Temporary Happiness

Life is a journey with many destinations. Some destinations make us happy while others don’t. And there’s always a cycle of happy and sad destinations. It is for us to decide where to stay a little longer. But one thing is for sure, we will have to leave every destination in some time.

Then why does the time happiness stays in our life look very small compared to the time sadness creeps in?

… …

On a particular morning, I woke up filled with boredom, resistance to wake-up and live another day of nothingness at office, and self-loath for this melancholic feeling. Then I decided to get ready a little quickly and go for a ride. With the turning off of the engine, the silence marks way for the sadness to crawl in again.

A long, lone, silent drive lifted up my spirit and I was willing again to fight the day, no matter how hard it might become.

Another morning, I woke up with similar somber tone of my mind. The tedium was like spikes growing up on insides of my mind, hurting every time I thought. I decided to cover it with freshness through watching some episodes of Friends, any random season. That series always lifted up my spirit, helped me turn happy, momentarily. Pressing the button to switch off the TV also turns open the door for sadness to come in, almost instantly.

Similar series of events happen just another night when I returned from a long boring day at home. I was unable to sleep as that meant waking up again the next morning and going over all of this again. But then I had to sleep, eventually. To make it more promising, I thought of listening to my favorite playlist. That always turned on the ‘happy switch’ in me. I slept peacefully, for almost few minutes of that night.

So then I thought about it, ‘bout happiness. It feels that happiness is momentary, temporary. It is fugitive, fleeting right out of us when we least expect it to. All the reasons for us to be happy, be them small or big enough to throw a party, they eventually turn sore and we tend to get sad again.

Sadness on the other hand is steady, unwavering. It has to come, it will come and we know it. It doesn’t scatter away due to a few moments of happiness, it stays – calm, patient, waiting – for happiness to pass, and then showing it’s slimy face again. We feel more sad after feeling a happiness, as now we miss it even more.

Sadness knows it that happiness makes us envy sadness more. And it takes all the gain our of happiness in our life by getting stronger and bolder.

Happiness is a kid. It doesn’t understand the schemes of sadness. It falls prey to the plots of trickery by sadness. It doesn’t keep relation with different lots of it and thus is weaker compared to sadness. It is able to drive away sadness almost instantly, but it is not able to mark a permanent place in our mind like that of sadness.

And whether we like it or not, happiness doesn’t care. It is too happy to think about sadness that follows happiness.

We, on the other hand, care. We think about it, sometimes too much, this post might be evident of it. We let sadness get stronger by thinking about it even in the moments of happiness. This we should avoid, debar strongly.

Although we know that sadness is going to come, now or in some time, we must not spoil our moments of happiness with it. When we are happy, we should only be happy and ignore the sadness just the way happiness does it.

But what can we do about the temporary nature of happiness? Can we do something about the sadness that always shows up like a rainbow after a rain? Can we do something to not let it in our lives once the happiness quotient drains out? Can we fight against it with the memories of happiness that we stash up in discreet corners of our mind? Can we make the temporary happiness to last a little longer, if not make it permanent?

Why does it feel like the sand in the hourglass runs faster on one side compared to the other upside down side…?

Sorry.. Who are you?!

Who are all those people who come rushing and buzzing towards us when we find some happiness in our life, like a honeybee attracted to the fresh flower pollen…?!

… …

There was smile spread across my face, and was probably gonna stretch out of the boundaries of my cheeks. But I didn’t care. I was happy and that was all it. I strode, and strutted, almost hopped and skipped. When I entered and got a glimpse of my new car shinning in the morning sunlight, I stood there admiring its shapes and curves – the only shapes and curves that I admire after you know who’s.

“Ah! You brought a new car…! But you brought it so plain!”

I turned around and found a person from my neighborhood, I didn’t know his name or nothing for that sake. My expressions probably said a big, confused “What?”, so he repeated.

“You brought your car in a very plain, vanilla fashion.”

This time I said out-loud “What?”

“You bought a new car, but brought it in a very non-festive style. No observance, no fete, parade…”

Okay he didn’t use these many synonyms, he just repeated his earlier sentence again, but this time I understood him. By plain he meant that I brought a new car home without “sharing my happiness with others”.

