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Finding Happiness In Small Things Is A Challenge.

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by HariLakhera, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    FINDING HAPPINESS IN SIMPLE THINGS IS A CHALLENGE

    We are often advised to find happiness in simple things. If I look back I find it too challenging. Though I was born in a town my early childhood belonged to my ancestral village. I have no memories of the town I was born in. Until the age of five, I had not seen any automobile, as the nearest bus road was some ten miles away. The nearest railway station was 20 miles away. As children, we saw vehicles like cycle, bus, car or railway engine only in photos that the adults would show us after their return from the towns they worked in. I have very fond memories of the village of those days. The surrounding hills, the dense forests, the river and of course the mango trees we were free to pick fruits. I remember the paper kites and paper boats we made. I remember the rainy season when we diverted the rainwater gushing down from the hills to the tiny canals we had built. Our paper boats would float and travel for a long time and then submerge.

    I remember the long leisurely trek we took to reach school with our bag containing some writing materials and the all-inviting Tiffin box. We would eagerly wait for the closing bell to ring at noon, ready to run home at a speed that could be the envy of Olympic runners.

    A lot has changed since then. The shift to the town for schooling, another town for college and more towns for job, marriage, children, cars, house, trains and air travels, foreign jaunts, five-star hotels and restaurants, some possessions and a bank balance.

    On the way, there have been many simple things but simply got overlooked. The bigger thing was giving the pleasure what we thought was happiness. The smaller simple things were just a passing phase. We could have taken pleasure in these simple small things but that proved to be a challenge in the face of bigger and more rewarding things to do. The innocent giggling of the children, their tantrums, their tiny steps, their growing up phase, all were no consequence to the race for our own growth.

    The flight to be caught overshadowed the rainbow in the sky. The flower bloom in the spring was no more than a screen behind the podium of the seminar hall. Season after seasons the trees in the backyard wore new leaves but cried for appreciation.

    We try to find happiness in bigger things and in the process, the simple and small things vie for our attention and that is the challenge we face in our life. I am reminded of a poem by Davis, reproduced below, that was a part of our syllabus in high school but the true meaning of the poem could be realized now only.



    Leisure

    What is this life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

    No time to stand beneath the boughs
    And stare as long as sheep or cows.

    No time to see, when woods we pass,
    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

    No time to see, in broad daylight,
    Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

    No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
    And watch her feet, how they can dance.

    No time to wait till her mouth can
    Enrich that smile her eyes began.

    A poor life this is if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

    William Henry Davies
     
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  2. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Hariji,
    Childhood memories are always very sweet. We feel good when we think of those days. There it ends. Later part of life clustered with ambitions, passions, how to earn money, taking care of family....a big balancing act. Cannot do justice to every aspect. To get some we have to forego some. Nobody is perfect. In the midst of all these we do feel happy about bygone childhood.
    We too studied the poem in school. If we stand and stare....fine..we can do. But lose somethings too. We do have small pleasures even now. I understood their value only in these pandemic days. Today went out to bank and small small chores. A feeling came..."World is beautiful in spite of many imperfections!!!!"
    Syamala
     
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  3. GregoriaBoul

    GregoriaBoul Bronze IL'ite

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    Oh, my childhood memories, I cherish those the most.
     
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  4. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Syamalaji,
    You are perfectly right. No one can remain a child forever. It is a beautiful world, only if we have to time to stand and stare. I guess, it is possible to set aside time. once in a while, to sit in the lap of nature and enjoy those small pleasures, forgetting everything else. The pandemic has forced us to do so now, but now there are greater worries of welfare of self and our kith and kins.
     
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  5. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    There is no match to childhood memories.

    A beautiful Ghazal sung by Jagjit Singh.
     
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  6. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    True. At the back of my mind there is always a tension in the pandemic...about kith and kin and ourselves too. Childhood....innocent, ignorant....that is a bliss.
    Beautiful gazal!!!
    Syamala
     
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  7. Grantre

    Grantre Senior IL'ite

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    I really miss my childhood. Those were fun times.
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Hari Sir,

    I am reading the quoted lines of yours again and again to reinforce the point you are making here into my mind. Your words are precious with respect to simple things we need to pay attention to. Many simple things we experience are time-bound as well. How many of us will get an opportunity to watch with pride the milestones achieved by our children in real-time? A simple dinner with the family also is a precious moment in life. Even when we take a walk, we miss the beauty of nature with a preoccupied mind about the day that was going to unfold. Living in the present moment or the power of now needs to be experienced and that requires a lot of training and refocussing the mind.

    Mostly, we pass through smaller things quickly without any emotions when those are the precious moments that we need to cherish in order to make the life much more meaningful.
     
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  9. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    We all miss those childhood days. Those were the days we understood little of outside world. But if we look a little passionately, we passed many more such opportunities to be happy with similar small things in our life as we were so much in hurry chasing some other dreams. Staying still and enjoy the things proved to be a challenge. How many of us could have watched the rainbow till it disappeared and thus be late for office? Not many.
     
  10. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Shri Viswa,
    In childhood, the outside world was unknown to us and we made toys of whatever came into our hands and even broke some and laughed only to be cautioned by parents who has the cost of the toy more in their mind than the inquisitive nature of the child. I used to laugh when some would say to keep the toy away from the child as he may break it. Thanks to plastic dolls and toys that they lasted longer.
    My point is, as we grow and become a part of the rat race, we have no time for small pleasures. In fact, allotting time for small pleasures as you said, sitting on a dining table and enjoying the meal leisurely became a burden or rather a challenge. Many a times, wanted to play with my kid a little more but the meeting schedule in the office or with the client was calling. And the kid grew up for school and the pressure of learning took all the childish innocence. More importantly, those small happenings may not happen again.
     

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