What: Happiness Is..., a series of images shared on The Happy Page on Facebook, has grown into an Internet phenomenon and has now been released as a book. Explaining the simple joys of life through equally simple illustrations, the authors/illustrators/page administrators, Ralph Lazar and Lisa Swerling, have collated 500 things that make one happy in the book, titled after the series.
How:“It came out of a random conversation in which Lisa suggested illustrating other peoples’ ideas of happiness. We tested it on Facebook and within a few weeks, amazingly, it went viral,” says Lazar. The brains behind this initiative get a significant percentage of ideas from Indian readers.
Swerling tells us that the Indian ones tend to relate to family values, friendship and relationships, which they themselves find inspiring. Their travels across India have also inspired illustrations on the page (check out the Parathas for Breakfast pic). Ask them to pick a favourite, and Lazar maintains that he likes the ones that are about not taking oneself too seriously.
Authors Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar. PIC COURTESY/Karen Stead Baigrie
And for Swerling: “I love ‘Happiness is...a shared love of stationery’ or ‘...reading while walking’. I still feel special and rather clever for finding delight in them!” The authors are now working on a live action video and an animated smartphone version of the series.
Where: Happiness Is..., Ralph Lazar and Lisa Swerling, Penguin Books, R299. Available at leading bookstores.