Monday, January 26, 2015

Smile...Thats easy! :)

My son's new school starts at 7.15 . For someone whose bones are at their laziest avatars when the sun rises, this seems to be a great motivating factor. These days we are forced to wake up before 6 and suddenly the day seems longer and better.

We the parents, now manage to squeeze in some time for a morning walk after dropping him. We do have our second bundle of joy and mischief aka my daughter, tagging along, and so we take turns looking after her in the play area while the other walks around the park.

This morning during my walk, I came across a gentleman mostly an octa-or-nonagenarian holding onto an iron railing . He was quite frail and was doing a slight exercise trying to bend his knees.

Senior citizens trigger a lot of thoughts in me. After having been probably bold, strong, agile with a lot of likes, dislikes, interests , experiences and achievements, one fine day man gets pushed to a stage where he gets weaker day by day , more and more dependant on someone. These folks would become witnesses to their loved pals departing the world one by one. They would become more and more isolated with the younger lot having very little time amidst a whole lot of other things they are running after. Unlike earlier generations where the most aged in the family held an authoritative hand, today's seniors mostly spend their time without interfering much in the lives of their progenies.
In the years immediately after retirement they do have good times as they would probably be healthier. They group with friends and have a merry time. Once their health starts deteriorating and they are unable to go out on their own , isolation strikes hard.

 A girl was standing a foot behind him. I reckoned that she was their domestic helper whose main responsibility was taking care of him. She was making sure that she was there to hold him lest he should lose his balance and fall. An empty wheel chair patiently waited near them.

The old gentleman looked at me and I smiled at him. He gave me a gentle  nod of acknowledgement. The maid behind joined in , gave me a big smile and added a 'Good Morning Ma'm'.

It felt good. Period.

I had no idea who they were; knew absolutely nothing about them. Two individuals whose life paths had been brought together in a bond for some reason. I, a complete stranger to them whose path had crossed theirs in that one infinitesimal moment. Yet these subtle acts of ours, a smile, a nod and a good morning wish filled me with so much positivity. I went on and smiled at whoever I met in the park that day and at the end felt really rejuvenated.

We Indians very rarely smile at strangers. Possibly the crime stories that we hear makes us vary of them. There is a difference between genuine warm gestures and acts done with an intention to deceive which we as adults should definitely be able to perceive.

A warm smile is a beautiful thing. The receiver feels good and when reciprocated it lifts up the spirits of the giver too. We all have our own reasons to brood, to worry; Every single one of us, there is no exception to that. We all have our own share of troubles here and no one here is walking on a bed of roses. A smile from the heart maybe can spread some cheer around. As mentioned in so many fwds which we first received as emails, sms es and then on facebook and these days on Whatsapp

A smile is a curve that can set many things straight. 

Be generous with your smiles. That is a tiny contribution we can make without much effort to make the world a better place.

Image courtesy of kookkai_nak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

35 comments:

  1. I know, right? Why don't we Indian smile much? I was talking about this the other day. In my initial years in the US, I used to notice a lot of people smiling. But these days, hardly anyone smiles :( These days, I wake up at 5.30, Jaishree...ask me about it ..btw, how is the lil one doing? She must be one now and full of activity. Enjoy the moments. :)

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    1. Yep she just turned one and running around and exploring :) thanks fif :)

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  2. Great thought Jaishree... You never know what difference a smile of yours can make to someone. For us, well.. smiling ensures that we never grow old at heart...

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    1. Good point Visual. Smiling does keep you young !

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  3. Though it was scary to read the picture you painted about old men in their eighties and beyond,I am an octogenarian leading a happy life with several interests on my plate with time being the sole restraint! Of course one should be healthy and not dependent on others.
    I agree a Hi or a smile, a wave of hand or a Ram Ram carries a magic in making others even strangers happy.
    Glad your child's school timings give you an extra hour in the day.

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    1. Hello KP. I hope I did not trigger any negative feelings in you with those words. It's great to know that you are leading a life with plenty of interests and that's inspiring indeed :) Great going and may God bless you with the best of health always

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  4. Yes Jaish we certainly ought to smile more.

    Even though young you have a deep insight into the psychology of the aged.Yes it is tough to see your near and dear ones depart one by one--and scary too.I never thought about this in my youth--how come you are so perceptive--almost intuitive ?
    God bless you.

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    1. I saw it when my dad died and my grandmother is still alive....at one point she was feeling guilty about it... Had no words to console her

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  5. I make it a point to smile at strangers. It's the most desirable curve a woman can have.

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    1. You said it ! Nice line that I am planning to quote a lot Purba :)

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  6. A warm smile is a beautiful thing! Well written Jaish :)

    Someone is Special

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  7. Totally agree with you. Your post reminded me of an incident that I'd shared in my blog. An old German couple desperately tried to communicate with us on a trip abroad. The reason? My daughters reminded them of their grandchildren whose snaps the lady had pinned to her handbag. And it all started with a smile.

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    1. I remember reading that post Ilakshee :)

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  8. Smile is the best curve, as Purba rightly said:)

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  9. Very true Jaish! Lovely post :)

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  10. I am making new hobbies every day. I am scared of being alone in my old age. I don't know whether it's a rational fear or not but it is a very heavy thought for me. Yes, smile often. Laugh often. Two things that connect strangers easily.

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    1. I would be happy if I had a healthy old age....automatically we can find ways to get rid of loneliness :)

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  11. Senior citizens having seen life find a lot of purpose in just a smile...

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    1. They sure do ...Thanks for stepping in :)

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  12. I think seniors nowadays keep up with their interests and their health and that leads to a continued enriched life! My parents have so much going on from volunteering at NGOs to playing canasta to going for movies and reading books and playing golf. They probably have a better social life than I do!! :D

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    1. That's lovely to hear Roshni.May God bless them with good health always ...As I mentioned as long as their healthy no worries

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  13. I see so many elders suffering alone, and I tell myself I shouln't make my parents/close relatives from their generation go through such hard times, but again we never know where we would be and how we would be in a few years.

    I agree with you about Indians being stingy with their smiles. Sometimes people dont even acknowledge those whom we spend a lot of time with. Neighbours and people who we come across, but might not necessarily talk a lot with. But this is slowly changing and I'm glad!

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    1. I am glad that its changing too...I think with more global exposure we learn some nice things from other cultures too ...Thats really good...

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  14. Oh yes, a smile can make a BIG difference in anybody's day!

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    1. Thanks for stepping in Shilpa...It sure CAN

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  15. Nice experience. Liked reading. Somehow I am not used to smiling at people though I bear no one any ill will.

    I have seen foriegners wishing strangers, smiling etc. But I felt it a mechanical gesture and they were not interested in knowing me at all. I prefer people to talk something interesting to me. I am not too fond of formalities. Even wishing on birthday etc. is so mechanical. Don't disagree with you - just my view.

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    1. Hmmm...Thats a different view but i cannot say is not valid....To talk something interesting we first need a communication channel set right? A smile may just be the door to that! Oh yes and about birthdays, I would prefer gifts to wishes hi hi :D

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  16. I wanted to say what you've said so beautifully. Wonder why some people refuse to smile, sometimes even when they love in the same apartment complex. :)

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    1. Yes Alka thats becoming more and more common in our concrete jungles of today!

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  17. I love the instant connection of a smile that reminds us that we're all the same despite the apparent differences. Lovely post, Jaish. I'm reading you after too long a gap!

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