In Search of Happiness

I sipped aromatic tea slouching in my rocking chair, aroma of rain drops mixing with dry soil and whispers of gentle breeze took me down the memory lane. Images of my childhood to teens, from my university days to my marriage, from my first job till few days back became vividly alive. All images conveyed me one thing in common, I had an extremely happy past, yet I wasn’t happy today…. In my present. It suddenly reminded me of the fact that at every stage of my life I had remembered my past and found that my past was happier and present wasn’t, rather present was sad at the least.

While a kid I had many good friends, we played, quarrelled, laughed and enjoyed to gather. We had almost everything, hand chiselled cricket bats rubber balls and a big playground to play. Yet I did not enjoy it, I wanted a real bat, a leather ball and pads to play and that all eluded me and so did the ability to enjoy those moments.

As I grew up I had a real bat, leather ball and pads too, yet I wasn’t happy. But I wanted to be a better player. Many more unfulfilled desires played havoc with my ability to stay happy. I must confess, I desired almost everything before the time was ripe to possess it.

While in class four I wanted to be in class six, I just could not wait to write with a pen. And pen was allowed only in class six. I simply did not enjoy what happened in class 4. I wasn’t happy while in class 4 because others, I assumed, were happier than me, simply because they were in class six. Nevertheless I arrived in class 6, already having realised happiness is not in writing with a pen, and real happiness was in being in college, after all it relieved me of the strict discipline of school. Freedom, I realised, was real happiness.

College was not far off, I got subjects of my choice, very good teachers to teach. I went around with my friends, we played music on canteen desks, we screamed, we yelled and we laughed a lot. But those in class six while I studied in class four had made to medical colleges and many had girlfriends as well. I wasn’t in a medical college, I assumed being in medical college was perhaps a precondition for a girl to fall for me. I wondered, what use this freedom is of if I don’t have a girlfriend.

I and my best friends would go out for strolls daily dreaming about a bright and better future. We would talk for hours on how happy we will be in years to come. The cups of tea and sumptuous servings of jalbis we had to gather, did not please us as much as their memories do today.

I realize today, my unfulfilled desires had good friends, comparisons and jealousy which made my life miserable.

I never went to medical college and never had a girlfriend as well. But I went to university, studied Management and lived in hostel. The days spent there still bring smile on my face. But I wasn’t in a best ranked university and my room did not have an attached toilet. There were hostel mates who could spend much more than me. And yes, I did not have a motorbike as well. I knew I will be happy when I have all this. Only once I get a good job.

I got a job, a motorbike, luxurious room and I spent generously. But those in class six had married by now, had kids and drove cars. I wasn’t happy yet, but happiness wasn’t far away, I assured myself. Dreams started becoming a reality, I married a loving girl, and have a daughter, own house, good income and two cars. Almost everything that the class six guys have, and almost everything much more than I ever dreamt of. But the cars are not big enough, after all my neighbour owns bigger ones.

By now drizzle had stopped, I had a heavy heart and I decided to go out for a long walk. As I walked by the nearby slum, I heard incoherent voices singing folksongs while music was being played with spoons and other utensils, scantily clad kids danced, everyone there was so happy. I stopped by and shook my legs with them. They offered me a worn out chair and a cup of tea. Chair did not rock but trembled, tea was too sweet for my taste and wasn’t that aromatic, but was much tastier. Ah!! Slum dwellers too were much happier than me as was my neighbour.

I perhaps am Sisyphus, the king of Ephyra….. the baggage I carry never lets me realise that happiness is now and here.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 02:16:17

    The subtle sarcasm made me smile. Yes, we are never happy with what we have got and keep on thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Happiness remains chimerical and life truly becomes a Sisyphean task…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ajaypoetry
    Feb 02, 2017 @ 11:50:55

    Happiness is not absolute. It’s more of state of mind. All you need in life comprise few material things. Rest is in mind. You have to be happy today. Else you can’t be happy. Abhi nahin to kabhi nahi

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sharat Pathak
    Jan 30, 2017 @ 14:31:01

    very true.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sunith
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 21:20:57

    Very nice. Less desires lead to less baggage and less attachment and less worry about their safekeeeping and security and thereby more happy and carefree life…

    Liked by 1 person

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