations like UNICIEF, WHO, RED CROSS SOCIETY working towards a better tomorrow, be a part of it (this is my personal practice, you can choose what suits you). The best thing about such association is that you will never get to know whom you are aiding, secrecy is joyful too. Involve your kids in such noble activities (read @preetacreations article, she has done a wonderful job). If budget system doesn’t suit you, give away whenever you can – be it food, educating the underprivileged, even a glass of water matters. If materialistic things are something that you yourself are struggling to attain then the least is a kind words of encouragement, a simple prayer that everyone should be happy and peaceful or just a smile ( @Chiradeep a man of great qualities, a lot to learn from him, go check his article), there’s simply no dearth of ways to show our gratitude.

Next time when you sulk about not having the latest version of I-Phone remember there’s someone who needs aid to convey his or her emotions as they are devoid of voice!!!! And yes if having something makes you fortunate then being able to give away makes you fortunate and joyous too – double bonanza, isn’t it?

SWITCH ON THE ‘AC’ TO HAVE A COOL AND JOYOUS HEART

I was a mere teenager then and my great grandmother told me something which I will never forget in my life. She looked at me and said, “Son, when I look at your smiling face, my heart fills with peace. Never ever stop smiling“. While going through tough times in my life for the last couple of years, I keep wondering about this fact and keep asking myself, “Does my face really look the same now which she saw at that time of my life?”

There’s a man who comes to our office to repair our computers. He always says, “Chiradeep Da, you are always so calm and composed even when you have so much tension on your head.” I don’t know what he saw on my face.

I believe when we are negative about everything around us, we lose to have a joyous heart and acquire a cranky heart, complaining heart, and a heart full of bitterness. I have been dealing with people who are so unable to take things positively or assume negatively about people – what they say, how they say and why they say. Two things I have learnt in my life about situations and people I face in my life. I have learned to ACCEPT the situations and CONSIDER the people I encounter. And believe it or not, I find my peace and joy remain intact within me. I agree that I am not so calm and positive about everything. But most of the time, I stay calm and joyous while the world around me is in a mess.

This journey was not an easy one. I literally had to train myself over 30 years to be skilled in switching on this ‘AC’, that is Accepting and Considering in any given situation or while dealing with any kind of person I come across. Sometimes, I have found my ‘AC’ fuming, smoke coming out of it and getting out of order but the good thing is, I am always very quick to get it repaired for just to be able to stay on track, holding onto my inner peace and joy. To stay joyful I keep practising it, cultivating it on a regular basis.

In my study of joy, I have also noticed that joy is more complex than a feeling or an emotion. It is something one can practice, cultivate, or make a habit.

Pamela Ebstyne King

This habit of mine made me good at interacting with people making them feel safe and comfortable with me. They receive comfort and consolation from me and I receive immense joy making them comfortable and consoled. While striving for more joy, I continued to interact with people, give them comfort and receive the joy in return. Whether it is on a chat window of Facebook or WhatsApp or Instagram or over the phone or in-person, the more I utilised my skills of listening and comforting the people, the more I felt at peace and joyous.

Now if you ask me how do I manage to comfort and console the people I interact then I would definitely have to mention that it is not restricted to listening to their heartaches only but I try to walk a mile or two extra alongside them.

How do I do that???

I try to write a poem for them, I post a small note for them, make a poster or video for them to make them feel special, happy and valued.

And I can’t explain the exuberant joy that I feel deep inside my heart when I see them happy, comforted and smiling, acknowledging my little something that I do for them.

I have been struggling in my life in every way. If I would have held onto all the struggles and sufferings I went through and still going through then I would have been the saddest person on earth. But I had a problem of staying grumpy sad and with a long face. I wanted to be smiling and joyful all the time, proclaiming God’s grace for me and letting the world know He is always good to me. I accepted every situation that God took me through and considered all kinds of people without judging them. Yeah, I kept switching on the ‘AC’ to keep myself cool and joyous. 🙂

Stay Blessed!

THE SIMPLE ‘JOY’S OF LIFE

I need not look too far… for Joy begins from the very 4 walls of our home – my dad. There must have been a very good reason his parents chose that name for him in the first place. Many years later he chose a life partner named GLADYS (doubling the JOY with gladness) – Talk of a PLAN! …and ofcourse many many years later, I was born… you know, to balance it all out.

How then, could I let go of an opportunity to write on the one topic that is probably closest to my heart?

When it comes to me, I’ve always chosen joy over the more materialistic things like money, gifts and physical benefits. However, this topic – today, gives me the wonderful opportunity to talk about the joy of teaching (I do think training sounds fancier) As many things of my life has happened out of sheer trial and error methods – teaching did too. Yes, I call myself an ‘English Educator’ and I train students/company employees or any ethusiastic person wanting to improve their communication skills.

What started as an option, developed into a passion and now earns my daily bread. From young kids (as small as in the 3rd standard) to money-earning adults and retired men/women, I’ve had the pleasure of training them all – in what they call the Queen’s Language – English

Did I just hear Chiradeep say, “Savio, Why don’t you put a flier or two up here?

