Raj was a melancholy person, always brooding over his miseries and problems in his life. Not once did he talked about his happiness though he should be a contented man. He had a family, a beautiful wife Anushka who loved him with all her heart and a small five- year kid, Priya, who knew nothing beside her father. Raj earned a healthy living, they led a satisfied life both financially and emotionally.

However, Raj never expressed his happiness, his joviality and his peace of mind. He always put up a gloomy face, his eyes reflected lost look and they remained dull. Anushka could never understand why despite of being so happy within their little family, Raj never recognized that. So one day she decided for a family outing for a week in a forest cabin that she had inherited from her father. Raj was reluctant at the beginning and made hundreds of excuses if not more but Anushka being herself, didn’t pay any heed to his bickering and continued the packing.

They left early morning, with Priya sleeping peacefully in Raj’s embrace. Anushka was determined to change him, change his personality and show him how it exactly feels to be happy, how your entire body and peace remains in a blissful state when you are happy. They reached the cabin by evening and by the time they reached there, their cook had already presented the dinner on the table. The night went by slowly with them unpacking their bags and sorting everything. The trio was tired from the journey and so slept as soon as their bodies hit the bed.

The next morning after finishing the daily chores, Raj was wandering in the meadow when he came across a river. The soft sound of the ripples automatically sent his mind in a calm state and he sat on a log by the river side, staring aimlessly at the flowing river. The rustling sound of leaves broke his trance and he looked aside only to find two deer drinking water from the river. He continued to watch their activity, they seemed to be so happy and playful even when they were just animals. “Why is it that they can be so happy and enjoy the gift of nature and I, being a human can’t even smile?”, he said in oblivion to the fact that Anushka was watching him. “It is because you never tried Raj”, her voice boomed in the silent space making him startle. “You always thought whatever you are doing is not enough for yourself, for us and for others. You think that your problems are never- ending and that life always throws a handful of pain in your way. But never considered that you are wrong”, Anushka was stern when she said those words. He was going to open his mouth when she silenced him and indicated towards the deer. “Look at them Raj. The female is injured but still she is happy. Happy because she is with her loved ones, she is in her own domain. Then why can’t you. We all love you, me, Priya. We love you for what you are and not for your faults. Everyone has flaws but they don’t define you. Raj if you can’t be happy then how could we? Life is not simple, not for anyone. Everyone suffers but that doesn’t mean you are going to sacrifice your bliss.” Saying this she went back to the cabin leaving him alone in his own world.

Through the entire day he processed Anushka’s words and finally returned back. Anushka was cooking when she heard the front door open and she went to the hall to see. But the site infront of her made her almost fall on the ground. Raj was in a playful mood, ruffling Priya’s hair and tickling her. “Raj!”, she gasped in shock when he flashed a toothy grin or should say he tried. “Hi honey! It’s good to be able to smile. My jaws aren’t hurting”, he smirked at her direction and went upstairs. Since that day, Raj was a changed man.  He started enjoying even the smallest things, made fun of them and his laughter was contagious. He was happy, he learned how to be happy. His blissfulness shone in his eyes, illuminating the space around him. “Such is mystery of being happy!”, he whispered before falling to sleep on their last day of vacation.


-by Pallabi Paul


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