How are you?

Heyoo! How are you?

No, really, think about it? How are you?

Isn’t it such a simple and overused question? We meet some one and it’s one of the first thing we ask….

“Hello, how are you?” Or “Heyy, ssup? How’s it going?” Or “How’ve you been?” Or in Hindi “kaise ho?” (Or maybe if you’re Joey from friends you’ll ask “How you doin?” :P)

Funny thing is, just like the question, the answer too is meaningless. Nobody actually “answers” this question. At least not in the first go, not even to our closest of friends….at most if you’ve been kinda “sucky”, you’ll probably give a reply which is a variable of ” meh!” 

But today, I heard the weirdest and yet one of the most profound reply to it. 

In my internship today I was working in Speech Therapy, observing the therapy sessions of young kids. So this young boy of around 6 walks in. Shy kid all smiling and hiding behind his mother. My supervisor welcomed the kid and started off with pretty basic stuff. Called the kid forward, said hello, asked his name, asked him to greet everyone etc. Moving on, next question, “How are you?” And suddenly, the kid says “I’m Happy”. Everyone started laughing. My supervisor tried to gently tell him, ” It’s good that you’re happy baby, in fact we can see that, but reply to the greeting properly. How are you?” She asked again. And again that kid said “I’m happy”.

She asked him this question four times and that kid did not change his reply even after prompting. (Hats off to the persistence though!) 

Up until an hour ago, I did not pay much attention to this incident. But then one of my friend whom I was chatting with after a long time asked me, ” how are you?” And I couldn’t help but smile at the memory of that kid, insisting that he is indeed happy!

Well, even though this was not the reply we were seeking, there is a certain honesty and depth to it. Isn’t it amazing that as kids humans know what happiness is and above that, they are not afraid to show it? 

This incident also made me wonder another thing, why do we ask this question when we are not ready for the real answer, negative or positive!? 

Anyways, this question for me will never have the same meaning. 

I hope that this kid’s answer always remains the same. And I also hope that someday, I too will say “I’m Happy” to this prosaic and mundane question, and mean it! 

Okay! See you later! Bbye!