Secrets To Happiness

Standards of happiness vary among people, groups and society. The upper (rich) class has its own definition of happiness, the medium and lower classes have their own take. And today, everyone is striving harder to acquire it. Everybody is running this marathon because the bars have been elevated to the extent that true happiness has become rare and lost its charm. It is now directly proportional to luxury. Greater the expense to meet your comforts, higher the happiness levels.

Who to blame for this inflation of happiness? It is solely us. Me and you. We have set prices and standards for the attainment of a genuine human emotion. The society we live in has pushed us all into a deep well of comparisons and complexes. Once falling prey to it, you are unable to enjoy the natural occurrences of things, events and emotions.

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Specially after embracing parenthood, our sole duty as parents becomes to provide the best of everything for our children. The best of shoes, clothes, food, toys, bags. We plan to enroll them in the best of schools, colleges and universities. This ‘best’ guarantees our happiness. We are the ones instilling in their innocent minds that happiness too comes with a price tag. That it lies in the best of material possessions. We teach them to overlook free sources of contentment and satisfaction and rather lookout for the branded and overpriced ones. It is us, as a society who has monetized the sources of happiness and we are now inculcating the same in the next generation’s minds.

Image source: google

In the complex, exorbitant world of today where everything comes with a price for us, even the simplest and genuine of human emotions, there are people who live by the moment and make it perfect and a happy one. They are the ones who just search for the things within their reach and try to utilize it in the best possible way claiming a lot of happy moments in return.

One such incident left me baffled and amazed. It left me surprised as an individual and a mother. It taught me a great deal of things.
Little Happy Incident:
There’s a park in my neighborhood where I go for a walk every morning after dropping off my kid to school. It’s more of a park built exclusively for walking and not to hurt the fragile hearts of kids accompanying their parents or grand parents for walk it also has a very less number of things to keep them busy. With a rustic see-saw, two old yet freshly colored maze slides and a muddy playground, it houses all other properties essential for walking from lush green grounds to a proper paved walking track with large trees and green plants hovering all around. I daily see a group of retired men walking, exercising and then engaging in talks on current affairs, two to three couples, a group of three middle aged women and a few men exclusively burning their calories.

While walking around one day, a Rickshaw caught my attention that stopped in the parking area. From inside I saw the driver of the rickshaw who further accompanied two children aged 1-5 years and a woman carrying a 6-8 months old baby. The kids enthusiastically ran towards the see-saw as soon as they entered the park, took a few turns and then sat on the slides chattering and exclaiming full of excitement. The father helped the youngest one to sit helping him slide down. I searched to see if their mother was capturing all these pure happy moments of her children playing carelessly and laughing lively as if there will be no tomorrow. But she had none. Rather she just stood there backing them up clapping her hands and saying,

“Shabash beta. Aur khel lo. Kal nahi aenge.”

“Welldone kids. Play as much as you can. We won’t come here tomorrow.”

It partially broke my heart yet filled it with mere realization. It taught me a number of things.

Lessons I learned:
Learn to live the moment by capturing it through your naked eyes storing them for eternity in your heart.
Happiness is scattered around free of cost. Just learn the art of grabbing it.
Be thankful for whatever you have today for you don’t know what tomorrow holds.
Precious things don’t always guarantee happiness.
Lower your standards and raise your happiness levels.

• Don’t overlook the little things in life as they cause the biggest happiness.

Concluding this with a quote of Dalai Lama,
By bringing about a change in our outlook towards things and events, all phenomena can become sources of happiness.

Silent Girls Struggles

There are majorly two types of girls according to my findings,

1. The bubbly and chatty ones
2. The sober and silent ones

I belong to the latter category since childhood and was most famous as ‘The Sober one‘ among my friends and family who always weighed her words and then spoke. I cannot speak random or speak a lot though my laughters have the capability to echo through the entire building, but it only happens when I have a bunch of “My People” around.

Since girls of a talkative and friendly nature have a visible dominance, the silent and sober ones always feel left out in the social circle. They ought to be very less of noticeable among people, that too comes with no surprise. I used to see girls having endless talks, chirping, laughing, giggling, gossiping and thought to myself, why can’t I be like that? Why I cannot initiate talks? Why I can’t jump into a random group talk and make myself comfortable? Why I can’t pass a smile to everyone and act like we have been friends forever?

I just couldn’t do any of above.
Sending a Facebook friend request, or hitting the follow button on IG was a complete no-no for me!

I was assumed as self centered, proud and egotistical.

These were the very first impressions I had on people right after the exchange of names. A very dear friend of mine revealed her opinion about me as soon as we got friendzoned, that too after alot of struggle from both our sides and that was “I always saw you as the angry one before

The silent ones do give a tough time to everyone, don’t they?
Maybe because they are afraid to engage in idle talks having no appropriate matter.
Or maybe because they hold a firm belief on

A shut mouth gathers no flies“.

Anyway, then came the age when our desi society finds a girl all ready to be adorned with the best of clothes and shoes for that one special day, showing up with trays or trolleys carrying a plate of circularly alligned biscuits overlapping each other (most commonly), a dish containing kebabs (shami kebabs to be precise) and a fork, a crystal bowl of polychromatic nimco (not very common but still practiced), the famous yellow bakery wala cake cut in slices sitting lengthwise in the middle of a plate overlapping each other, and lastly a tea set reserved in every home for special guests containing the most ehtimaam se banai gai Chae because she is now eligible for the mandatory match-making and being examined from the first hair strand on her head to her last toe nail. (I went through none of the above but witness it happening alot)

My family was actually worried and concerned about me because of the mere fact that I wouldn’t talk, A LOT!

