Yes, I earnestly miss going to the mall!
Ah, do not presume that I adore spending all my hours aimlessly wandering inside the glitzy and glamourous blinding lights of a mall and do not erroneously assume that I devote all my energy indulging in window-shopping, faire du lèche-vitrines, literally licking windows as the French like to remark! But, truthfully, there are days of exception, and don’t exceptions effectively make the rule? Nah, I am not suggestively suggesting that we ought to don a graffiti coat, wear jelly bracelets and dance our way to the mall, something Robin Scherbatsky, from the American sit-com How I Met Your Mother, gleefully crooned! Alors, revenons à nos moutons, retuning, yes, I do miss the mall. Nay, not for the pressing crowd, not for the buzzing excitement, and undeniably not for the endless discounts. Rather, I miss the mall for the joyous and unexpected experience of chancing upon an enchantingly delightful song, a lovely tune, or an old favourite. Picking it up, without a warning, the ear relays it to the lips, which begins smiling heartily at the sudden bliss, and then cajoles the feet to tap a little, maybe more if no flabbergasted bystander is dangerously close!
While you gasp at my revelation let me tell you that the mall, not necessarily the alleys therein, has blessed me with so many songs which have found a forever home in my playlist. Not just the mall, the radio during those moments when I am not fiddling with the button to change stations while my partner drives through the traffic has greeted us with must-add songs to our longer than the magical bean-stalk playlist. Haven’t some many of us happily exclaimed when that old favourite plays on the radio, hummed along, pumping up the volume! Or hasn’t a song, when dining at a bistro, or shopping for essentials at a neighbourhood departmental store, caught us off-guard coaxing us to smile and sing along. Happiness!
And that brings me to the unanimous truth that happiness thrives in the most unexpected of places.
The delectable taste of a meal so divine invigoratingly dousing pangs of hunger at an inconsequential restaurant, the flavours exploding like a million dreamy fireworks upon our tastebuds! If I were to vouch for my claim a café in the heart of rural Bengal tantalised us with the best blueberry cheesecake.
A wrong turn during a road trip often leads to a surprisingly magnificent view as though Destiny had surreptitiously preordained that chance encounter, and slowly the earlier irritation at the wrong turn begins to dwindle and disappear. Curses which were met out to the one navigating metamorphose into praises and blessings and the earlier haggard group of travellers absorb the view, of perhaps an endless vista of hills, of a secret cascade, its gurgling sound gaining momentum with every approaching step, or may be of a field left unto Nature to embellish with purple and pink wildflowers.
An unexpected beep of a message, an email or a call from the long-lost friend from high school leaves us smiling and we find ourselves mirthfully laughing, as we reminisce with awe and nostalgia the days of yore.
Indeed, happiness in little bursts.
It is all around us-someone leaving her or his seat on the bus, the grocer not having seen us for days striking up a hearty conversation, that unreviewed let-us-take-a-chance homestay making the most cherished memories, our loved one surprising us with a chocolate ice-cream at the end of a busy day, or someone at WordPress leaving us smiling with an indulgingly encouraging comment! There is no dearth of happiness, of blissful encounters mushrooming everywhere, only waiting to be embraced and accepted. Haven’t we heard ourselves contentedly sighing that chance rendezvous are so much more enticing than planned to the tee events. Nevertheless, we go about seeking the right moment, the perfect alignment of stars and planets, a meticulous opportune time to be truly and maddeningly happy. Focussing on the controlled outcome, we have reduced the path to happiness a well calculated mathematical equation! If only we can, maybe, let the mantle of seriousness slip away, tread unexpectantly upon the unknown road of life, conscious and aware, and allow little miracles of joy to sprinkle us with fairy dust of happiness, we’ll be unwarrantedly joyous.
Certainly then singing in our croaky and melodious voice, maddeningly dancing we’ll scream let’s go to the mall!