Thursday, April 10, 2014

Smile Please!

“ Smile and the world smiles with you”

These wise words spoken a long time ago rings so much truth. When I returned from my stay abroad, the first thing I noticed besides the noise and the dirt of course, was how we Indians walked around with sad grumpy faces
 Is the reason for not smiling something to do with the fact that it is considered being below your dignity to smile at any Tom Dick and Harry?

When I am abroad I notice people just smile at you on eye contact in malls, on the roads, in public transport. Either you don’t look at faces or you do and then nod or smile. It’s called being polite.
We Indians either just stare without expression or look sad and distant. A bunch of stony-faces that’s what we see every day everywhere!

In a class-room full of children, the teacher walks in, how many children actually smile on seeing her? Very few! You reach your destination, do you hand over the fare to the cabbie with a smile? Tsk! I doubt it! It’s your turn at the cashier, the poor guy has had a tough day, and do we award him with a smile? Nope! 

A little smile can sometimes go a long way especially at a new place when you are desperate to make new contacts and friends, a smile earns you a high score on that front!

A smile speaks volumes. It can be interpreted as sympathy, as support, as understanding, as being an open person. What’s the harm if we smile at strangers? Why live your life fearing everyone and everything?

I for one have zero problem in smiling at a room full of strangers and introducing myself. This change in me happened when, once a long time ago, I sat and brooded at a social do and wasted 3 or 4 hours not speaking or smiling at anyone! Returning home grumpy and irritated at the wasted evening, I made a promise to myself that this will never happen again. And it hasn’t!

So all it takes is a few muscles spreading to increase the value of your face, banish that thought about crooked and gaping teeth, and just say CHEESE! Watch the cheer spread!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bewakoof Me!

The lady glared back at me. Dark shadows beneath her eyes, wisp of grey at her temples, frown lines, slight hunch. A wise face that must have been attractive at youth. I saw her standing there at the large window of a store, a startled expression on her face.

It took me a few seconds to realise it was my own reflection I was staring at, totally unaware that it was me!

When did I become that?

I still feel like a young girl!

Often in very formal occasions, like a teacher’s meeting or an interview I never remember I am supposed to be that middle-aged lady who should think and behave like an adult. I feel I am a girl facing a grown-up person! Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t act like a lunatic, yet it always escapes me that I have grown up and should not be spontaneous in my words and actions. I should not gush out my thoughts so impulsively!

I mean I see all adults being thoughtful, sombre and wise. They walk around with stony faces, they weigh their words, think about their actions and their reactions, befores and afters, talk about “then and now”.

A few days ago I read a friend’s blog where she had written about how some people live in regret and in a world of “ifs and buts”! How is it that my mind is never filled with such thoughts? Who am I to say whether this is good or bad? It’s just the way I am. The child in me just refuses to grow up. I am impulsive and uninhibited. I make mistakes never to learn from them. I listen to advices and never follow them!

Is this the reason why I enjoy the company of children? They are unconstrained in their thoughts and emotional in most situations. They cry when hurt and laugh and forget pain easily.

I have faced many sticky situations, got my foot in my mouth a thousand times, fallen face down horribly! I have made a million mistakes in my life, yet I know faced with a similar situation I will make them all over again, but sail through life humming “Bewakoofiyaan! Bematlab betuki si, Bekaar si buddhu si, bewaja, Bewakoofiyaan!!”

Click here to listen to this tuneful song. It just got stuck in my brain! Maybe it will in yours too!