Wednesday, February 25, 2015

अब क्या करके आया है.... What do people feel when they see you smiling?

I have always believed smiling is good. Personally i always try and keep smiling. It is an entirely different matter that my smiling face looks at lot like Arnab Goswami in thick debate on News Hour tonight.
Something that i learned very early, way back in my childhood days, was that if you keep a smile pasted on your face, which by practise should make you look like you are a vulture and you just crossed Death Valley, people will get really scared of you. That is the actual truly infectious smile. People should take one look at you and hope to die peacefully of a horrible unknown viral infection, than imagining what you have been upto to look like this.
As per a well known movie dialog, its quite easy to smile, it is a simple three part process. Look normal, widen your lips, open your eyes a big as they can get, and assume you are looking like Dr. Evil.
So much for the perfect smiling face. Lets move on to the purpose and goodness of general smiling. While rummaging through some pages on the internet, for most of good part of yesterday, reading about smiles, all through the morning, then a bit in afternoon and some more in the evening, i did come across lots of useful information about them. To me it seems, that the internet is full of people on one side telling you how to fake a smile if you can’t honestly come up with a real one, and then on the other hand they give you lessons on how to spot fake ones from real ones, effectively.
The time i did not spend reading and in between meals, i spent practising the same in front of the mirror. First trying to come up with a fake smile, stick with it for sometime, and then trying to spot whether its a fake one, in my mirror image. Eventually the mirror had enough of me and cracked up. And no wonder my mom does not now want to look me in the face even, its been contorted into a very hideous combination of a questioning smile.
A lot of my research also went into the domain of benefits of smiling. From what i could boil down from my extensive research, were 4 major points every internet blogger would agree to. I read 3 blogs and 1 article, which i think are more than enough research for any such topic. Mine being the fifth one which i would hopefully be reading on the same topic.
So here are some of the basic benefits, 
  1. Smiling lowers your heart rate, thus reducing stress.
  2. Smiles are contagious, you have one on your face, pretty soon everyone you see would be smiling too.
  3. Smiles make you look attractive. There is some doubt on this one, but i went with the majority. It didn’t work out so well for The Joker did it, speaking of which, do you want to know how i got these scars?
  4. Smiles increase your lifespan. Maybe over the long run. If you can believe that a normal heart rate, a stress free life is good and smiles are the only contagious diseases spreading around, also the theory that attractive people live longer than their uglier counterparts, i can even give you 13 reasons why attractive people live longer, you are on the right track.

There could be a lot more benefits too, though from my research i found that they mostly stem from these 4. Then while we are at it, it would be so much so better to see, into these 4 reasons too, a bit of an in depth analysis.

Lowering your heart rate with a smile
And thus reducing stress. Every activity comes with a disclaimer and a rider. Do it at your own risk. If you are seen grinning at a funeral, all happy about the inheritance, maybe your stress would go down, but what of the people attending in sorrow? Similarly smiling consistently in front of a cop would land you in a lot of trouble. That too when maybe he has just stopped you for standing besides a corpse, gun in hand. You could go for the insanity plea eventually. Worst, you are stopped by the Delhi Police around Independence day and you smiling in their faces. None of the situations may lower your heart rate and reduce stress, neither in the short run nor the long run.
Smiles are contagious
Like i wrote earlier, here is a rider attached too. If you aren’t the one smiling, and everybody you come across on the street is, promptly check if you are wearing you pants. This situation here is bit gender biased, especially in Indian context. Because if you are a female, and you are slightly underdressed,  by which i mean, that people from opposite sex can see you face clearly, you are in for a lot more looks than a simple smile. It could be hungry eyes too.
But once you have checked and rechecked your attire, and still people are looking at you smiling, it will drive you crazy to your core. Your only option would be to smile back and paste a grin on your face as well, hence the contagiousness. There would be another bloke, like you were, without a smile and now its their turn to go through what you just went through and that ought to bring a genuine smile on your face. That is what everyone in the street is thinking smiling.
Smiles make you look attractive
This again is a hugely biased analysis. It applies to boys and girls, males and females differently. Why? Good question. Females do not need smiles to look attractive. They smile to bring boys to knees, make puppies out of perfectly good men, so that they can be turned into an obedient lot.
All it takes is a smiling girls face from behind the steering wheel, to forget that she almost ran over you when she mistook her cars brakes for the accelerator. Once smile and you are ready to go back to crossing the road again to give her another chance at killing you. Everyone needs practise you say. On the other hand, when guys smile so to impress a girl, they tend to forget about their roving eyes, which kind of gives out that the smile is not because they are looking at their faces only. And thus goes the attractiveness part too.
Smiling increases your life span
Yes it does. Infact if you are able to save yourself any day from the above situations, you would but of course live much longer. It is so much like life insurance. You put in all the efforts but its the others in your life which reap the benefit off it. They don’t get to look at the real you, hence you don’t get to see your real self, thus you don’t get killed by any random man on the street just because they hated how you look. Yep smile is your ultimate vitamin for longevity.