Teaching/Training has never felt like a job, its just hours well spent in a place other than home – interacting with different ages, personalities and not to mention a few characters (that for some reason are found mostly in classrooms) It gives me so much joy to impart something that I am good at, to someone who needs the skill to improve quality of life. Because my teachers always told me, if one wants to learn/improve his/her speaking ability, and if you are in a position to help them out – DO IT.

you aren’t just helping them to learn a language but also to aquire a much needed SKILL

and I’ve always been of the belief that:

when you’re good at something, you shouldn’t keep it to yourself – you need to share it with the world.

If it so happens that you make a career out of it, you’ll never have to to work a day in your life – you’ll be getting paid for something you truly love and enjoy doing. And what’s better doing something that makes you smile with minimum effort. Sounds like a great idea – doesn’t it?

Teaching does take effort, more so the preparation that goes into a lesson that needs to be taught, but when your students who equally enjoy the task of learning as much as you enjoy teaching it, come together – the joy of being in the same room is instantly doubled – and I live for those moments.

Life need not need to be complicated or strenous, if we only know how to make a moment, a situation, an event joyous – it doesn’t take much effort – a little kindness, a genuine smile with a healthy conversation and we’re good to go.

Back in the day, when I was in college – it was the much smaller joys that brought friends together – bonding over oily samosas, tying of friendship bands, sharing ice-creams,  leaving our bikes at the bus-stand  just so we could travel by the same bus to college together. How fortunate for our generation, that we got a chance to do these little things. Aren’t we like the luckiest people ever?

The generation-now/Millennials need to understand this more than ever.

Binging on Netflix and playing online games don’t come close to giving one joy that an outdoor activity could give, however small it may be. Sometimes doing the simple things, goes a long way in living a quality life.

People actually remember the smaller things and tend to forget the bigger events – or is it the other way round?

As for me, I’ll remember the food, the music and where the chairs and tables were strategically placed but the chances are very high, that I’d actually forget the married couples name (incase of a wedding reception) – but then again, that’s ME.

See, I told you – the food items are the smaller joys to an otherwise larger event called the Wedding Reception.

TINY JOYS OF LIFE

We often forget the little things of our early life because our brain only has limited conscious memory and it continues to make choices at every moment of life. It constantly deletes the old memories that have never been used to make way for the new memories that are more important for the current situation. 

For example – I was one of the toppers in my board exams but today I will probably faint if I am handed over a Physics examination paper of Class X which used to be my favourite subject then. I might still vaguely remember some concepts that are probably used in day to day lives but I sure don’t remember the formulas and solutions to those complicated questions. 

However when I was given this topic to write on “Joyous moments” – one particular memory stood out that still hasn’t faded even after years. 

When I was in Class VI, I and one of my friends was very fond of cycling (as most kids of that age are). We used to cycle a few kilometres daily, even used to try a few stunts on the cycle. We were living in the IIP colony in Dehradun which is a place of uneven terrain. This made cycling even quite a challenge and we loved it. The distance between the colony where we lived to the IIP Guesthouse was close to 1.5 km and we used to do multiple rounds between these two points. 

One day while we were busy cycling, we saw an old Uncle (must be in mid ’50s) and his daughter (might be early twenties) walking from the IIP colony towards the guest house. They had some luggage with them and had no clue as to how far the guest house was. They asked us for the directions and the distance, we happily told them and moved on with our cycling. After a few mins, we realized that it was really a long walk for them in this terrain, carrying all the luggage. So, we decided to offer them help. We had been strictly instructed by our parents to not mingle with strangers and hence there was some hesitation on our side. 

Finally, we made up our minds and we offered to carry their luggage on our cycles till the Guest House. Uncle also hesitated a bit but looking at the distance and their luggage – they agreed. We had to do a couple of rounds on the cycle to be able to transfer all the luggage. And when we bid them goodbye in the Guesthouse, Uncle and his daughter filled us with gratitude. Uncle even gave us a packet of some small eatables like chips and chocolates which we happily took and went on our cycles again. 

This particular incident is so important to me because for the first time in my life I experienced the JOY of GIVING. Yes getting chips and chocolates without asking was a big deal at that age but we did not offer help out of greed of receiving something from them. We just did so because it felt right. In spite of all the warnings given to us by our parents, we went ahead and helped a couple of strangers and in return, we received so much gratitude. 

This incident had such an impact on me. It made me aware of the infinite joy the Universe offers to us when we selflessly help the ones in need. It was a tiny incident of my life but had a lifelong impact on 10-year-old me.

COUNTED OR NOT, GIVING IS JOY

I recount the days when this pandemic started early last year. The whole year went on lockdown and we all were shut inside. It was the last week before the lockdown began for school. As parents, we were supposed to send small sanitizers and mask with our little kids just to be on the safer side. I brought each of them a sanitizer and then packed them to school. As always I had a bunch of instructions on not to waste the sanitizer and also when to apply. Like any other time, they listened i believe and went to school. 

