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The following text is taken from the Book
“Selections from the Complete Works of Swami...

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What is Happiness? – A Very Short Story

Happiness is my Own Reflection

That day I got something I longed for years. I was dying to get it, touch it, and feel its presence in my life. The life looked beautiful—I was laughing. I was Happy.
“Finally!!! I have it.”
Till a few days after that, I was on cloud nine, but the happiness was slipping out of my hands. Again, things started looking like the same as they had been before. A few weeks after, I was wondering: “Where has all the happiness gone?” “If the thing gave me immense happiness for some days, what happened thereafter?”
And then, after a few months, fortune smiled on me and I achieved great success in my business and became rich. Happy!!! Again.
My dreams had come true. I started doing everything I only dreamt about. The whole world looked as if it was under my toes. There were celebrations and parties. Though they felt great, but soon it was getting tiring. The smile on my face was getting old and robotic.
A year had passed since all this happened. The charm and glory of success and happiness were lost somewhere. On a typical workday, sitting in my car, I was in the mood of retrospection.
“Why am I not happy? Why is it so tiring now to be happy?” The same emotions that used to bother me gripped me again. I was asking questions to myself. “Why?” “What happened?” Juggling the questions, I started feeling restless. Though the windows were closed and AC was on, the noise outside was bothering me.Suddenly, the happy moments of my life started playing before my eyes. Amidst of that restlessness, I was still smiling seeing my moments. And then, after some time, they just stopped; it was blank, like a TV without a signal.
My heart beating faster started screaming inside my body, “I want my moments back.” “I want my happiness back.” “Happiness…???” I started talking to it. “Where to look for you?” “Where are you?” “You are not in the thing I wanted, you are not in the news I loved, you are not in the riches I got.” “I need you badly. Where can I find you?” I was getting hyper and mad, talking to something that cannot answer.
It seemed my brain would explode and my heart would burst out. I kneeled with my head down, face red, and hands gripping my head.
“Oh! This is unbearable. See how much I want you.” Now, happiness was bringinggloom to me. It seemed I was losing the life fluid I had within. With my body becoming drier, I wasn’t able to cry. Desperately wanting to have a few drops of tears to lighten up my heart, I started screaming loudly. To my surprise, there were no tears.
Suddenly, in the midst of all noise, there was absolute silence as if everything had come to a stop. I stopped screamingand heard a voice saying, “Aajkalyeh common hai (This is common these days).” The voice was not familiar and was low as if coming from a distance.
The word struck me hard “common.” I started feeling the free fall of the word in my mind and, on the way, it hitting the instances of my life, which rested in my memory.
“Wait! What was common among all the times when I was happy?” Scanning through all those times, I felt as if I have been hit. A flash of light with sharp wind hit me, and I saw a figure in front—A divine figure with no signs of emotion.
“g…gg…g….Goddddd!!!!!!” I muttered, with my heart beating so loud that all I could hear was it. There was silence and then some more silence; the time and the motion had stopped. A light coming from a distance fell on the figure, and I fell unconscious.
I opened my eyes to the ceiling of a hospital. I regained my consciousness to the numerous questions of the bystanders. “How are you now?” “What happened there? Why did you suddenly fell unconscious?”
The events started playing in my mind. I was sitting on the back seat of my car, scolding someone on the phone over a matter of money, and suddenly there was a crash. The bystanders told me that I came out unhurt from the car. But then suddenly bent on my knees, grabbed my head with both hands, and started screaming.
“Why did you suddenly fell unconscious?” a voice enquired. Without actually intending to speak, I opened my lips and said, “The common thing among all happiness… The common thing…It is…it is…ME.”
My eyes opened. The newspaper read “Business & Economy.” There was pain in the chest on the left side close to the heart. I had not come to senses. I was wondering: “Am I in a dream?” I folded the newspaper and kept it aside. Lying on the seat was my phone, still on, with someone shouting “Sir…Sir…Kya Huva (What Happened?).” I could feel sweat moving down from my forehead. I grabbed the water bottle and had some water. The pain was acute. Leaning my head backward on the seat, I closed my eyes. The car was still. After some time, the pain started to subside, but I was drenched in sweat. Though I could not think, some words were echoing in my head. “This is a lie…I am living a lie…I am not I…” My iPad blinked a mail. I looked at it and switched it off, opened my tie,coat, and the top button of my shirt, and folded the sleeves. I opened the window to feel the real world outside: it was warm (not like I used to like in my air-conditioned car). I opened the door and came out of the bondage.
“Saab…Saab….Batti hone wali hai…kaha ja rahe hai? (It is going to be green. Where are you going?)”
The voice faded as I, feeling light and free, boarded a bus.

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