So whenever we find a new happiness in our lives, people of this species pop-up out of nowhere and stand before us. Eyes popped-out of their sockets, weary, like a zombie, looking directly at us; their twisted hands, with bones tearing out of their sordid skin, extended towards us, not in attack, but in anticipation, which is almost similar to an attack; their body bent towards us, not in respect, but as their spines have corroded in expecting things from everyone. They come to us dragging their feet, brushing the dirt on the ground, with their saliva-leaking mouth open, trying to say something while spilling all their gluttony for parties all over us, which will emulsify a stink on to your body and soul…

They are like leeches who feed on people’s happiness.

You can’t run away from them. They will hunt you down even with their perverted legs. You have to face them and choose either to be good or bad, in their ever-judging eyes. You choose to be bad, they will not rest till they are able to spread various kinds of rumors about you everywhere. Some of them might even manoeuvre an evil ambush upon your pride possessions or your newly achieved happiness. You choose to be good, they will disappear almost instantly, if you’re lucky.

Some of them are so hard-skinned, they might even keep sucking out of us even after we have been good to them. They will come with questions, inquiries and desires, more expectations, which will take the toll out of you.

It is said that sharing happiness increases it exponentially. But that doesn’t mean we go sharing our happiness with everyone in this world. That’s just a poor implementation of a good thought.

Our immediate family and friends and others, whom we love and like to be around are the people we want our happiness to be shared. We can also share our happiness with people who have silently helped us in various ways. If we want to share our happiness in monetary or material form, we should choose people wisely. And if you aren’t sure about it, share it with people who don’t expect from you this sharing, but will be more than just happy if you share it with them. They will actually wish good luck for you, unlike those other species of parasites who will almost instantly disappear once they have reaped the benefits out of you.

He came close enough to me, I almost got scared of him attached his suckers upon me, I backed off.

“Let’s see. We will do some celebration once my parents, my friends come visit me. (And I am definitely not calling you in that!” I snubbed his aghast expressions and moved on to leaving from there. He started giving out his precious advises as to how I can park my car and other details, which I half- no- fully unheard.

Why should I share it with my neighborhood, colleagues or those so-called friends, who don’t care a dime about me? Unless you are gonna help me pay the EMI or clean my car every weekend, why should I give a party to you? My dealers terms didn’t mention anything about you earning a right to free food and drinks upon my car purchase…

While moving out, a kid in his skates went past me looking at my car and then shouted “Nice car, uncle.”

I smiled and yelled thanks. Then I re-heard his statement, noted the “uncle” in it, and frowned. Moving on to the gate, I saw the security old guy who keeps a watch at our possessions. I celebrated with him about my new car and he beamed of happiness, giving his blessings out to me. Yes, they were some people I could share my happiness with, not that scrounger!

To him, I should’ve just said “Sorry.. Who are you?!”

Chronicles of a 25 something Man

An essay on the life of a 25+ boy, who juggles through his changing life between almost similar choices, taking tough decisions, living up to weird and new expectations thrust onto him and trading his dreams for buying time for other things…

… …

He is sitting in his big office chamber. There are clients waiting outside for just 5 minutes of meeting with him, for which he would charge them ample sum of money, while they are willing to pay that as his advice really makes them a great deal. He has found his love of life and is happily married to her. It was life-changing for him to marry her, yet she somehow manages to keep his life as casual and fun-filled as it was before their marriage. Surely, they are great together. His parents are proud of him of achieving so much and settling down happily in his life. They are currently on a world tour, which he gifted them as a surprise for their Silver Jubilee together. He is planning yet another trip to a new country, planning to expand his services beyond borders. But right now, he has to give an inspiring speech to young minds over the web. Surely he loves to pass on his wisdom to young and aspiring students. He couldn’t ask for anything more from God, as he loves his life and his job and his family. A Pigeon comes flying from the balcony and hits hard on his glass window, breaking a crack on it…

He wakes up to find a pigeon making mess in his balcony. He lazily lifts up his leg and falls it hard on the bed again, making a huge thud sound that scares away the bird. He knows it is dawn, and that he should wake up and run the race, but he prefers to dream that dream, so he goes back to sleep. Just when he could recreate that scene again in his mind, the door bell rings. The maid’s here.

