You’re looking happy

9 Jun

These are not words I am accustomed to. Compliments that come my way usually fall into ‘you’re looking pretty’ and ‘you write very well’ categories. ‘Looking happy’ is something I never heard.

Now I seem to be getting it from anyone and everyone who meet me after a 6 month/1 year gap.

The first time, I was skeptical. Really?

“Yeah, you’re just looking less stressed. More relaxed, little more calm, more … happy.”


That first time I dismissed as a fluke, but the second time rolled around, then snowballed into a third and a fourth and a fifth.

In the blank sanctuary of my bathroom, I examined my face. My hairline was not as high-strung as before, even though age has not been kind to it. Looking myself in the eye was easier than it had been for years, and they looked bigger… or perhaps they simply weren’t narrowing away thanks to this newfound comfort.

The corners of my mouth weren’t slumping.

Hmm. Those people were right. I do look less stressed, more relaxed and therefore, happier.

Does that mean I am happier?

I definitely react less to people.

I have had someone I gave my heart and soul to lie repeatedly to me, and worse, say there was something wrong with me for thinking anything negative. This, after I saw and heard all that I had. That person is no longer in my life.

I have had close friends suddenly act like I wasn’t in the room. No explanations, no attempt to reconcile whatever problem lurked in their minds, and more lies what? I’m not avoiding you or ignoring you when I asked what was wrong. I have let go of them.

I have had someone cause immeasurable pain to a friend I am so close to, the attack might as well have been made on me. Instead of trying to punish that someone, I focus on loving my friend better and sharing joy with her.

I spend less time with people whom I have to ‘try’ with. Sooner than I imagined, most of them fell away as naturally as a scab that hasn’t been picked on. Only the ones who accept me or are willing to work towards accepting me, remain.

Anger comes and anger goes. Sometimes it stays with me for an hour, sometimes for a whole day, but it goes. Same with hurt. Other people’s behaviour is a reflection of who they are, not who I am. When someone behaves badly with me or with someone I love, I stay quiet and let the moment pass. I stop myself from being nasty, even in a playful way, to the person. My days are better than they have been in a long, long time and for no reason that would cut muster with a Why. When someone asks me how I’m doing and I say good, I mean it.

The only thing that still stays with me day and night is sadness. It is ironic that I look more relaxed, and people say I appear happy, when sadness is always a part of me. Perhaps because I have come to accept it. It doesn’t impose on my daily movements. In fact, I laugh better when I find something funny, I smile more and I practice paying attention to what is right in front of me, instead of what is going on in my head. I don’t succeed most of the time, but it is an effort that keeps me more grounded than not trying at all.

I have lost so much of late and funnily enough, the only regret I have now is how long I took to lose them.

One day, that too shall pass.


2 Responses to “You’re looking happy”

  1. Rohini Gupta 20 JuneUTCbMon, 24 Jun 2013 17:38:59 +0000000000pmMon, 24 Jun 2013 17:38:59 +000013 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Well written. Glad you are writing again.

    • theblupetal 20 JuneUTCbTue, 25 Jun 2013 18:11:29 +0000000000pmTue, 25 Jun 2013 18:11:29 +000013 2011 at 6:11 pm #

      Thank you! I have been writing just not on this blog, I thought of sending a few chaps to you but then i didn’t. my writing has changed. evolved, one might say.

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Japleen Pasricha

Founder of Feminism In India. Feminist. Activist. Educator. Traveller

Author, ranter, dad

All Quiet On The Wench Front

Herstory at its fucking finest.

Ashish Shakya

Writer. Stand-up comic. General idiot for hire.

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