Sunday, June 19, 2011

Catching the bubbles of happiness

Happiness is a substance that has some strange chemical properties. For one, it is an extremely short lived substance and disintegrates quickly into the surrounding atmosphere. It cannot be stored in a sealed container either, as it decomposes spontaneously in the absence of light. It has neither a distinctive odour nor a distinctive color. Due to its whimsical and short-lived nature, many physicists have long doubted its existence. A fringe few do so even today.

But owing to its indirect effects on other substances in controlled lab experiments, which are carefully studied, and to its numerous sightings in the wild, the existence of happiness is now established beyond doubt. What still remain controversial, however, are procedures to synthesize happiness and its effects on human beings.

Despite numerous failures in synthesizing it in a lab setting, it appears that happiness forms quite readily in nature and seems drawn towards life forms in general, and human beings in particular. The age of a person seems to be a critical factor in attracting happiness, with young children being particularly susceptible towards catching large doses of happiness when they are outdoors.

The most common form of happiness is that of tiny bubbles that drift in the air. These bubbles are transparent, but they sometimes shimmer brightly in the sunlight due to certain optical properties. The human eye seems to be partially capable of detecting these shimmers, with young children reporting that they see such bubbles drifting and dancing wildly at the corners of their eyes. One is supposed to see these bubbles sideways, as a direct gaze would rend them transparent. A more successful method for catching happiness is by listening.

Since the bubbles of happiness form and dissolve spontaneously, they make a curious crackling sound as they pop. A carefully trained ear can latch on to these popping sounds, and thus lead a person to the source of a large concentration of happiness. People have thus been led to happiness in very unsuspecting and nondescript places - such as the top of a crossroads, or next to a puddle in a stream. Sometimes happiness hangs in a thick cloud around a man carrying a big luggage and sweating profusely. Sometimes it trails the scent of a woman walking tip-toe on a quiet street. Sometimes it lurks behind a group of quarreling kids. And sometimes it flutters around two lovers who are lost in each other. These are by no means an exhaustive list of places where one might bump into happiness, indeed such a list would be impossible to make. With every passing day as the sun lights up the world, huge clouds of happiness condense in the atmosphere and drift around the place. Whether they do so with a pattern or just aimlessly is still open to debate.

When one comes within hearing distance of happiness, a curious manoeuvre can be followed to make the happiness descend directly onto oneself. The efficacy of this manoeuvre has been known in the popular culture, but the scientific reasons behind it are still under study. One is supposed to smile widely and look sideways towards the source of happiness. A simple lip-smile will not do - it should be accompanied by an eye-smile where the eyes glint in the shimmer of the bubbles. And lo, the cloud of happiness swooshes down to one's face and runs up one's nose. The after-effects are reported as widely varied, ranging from a sudden swing in one's step to one sobbing silently. The only common effect seems to be that of a general exhilaration.

It is also hypothesized that happiness is a fundamental ingredient of life, as essential as Oxygen. But the whimsical nature of its interaction with life-forms prompts many scientists to question such a strong hypothesis. If all life-forms need happiness to survive, how would they find their daily dose of happiness ?

We cannot say anything about this yet. But it is generally accepted that happiness is very good for the health of human beings. So we conclude this article by giving some tips for the interested reader on how to spot happiness.

  • Memory seems to be bad for happiness. Most people have bad memories that inhibit them from perceiving the fullness of the world around. This prevents them from spotting happiness even when it is lurking quite nearby.
  • Happiness appears to be contagious. The more the people one infects with happiness, the likelier that one gets a new dose when all of one's bubbles of happiness pop out.
  • As a converse, selfishness is quite bad for happiness. One's happiness won't last for long when one is alone.
  • This can be extended to also one's thoughts and actions. The more isolated one becomes, and the more sure in this isolation one becomes, the lesser the happiness that comes one's way.
  • Smiles seem to be particularly good at attracting happiness, even when it is several kilometers away.
  • Early morning by the sunrise and the early evening by the sunset are the best times to catch happiness.


Visesh said...

some references and this could actually be a wikipedia article advertised on the onion :)

But I like the matter-of-factly style of the post..


Ray Lightning said...

:)) I am trying to experiment with this style of writing. Got inspired a bit from the "Look around you" series in BBC.

But underneath, I am also trying to use this as a metaphor to convey a true message.