the happiness project


Whenever I am in custody of a dark chocolate, a Thumbs-up, or a lychee, I turtle out my neck, look to my left, right, and left again to gage if anyone else realizes it because I may be forced to share the goods. It’s an awful feeling. You will never find me at a temple but these are the rare circumstances when I religiously pray. My sister however, always bragged, “The best thing about Roohi is her willingness to share everything with a smile.” Earlier, it disturbed me and almost baffled me but today, I realize that even though I was reluctant inside, what mattered were my actions, what mattered was the outcome.

It was August 2000, my first week on the campus and I climbed down the stairs of Joe West Hall. I had read Dale Carnegie, a gift from my brother, and was ready to practice my influence. An old lady was passing by and I remember greeting her good morning and admiring her beautiful scarf. I instantly became a reason for a stranger’s smile and it instantly became a reason for mine. It must have been important for I still remember that early morning.

Selecting a product portfolio can get tricky. My papa and I always disagreed on whether to sell what I wanted to sell or what customers would want to buy. Businesses are planned based on the forecast and not what you can produce. Demand is the driver for the supply. Customers pose a question “How many can you build” and my answer remains consistent. Being a smart-ass that I am, I always reply with a smirk – “How many would you like me to build?” It’s the same in any relationship. It’s not how you feel but how you make the other feel. It’s an art of sucking it up and putting others before you. Make the other happy and you’ll never regret the outcome. It’s a no-brainer; it’s a win-win.

If you see someone crying, share a joke; when one’s thirsty, share a coke; when there’s a frown, brave a poke; make a funny face and Google a joke.

Try it. I say just give it a shot. Just inspect the width of your smile after you’ve made someone’s day and you may just embarrass Julia Roberts.

Offer a hug. Share a burger. Pay for a broken bottle. Cheer one up. Buy a gift. Be a little possessive. Pamper the old. Protect your friend.

Do it consciously. Do it willingly. Do it selflessly.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi


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