“Happiness” – a word that cannot be defined in one sentence. For some it is wealth, some define it as laughter, some enjoy craziness and call it happiness, and so on..But for me it is silent smiles, satisfaction, and glitter/sparkle that appear in eyes of my loved ones seeing me. It is little things that make them proud of me. Their happiness is somehow linked to me feeling good about myself. Therefore, I term it as my happiness.
These little happy moments bring me joy even today and will cherish forever. I still remember my childhood days, when my father use to deliberately sing incorrect rhymes waiting for me to give expressions and sing the correct one dancing. I still remember me running and standing on the bed to sing “Dhobi aaya Dhobhi aaya” whenever the iron man use to visit our house to take clothes for ironing, becoming a teacher for my father & uncle complaining my grandfather that they do not know anything and much more. These are little moments of joy, laughter, and fun that brings smile of my face but cannot be termed as what I call real happiness. Happiness for me is seeing them happy because of me. Few instances that bring tears of joy in my eyes and what I call sheer happiness are:
- When I saw my grandfather touching his turban smiling with sparkle in his eyes saying “Meri poti hai, fakar hai mera (she is my granddaughter, my pride)” to one of his friends when he came all the way home to praise some of the values I carry. My grandmother told he narrated some of instances in neighborhood when I helped someone and may be took a stand for someone once. Also, I could see my grandmother’s enthusiasm and her head held high while she was narrating all this to me. She asked me, “You never told me that you daily wish that old couple in the morning, place their chairs right besides and then walk for your college bus”. I just giggled and walked away that time but it gave me immense happiness.
- The day I brought home my first salary after becoming an engineer and gave it my mom. I was so happy to see the pride in her eyes and specially to hear the response from her kissing my forehead “Who is the eldest in the family? Go, hand it over to them, and thank them for their blessings. You must see the happiness on their face.” I kissed on her cheek, ran downstairs to my grandparents and handed over my first salary to my grand mom with excitement. She took it in her hands and shouted my grandfather’s name with joy saying “Mai keha ji, dekho tuhadi poti apni pehli tankha leke aayi hai (dear hubby, see your grand daughter has brought her first salary today)” handing it over to him. My grandfather eyes were filled with tears. He hugged me, kissed my forehead and handed it back to me saying “Give it to your father and mother, they deserve it. Whatever you are today, it’s because of your hard work for studies and their hard work to make you what you are today”. I was speechless seeing the love and respect for one another in the family.
- It was tearful to see my father holding my engineering degree in his hands, looking at my late grandfather’s photograph and saying with heavy heart and voice “Appi aj papaji hunde na te ohna ne bahut khush hona si teri degree dekh ke. Tere sare certificate pehle v oh mathe te laake chumke vapis karde c. Ohna nu bahut shonk si ke mera koi putar engineer ya doctor bane, aj tu ohna di khwaish puri kiti hai. Fakar hai tere te puttar mainu. (If your late grandfather was there, he would really have been very very happy seeing your engineering degree. He always have cherished your certificates placing on his forehead, kissing them and then returning them back. He always wished one of his son’s to become an engineer or a doctor. You have fulfilled his desire today, proud of you)”. This incident not only gave me pride but a message of togetherness and respect. This made me realize we can cherish the words of elders even after they are no longer with us.
- I remember my uncle telling everyone with a lot of pride “Dekho sadi Appi, paawe jaldi viah ho gya ohda, paawe field change kiti ohne apni job di paawe kuch v si. Aj fer apne parian te khadi hai. Jaandeyan hi job mil jaandi hai ohnu paawe Delhi paawe Bangalore. Apne parian te apne bacheyan nu dekhke khushi hundi hai. Apne maa baap di mehant zaaya ni kiti ohne kadi v. (See my niece Appi, inspite of getting married early, whether she had to change her job field, start her career again, she has again established herself very nicely. She has always honored her parents hard work for her and not let go it waste.)”. When I use to hear it from my mother, my aunty and my cousins, it gave me a sense of accomplishment and motivated me to work harder and reach my goals. I feel someone is there to care for me, tap my back, appreciate and say “good going”.
- After some years of my marriage, when I heard from my grandmother and mother and thereafter myself; about my mother in-law praising me saying “Saadi Appi te all rounder hai. Oh te meri teean vargi nuh hai. Badi siyani te intelligent hai. Office v dekhdi hai te ghar v dhyan rakhdi hai sanu koi takleef na hoye. Bada sochdi hai sade baare ki sanu koi takleef na hoye. Ghar nu jodke rakhdi hai oh. Hasdi rehandi hai bacheyan vaang. Mainu dilon bahut changi lagdi hai. Meriyan bahut aseesan lagnian ne ohnu dekhna tusi. (Our Appi is an all rounder. She is my daughter in law that my own daughter would have been, very understanding and intelligent. She very well takes care of office and home both and makes every effort that we do not have to face any trouble with anything. She keeps the family united, always laughing like kids. I love her a lot from core of my heart. You see one day all my blessing are gonna take her places. )” In a marriage, one of my relatives from in laws side called my parents and told “Your daughter is really a diamond. She is very loving and caring. She is just like a kid yet so mature & understanding. What did you eat when you gave a her birth.” Similarly, when my and my husband’s maternal uncle who got us engaged puts his hand on my head and told “You know I felt really proud when your husband’s uncle from father’s side met me in a wedding function and said “Tusi saanu bahut acha rishta milaya hai. Kudhi bahut hi changi, siyani, te down to earth hai. Thank you. (You have made us met very nice people and given us nice relatives. The girl is very nice, understanding, and down to earth. Thanks!)” When I hear these words of praise, it gives me a sense of achievement and accomplishment to be able to make love for myself in their hearts, to respectfully carry my values and learning of love, care and being united to my another home and make my parents proud of me. For a child, it is nothing more valuable than seeing their parents hold their head high because of their children not only from educational, professional, but on personal front also.
Whenever I recollect these moments I feel something striking my heart, broken pieces of my heart getting re-assembled, a sense of accomplishment and pride to have successfully handled and gone through all the good and worst times of life. No matter whatever is happening in my current life, this feeling contemplates me/my present life, gives me an inspiration that I will be able to handle whatever situation arises without tearing me apart, and prepares me for the worst or good time yet to come. For me, this feeling which makes me cherish the past, helps me live & enjoy the present, and have a carefree attitude for future is HAPPINESS for me.