Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On Eluding Phantoms

And I find it kind of funny
Find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I am dying are the best I’ve ever had.
And I find it hard to tell you
Find it hard to tell
When people run in circles it’s a very very Mad World.
- Mad World, Gary Jules

I haven’t been this sappy or philosophical in a long time. And teary eyed moments (am only exaggerating) call for unforeseen measures. They call for yellow light, some mellow music, and lots of midnight musing.

Tonight, I happened to chat with a friend who “seemed” to be unhappy and troubled. That very same observation made me think. Is anyone of us happy? I am not talking about fleeting bits of unadulterated bliss. I am talking about lasting happiness, the eluding phantom. Often, with considerable amounts of guile and tact, we fool ourselves into believing that we are happy. We work hard to keep that visage alive, while reality keeps gnawing at it with remarkable tenacity.

I am sure I don’t have any panacea for this malady. But let us put it under the knife. Almost always, I find myself setting goals for myself. This unending process has its own pros and cons. Achieving these targets makes me “happy”, but only momentarily. Soon, I am too lost in the quest to conquer my next Everest. So much so, I forget to enjoy the stay at the top. I forget to feel the wind brush through my hair. The daily hustle-bustle of life then clouds any surviving remnants of that nascent mirth.

That brings us to the bone of contention. What should we do in order to trap that master escapist? Yet again, I have only my personal experience to share. I believe the best way to be “not unhappy” is to keep yourself busy. One won’t be able to able to appreciate the dark clouds in one’s life if one doesn’t have the time and patience to feel the rain drops falling on our heads. Just go about setting goals for you, one by one, and slogging to achieve them. You’ll get your share of “happyness”.

Then there is the road less traveled. The road I am sometimes pugnacious enough to follow. And that is to accept everything bad in one’s life as a long lost friend, with disarming honesty. To become one with it. And it is then that the boundaries, so well defined by our preconditioning, begin to get blurred. The two mates find solace in each other’s company. All this is not a cake-walk. But it is not herculean either. I have advertised my concoction time and again – the written word, mixed with copious amounts of music, and just a hint of yellow color. This preparation never fails to do the trick for me.

But I can’t live in a parallel universe forever. I HAVE TO be dragged back to reality, often ruthlessly, to revel in the juxtaposition of the two worlds. So choose a path. Or carve your own. Your “happyness” is, after all, your own. You need to be selfish enough to stake claim to it.


  1. Your “happyness” is, after all, your own. You need to be selfish enough to stake claim to it.

    Well said...

  2. You have your Everest to climb....Do you realize you are doing something after all? In contrast doing nothing I don't get to know when my period of nothingness will come to a halt!

  3. (did you think i had not read this yet?)

    to live is to entertain ourselves while we're not dead yet, i think :). i believe in the "it's all maya" philosophy with an occasional "but so what" concatenation :).

    unfortunately, i cannot put all my comments to this post altogether... which is why i haven't commented thus far. i did like the staking claim part... you're right about that. life is all about being proactive, not just letting it happen to you... or so i think.

  4. "you need to be selfish enough to stake claim to it"

    welcome.you've just barged into the wavelength I am at.Selfishness is a virtue I keep harping about. And then I tried the "preach what you practice" way. Hell it sucks. Why?

    Because you realise that the one person you set out to please (read I, me, myself)is a dissatified greedy muddlehead.

    coming back to the pointyour writing has taken a deeper, introspective route. where are thee going eh?

  5. i read it ...the frend here is me..lalz go ahead ...u cud have made it public......shud i comment further?