}

Sharing happiness with others

Here's a story of a little girl named Shruti who was very fond of sweets.
On New Year's day, Shruti sat by the window thinking about her New Year's resolutions. She wasn't feeling so good today as she had just fought with her best friend Preeti. Lost in her thoughts, she suddenly got up and walked down to her favorite sweet shop, owned by Uncle Shambu. Uncle Shambu didn't fail to notice the sullen and angry look on her face and enquired, "What's the matter Shruti? Did you fight with Bunty again?"

Shruti who was a regular customer at his shop, considered Uncle Shambu not only as her friend but also her confidante. So, she started telling him about what was bugging her that morning. "Uncle, it isn't Bunty this time. But, you know Preeti, she is a big show-off who just pretends to be my best friend. I fought with her this morning. And, now we are not talking." Shruti's face was still fuming with anger. Just then Riya, Uncle Shambu's daughter  entered the shop and waved to Shruti. She asked her father for the chocolates. She left after Uncle Shambu gave her some sweets. With a gentle smile on his face, Uncle Shambu said, "Oh, so today it is Preeti's turn, is it? Let me ask you a question. I own this sweets shop here, so do you think that I have to go elsewhere to buy sweets?" Shaking her head, Shruti said, "Obviously not Uncle! In the same way, I get new clothes easily without going anywhere else since my dad owns a readymade garments shop. What's the big deal in this?"

This was exactly what Uncle Shambu wanted to hear. Grabbing the right opportunity, he started, "Hmmm… So, it means that we never fall short of things that we sell in our store."

Shruti  exclaimed, "That is so obvious, uncle!" Continuing further, he said,

"Ok! So, I will give you some homework today. You also have to open your own store of happiness. In this way, you will never fall short of happiness. Ever. How does that sound to you?" Shruti, who had been listening intently to him, asked, "Open a store of happiness?? Wow! That sounds fun! But, Uncle, how do I do that?" Grinning widely, Uncle Shambu explained, "It's simple! All that you have to do is this: from the time you wake up, you should only give happiness to others. Do not give unhappiness to anyone."

Looking a little confused, Shruti interrupted uncle Shambu and asked him, "But, Uncle, I do not understand, how do I give happiness to others? Am I not too young for it?" Feeling amused at this innocent question, uncle continued, "You are young. So what? If you help Bunty in his studies, let him play your games, help your mother with housework, give food and clothes to those in need, then how would you feel? Won't you feel happy about helping others?" Shruti's face immediately lit up with joy. "Of course Uncle!" she exclaimed, thinking that this would be an interesting New Year's resolution.

Before she could say anything further, a laborer walked in, wet with perspiration, "Can you please read out this address for me" he asked Shruti. Looking at uncle Shambu, Shruti said, "Oh yes! I know this place. In fact, I also have to go that way. Come along with me. I will take you there." As they were walking, she realized something and paused. "Hey, wait a minute, you look really tired and are sweating a lot. Why don't you first drink some water?" and she passed her water bottle to him.

The labor drank the water and looked extremely satisfied and happy. He thanked Shruti and blessed her. On seeing the satisfaction on the laborer's face, Shruti also felt very happy.

Upon reaching home, she grabbed the newspaper lying on the table. Her maid, Manjuben, was sweeping the floor. She looked up at Shruti and asked her if there was any interesting news in the paper. Glancing through the paper, Shruti told her that there wasn't anything new in there. Manjuben looked down and continued with her cleaning work. She regretted being illiterate and expressed this to Shruti.  "Manjuben, don't feel bad! I can teach you how to read and write," said Shruti, having remembered her resolution to open a store of happiness.  Manjuben literally jumped up with joy. And, from the next day onwards, Shruti started teaching Manjuben daily for one hour. 

Seeing Manjubens' s perseverance and enthusiasam, Shruti also experienced lot of joy. And, she realized that, with each passing day her joy only increased.

After a few days, when Shruti came to Uncle Shambhu's shop to buy 'sweets', Manjuben accompanied her.  Her face shone brightly with joy. Her brother who lived in a village had written her a letter and for the first time, she was able to read it for herself. And, this was possible only because Shruti had taught her to read. She read out the letter aloud and by the end of it, her eyes were filled with tears of joy. She thanked Shruti enormously for removing the biggest dependency of her life. Tears tricked down from Shruti's eyes as she looked up at uncle Shambu and said, "All the credit for it goes to uncle Shambu who introduced me to the idea of opening my own store of happiness. I never knew what it felt like to share our happiness with others. I am so thankful to you uncle. I promise you that I will keep sharing happiness with others in whichever way I can." Uncle Shambhu gave her a handful of sweets as a gift. He blessed her to be happy and wished her that, may her "store of happiness" run successfully always.

 

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