Happiness is in moving from XXL To L

Ralph Lazar and Lisa Swerling in their book Happiness is in ……………write most simple but most striking ways of feeling happiness. They believe you don’t need a billion dollar to buy an Antila in Jhuggis infested Mumbai to feel happy. Nor everybody can afford to make Shahrukhs and Katrinas to dance at their daughter’s wedding like Miitals. Author duo highlight that there are simpler and zero expense ways of feeling happy. One can feel happy say by looking at his school days’ group photographs or by jumping into a pile of leaves or by blowing bubbles of soap water or when I publish a blog and get my first like. All these pleasures or happy moments of life are least expensive but most precious. They give you million dollar pleasures every day and if you start counting your gains, you will go to bed smiling more often not.

One of my most recent ways of feeling happiness is when I go for shopping now. Till last year I was close to a Quintal (Yes, I touched the magic figure). I had ignored my health quite badly despite many nudges and politically right warnings from friends and family, I did not mend my weighty ways. Though I did good work and was quite busy, physical fitness and health was not my priority. I was (still am) fond of eating and with many friends and college buddies posted together, we had a hell lot of time together, with whatever we could eat and whatever we could drink. Party today and party tomorrow was the motto. In those days, no party of us ended without fixing the next venue and menu. We were happy and so were our bursting from seams bellies.

This could not have continued for long. During to my visit to Valley of Flowers last August which involves a good trek of almost 5 Km, I realised what a poor sack of weight I was and after the Helicopter ride in which I was weighed in before boarding (the normal practice in hilly areas), I was badly exposed, more than the poor Sandip in Delhi. I was looked at almost disdainfully by the man who allowed me to board the chopper. I survived the valley track somehow, but came back with a resolve to change. With few other factors helping me, gradually I started to lose my flab slowly but steadily. In last one year, I have sweated more than perhaps a good over head water tank of a small colony, but it has paid off. The results are to be seen to be believed. I have lost almost 20 kg in this period.

Now when I go for shopping for cloths and the shop keeper looks at me and asks me to try a L or M size shirt, I feel like I have scaled Mount Everest or as If I have resolved the Kashmir problem for India ( much to the chagrin of separatists; sorry folks). The satisfaction I derive now, while trying for those M and L size shirts is a million dollar one for me. I bask in my new-found glory by trying as many shirts as I can. I am getting bolder now and egged on by my wife, I don’t mind disrobing mannequins (Dushashan is not my favourite character still) wearing my sizes, so as I can try them (I was told in a showroom that almost all mannequins do wear an M Size only!) This was unimaginable till last year as at that time every showroom I went to, used to raise their hands soon, as they did not have those many plus sizes clothes to try. Some of them were blunt enough to suggest me to get a good personal tailor to stitch and some of them suggested me specific brands for plus size people (read hopelessly fat) like me. While earlier my shopping used to be centered around XXL and sometimes XXXL, now there is no X factor in it, it is a simple L and M. This seems to be most mundane, but those who have not ever been XXXL sizes may perhaps not understand this. But believe me, I am zillion dollar happier now when I try M and L sizes. Life is really best in  L & M size!. Happiness is in losing Xs. I don’t think building another Antila could have given me those many smiles.

Eslite: The 24 hour Book Shop in Taiwan

The Eslite Bookshop

The Eslite Bookshop

During my stay in Taiwan, I got to know about a book shop in Taiwan which opens for 24 hours! I was really surprised to hear that as there is none in huge country like India. I decided to visit it myself. I had my dinner first and then I headed for the bookshop. I reached around 10 pm and as I entered inside, was surprised to witness a good rush of the people there. The book shop was really crowded. The young and old, men and women, boys and girls, everybody was there.

The bookshop is huge one and has books on practically all topics under the sun. What was even more interesting was, that the bookshop had a reading area too. While usually a book shop will keep its book under covers and will not encourage reading them inside the store, the philosophy of Eslite is different. They want their customers to read there itself, you buy it or not. They usually display a sample copy for the purpose. I saw many individuals reading book in full silence.

Readers Inside the Book Shop

Readers Inside the Book Shop

I too looked around for a book, which Ii could read and enjoy in that great book reading environment. I laid my hands on ‘Happiness is…..500 things to be Happy About’ by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar. The book has some great one liners underling the real happiness feelings hidden in small pleasures of life and nature. According to authors and I ditto that, Happiness can be in getting wet in rain. It can be in eating food cooked by your mother after long time. It can be in going to catch a bus and boarding the bus just by whisker or getting a lift to go up as you enter a building instead of waiting with pressed buttons.

Reading in Eslite

Reading in Eslite

I liked the book and to avail the opportunity of reading the book sat on a step up stool and gone through a large part of the book. I was really happy to be there around midnight and reading a book like in a library. Just opposite to the main entrance of the book shop, there is a decent coffee shop too and if you are feeling tired and sleepy even at midnight, you can go and buy the coffee too. It was really a perfect setting.

As I finished a good portion of book in the book shop without buying the book, I can very well say that, ” Happiness is also in reading a book in a bookshop without having to buy that.”

Thanks Eslite. We will like to have you here in India.