Authors Ralph Lazar and Lisa Swerling, in their book ‘Happiness is……….’ write down the 500 ways to feel happy about. They mention small but significant notes of happiness felt through, when we relish a complementary breakfast or while bumping in your very old school teacher or being the first one to get up in the morning or in having breakfast in bed on a cool frosty morning and many more pleasures derived from otherwise mundane happenings. They believe that the happiness is in recognizing these and other small but sweet pleasures of life. Ever since I read that book in a 24 hours bookstore in Taiwan, I have been exercising my find to recognise many such simple and sweet pleasures of life.
I came across one such sweet pleasure last evening when I watched the movie, Talwar. This movie directed by Meghana Gulzar is based on real and shocking murder of Aarushi Talwar for which her doctor parents were convivted. The movie is quite good but the story is a sad one and watching the movie questions the inept handling of the case and highlights many glaring inconsistencies in the story of prosecution. Movie is quite good to feel and better know the times we are living in. But that is not the reason of writing this piece.
Actually the movie had only few paid preview shows on this Thursday in Lucknow, as it formally got released on Friday as any other movie does in India. However, on insistence of my wife for watching it on very first day, I booked two tickets for the 7:45 evening show. Before that I had to do my office followed by evening walk at Lohia park. I was aware that if i got late in leaving the office, I will be hard pressed to reach cinema hall in time.
I had a bad start. I left the office almost 43 minutes behind the schedule at 5:43 PM and rushed still to Lohia Park-a great spot for walkers and joggers in Lucknow. I did my rounds there and curtailing my walk a bit left the park around 6:25. I now had only one hour and twenty minutes to go back to my house, take a shower and then come back to movie hall before 7:45 pm. The times was short as my residence is more than 12 km away from my office and park and, the movie hall I chose among limited options on Thursday was a good 10 km away from my home. I could still manage if I reached home in good time and could turn around quickly with my wife to the PVR cinema hall in Hazratganj.
I started to roll from Lohia park, but just then I recalled my morning chat with my sweet daughter as she was leaving for school in the morning. She had requested me to come back with her favorite cake while returning from office in the evening. Her request in the morning was a personal one as she does not make many requests while going dutifully to her school. I had seen her eyes and could sense that as a kid she was yearning for a cake really. That may be perhaps also due to the pressures of the exam she was facing since last week, as owing to the exam, she had slept late and even remain awoke during few previous nights. I was in a dilemma, because if I went to her favorite shop in busy Hazratganj at the evening traffic hour, I could not have made to movie at scheduled time. I had to choose one. Either the movie with the wife or a cake for the daughter. I took few seconds in deciding, but finally the request of the daughter prevailed over the prospect of watching a thriller on time. It was not as if I was very happy to take that call but my fatherly instinct asked me to give preference to that only.
I rushed therefore to the traffic of Hazratganj and as expected got in the traffic jam of the evening. Waiting in the traffic, I was feeling the pressure of the situation and kept on looking at my mobile phone clock to recalculate the time I would eventually need to reach back to cinema. I managed to reach the shop after some tough traffic negotiations and purchased the best possible cake in the shortest possible time. I almost jumped back into my vehicle with the cake. The clock was showing 6:55 pm by now. I was still 10 odd km away from my house and had many more things to do. I was anxious for the movie but at the same was happy for dutifully buying the cake for my daughter from her favorite shop.
I took a deep breath to ease myself and managed to reach my house only by 7:11 pm. With cake and pastries in may hands I just barged into room of my daughter and proudly presented the cake to her. She was really happy to see her wish fulfilled. She thanked me profusely and went to kitchen to get the plates etc for cutting the cake and eating it with all of us. I was happy to see her happy and glancing at the clock, pushed myself into the bath room and took a shower as quickly as possible. Its so relieving and freshening to take a shower after sweating out at this time of the year. Meanwhile my daughter was ready with the knife etc. to cut the cake we enjoyed the cake. The smile on her face alleviated my oncoming agony of watching a thriller movie late. I just hugged her and left for the movie with my wife at 7:30 pm. It was still at least 25 minutes away from the multiplex. I took another deep breath and shared with my wife the pleasure of seeing my daughter happy.
I reached the multiplex by 7:58 and rushed to the audi showing the movie Talwar. It took another 5 minutes to get into the lift and to make it to the audi. As I rushed inside the hall, I was amazed to see that the movie was starting to roll just then, at 8:03 to be precise! I heaved a sigh of relief and had a real big smile of life at the situation. It was hard to believe my luck as I was not expecting the late start of the movie beyond 5 or maximum of 10 minutes. But here it was late by 18 minutes. It was sheer luck or something else? Did some circumstances ‘conspired'( Rhonda Byrne of ‘Secret’ fame will vouch for that for sure) for so late start to compensate me for conceding to my daughter’s request? I don’t know actually. But it was such a sweet pleasure to witness the start of movie so late when you have reached late yourself. I had done a great job really. With my wife on my side, I sunk into plush seats of hall to watch the thriller in the right earnest but not before thanking God for bestowing me with a little sweet daughter some 16 years ago.
I can now say that ” Happiness is in watching a movie after sharing a cake with your daughter and getting late but not more than the start of the movie!” Perhaps Ralph and Lisa may include that in their next edition!!!