The composition of happiness


The composition of happiness is a potion concocted by Carefree Witches with which they lure puffy-eyed children.

The Witches woke up at the blue hour today. and sent Sadness out on a task.

The world needed more Happiness but their ingredients were scarce. They asked for things that made Sadness' stomach churn; it read the list, " an ice cream cone, a moth which didn't fly towards the flame, a kite with no string, a cotton candy stick, the flapping pigeon's wings, a green autumn leaf, a cup of hot instant noodles, the summer mango pickle that grannies make, Chris Martin's voice, a lover's smile even after love is lost, an old teacher's teeth whose students don't remember lessons but remember her, an alarm that sings lullabies, the foam floating over coffee, the spit of a woman whose tongue like the guillotine cuts egos leaving men to bleed, a hazy dream, the promises of friends who never stopped talking, news that was never forgotten, tapri chai and Parle-G"

But the Witches are cunning, they have always been. When Sadness returned with all the things, they pushed all the ingredients into a cauldron. Under the moon, they cracked a smile. And then snatched Sadness' nose, dropping it into the potion. The potion boiled and Sadness cried. They chanted and called upon Oizys; "Happiness smiles only after Sadness cries. Happiness cries only after Sadness smiles."


This piece has been authored by Paridhi Poddar. She is a seventeen-year-old student studying at Modern High School for Girls, Kolkata. She is trying to come to terms with the world and when she cannot, she builds a world of her own with ink. She believes that the clicking of keyboards and typewriters is as cathartic as music.


Art by Jason Engle.

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