As I made my way into the Court this morning, I saw a whatsapp message from my dear friend sharing a Ted Talk with me. It read ‘Where joy hides and where to find it’ by Ingrid Fetell Lee. I looked at it and I was like, not another ted talk on happiness! Since I have been failing miserably on the pursuit of the said item, therefore, No Thank You! The morning went by quickly and as I reached office and sat down to have lunch, I was reminded of the Ted Talk my friend had sent. She is one person whose recommendations I make a point to consider, because she is not frivolous with her forwards and mostly, they are thought provoking. So, as I started watching the Ted Talk while enjoying my Rajma Chawal, what struck me initially was the color of the speaker’s dress. Pretty unusual design and all the more unusual colors – Orange and Fuchsia. In my black and white, with shades of grey kind of life, it looked revolutionary.
Anyway, she started off by telling a personal anecdote and then pointed out something which grabbed my attention. She said joy and happiness are two very different feelings. Up until now, I had always considered it to be the same. I am happy so therefore I am joyous. But if loosely translated into hindi, they are different. Joy is more towards khushi whereas Happiness is more towards sukh. This revelation sounded explosive. It’s the same feeling, I thought, when I feel happy – I feel joyous. But, moving on and hearing more of the talk, I realized they were different feelings. I have a feeling every day, some times several times a day, which I assumed was happiness. Like for example, eating nice Rajma Chawal or just spotting a beautiful flower or the deep blue sky or being able to finish my pooja, listening to my fav song on the radio suddenly. These were elements of joy which I was mistaking for happiness. Happiness in little things is a concept that I have been living with. I thought those little things brought me happiness. But no, they were actually moments of joy.
Happiness in real sense of the term is more like making peace with life, more like nirvana. It is most definitely not a short-term-feeling that’s why the ‘pursuit of happiness’. It’s a process but Joy, JOY is instant. It is reactionary. The Speaker also pointed out on how colors and shapes make us joyous. And it was true, bright colors indeed made me joyful or the round/ spherical shapes; case in point being gems or M&Ms. I mean the joy one derives out of eating your favorite or not-so-favorite colors of gems/M&Ms… its beautiful. So in terms of chocolates, happiness is that Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, which you peel one by one, patiently, ensuring that it doesn’t melt in your hand but Gems, now that’s joy! You open it and eat it, without the fear of anything untoward. And since I am not such a fan of Dairy Milk therefore, may be it is not about happiness, it is about JOY!