May 11, 2009

the patchwork smile..

Looking into the rear view mirror of murali's bike today, i caught myself sporting a frown and drooping lips. Out of nowhere, my mom's voice popped into my head telling me to "keep a smiling face." Subconsiously, I tried to.. and then I really looked at myself in the mirror and had to laugh.. my "smiling face" looked so fake.

Then I asked murali if anyone's ever asked him to keep a smiling face. He said yes, loads of times. Mostly his dad. His dad and my mom have a lot in common.

I guess our parents or any loved ones for that matter, want to see us happy all the time. So when they see us frowning, they just say.. "Smile!" Haha.. how innocent! As if it's a magic word.. just utter it once and all the things you were worrying about a minute ago would disappear. We could just go around all the sad places in the world where there is suffering, telling everyone to "keep smiling faces." Where exactly to keep them? I have no clue.

But then again, it's not just loved ones. Almost everyone seems to have problems with a grumpy face. In college we used to call it "budda moothi".. a telugu term that I don't really think exists, i guess we coined it somewhere along the way. Having a budda moothi expression was a great crime back then, if someone was caught 'keeping' one, they had to immediately change it or face a lot of probing questions or teasing.. lol!

But seriously, my genuine concern is.. if someone looks sad, does changing the frown to a smile really change everything? Or anything at all for that matter? I just googled smile quotes and these are what I found:

"Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles"
"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. "
"It takes 26 muscles to smile, and 62 muscles to frown. "

..aren't these literally teaching us that no matter how we feel inside, if we smile people will be with us, everything outside will be fine and additionally, we would be using less muscles? What about what's happeing inside of us? How long does a smile last anyway, if there isn't any happiness inside to fuel it?

I suppose this is the wisdom of the ages. These quotes have decended upon us since God knows how many ages, and we keep using them blindly.

I want to start a new quote. Well I'm not so good at writing quotes, but its a thought.. and please, if it makes sense to you, make use of it and spread the thought around.

It's just this:

"When u feel like frowning, frown. When u feel like crying, cry. Don't go by what's on the face, the face is only a reflection, an indication. Look deep inside and fix what's troubling you. The frowns will change to smiles on their own."


  1. Don't remember exactly which one but one of the TED videos says that sometimes physical action such as a fake smile could cause the smile in your mind.... something very biological...sometimes i think it works

  2. Hey! Where's what I am looking for?

  3. @Ro - maybe it does, but how long does it last, it what i'm asking here..

    @Rafath - it was a dream!! ur never finding it here :P

  4. Damn! See now that could have put a smile on my face and mind for a long long time!