He walks to the door, opens it and pays not even a fraction of time to look who’s standing at the door. He comes back, dragging his feet back to his bed. And looks at the wall against his bed for all the time the maid cleans the house. When it is time for the maid to go, he gets up and quality-checks the whole house to find flaws, if any, in maid’s work.

As soon as the maid leaves, his daily routine starts… While brushing his teeth, he thinks of all the decisions he has to make, of all the pending tasks on his plate and of all the big habits that he has to adhere to. It gets more than mouthful, and he has to spit them all out. Both lather and tasks.

While bathing, he thinks about changing his current consuming and growth-free job and choosing something else. But he’s unable to decide onto a particular “something else” on which he can focus. The whole time while bathing, his mind is occupied with various career options available to him and also considers an option to study further, which opens up some more career options…

It’s Friday, but that doesn’t lift up his spirit like it used to a few years back; as he could wear his favorite t-shirts and jeans. Now, formals felt him safer as he had to choose from only a few (one or two) washed and ironed pair of clothes from the wardrobe, or just grab something he had worn earlier and spray it with an ounce of deo. Looking good is no longer his priority, as it doesn’t make him feel good about himself, not any longer.

He goes to the mirror and looks at his messed up hair. If it was a few years back, he would have spent a few minutes, or may be more than a few, to make his hair kempt. But he no longer had anyone to look good for, neither he have that much time now. He had start working on his task list he had prepared in the morning.

He has to choose from several totally similar looking investment opportunities to earn a better returns on his savings. He has to choose between buying a new house or postponing that idea to future. He has to take decisions about his life… big decisions, that required quite an introspection to find out what he wants from his life – something he was no longer sure since a few years now.

He gets a series of notifications from his father. They are all about prospective life partners for him. His father is hasty about getting him married, and he isn’t sure about that manner of marrige. He had always thought he would eventually know whom from his known circle he wants to marry. Choosing from a bunch of strangers haunts him, let alone his disbelief in the concept of marriage. But he has to check those profile anyway, he’s getting older and has no serious friends, no relationship prospects and no life, for that sake. He is already late, like everyday, for his 9 to 7 desk job.

He starts his bike and it gives out a groaning cry, asking for relief from its services. It has been 10 years now. He thinks about buying another bike for him, or a car as his family wants (to show to others and prospective bride’s family, and of course, for his comfort too). Another choice, which invites several series of choices, one after other. He has several brochures and options bookmarked in his wishlist. But choosing one is a task he’s been working on since several months now.

It isn’t easy to drive while your mind is pre-occupied with several things at once and you’re not concentrated on the road. But he has driven on this road for so many years now, that he knows the potholes and even other fellow drivers on the road and makes his way smoothly even without looking around on the road. More so as he couldn’t care much about meeting with an accident. He needed a break anyway, from everything.

He reaches the office and shuffles through his backpack to find that darn ID to prove his belongingness to that building, even when those walls knew him in and out. His bag had never been this messed up before, but now, he didn’t care. He had bigger things to work out in his life. Bigger mess to clean…

His phone started ringing and he woke up from his daydreaming at his desk. It was time for another meeting. He got up and rushed towards the conference room, without anything in his hands, or even mind. He had many years’ worth of experience for those meetings, they yielded nothing. All the while in the meeting, he thought about why he couldn’t remember anything from the point he was searching for ID downstairs at the gate and to the time he was daydreaming at his desk. That was 3 hours worth of time, memory, lost.

He shuffled through different notifications on his phone while sipping that sugerless coffee. There were several overdue reminders, cleaning the cupboard, a blog idea, buying the kindle in the next sale, checking out a website for new ideas… Some of them were overdue for weeks now. He crossed out the reminder about working on a new product for his start-up. No, he hadn’t completed that. He crossed it out as that product was already launched by someone else and ran successfully in the market.

He fixed that last spreadsheet for the day and sent it to his manager, replied to another list of queries from client that made no sense at all, filled up a survey about employee satisfaction conducted by the company in which he chose mostly random options as the options like ‘not aware about it’, ‘do not like it’, ‘dissatisfied’, ‘no career helps available’, or option to write your own answer to a yes/no question weren’t t available to those set of questions.

