The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, September 3, 2000

Spreading sunshine with a smile

REGARDING I.M. Soni’s "spreading sunshine with a smile" (August 20) the question may arise: What’s special about a smile? Very simply put, it is never outmoded.

On a more serious note, a smile is not merely the contraction or relaxation of facial muscles. It is a mirror for myriad emotions. Most often, it symbolises the emotion of joy or happiness. If "happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length" (Robert Frost), a smile makes up for a million unsaid words.

The ability to smile continuously, albeit vacuously and under conditions of extreme provocation may be a valuable part of certain job requirements. Air hostesses, receptionists, salegirls are called upon to do this incessantly. These may be classified as "plastic" smiles, and often mean little. However, those who make their smiles meaningful do very well!

It is only when a smile conveys a quality of mind that it becomes meaningful. This happens when a smile travels upwards to reach the eyes — when the eyes externalise the state of mind and the lips simultaneously curve upwards. Facing a smiling person with empty eyes can be a disconcerting experience, leaving one in a quandary as to whether to believe the eyes or the lips.

When, then, is a smile? Does it act as a parameter for one’s emotions, is it a mask or is it an ornament? It is all this and more. To quote William Makepeace Thackeray, "It is sunshine in a house". Martin Luther was more down to earth: "If you’re not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there." A smile is a tranquiliser without any side-effects. Finally, remember the words of Phil Irwin of the Voice of America: "If you meet a person without a smile, pass on one of yours."




Good humour invites cheerfulness. We can learn to laugh at ourselves. Humour work like a tonic and one must use it as much as possible. It is said laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.



The right kind of smile, the sincere, heartfelt smile, is a smile in which the eyes are involved; they also smile. In a forced or insincere smile, only the mouth smiles. A smile can help one deal with any difficulty. When we smile, not only do we feel happy, but we also bring a ray of light into the lives of others. Sometimes a smile can be like a drop of water in a desert. Someone has beautifully said: "You may think it silly to be told to practise similing in front of the mirror until your smile is at its best, but the greatest actor, the greatest salesmen, the greatest lawyers are not above this sort of thing. They know that a good smile is the best advertisement the personality has".

Every situation in life must be faced and so why not face it with smile?


Sanjeev Kumar

This refers to M.L. Dhawan’s write-up "An actor for all seasons (August 13). The writer deserves praise for his sincere attempt to keep alive the memory of a great legend, Sanjeev Kumar.

He was such a usperb and matchless actor that even without speaking he could express his emotions. None can ever match the depth of emotions he projected in the movies like Mausam and Aandhi.



Sanjeev Kumar never got the best supporting actor award for his powerful role in Sangharsh. Actually, he won Filmfare’s Best Supporting Actor Award for his coveted role of a police inspector in Shikar. It is wrong to say that he played a role in film Harjayee.

Sanjeev Kumar started his film career as an extra in Sunil Dutt-Asha Parekh starrer Hum Hindustani (1961). His first film as a hero was Nishaan (1964). He came to the limelight with his sterling performance in Dharmendra-Asha Parekh starrer Shikar (1968). He won accolades for his brilliant performance in Khilona (1970). He was at his best in a romantic and comic role in Manchali (1974).


Work satisfaction

This refers to Raj K. Machhan write up "When work gives pleasure" (August 20).

More and more professionals are being exposed to increasing job stress. This is partly due to overload of work and partly because the individual is understimulated at work, because of inadequate challenge and a lack of opportunity. This happens when one does not get a job that suits one’s aptitude and skills. These persons seem to suffer more psychological problems, such as job dissatisfaction and depression.

Many people among us are unable to comprehend the importance of emotional intelligence or how it leads to success and happiness in life.

Although emotional intelligence is often distinct from academic intelligence, these are not inherently contradictory, since they both contribute in different way to our ability to make use of pure intelligence, intuition and common sense in human relationships. In everyday life, no skill is more important than interpersonal intelligence. To be emotionally intelligence is to recognise one’s own feeling and reactions.

In its final analysis, to get satisfaction from work, it is important to understand and love others. Emotional intelligence produces a strange and loving kindness towards every living thing. It is worth cultivating to get happiness in life.



The article "Performing to perfection" by Sai Vaidyanathan (August 6) was excellent. The Bhagavadgita seems to be the panacea for most of the ills prevailing in the society. Today most of us are unhappy with our designated duties and lack equanimous behaviour. Bhagavadgita exhorts us to love our duties and not let success or failure affect us.