That’s when I started to build an inferiority complex inside myself. I used to invent topics in my head so that I can have something to talk about. Something to say.

But how could I talk?

How could I just blabber things in order to gain few welcomes in the rishta culture?

Couldn’t I just be a good listener?

Is the action of ‘talking’ that much of an obligatory part for a girl’s identity?

Since we lived abroad back then, my grandmother (may her soul rest in peace) used to call my mother saying time and again k “Taskeen se kaho sab se baat kiya karey agey barh barh k.

Because I know there are girls out there who don’t need a push to engage in conversations.

There are girls who have the ability to pass a smile or greeting as a result of a mere eye contact.

There are girls who can have endless talks over a cell phone and need to be reminded about their pending chores.

There are girls who can easily match their chemistry with others befriending mostly everyone on their way.

There are many of them.

Plenty of them!

And I wasn’t one of them. (Read am instead of wasn’t)

My mother used to force me to have an ear to ear smile and get myself engaged in talks. Sometimes scolding,

Sometimes piyar se

In a taunting voice,

And then dara k

But since it wasn’t in my nature, I had to fight myself to obey. I got rebellious back in those days. Confronting people and meeting them was the last thing I wanted to do. I disliked welcoming guests at home because that called for continuous blabbering without hardly a minute or two of silence. Ammi while randomly talking to her friends used to say “She is all sober. I am so worried about her“.

And then 2, 3 aunties breaking the typical aunty-ism came to my rescue saying

Sober aur suljhi hui larkian aqalmand hoti hain, humein tou aesi he pasand hain

Not that I got married to any of those aunties sons yet happily married to the man of my dreams Alhamdolillah, but this one compliment boosted me up.

It made me realize a few things.

1. You should be comfortable in your own skin.

2. It’s not obnoxious to be all sober and serious.

3. Do not, I repeat DO NOT compare yourself with any of your sibling, friend, cousin, or any other xyz.

4. Whatever nature you possess, you should be able to carry it in the best possible and dignified manner.

Just love yourself the way you are and others will start loving you. Show your hidden potentials to the world without any comparison to others. And one day you surely will be acknowledged for who you are.

The true you.

The honest you.

The real you.

Concluding this with a self invented thought,
The beauty of silent ones lies in their quietness same as the charm of chatty ones lies in their talks


Do let me know about any of the struggles you faced being not very talkative…

The First Matters

Either say it as “the first matters” or “the first, matters“; Life is a series of the many first moments because there has to be a first time to everything. It is a sequence of some pleasant and nasty events successing one another. The human brain tends to forget a couple of things but what it cannot omit from within is the first success achieved no matter how big or small that was or the first failure encountered, the extent of which might have brought a trivial loss or a shattering outcome.

Everyone remembers their first times of everything.

Because the occurance of those things, happenings or events has a great deal of emotions attached. They are stored in the part of your heart and brain that doesn’t have an edit or delete option. Those first moments are the read only memories of one’s life.

Remember your first crush?

Or the first time you confessed about your love?

When you first secured a distinction in a subject or the first time you failed a monthly test?

When you for the first time baked a cake or a pizza and it got burnt?

The first time you wrote a poem or started drawing that got published irrespective of lacking perfection.

Mine in bottom right corner of Thursay magazine Oman, 2005

The first car you drove or the day you got the license?

First day of yours in a college or university (because one cannot remember the first one at school)

Remember your first job and your first pay no matter how low or high it was?

The first time you got engaged and it broke off unfortunately?

Your very first residence?

The first time you proposed and got rejected or married?

First thing you bought together after your wedding for your home? (For me it was a laundry basket 😁)

First vacation as a family?

The first time you conceived and sadly it didn’t continue?

No matter how immature/mature you were, you still remember most of those precious times don’t you?

Well I do. Most of them actually.

Life is just a matter of the very beginnings. The successions may continue to happen but it’s about the moments that top the list. That when you pen down in a diary mark the starting of its page.

For parents however, specially the mother, each first and every milestone of her child is the paramount of her motherhood. From the moment she conceived a tiny little nothing to seeing him/her growing into a complete beautiful human getting married and having children.

It leads her.

Drives her

Urges her to strive for better each day.

A hope for providing the best.

The first time she felt the kick inside her womb. When the little nothing hit her hard enough to mark its presence inside and then when she heard the first cry of her baby and started crying herself looking at the miracle she just gave birth to. When she for the first time held him in her arms and then placed him right on her heart to feel the strength of connection and warmth of the tiny little body. The day when baby sat without a support, then stood one day and started walking. The day he grew his first milk teeth.

Baby’s first birthday which you start planning right after his birth. Out of all other birthdays, the first one is special of its kind because you spend months in deciding the birthday theme, dresses, decor, food menu and what not (Nostalgic feels).

I decided on a Royal theme for my son’s first birthday

The first day of your baby’s school when he cried his lungs out and you were left with no choice but staying strong fighting back your own tears.

The first time your baby had to appear for a test despite being asked to just spell a ‘Cat‘. And from there beginning a never-ending series of countless assignments, tests and homeworks.

An examination of a lifetime.

A mother remembers it all. She doesn’t need any record books. The dates, the moments automatically engrave themselves on her mind and heart. Because motherhood is all about emotions, power and control. It’s about the authority. Authority to take charge and make the best of everything for her child. Authority to mark the beginnings. The power to celebrate and rejoice every milestone achieved and every first that occured.

Because a mother is a sovereign of her own kingdom.

The kingdom of her motherhood.