Infact even after all the aforementioned pros and cons, i would say keep smiling. Smile and let the world wonder what are you upto now.

Once you actually start doing it, it would bring a genuine smile on your face realising people get so perplexed by such a simple weapon. A smile. Hands up i have a smile on my face.

Monday, February 23, 2015

मैं झूठ नहीं बोलता.... And are you a compulsive liar?

There are two kinds of people in this world. There are many types but mostly when related to different filters, its earlier to calculate with any number divisible by 2.
For lying we will start with two and further drill into the subcategories.
One, who lie and get caught. Two, who lie and get caught and then lie some more. The second category is those of the compulsive liars. The first one is just about everyone else. Then there is a group which does not come into any of the above categories, they form intellectuals. They too lie, but they never get caught lying.
No one in this world as we live in today, can survive on truth alone. Lies can be small, very harmless ones. You are late for an appointment, the person you are supposed to meet is calling repeatedly, and you finally pick the phone once, only to yell “Am stuck in traffic, tu dilli mein challan karwaega, 5 minute mein pahuch raha hun”.
Lets assume, that you for a day you will speak only the truth. We all have seen Jim Carrey’s original and Govinda’s remake. We may not be as hilarious as both of them, mostly because they were mouthing lines given to them by other about previously thought situations. You on the other hand would be in the direct line of fire. Here could be a few plausible conversations,

Your Boss: Ramess, I think the following changes would make the presentation better.
You: Sir, aap to rehne do. saara data bhi picchle saal ka hai, but tujhe kya farak padega. Kaam ka kaam to hota nahin, yeh faltu k changes kara lo bus. Font size change karke 10 kar dun, to sahi rahega?
For the english speaking readers, let me translate what Ramess said - “ Let it be, sir. You have no idea what actual work is. I think, all you learnt in powerpoint was playing with themes and colors. Suits you. Even the data that we are showing is from last year, but why would it concern you, lets change the font size to 10, then probably the figures would add up.”

Another scenario could be closer to home,

Wife: You don’t love me like you used to, you don’t even say I love you to me anymore.
You: Kyun kahun? kya reh kya gaya hai life mein tere kharche uthane k alawa, kamar tuut gayi hai meri, uspe se I love you bhi chahiye? mere gurde nikaal k bech de. le I love you meri maa, keh dia. Ab khush? Chai milegi ab?
Again let me translate for the english speaking reader, “ Yes I don’t, every cell in my body revolts at the thought of being close to you, living with you. Your constant nagging kills me, and your expenditures have left me broke. Mortgage my kidneys maybe then I may be able to afford you. And here’s your I love you, satisfied? Now can I get a cup of tea?”

Mostly probably in the first case, Ramess would die a horrible death. In the second case, death would be the easy way out. Just hope you mother in law does not start living with you to sort you out. But then to avoid these situations in life, you should lie. You have to lie. There is no other way to survive this world. These are the little harmless situations where in you have no other way out. White lies is what we call them. Things you don’t say, so that people around you are happy and not turning in hunter and killers, hungry for your flesh and blood.

We are all taught the same lessons in school mostly. Even in the social circles we aren’t taught specifically to lie and cheat. I don’t deny that there are many places, which teach you exactly that, it could be a management school, and engineering college hostel, even for that matter, a government office. But growing up, there comes out a tendency in some of us, to lie in the face of everything. That the truth just isn’t good enough. It not worth it. Lie and keep lying whatever maybe the reason. This is the habit of lying. Wherever i look, i see habitual liars. And i look in the mirror too often. I am not spared from it as well.
The worst form of habitual lying is lying to ones inner-self. What hurts life most is when people start lying to themselves. For no specific reason. Once you aren’t truthful to yourself, you can’t be truthful to anyone. Sooner or later anything you say would be a lie. You won’t be able to utter a single word which would mean what you feel like. On the face we lie that we are happy, satisfied, inside we are lying to ourselves about everything supposedly good in us. We have to break this streak, else we end up keep walking a path which does not lead to peace in life. And the worst part is we keep lying to everyone, inside and outside that this is the best path for us. Truth no matter how hard, is more relieving than the sweetest lies. We keep masking our inner feelings, we lie to people who are close to us, often because we don’t want to hurt them, but eventually in the long run, you are hurting them more than anyone else. We keep them in a cocoon of doubt, a dark corner, till the time its too much to bear, for anyone, and we simply no longer feel alive from inside.