It was weekend the next day. That was supposed to cheer him up, but he was working on Saturday. Anyway, it didn’t matter as if he had not been working, he still wouldn’t have had any plans anyway. He hardly had people he could call friend, or to better put it, he hardly befriended anyone and gave them opportunity to get closer to him and his life. Sunday went without any smile on his face and he completed a few of the tasks from his long to-do list. But that added several other new to-dos in his list…

Sunset was always beautiful to him. That would give him ideas for his blog. And night was the best time to let his creativity out. And by the time he would wake up, he would have created a masterpiece of a story or a discussion or just an observation narrative. But this time, sunset reminded him of another choice he had to make today – dinner options. He stayed alone and had to eat outside everyday, alone. He skipped the decision and assumed he wasn’t hungry. The real reason was he was just bored of eating the same things everyday without any company. That night he slept bad, empty stomach does feel bad, but he knew that already.

While watching the fan above his head, he thought of a few lines and a poem formed on its own in his mind. He immediately got up and started scribbling it on the piece of paper he kept besides his bed. The start was good, but in the middle, he got lost of his idea and the words that had earlier popped up on their own. And by the time he reached its end, he had already creased up the paper to throw it in the garbage can. His mind hardly supported him nowadays.

He started thinking about the pros and cons of various choices that were available for some big decisions he had to take. The thinking continued for a long time, making an elaborate and detailed list of pros and cons, but not giving out a winner… Soon exhaustion took over him and he was lost again in his dreams, probably the only place he loves being at, but can’t. He has a life to live…

That Hide & Seek Game

Remembering that hide n seek game and those series of emotions that flowed in the hidden light of the night’s darkness.

… …

We were running frantically towards the end of the street. We had 30 more counts before he would open his eyes and would see us running, holding hands…

My heart was pounding, not just because we were running out of our breaths, but because we were running together. Without any prior planning, we both had simply looked at each other and at that second had decided that we were gonna hide together in this game.

She was holding my hand so tightly, almost pulling me along with her. Probably her excitement was more than mine, or probably her fear. She didn’t look back, towards her brother, who was counting with his eyes closed up against the tree. She was a rebel, and that day she showed it.

The count was almost complete. All of our other friends had already chosen their hiding place and were almost invisible unless, ofcourse you knew already their usual hiding place. We knew where everyone used to hide, quite easy to mark an area where each one of them used to hide. We were running towards a new area altogether.

He announced his hunt beginning with a roar, declaring that soon he’s gonna catch all of us.

I smiled. “Not us, not today.”

We took a sharp left at the end of the street and then a right and disappeared in the maze of turns, till when we reached a deserted neighborhood leading to a dead-end.

We looked for a place where we could hide, from everyone. There was an old van, rusting at the end of the street. It was dark, and probably this part of the neighborhood had no residents. Not even stray animals could be seen. Was it luck or something fishy; Mr. Fate’s prior warning before he hits hard, I thought.

We went behind the van. It was parked right ahead of a street parkbench, such that the bench was not visible in any way unless you move around the car all the way to its back.

We went and hid behind the bench. We felt like tiny people as we could easily be hidden behind the bench from head to toe.

She finally let go of my hands. Holding hands… So pure, simple, emotional, and sweaty… Uncomfortable.

I sat there rubbing my hands on my jeans, slowly wiping off the sweat of it. Just then, she grabbed my shirt and pulled it so hard that I was pulled along with it. She asked in an anxious tone “They won’t be able find us here, will they?”

I was about to shrug when she herself said “No they won’t. This is the perfect place.”

I continued staring at her. She was beautiful beyond my ability to describe her beauty. So I won’t. But yes, she was way beyond my league.

We sat there talking about various possibilities, fantasies about what could happen if they catch us here. She was not willing to become the seeker, no matter what. Almost all of her plans had me showing myself up and then taking the seeker with me, keeping her safe. So much for the game, I thought. But in the end, she will again say “Nah! I won’t let you go…”

Time passed, rather quickly than I thought (read ‘than I wanted’). She occasionally touched my hands, and I rather skillfully took my hands away. Hey! Don’t judge me! It was summer and I hated sweat. I’d rather prefer something equally emotional and direct, not involving sweat.

