In Pursuit of Happiness

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]iliguri-born Sai Kaustuv was barely three months old when he fractured his bone for the first time. Since then, he has had more than 50 fractures! Suffering from Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease) made his bones highly vulnerable to fractures, eventually making him 90% disabled.

But today, 27-year-old Sai Kaustuv wears multiple hats. He is a happiness coach, a motivational speaker, an author, a singer, a graphic designer and a wheelchair warrior among several other things.

The tedious, yet triumphant, journey 

Talking about his journey of becoming a motivational speaker, Sai says. “It was not an easy deal, but I managed to overcome every obstacle despite being confined to a small room. Life has taught me the art of smiling, even as I remained within four walls for 6 years (2009-2015)! My life was ending in front of me and I was witnessing everything silently.

“But slowly, I realised that if I lose myself, how would the other differently-abled people, who are also struggling to break many barriers, get motivated? I started developing a desire to change my situation entirely. I made myself a ‘Wheelchair Warrior’ and came out of the room to show the world the power of positivity.

“My belief became my core strength. I wanted to fight against all odds desperately. In spite of many difficulties, I lead my life with positivity. Physically, I am unable to do anything on my own and am fully dependent on my parents. During my confinement of 6 years in a small room, I used to practise positivity. Being unable to do regular activities, I taught myself to do stuff which normal people were unable to do,” said the recipient of 44 awards and records who lives in Puttaparthi in AP.

Four pillars of strength for Sai

When asked what keeps him going, Sai, who is fourth global icon for leadership qualities after Helen Keller, Stephen Hawking and Srikanth Bolla, says, “I simply took on the challenges one at a time. I am now a happiness coach on a mission to spread smiles. My biggest strength is my smile. I believe it is the signature stamp of positivity. And through several adverse situations in my life, I have learnt that a smile can help one overcome tough situations and give them the satisfaction of winning it over.

“My main driving forces are my parents, Shila and Kausik Dasgupta, and my younger brother, Kushal. In all my success, they are the main pillars and, in all my sorrows, they are my main consoles.”

Can happiness be taught?

“Over time, I have realised that people aren’t really very happy, they just pretend to be happy for others. So, I finally chose this unique option of becoming a Happiness Coach as happiness, itself, is an identity, which describes the real essence of human life. I started #HappinessUnlimited some time ago as a unique brand, through which, Ialt39d like to bring back the purity of heart and genuine happiness in society,” said the happiness coach.

“My happy community and I started going to surrounding areas to motivate people mentally. Abled people think that disbled persons are incapable of thinking big and dreaming of touching the sky. That’s why, I thought about creating this mission, ‘HAPPINESS UNLIMITED’, for the whole community to change their outlook. Miracles happen in the lives of people who choose to create that miracle. And #HappinessUunlimited is helping all to create miracles through unlimited possibilities,” he elaborated.

“My wheelchair is a throne and I am the king sitting on it. I found happiness in my situation because italt39s an art of life. Nobody can make you happy unless you allow yourself to be happy”

Art of spreading happiness 

Happiness is something which doubles when you share it with others. “Naturally, I feel great spreading happiness around me. I like to give out whatever technological knowledge I possess to people yearning to learn new things in the hope that it will gradually upgrade lives in rural societies. Pain is inevitable, but, suffering is optional,” elaborates Sai.

“Once a guy from Odisha wrote to me, accepting me as his Happiness Guru. Such feedback really means a lot to me and while spreading happiness I, too, learn many happy lessons from millions around me,” said the Limca Record-holder.

What is wrong with us?

Since India ranks much lower than foreign countries in Happiness Index, does he think that there is something wrong with our society?

“Happiness is something which most Indians never got to taste. I feel so sad when people complain about silly things not having enough opportunities to excel in life, feeling caged, blaming others. They are never satisfied with what they have. Comparing our THIS with their THAT, we keep postponing our happiness. One should seek happiness within. My wheelchair is a throne and I am the king sitting on it. I found happiness in my critical situation because italt39s an art of life. Nobody can make you happy unless you allow yourself to be happy. And, in that process, unknowingly, we can make our society and our nation a happy place to live.

“Today, when I look back at all these memories, I feel my birth itself was very special and unique. Being a 90% differently abled guy, I have turned my disability into my speciality to make you all SMILE! Life is too short not to celebrate it fully. Enjoy when you can,” said a beaming Sai.

How to embrace happiness

  • Being happy all the time is takes practice. Always be grateful for what you have, for happiness lies in acceptance.
  • Happiness lies in your efforts to make others smile.
  • Think out of the box and do something that you are good at!
  • Meeting many people, we feed ourselves with their problems, making it our habit to talk about all the negativity. STOP that.
  • Have faith that you, too, could fly high on the wings of self-confidence and courage.
  • Be determined and have a clear idea about your destination.
  • Value every moment. Know who you are and know that you are worthy of reaching your dreams.
  • It is never too late to start creating the life you always dreamed of.
  • Do not compare yourself with others. No two individuals are the same; we are all unique in our own ways.
  • Be positive and no matter who you are, what you are, how capable or incapable you think you are, just get up, throw away your pain, feeling of helplessness and put your trust in yourself.
  • Find your creative skills and capabilities. Explore more to express your true self.