Of course, there are course of actions which can’t be seen only through the eyes of morality and truthfulness. But its our choice in the end to wake up and smell the coffee.
I don't advise to start being truthful hence forth, its a dangerous plan, for anyone, more so for me. But do be truthful to what you are and what you feel inside, that would be a good place to begin.

Friday, February 13, 2015

यार मैं बड़ा परेशान हुँ.... How important it is to feel unhappy?

unhappy |ʌnˈhapi| adjective (unhappier, unhappiest)
1 not happy: an unhappy marriage.

sad |sad| adjective (sadder, saddest)
1 feeling or showing sorrow; unhappy: I was sad and subdued

The above are how the words are defined as in the dictionary. Which one? That I didn’t care to check. Internet and Mobiles are a good way to skirt a lot of efforts. A lot of effort.
One noticeable point though is the examples for “unhappy and sad”. Both of them seem to be pointing in one direction, the future for many, the present for still more and a past for a lucky few. And these are not what I thought of on my own, googling up these words by ‘meaning’ would show you the same. Apparently, the number one reason associated with the feeling of unhappiness is known to google. Rather known to all, just that google can publicly admit it.
But this post is not about the top ten reasons, its all about why and what of being unhappy.
Unhappy and sad are synonyms for good. A lot many people don’t know when to use which word. Neither do I. In that case I am with the majority. But there seems to be a fundamental difference between the two. What could be it? Order of magnitude? Order of expression? One thing is for sure, unhappy sounds more of a self inflicted situation.
People saying “I am unhappy” aloud are seen as negative emotion explosives.
Somehow saying “I am sad” evokes a more positive reaction. A sad person deserves empathy but somehow an “unhappy” person needs to be avoided. Its almost as if sadness needs to be shared but unhappiness is contagious. I may be the only one assuming this. It could be just me who thinks like this, but since I am one lazy dog and I can’t go out doing referendums, I would go ahead and declare this to be the reaction of majority of people. If I was in majority once, It’s safe to assume the majority is with me too.
Coming back to unhappy and sad. Unhappy is entirely a state of mind. I am unhappy with the way population of Delhi voted. I am unhappy with the weather, its pretty clear sunny and warm, just like being promised good clean politics by a certain group of people and then delivering it.
Don’t take this as a diatribe on Delhi election results. Its just that the latest happening are easier on the mouth as examples.
Sad on the other hand comes from deep within. Sad has an emotional ring to it. I can be unhappy with any trivial happening. Sadness stems from something troubling deep within. Unhappy is I doing something to myself. Sad is me feeling something. That is a very big difference if looked from this angle. I can clearly remember when was the last time I was unhappy and when I was sad, distinctly.
Life gives us innumerable moments. It also gives us the choice to take away experiences from the these moments. Most of the times it is in our own hands to chose how we react to these experiences. Unhappiness is just that, a reaction. We have the power to control it.
Sadness is a feeling. That’s what makes us human. To be able to feel the hurt, pain and emotions of others. This is what makes us appreciate life. If I feel sad when I am away from my loved ones, it gives me a reason to be happy. Happy for the way I will feel when we meet again.
Unhappiness has always a lot of drama attached to it. it stops us from changing ourselves. It makes us blind, and we don’t make efforts to change the state of unhappiness. On the other hand sadness lets our emotions flow. In a way, clearing up our feelings, making us realise importance of certain relations in life.
Eventually the cure of both is to be happy. When unhappy we have to be decide to react otherwise. When sad, we need to look towards the brighter side. Sadness does not mean you have to react unhappily.
Contentment does not come from reactions which fight life. It comes from accepting life and feeling happy. No wonder the dictionary definition of Happy goes somewhat like this,

happy |ˈhapi| adjective (happier, happiest)

1 feeling or showing pleasure or contentment: I am happy.