A camera rolls with the photographer saying "Smile please" or "Say cheese". Today we have the era of selfies but the photographer within still says "Smile Please". The common refrain of judges of musical reality shows is " Sing with a Smile" and it would be much better. There are sayings which speaks of the number of muscles used for a smile and a frown.But what makes a smile so important?
Let us turn to one of the fabled tale of Akbar and Birbal. On one occasion, Akbar tells his courtiers about how Salim is the most beautiful child and none except Birbal dared to differ from the Jahanpanah. Birbal told Akbar that he would take him into the town to show the most beautiful child. He takes him to a slum where a child is in the arms of its mother with not as much as a loincloth but beaming at the mother who exclaims " Oh the moon of my life". Akbar understands that every child is most beautiful to its parents. But the most important portion of this tale is that the child was beaming and was wearing nothing. Thus, its lustrous toothless cherubic smile gets it the best of compliments from its own mother.
Moving to more recent times, we find that the Mahatma disarmed his adversaries with his smile whether toothless or otherwise. The Saint of the Gutters Mother Teresa could win the world to the plight of lepers and homeless with a smile. While the former was termed a "half naked fakir" the latter was in a white sari in a nation where the much despised widows drape themselves in white saris. The iconic Tendulkar's smile spoke much more than his willow and definitely more emphatically than his words.
Turning to cartoon characters, the smile of Donald Duck makes him more affable than his Unca Scrooge. The smile on the face of Mickey Mouse or of the chipmunks Chip and Dale can crack any irate nut's frown. The impish smiles of Huey, Dewey and Louis remain with us even after we age. Would someone match the irrascible smiles of Tom and Jerry? The goof ups of Goofy gets pardoned only because of the smile on his face and the ones on the readers' faces. Even a ghost becomes affable because of the smile as Casper has proven beyond imagination.
First hand yours truly wore a smile as an answer for most queries in the younger days inviting attention of most people. In the name of evolution the smile became a conscious effort in the late teens and early twenties. Thereafter, when public relations was the portfolio to be handled, the disarming smile was turned on to meet the most challenging of grievances. Yours truly can now vouch that the smile is not an ornament to bedeck or embellish but the main attire to be worn to move miles ahead!!!
Can therefore be anything more important than a smile which relieves oneself and the people around of a whole lot of stress and move people towards a bonding? Tomichan Chetan, you have nailed it!!!