Happiness is that feeling which all of us want to feel all the time. Some might find it with a good job, good weather, blooming flowers, smiling children, good report card, good rating at work, good sex, good friends, good food, good girlfriend, a good single girlfriend, multiple girl friends, good life partner, good parents, good in-laws, good children, money, a big house, authoritative position, seeing your favorite team win a sport, pets, puppies and the list in exhaustive. Happiness is abstract, it has its own meaning to every individual.
When I was very little and sad at times, my father used to ask me "are you happy?", I used to think what to answer. My father would then show me a lollipop and ask me again "are you happy?". I used to jump up and down and say "Lollipop, lollipop, I love you daddy". My dad would then be all smiles seeing me smile. Simple things would make my dad happy seeing me happy. This taught me the true meaning of happiness - "The special feeling that emerges spontaneously within ones heart seeing others happy is real happiness".
I was my dad's pride at home because I was great at studies. I used to always come first in school and I was the best outgoing student in 10th standard. I was even the best outgoing student in my department while studying Engineering. Whenever I got my report card home, dad would be so happy. That made me so happy. I used to feel so peaceful within seeing my dad. This is happiness to me - Feeling content and peaceful from within.
The day I got married, my dad cried more than me. He cried like a baby infront of all. He came and kissed me on my cheek and said "Keep smiling and be happy always because only that can keep me happy forever". So, seeing him in tears, I brought the best in me and smiled because I wanted him to smile while he leaves me at my husband's place forever. This is happiness to me - Trying your best against all odds to keep your loved ones happy.
I was not good at cooking and I thought of making tea for my husband for the first time. To my best knowledge, I did what I could but the tea kind of looked white in color so I had a sinking feeling in my heart. I felt that I passed all school/college exams with flying colors but am going to fail badly in my husband's eyes. My husband came from work and I gave him this tea. He saw it but didn't make a face. He drank it and said "I love you, you are the sweetest" and started laughing loudly. I didn't understand. He said "the tea is horrible but he loved me a lot for trying just for him". He was so happy. Seeing his positive attitude, I learnt cooking slowly because I wanted to see him really happy whenever he ate my food. I am now running my own cooking blog. Even today, after 6.5 years of marriage, whenever he eats my food, he takes time to appreciate me. This is happiness to me - Appreciating the effort and making others happy.
When I started my blog, it meant a big deal to me when I saw the first appreciative comment on one of my post. This is happiness to me - Taking time from your busy schedule to appreciate some unknown person's hard work to see them happy.
After marriage, a few unexpected situations arose which moved me from the most-liked spot to the most-hated spot to my in-laws. But my husband believed me and supported me infront of his own parents. This is happiness to me - Trust and Belief.
I was brought up by in a very middle class family in a small place where lot of importance was given to society and what others would think so my lifestyle, dressing, my wishes etc were very restricted and being a girl, I had a lot more restrictions. I always wanted to wear mini skirts, sleeveless tops, pants, cut my hair short and leave it open but on the contrary I had to wear clothes that would cover my whole body and I could never step out of home without oil in my hair. I slowly lost the confidence to dress fashionable. After I got married, my husband understood what I really wanted and slowly slowly helped me and today I wear everything. The first time I tried out jeans and nike shoes, I was on the moon. I was so elated. This is happiness to me - Pumping the confidence in others to help them achieve what they really wanted to.
One day when I got to know I was pregnant, I was so happy but this news was like a laughing gas to all my family and close friends. Everybody was so happy. Everybody started making plans, started coming to meet me, I was pampered so much! My husband would wake up with a smile even at 3am and make me horlicks or slice oranges because I used to be hungry all the time. This is happiness to me - Making everybody around you happy.
I left my job so I could be with my little daughter. Leaving my job made me sad but everyday my daughter would do something new and she would make sure to keep my smile intact. Seeing her crawl, seeing her take her first steps, hearing her babbling, hearing her call me "Mommy" for the first time, seeing her hold a pencil for the first time, hearing her scream when she solved a puzzle for the first time, seeing her feel successful that she learnt how to throw/kick a ball , seeing her use the potty for the first time, seeing her say "I did it, I did it, I can do it", seeing her on the moon when she wore her own shoes for the first time etc. So many many wonderful moments I have had and continue having with my daughter. This is happiness to me - An immense amount of love which automatically brings tears of joy in our eyes.
Happiness is infectious. Even a child knows how to be happy and keep everybody around her happy. In so many cases, a little child has been responsible for keep families united just by spreading happiness. Only if everybody understood the true meaning of happiness, there would be no petty fights which lead to bigger loses and every home and eventually the world would be such a wonderful place to live in. Let's give God the opportunity to be truly happy for creating this work and creating all the living beings. Remember, happiness is infectious.
The above post is written for Coca-Cola India on the occasion of "International Day of Happiness" for the topic "Tell us about the simple things that make you happy." You can read more such posts on @CocaCola that comes with a hashtag #Iamhappy