#Covid-19# Spread the smile – Special article by Vasan. Suri

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Smile is infectious and contagious. Keep smiling and all your problems will run away. You smile at me, I smile at you, we smile and we all smile.

Smile is punnagai in Tamil
muskurao, मुस्कान in Hindi

The smile emanates from your inner happiness. Nice waiter at a restaurant, smiling Doctor & Nurse, smiling wife, smiling baby, smiling elders – The whole universe will smile.

My grandmother used to say that, punnagai (smile) is more valuable than pon nagai (Gold jewellery).

Divinity spreads when a child smiles.

God manifests himself, when a poor smiles.

I was new to Delhi in those days, when I came across an article in a Newspaper that, some group of people hit a person with a hockey bat to death. This was over a small incident or accident on the road, which further led to bad word exchanges and resulted in the death of a person.

I was shaken reading about this incident. I was worried as to How will I drive now? My job demanded that, I travel from Faridabad to Noida, Karol Bagh, Gurgaon, Peeragarhi, etc.,

People in Delhi or who have traveled in Delhi, will know the different directions n distance between these places.

I remembered a friend of mine from London, Jerry O Connell, who used to say keep up your smile and it drives out all the evil.

This provided a best option to remain safe while driving. So, I started smiling at people who used to overtake me, smile during the wait at the signals, smile at the other person, when he starts getting upset and angry as you did not give him space to go at his speed.

I have survived with this attitude the last 14 years smiling away in Delhi n Delhi NCR.

Talking about Jerry reminds me of a very energising and eventful evening we spent together at Park Street, in Kolkata.

My memory takes me back to 2005, when Jerry visited India first time in his life.

He lived in UK and was a Magician. He used to use leather purses and wallets during his shows and used to sell it off at the end of the show and through the various shops in the UK and USA.

He was a renowned magician all around. He used to style his wallets and purses have such openings which is not otherwise visible and use his tricks to make people happy.

Though he had many events in his Magic shows, the Leather wallet event was a craze among the crowd.

The “Plus Leather Wallet” by Jerry is World Famous. You can check out in the web on this.

Through a friend of mine in Delhi, he wanted to connect with someone in India who could help him in making those magic wallets and purses from India. This is how I got connected.

Kolkata is the best place in India for Leather Wallets and Purses and I invited him to arrive directly in Kolkata.

I had gone to the airport to pick him up and checked him in a 5-star Hotel. It was nearly 5pm and we could not go to any factory visit that evening.

After freshening up, he came down to the Lobby with a pouch of medicines and wanted to throw it away.

On enquiring he said that, his Doctors have given him lot of medicines to keep him safe while traveling in India, not to get infected by any virus. By the way, he was 70 years of age at this time.

He further went on to say that, from the time he met me at the airport and while conversing on the way to the Hotel, which took about 40 minutes, he was overwhelmed by my talk and the arrangements I have made right from picking up at the airport and arranging his Hotel and the Factory visits In the next days.

The smile and welcome warmth at the Hotel from the security to the bell boy and the reception girls have made him so comfortable that, he was confident that nothing wrong can happen for him in this Country.

He discarded all his medicines and wanted to go with me to the most happening place in Kolkata,

I took him to Park Street. Many may be aware about Park Street in Kolkata which has the maximum restaurants possible and every type of cuisine available.

Jerry wanted to go to a Pub. Park Street is a lively street with many restaurants and bars and a happening place.

We went in to Pub called Trincas. The waiters there said that the service will start only by 7pm.

We went around the park Street and Jerry wanted to have a bundle of rs.100/- notes

I gave it to him and we reached the Pub. Not much crowd and slowly peole started coming in.

Jerry found it surprising that there was not enough life in the Pub including the band n the singer and people were looking sober.

He called one of the waiter as to why no one smiles there. I replied him probably everyone is engrossed in his own worries.

He told the waiter to smile and said how beautiful you look, take a gift. And till I am here, I will keep gifting you as long as you maintain your smile.

Soon the whole team of waiters started moving with a smile and they would come to our table and get a gift.

The smile spread the happiness around and the whole Pub was infected with the happy mood.

We had a couple sitting in the sofa behind Jerry and the girl kept watching how, we were keeping everyone engaged with a smile.

Jerry now moved on to the band and asked them to sport a smile and made the singer move her body a bit here and there and make the singing lively.

The rhythm of the band changed and all eyes were on Jerry and the smile infection was 100%.

The girl from the sofa behind came over to me and asked if they could come and sit with us and we welcomed them to join us.

When the time was over and we were about to leave, the girl broke in to tears saying that our presence in the Pub that day changed their decision of Divorce and decided to call it off and live together.

She further explained that they were recently married and never could be happy together and came down to the Pub, to call off their married life and our presence and the infectious happy mood, made them agree and understand that, living happily is within themselves and not by outside forces.

They both thanked both of us and left out.

I personally thanked Jerry that he came in all the way from London to unite a breaking marriage.

That joyous mood Jerry maintained all through the next two days, kept the workers and staffs at the factory to be in happy mood including the Executives and owners.

He mixed his magic at every stage so all good get infected with that joyous mood and kept smiling.

He taught the making of magic wallets and why and where the hidden pockets to be there and it was all unforgettable moments of life.

Jerry also requested me to arrange the magicians of Kolkata at one place in the second day evening as he wanted to interact and react with them and know their well being.

I did organise that evening with sweets and snacks and had a gathering of 45 magicians for the evening.

Jerry made them comfortable asking each one of them to show their special magic skills and for me it was all amazing experience.

I realised as to how poor are these magic skilled people and their only source of income is magic show or events.

Jerry, in the end showed his special skills and taught them also how to do it. Ask them to get connected with UK magic Forums through Skype which could open up opportunities for the young magicians of Kolkata.

All were happy for the evening and next day Jerry went back to London leaving a long lasting impression on all of us.

This smile concept came to my help n support to navigate my way through Delhi & Delhi NCR.

I would also quote a message from Rabi Bernard, Ex-Rajya Sabha MP, Nerukku Ner of Sun TV.

He mentioned that the population in Phillipines is just 8 crores and but, they are near indian volume of business in BPO and software industry.

He further stated about the democratic education system at Phillipines and they are all happy people always.

They infect this happy mood with a beautiful smile wherever they are. Whoever would have come in to contact with a or a team of Filipino will know this.

They all are living out of the Country and they contribute to nearly $35 billion as inward remittance.

He maintains that their approach with happiness is the reason for their sucess.

Keep smiling, Be Happy, Corona will go, World will prosper.

by Vasan. Suri

I have used too many of word infection as we all have heard this word the last 40 days and let that word be made use for positivity as well.

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