By afternoon, when my little one was back home, I was removing her lunch boxes and asking her how was the day.. she went on and on when I suddenly spotted the almost empty sanitizer bottle. Before i ask, she said, “mom, my friends didn’t have sanitizer so i was sharing.” For a moment I just didn’t know what to react, but the way she said that i did enjoy it. There was a huge scarcity of sanitizers that month, it was hard to get any. But we were so happy that she did share, even if there was nothing more to share. Again their dad decided to go get another bottle of it since this was empty and we had yet other days to go. As he went to the shop, again because of huge demand it was hard to get one. I told her, dad called and told me it seems, no sanitizer available right now and she was unhappy indeed.

After few minutes, he called up and told he got one. As he was saying, i felt like it was an invisible hand of God that came in to help because of her goodness. He narrated to us, that when he went into the last shop on the row, for sanitizer, the shop owner said there is no stock left, he just even told one another person standing next to him to the same. But again he insisted him just to take a look once again.. and to his surprise, there he found one last one just meant for her. 

All I wanted to tell you was that giving what we have even when we know we might run out of it, makes you get more of it. 

We all do little things in life that matter to someone. We might not know or be aware of it, all we do is keep on doing what we are meant to without expecting any favourable outcome. Everything comes in your favour with time.

Like I keep writing quotes and random rumblings everyday, i didn’t know whether it was worth sharing or even someone reads it or not. But I keep sharing even if it doesn’t matter to any sometimes. Again some days I write contradicting my state of mind too. But finally, when someone comes to me and tells me that they value when they read my words and does influence them, I am delighted. 

Sometimes all you need to do is, give even when it is not counted or counted. Joy is not measured or counted, it is infinite and immeasurable. All you need to do is be the source of joy. Embrace the little things in life and joy comes in your way.

HANDS OFFER WHAT THE HEART GIVES

Joy is intrinsic. It doesn’t depend on circumstances. Yet there are times when tiny acts of love generate joyousness within.

One such account comes to mind.

As a child, I have had my parents and family always teach and encourage ‘giving’ and ‘sharing’ with the needy. We had a pouch of coins in a known spot of our house, which all the family members had access to in case a needy person came calling.

In my hometown, Cuttack, there are specific days of the week in which the poor and needy visit different specific areas of the city and go door to door for alms. The area around my house was visited on Tuesdays.

I used to wait for Tuesdays eagerly to run down the stairs from my second-floor quarters and give coins to these people when they came calling. They usually used to come between six to eight in the morning. Each one’s call was in a unique way. Some would sing songs, some would call out to the ‘kind and benevolent mothers of the houses’, some would shout out loud in a chorus to the ‘big men of big houses’ (bada ghara ra bada babu), some would call out to the ‘ladies of the houses of big men’ (babu ghara maa) while some would be silent beneficiaries in the group.

In my Tuesday trysts, I developed a heart connection with two of them in particular. One was a leper man on a wheel chair and the other was a man who used to push the first man’s wheel chair. The affection I developed towards these two men was reciprocal. There were days when on one shout from them, I would rush to the window signalling them to wait and that I was coming. And, they waited till I went down and gave them a measly few coins. We smiled at each other in this brief meeting of a few minutes. That gave the joy!!

I used to see my neighbours throwing coins from their first floor and second floor houses which these beggars gladly collected (because the poor have always been made to believe and accept that, such treatment is what they deserve). Somehow, I never had the heart to give that way. I always went down the stairs and whenever I was unable to, I had my father and sometimes my mother go down the stairs and give them the alms.

Because of this shared affection, there were days in which they kept calling looking up in the direction of my window till I or someone appeared from my family in acknowledgement. Seeing my affection for these two people in particular, my mother kept a packet of puffed rice for Tuesdays so that I could give it to them. There were days when they were late to come and I had to leave for school before they came. My mother would tell me in the evening that they had come and were given the needful.

They never asked for more. They were satisfied with the little that they got. There wasn’t any greed, nor did they ever try to take advantage in any way. To my tender mind, it was pure joy to meet them with a smile and put the coins and food in their bowls.

I was really sad when they didn’t come for a while, after which only one of them came. The leper man in the wheel chair had passed away. So, till my family stayed in that colony the lone beggar frequented my lane only to stop by my flat and then went away as soon as he received alms from me or someone from my family without waiting or calling on other houses.

Giving for the sake of giving or giving to ensure that one is doing something good, doesn’t always give joy. Had it been so, famous philanthropists of the world would have been the most joyful people. Hands merely offer what the heart gives. When we give cheerfully, intentionally and sacrificially, there is abundant joy. There are times when we give fearfully, grudgingly,reluctantly, ritualistically, out of certain compulsions or out of our excesses. Such giving or helping is limited to the act itself and does not yield any joy.

God loves a cheerful giver.

Its amazing to experience the enormity of joys that ooze of tiny deeds, and to impart the same to the generations that follow.