I smiled . Purposelessly and spontaneously. As spontaneously as a flower blooms or a river flows. My face glowed, my eyes beamed bliss. For a moment my whole being was steeped in joy. Joy for and in itself.
It was not the smile which gave me joy but the inner happiness that budded into a smile. Happiness born of the harmony of the body and mind. Joy born of love of life. Joy born of gratitude to the Creator.
It cheered me. It cheered my friends, disarmed my foes. It was like the sun’s rays on a cold morning – piercing the gloom, dissolving the mist, entering through the chinks of the doors and windows and illuminating the dark corners. A ray of hope, of love , of life.
I became a sun myself. I radiated rays of cheerfulness. Every thing around me looked prettier, glowing in the warmth of my smile. The girl , who was cold to me, warmed up to me. I could distinctly see love in her eyes now as the haze had disappeared. She no more thought of me as a stone. My lips had sparked off life and vitality. She caught the fire and burned in love. She looked infinitely more beautiful now. Buxom, blithe and debonair. My smile had made an angel of a woman. Roses bloomed on her cheeks, a luminous halo surrounded her. We bathed in an aurora of bliss. ” How charming , I looked “, she spoke ardently. Was the devil transformed ?-I wondered. Waves of pure joy had started from me. They spread. Will soon reach ashore the world. Every molecule of water has begun to dance up and down, up and down. Joy for and in itself. Joy pure and serene.
Where shall I find this joy again ? In man kind ? People still laugh and brave are those who do so. I do not, however, always feel happy at their laugh. It becomes coarse and malevolent sometimes. Earned, very often, at somebody’ expense. It is the sensation caused of standing upon somebody’s shoulders, feeling of triumph on trampling over someone’s reputation that elates us for a moment. It is not the elation that one feels after having climbed up a high hill and viewing the verdant valley and the houses and the people below but the mean satisfaction caused by seeing some body down.
SMILE IS OFTEN AN EXRESSION OF INNER HAPINESS, A SENSE OF WELL BEING WHEREAS LAUGHTER IS OFTEN TRIGGERED BY OUTWARD HAPPENINGS, SAY, A HUMOROUS REMARK OR A COMICAL SITUATION. SMILE IS BEMUSED, REFLECTIVE, SUBDUED, INTROVERTED EXRESSION WHEREAS LAUGHTER IS OFTEN A LOUD, EXTROVERTED , SPONTENOUS REACTION. SMILE IS A SPIRITUAL EXPRESSION WHEREAS LAUGHTER IS A PHYSICAL EXERCISE. BOTH HAVE, HOWEVER, BENEFICIAL AFTER EFFECTS, A TONIC TO THE MIND AND BODY.
Charles Lamb said that he often laughed to hide his tears. It is, however , more manly or womanly to laugh even in the face of distress. Living in agony consciously and bearing the suffering stoically gives a real taste for laugh as calmness descends after the storm, sunshine after the torrid rain.
Human body, with the help of a trained strong mind, has the capacity to endure considerable suffering. Women know better to smile through agony. It sustains my faith in mankind ( rather womankind ) to see a woman enduring the pangs of child birth. Personally speaking, I do not feel like doing anything when I am hurt at heart or disturbed in mind or have pain in the body but I have seen the brute of a man beat his wife for no reason and she- the unknown, unsung heroine-still kept kneading the flour for preparing meals for the family and in between wipe her tears with the end of her saree. Woman has taken upon herself much of the miseries and sins of man and suffers in silence like the mother earth herself and still how soft but how strong and beautiful she is. MEN AND WOMEN OF STRONG FIBRES ONLY CAN REALLY LAUGH AND THE REST HAVE A HOLLOW LAUGH.
Where then one can find pure joy ? Perhaps in nature. Nature was always in the background of the life of people in times when technology had not encroached so much upon our lives. We live today, to quite an extent, an artificial life. Technology- not to deny its boons- without which we could never lived such a comfortable life but it has made us escapists also. We are too prone now to run for easy life which has consequently made us lazy, soft, restless, insecure. We prefer to ride rather than walk, we shiver in slight cold and shrink in slight heat.
I feel a new vigor and vitality instilled into me at dawn as I see the winter sun slowly ascend the horizon. Every thing puts on a roseate hue. It was , as if, Nature had blushed to see her nudity revealed after dropping her black shroud of darkness of night. I just long to climb up the high Himalayas, bathe in the effulgent light of the morning sun, feel the winds tugging and rustle up my clothes in playfulness, listen to the divine symphony of the rain and thunder and look bemusedly in innocent wonder at the river Bhagirathi or Alaknanda or Mandakini ( you name it ) flowing down in its mystical meanderings -caressing the hills as if in a farewell gesture-before its hurried, hurtling journey down the plains -THE HOY GANGA.