The dictionary definition for ‘glee’ (the emotion) is:
- Open delight or pleasure; exultant joy; exultation
- Jubilant delight; joy
But somehow I associate this word with children or childhood. It’s probably because the kind of joy and delight implied by the word is experienced mostly when we’re really young – carefree and with reckless abandon. And it really doesn't matter how old we are, the “child within us” will emerge from time to time.
Recently, here at Infy, we had a small Road Show organized by the Toastmasters Club during lunch hours. They had small word games where those interested could participate and win chocolates as prizes. Some of the games included Spelling Bee, Word Building and Hangman. Now, you’d wonder whether these kind of games and prizes (after all, chocolates) would really prompt 20+ year old working professionals into trying their hand at it. I had this doubt myself. Nevertheless I watched as the crowd there kept growing bigger. What was initially a trickle of people began developing into queues. I had to wait for my turn to try my hand at these games! And I was thrilled! Out of the four games that I tried, I won three and walked away happily with a Dairy Milk, Five Star and Cadbury Shots as prizes.
I quote this incident not to say that I ‘won’. But just think about it. Think of all the exhibitions, melas, fairs, shopping festivals and the like you’ve visited. Invariably you’d have seen atleast a few stalls there that were meant for games. You pay some money, play the game and try to win goodies. These are probably targeted at children, but are they the only folks you see around? You’d definitely find some grown-ups too! They’d hesitate at first, but will wait and watch the children attempting it for a while. Slowly you’ll see them take their wallets out and join in. It’s universal. Parents are often the ones who’re induced into it first because their children insist on playing. But soon you’d find others joining in too - groups of guys and/or gals. And I feel that it has a lot to do with the ‘glee’ factor… the sense of mirth or elation that you feel. The games are pretty much standard and not really exotic – throw a ball and tumble the stacked set of objects (usually tumblers), throw a loop and win the object on which it falls, shoot a target, Tambola/Bingo/Housie, show your might by using a hammer, etc. Can't really say that these are most ‘challenging’. And as far as the prizes go, they’re not the expensive kind. So what pulls the crowd? The glee factor…you feel victorious and happy, with a tinge of pride!
No matter how old we grow, some things don't change!