I think she sensed it too, as her lips had tightened and she was looking at me without blinking, from my eyes to my neck, and back. Her neck was tilted and I could almost hear her heart beats, which were risen way up above normal excitement level.

There was mumbling sound nearby and then a ruckus, and our whole gang, one after other, appeared out of nowhere in the street that we were hiding in. They were laughing at the seeker, who had been trying to find them since last half hour, but had no luck in doing that. (It was half an hour already?!!)

I saw them coming towards us, scanning and analyzing the street for some good hiding place, and then I saw her pale and disappointed face. She was looking at me, her expressions were hard to describe. But they said “Damn!”

I gave her the ‘its fine’ expression and she nodded.

We had not disclosed anything to each other yet about our desires or intentions or imaginations, but I think they would have been same for both of us. We couldn’t do what we wanted to do that day, but being 10 year old toddlers, we hardly cared. We soon blended with out friends and forgot the whole episode.

Now I don’t even remember what was it that we wanted to do that time, but it doesn’t matter. After all, what could possibly be in an innocent 10 year olds mind!?

Little Business Ad’venture’

When and how did I carry out my first, small business venture…?

… …

Everyone loves money. And I was no different even at that age when I thought money was useful only to fill up my piggy bank. And filling it up fully was the only life goal under monetary category that one would have.

I had a small red colored miniature Post box shaped piggy bank. I used to hide it behind my old clothes on the top shelf of my cupboard. As a child, I thought that if I found it difficult to reach that spot then it was hard enough for anyone to find it. 😀

I usually never asked for things or stuff from my parents or anyone else, except for daily food needs. Toys, games, clothes, chocolates and ice-creams… I used to get them without any tantrum, or even demand. The reason was that I used to take great care of all my stuff. Even after all these years, I have got some of my stuff from childhood without any scratch. And due to this, my parents used to buy me things without my soliciting for it.

But I had strong preferences in things I accepted. They had to be best or of high value. I didn’t accept things that were cheaply made or were commonly found with every other child. Say for example, I didn’t accept toffees and cheap chocolates. I needed a 5-star instead. But still if someone would give me something that I didn’t quite like, I’ll put it to some good use, at least. Or I’ll give it to other kids when they come to my place to play with my toys, so that my other toys were not harmed. 😛

A fair (carnival) was set-up in our town. My dad and his friends were setting up a food stall in the carnival. And mother was probably gonna help them with that. I was bored at their stalls where we had to serve people the food instead of eating it ourselves. So, I used to sit at the nearby Toy stall. The person was a friend of my dad, so he let me sit there.

The carnival was gonna stay for five days. First day I just sat there looking at all the people who came to buy different toys. I understood one thing from that. For selling toys, we had to influence the kids and not the grownups. They would just do whatever the kids would obstinate for or do tantrum for.

I too wanted to sell stuff. I asked my parents to let me sell stuff in that toy stall. Our neighbors gave me a box full of whistles which were shaped like a-biscuit-thin-harmonica. All the reeds played the same tone, same whistle. I had a real harmonica back then, so I had no problem in selling them, as for me they were not of high standard. My neighbors didn’t accept any money from me for these. They wanted me to fulfill my desire of selling things in the carnival.

Next day, I came to the Toy stall with that box full of whistles. The store owner gave me a corner place just outside the store. I sat on a small chair in front of a small table on which I neatly stacked the whistles under rows of different colors. As I had no cost in acquiring the whistles, I thought 2 rupees would be an appropriate price for one whistle.

Families and kids used to pass from the toy store often. And kids would force their parents to visit the toy store to buy them some or other toy. Whenever some kid came in front of the store, I would play that whistle casually, without saying a word. The kid would instantly get lured of the whistle in my hand. I somehow managed to know how other kids were different from me and how they were easily tempted for things that they didn’t have and someone else had.

When the grownups would offer him things from the store, the kid would also point towards the tiny whistle thing that I was playing. And as it was way cheaper than the other things available in the toy store, the grownups wouldn’t hesitate incurring an additional expense.

Earlier I used to sell whistle to each customer of the toy store. Then slowly, kids came to the store only to buy my whistle. I slowly started to take over the business of the toy store owner. Kids were more interested in buying my whistle instead of his expensive toys, and parents too were not hesitant in buying their kids a cheap toy instead of shelling out more money on expensive toys.

