The Elusive Trait Of Being Happy
Defining happiness is just as hard as capturing it. Scholars, gurus, even scientists have chased down this definition, each capturing a glimpse of it, a mere perspective. Like the brilliance of prismatic light, it dazzles the viewer, and each focuses on the tint that captures his eye. A casual search for ‘happiness’ will throw up billions of results, which ranges from dictionary definitions to explanations according to various religions, cultural movements, scientific streams and more.
And the search becomes even more tenuous at the individual level. What, really, does a person need to be happy? Will fulfilling the basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing make one happy? Is bliss derived only from experiencing higher emotions? The questions seem to be never-ending, and the answers flow to individual preferences. But, we realize, there are things that bring on happiness in most people even as preferences and tastes vary. In our columns for the cover story, we have touched on a few of these universal happiness-inducers, like dance, music, and books. And we didn’t stop there… we have compiled lists of happy destinations, blissful reads, and satisfying foods.
Danseuse Mallika Sarabhai writes about finding herself and losing herself in dance. Music consultant Riya Mukherjee talks about the universality of music, even as personal preferences may vary from metal to classical. Cancer survivor and author Neelam Kumar pens an article on the joy of reading and drawing inspiration from books. Novelist and Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez once wrote, “No medicine can cure what happiness cannot.” And that, perhaps, sums up the essence of happiness; that it is a life-giving, life-enhancing state of being. Let’s go forth, and be happy.