Firstly, this has got nothing to do with the amazing movie starred by Will Smith along with his son. There was this incident that I witnessed a few weeks ago which obliged me to pen down my thoughts about it.
It was a dull Sunday evening. Our mixer broke down and mum needed it to prepare some chutney. She came to me holding the pot wearing the usual smile mixed with anticipation and I realized without a word that damn! I have to get it fixed. Being bored at home I used the opportunity to feed sum fresh air to my lungs and headed to the desired shop as directed.
The place was a small shabby settlement in one of the nearby buildings. The only room was divided into two by plywood, differentiating the store from the entry. A rusty old board hung from the top with one end crotched and clung to a protruding nail as if desperate for life. The battered shelves along with the main desk were full of spares and dilapidated machine parts longing to get back to life again. The entry to the shop was another challenge as the boundary of the building was dug in order to install cables. So, one had to walk over a rickety wooden plank to reach the place. The owner of the shop a (sindhi by looks) was apparently confused, disinterested and possibly overburdened by the amount of the work, did not bother to acknowledge me. I kept myself busy eyeing the stuff around.
Later…….. I saw a young boy, probably not more than 14, holding on to a heavy machine making his way to the shop. With pockets stuffed with tools and arms coated with grease, he called for help to get it past the wooden plank safely. He safely unloaded his arms n placed the contraption on the floor so delicately that it would have put a few mothers nurturing their children to shame. Looking as cheerfully and gracious he offered me the help I needed. My eyes were transfixed on this little fellow I couldn’t believe to be working at this good forsaken place. He wore a gregarious smile that was filled with deep satisfaction about something good in life. His face was radiant and his energy was visible by his agile mannerisms. He listened to me quiet obediently nodding at each comment trying to work his mind together….and no sooner did I finish, I found him already tinkering with the device. After a slender wait I was on my way back home awestruck by my encounter with the boy.
What astounded me was his enthusiasm and zealousness for working in such a filthy, claustrophobic environment surrounded by metal scrapes and plastic rubble….and that too at such an age!!!
I could only express my sorrow for the poor lad. His high spirits and evergreen nature was astounding, so was the way he politely accepted the harsh comments by people without taking anything down to his heart and maintaining an eternal contortion of lips- a truly adorable smile. :) He showed no sign of anguish in spite of working so hard. I instantly compared him with myself. Where my life has so far been pleasing, comfortable, all bright n sunny, still I found myself somehow lacking that spirit.
Now, what is this thing called happiness after all???
One can say happiness is an emotional or affective state that is characterized by feelings of enjoyment and satisfaction… well is that it? If it’s such simple a thing then why do people who are joyous n gleeful at one moment turn low n despondent at the other?
Also the obvious question- Are materialistic pleasures ($ money $) that ease our life are to account for a person’s state or level of happiness???
To an extent I believe they do but only a meager fraction…otherwise all the ghettos in the world would have been a scene of constant mourning. The pleasure derived from loved ones and from our good virtues is what matters the most. (Easier said than done. eh?)
That boy might have hit some kind of jack pot that day, but his happiness was worth instigating an uncanny feeling of happiness and a sense of leading a cherished life. It was sufficient to lift my spirits at least for the time being :)
Well, I guess someone has rightly said-
"People are always about as happy as they make up their minds to be."