Sometimes misery is a just a faded old security blanket. It has been useful so long, you don’t have the heart to get rid of it. Besides, you might crave for it again. Apparently I’m here writing this piece because I am a relentlessly cheerful person. True to my style, I acted all cool and knowledgeable when the Editor called me. Yes, yes, I am a happiness expert. I manufacture it from thin air. I spread good cheer. I had a vision of me driving a noisy CNG van borrowed from the Municipal Corporation. Meandering through streets releasing white clouds of DDT. Sorry, not DDT, thick clouds of happiness. Confetti trails floating in the air.
As I sit to write this, I see that I might be in big trouble. If I am going to confront and accept my happiness in print, then there’s no going back, is there? Once I write it, I will have to be happy. Doomed to be happy. How would you like that?
No man. No way. I like my happiness in small doses. Or small dosas, as a friend often corrects me.
The truth is I am a needy, miserable fool. Just like most of us. Only I am worse. I work from home. No work gets done at home. I miss my friends. I miss deadlines. I want to be at the airport. I want frothy coffee by a window. I hate net banking. The doorbell is ringing. I am depressed, I think. Or shallow. Or both.
There is jalebi in the kitchen. There is a toddler in the house. Her name is Naseem. She is at my knee now.
Mamma, listen, she says, her podgy little hand on her heart.
I put my left hand on her heart.
Dhak, dhak. Dhak, dhak, says Naseem.
What? I ask, almost whispering.
God likes jalebi, she whispers back. I just had jalebi and my heart is beating loudly. Listen.
What do I do with this moment? Somewhere in here is the meaning of life. Being...