Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Choose Laughter, Spread Love

Be happy and be healthy. Be thankful for what you have and share your luck with everyone. Happiness is a state of mind, a choice we make consciously. If you want, you will be happy and if you choose otherwise, you will be sad despite all the good luck that you have. You will also make everyone around you sad in bargain. You must have seen how everyone flocks to those who are always laughing and shy away from those who are sad.

A Short Story

Here is a story of a sad princess in a happy land that lost its happiness because the princess was sad. (The story and all the pictures used are all original by moi. The pictures were clicked in Shillong, Meghalaya [the abode of clouds] a couple of years back.):

In the land of lotus ponds and overcast sky lived a princess who was sad. She had everything. Her parents doted on her, her friends were always around for her and the people of the kingdom loved her like their own child. But the beautiful princess who had suitors vying for her hands from all over the world was sad - always sad and sometimes crying.

Her tears were beautiful. They fell on the apples of her cheeks like ripe fat pearls and people looking at her would hold their breath at the sight. It was at once heart-stoppingly beautiful and heart-breakingly sad.

People often gathered to see the spectacle under the royal balcony and soon a rumor spread that the little princess's tears could cure other peoples' sadness. Though the king tried to squelch all such rumors, the story spread like wildfire in the small kingdom in the blue hills. People flocked to catch a glimpse of the crying princess and seek her blessings. Though it is not known if the rumors were actually true but, soon, everyone wanted the little princess to cry so they could be happy.

The princess meanwhile became even more morose and spent all her waking hours lonely and sad, often crying. She lost interest in the beauty of her motherland, her friends, her education and even ignored the love of her family. Soon the story of the crying princess of the land of clouds and mountains reached far and wide and within no time she was being treated like a Godess and everyone but, the king and the queen, her parents, wanted her only to cry. The more she cried, the more they loved her and worshiped her.

Soon, the little princess would spend all her waking hours crying and people would flock to her despite curfews and restrictions to get themselves healed. Many swore that she had cured them of ailments that had tormented them from the time they were born, others said that the princess had brought them immense wealth and happiness. People started building a temple for her and rose in revolt against the benevolent  king when he refused to let his daughter to appear in public.

The law and order situation in the lovely little kingdom became out of control and people rose against the monarchy demanding democracy and removal of exclusive rights over the princess from the Royal family.

The king and the queen were sad and scared for their beloved daughter realizing that they would not be able to protect her for too long. Soon, they too started spending all their waking moments crying for their child and often cried themselves to sleep worrying about her.

Once the king and the queen were sad, they started neglecting their kingdom. There was anarchy everywhere and then came the rains. They land was swept away by torrential downpours, the huge raindrops were often accompanied by hail and storms so strong that old trees and roof over people's head would fly away. People ran to the castle for help but the king and the queen were locked up in their chambers, crying. They had no idea that their misery had unleashed upon their beloved kingdom the furies from the skies. They cried locked up in their rooms, the princess shed tears on her pillow and soon, they were accompanied by the wailing of the people of the kingdom who were now homeless and without food.

The Sun and the moon refused to shine over the kingdom of the clouds for days and the storm accompanied by rains and hailstorms, ruined the crops and the city and the villages. Still the king and the queen did not emerge from their grief nor did the princess look up from her tear-wet pillow.

People suffered, they cried, their children had nothing to eat and they cried for their little ones. The entire kingdom was sad.

Then one day, at the creak of dawn a holy man came to the city where the sad king and his family lived. He saw misery all around him and tears greeted him everywhere he went. His heart broke to see such grief and it saddened him further that there was no one to take care of the people. With slow and sad steps he reached the half-built temple to the sad princess and took refuge in it for the night.

Since he could not get any alms that day from the sad kingdom, he was hungry and could not sleep. So, he started meditating and praying for the lost kingdom. By morning he knew what had caused all the unhappiness and suffering - it had come to him in a flash while he was praying. So, he went in search of the root - he went out of the half-built temple while thunder and lightening threatened him from the sky and rain pelted heavily on his weary shoulders.

He reached the castle braving  the climate and entered the gates that were broken by rain and rust. Inside the castle, the muffled sound of the princess's sobs guided him to her chamber. The king and the queen were still sleeping - weary from months of crying.

The monk entered the princess's chamber and found her crying. She looked up, surprised to see a man in ocher entering her room and sat up to greet him with her hands folded.

"Oh holy man what brings you to our devastated kingdom?"

"You"

"Why me? I am no one. I am always sad and look now it has brought more sadness to the kingdom. Everyone is sad and I think it is all my fault."

"Why were you sad, princess?"

"I was sad because I wanted to help my people and not stay here protected. I wanted to bring smile on every face and prosperity to every house."

"I asked my father, the king but, he did not want me to go around the kingdom and put myself in danger. So, I became sad and refused to speak about it with anyone. Soon, everyone got used to seeing me sad and started believing that my tears would cure their sadness. I often helped them when they told me their woes and made my father give them money or send the royal physician to cure them. But, people thought it was my tears and it saddened me really to see them instead of thanking me, wishing more tears for me. Then they wanted only my tears and revolted against my father when he tried to stop the madness."

"You have suffered a lot and s has your family but, do you know why?"

"No teacher. I do not know why we had to suffer so much and finally our kingdom and its people had to face the wrath of nature when I was just trying to bring happiness all around."

"It was because you chose tears instead of laughter, sadness instead of smiles that all your good deeds brought was sadness. Choose happiness to spark laughter and see how things will change."

With that the holy man left the princess in her gilded chamber and went away. The lovely princess who was already tired of crying for years now decided to pay heed to the master and chose happiness over tears.

She threw open the windows of her dark and dank room and looked out at the overcast skies and thanked God for his beautiful creation. It filled her with wonderment to look at the rain-soaked gardens and misty blue mountains. Her heart filled with joy and a smile escaped her - uncoiling from her belly, emerging from her throat and sticking to her lips. She smiled and immediately the world smiled back at her. Flowers blossomed, clouds broke apart to let the Sun peep-in and spread it's warmth all over the land.

She laughed and the clouds rose above the mountains and glittered in the light making a splendid rainbow that hung across the sky filling it up with myriad hues. It was beautiful and the princess's voice broke into a beautiful song filling the air, lifting the chill from it and making it light and warm. Birds were the first to respond, coming out of their hiding places to bask in the Sun's glory, puffing up and drying their wet feathers and then soaring up to the rainbows to take a closer look.

She danced and laughed out loud and opening the doors of her room went skipping to her parents' chambers to wake them up. Seeing their beloved daughter happy and the Sun shinning the king and the queen too started laughing and singing in the blooming garden. Soon they were joined by the palace staff and then the people of the city who had woken up to such loveliness after a long time.

The princess welcomed everyone with smiles, hugs and laughter and the kingdom reverberated with happy sounds that echoed in the hills and were heard by people in the adjoining kingdoms who clambered the hills to get to the palace to celebrate such joy.

The celebrations lasted many months and the kingdom became prosperous once more. The king declared democracy and abandoned the castle to live among his people who had more cause for celebrations. The lovely princess who never stopped laughing was judged the most beautiful maiden of the land and she married a farmer who toiled the land and grew food to feed everyone. They taught their children to appreciate the bounty of God's creation and to never stop being happy. Laughter was a permanent citizen of this fair land and every house, every person, every family was happy, healthy and prosperous, for laughter, it is said, is the best healer. And thus, everyone lived happily every after in the land of the clouds and blue mountains.

Choose happiness and spread love!



6 comments:

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  2. Great story, Shoma. Sharing it with my granddaughter :-)

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    1. Do let me know what's her opinion. :)

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