The contagion of smile

17 Jan 2013 - 2 min read

Smile is one curve that sets life straight.

She always liked this journey to school. She would sing aloud in the car for the chauffeur did not mind. In fact ,he enjoyed the company of this little eight year old girl. He would even sometimes suggest her a song or two. As the car was about to come to halt at the signal, she stopped singing and started humming. A few seconds had passed when she saw a man staring at the window pane. His look was of the kind one would associate with the word —’despair’. Their eyes met and she smiled. Her face was glowing with liveliness as she kept tapping her school bag and continued to hum.

He was asked to resign three weeks ago. His outspokenness and the leading skirmish with his reporting manager had cost him his job. He had been desperately hunting for a job since then. The unfortunate turn of events at his workplace coupled with problems he had been having in his relationship with his girlfriend of six years had made him cynical. He was headed for an interview now but did not have a positive feeling about it. As his motorbike stopped at the signal alongside a car to his right,he stared at the window of the car. His thoughts raced and fed his mind with images of the recent events responsible for the look of ‘despair’ on his face. A honking horn broke his oblivion when he saw a bubbly girl with a cherubic face sitting in the car smiling at him. He smiled back. The girl’s beaming smile and her twinkling eyes had worked their charm. The look of despair was supplanted by a high spirited smile. The signal had turned green and he tried to kick start his bike. Three unsuccessful kicks had not waned his smile. He got it right the fourth time. The world had suddenly started to seem a better place to him.

“……….you have changed”, he said. “so have you!!”,she had said and stormed out of the room. She had been married for fourteen years. Lately, she and her husband had not been able to spend time together owing to their work priorities and blamed each other. The love in their relationship had taken a backseat owing to their career aspirations. The stress at the job and the daily spats at home had taken a toll on her. She felt a little exhausted and tried to rest her head down on the steering wheel for a while when her car stopped at the signal. That did not help her much. Just when the signal had gone green, she saw a man attempting to kick start his motor bike. She saw that his face was wearing a smile. In spite of consecutive failures at starting his motorbike, the smile had not worn off. Her lips formed a curve inadvertently. She was smiling. She felt better. She was going to rush home and prepare dinner which were to include her husband’s favorite dishes. The smile had worked.

The contagion of smile had begun.