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Smile at a Stranger


This post is written for That Tuesday Thingy, an *IndiBlogeshwaris* initiative

The imagery and the music of the Time Traveller draws you into a world of simple truths that many of us have forgotten.

Our smiles have been replaced by scowls and we have truly forgotten how to smile at a stranger or walk around with a smile on our faces.

The video is beautifully crafted where there is a balance of human interaction and it also invests in the solitude and pensive nature without physically isolating the man from the world around.

What really struck me were the smiles on the faces of strangers. If Rahul Sharma is the reflection of common people, then his behaviour is the ideal one where he is smiling and interacting with people and when alone, not lonely, he is almost meditative. The santoor that he plays is always when he is alone and it’s not a performance for people.

With each strike of the santoor chords, it’s an attempt to connect to his inner being and lay the foundation of a calm mind.

The light touch on the strings is symbolic of our minds that can produce marvellous music and be creative with the right amount of pressure or break and produce noise and chaos when excessive pressure is applied.

The playing of the santoor alone is withdrawal from the world, not in disgust, but it’s an act used to center ones being and rejuvenate. For others it could be a book, a walk, good music or even restoring an old car.

It’s an act that you do alone, for yourself. It is a meditative act to bring order to the otherwise chaotic mind that travels faster than the fast lives we lead today.

The music video gave a profound message in its simplicity:

  1. Smile for and at yourself
  2. Smile at strangers
  3. Slow down to see clearly
  4. Have a private hobby or activity

In the pace of our lives we do become self-aware and conclude that we have lost ourselves to the pace. The odd part is when we cannot use the knowledge gained by our self-awareness to reclaim our own lives and fall victim to pace of life; something that is entirely under our control.

As individuals and also as a society we want every moment of our lives to be crammed with action irrespective of quality of the action.

We no longer pay attention to the quality of our interaction with ourselves and others and all we remember are the noise and chaos.

The simple joys of life are doing the disappearing act and gadgets and fast food are taking over.

We have to re-learn to live in the present and create memories that bring back the smile to our faces.

On the path of rediscovery, we have to enjoy the beauty and simplicity of a slow waltz and not lose more time regretting the opportunities lost in the past to enjoy those moments.

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Categories: Personal Tags: , , , ,
  1. July 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Believe it or not, I was just speaking to someone and I told her to take up a hobby and smile more often. Gosh, you are so right when you say, we just don’t have the time to stand and stare. Well done. Good luck on the contest.

    • July 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Its not that we have no time. I believe we fear it to an extent because it throws light on our fears and insecurities. I try and practice it in my own way though I need to add more fun value to it and make it a regular habit.

  2. July 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    The imagery and the music of the Time Traveler draws you into a world of simple truths that many of us have forgotten.—- the opening line of your post sums up everything. I am amazed how beautifully you have observed and analyzed the video. A great food for thought for me.
    I have truly loved your post. it has meditative as well as spiritual qualities.

    ‘The light touch on the strings is symbolic of our minds that can produce marvelous music and be creative with the right amount of pressure or break and produce noise and chaos when excessive pressure is applied.’—— so so so true. Simply wow!

    Good luck!

    • July 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks a lot :). I was looking forward to a nice and interesting Monday even before my weekend began but with your comment I am going to enjoy every moment of a day which is not exactly a crowd favourite :).

  3. July 8, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Your post really makes us think, oh yes we are moving at such a fast pace, that we miss the beautiful present. And in the ‘long run’, quite literally, we often stop living in the moment!

    • July 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      I hope that in the long run we remember the moments that truly matter and have a large number of such moments.

  4. July 8, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Yes we do need to smile more often ! Very thought provoking post and a good take on the prompt !

    • July 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting :).

  5. July 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    A wonderful interpretation and perspective Sriram. Smile, it just does not improve our face value but, our overall value.

    • July 18, 2013 at 2:19 am

      I tried smiling for a day and its worth replicating everyday. Its an uphill task when we are used to scowling :).

  6. Dagny
    July 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    it is not only time that stops our smiles. We are afraid too. And that is sadder than having no time…. at least so I think.

    • July 18, 2013 at 2:16 am

      We are afraid that the world or the other person might think we are crazy but the world needs some crazy people :).

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