I gave my last whistle to the toy store owner as a gift. In just three days, I sold all the whistles in stock and enjoyed the satisfaction of having my piggy bank full. 🙂 I was so happy that I showed it to all. I opened the lid of the miniature post box and showed them that it was full till the brim. The toy owner too said to my dad “This kid took away whole of my business with his tiny whistles!”

Later I found out that the whole box of whistle had cost my neighbors only Rs. 20. And there were some 40-50 whistles in the box, which I sold each at a price of Rs. 2. And I didn’t even had to incur the initial cost of Rs. 20, so my clear profit was full Rs. 80-100!

That was my first ever business venture at an age of around 9. And I was so happy…

P.s.: And now I feel ridiculous at work.

You got it all, then why ain’t you happy?

Ask me not, what it means.
As I won’t be able to say-

Anything else, but this…
… …
Yes, I got it all… But I ain’t happy.

You ask me why? I tell ya this.
I have learned and have become a learned.

I have got a degree, and I flaunt it.

But I make no good of all my learning.

I do no good to anyone unlearned.

I got no idea to bring a big change.

I follow, I follow, and that’s all it is,

For me in my life, I need not to be this.
I’ve got a job. And I earn well.

My life is way better than the majority albeit.

Then why, when people respect me, I don’t.

Why, I care not, when I care the most.

I love the job that I do. And I’m good at it too.

Then why the boredom creeps in, sneaking.
Yes, I’ve got it all. And I’m not happy.

May be, I’m not sad. But, that ain’t it, is it?

I tell stories, that ya can’t relate to,

And I wait, for ya to say thank you,

Wish I could inspire, love, touch your heart,

Wish I could believe that can be loved.
It is not so easy for me to be me,

When the me I am, finds the me not me…

Yes, I’ve got it all, and I’m thinking-

May be, I’m wrong, but I am, isn’t it?

I want not to be anyone else, but wait-

Do I want, at all, to be me instead?
When I sing, when I hum, when I whistle-

I live. For fraction of time, I see me bright,

Before the music brings out the pain,

The pain that is not real, nonexistent.

Yes, I’ve got it all, and I’m waiting,

For someone to tell me that I have,

For I believe that I can find love-

In my life. But wait- do I really?
Yes, I don’t understand it myself,

I’ve got it all, then why does it feel so not?

Like the birds, I want to fly,

Like the wind, I want to touch the sky,

While the world waits for it to end,

I wait for that time, when I begin.

Love the New!

Remember the feeling, when as a little kid, you were all excited and eager to show your new school bag to other school kids, teachers, the bus driver and even the stranger sitting around that street corner?

You tried to show it to everyone you came across. As a kid, you were not that shy, so you showed it upfront to everyone. You took that everywhere. Even after school, you never did let go of the bag. You took it with you even to the bed!

You didn’t let anyone touch it or take it from you. You took great care of it, such that even a tiny little dust particle on it annoyed you.

And then slowly, things would dry out. And your attention would switch over to other things. And then again, there would be something new… And the cycle would repeat!

(If the above references of “you” weren’t meant for you, read them as for “me”… 😛 )

Well, I still get that feeling. Even today, when I buy something new, I want people to notice that. I try to keep it in everyone’s visibility, that they might notice it. Like a child, I feel so happy when someone comments on that thing.

But unlike earlier days, I’ve grown shy. I am not able to tell everyone, show it to everyone that I got something new. I can only wish that they will notice.

—–

Earlier this day, I bought a new water flask. My mother had put it in my backpack that day itself. I was gonna take it to office next day in the morning. But still at night, I had butterflies in my stomach.

I got up several times to check if the bottle was put at the right place. I picked it up and checked its 360° view to see if everything was fine. And then imagined how others would probably react to my new flask the next day morning.

Next day, the first thing I did after getting to my desk was to take out that flask. While going towards the water storage, I kept it visible to all eyes. And when I got back, I deliberately made sound while placing it on my desk, just to get everyone’s attention. 😝

While I got comments that I wanted, I wondered what the next new thing would be. And when…! (I brushed clean the flask several times that day.)

Yes, I behaved like a child… 😄 But isn’t that what I really am? From inside..? 😋

Does this happen to you?