Friday, January 12, 2007

The silence of happiness

The most enchanting line, I have ever read in a book, remains “ I shall never forget the day, my father took me, to the graveyard, of forgotten books..”

Memory fails me(quite often it seems, nowadays) and the title remains, not even on the fringes of my tongue..

But, it forced me to think, how true, the allegory is. Fact is, most of us shall end, no matter how valiantly we fight against it, nameless stats in the census that a government shall take, sometime in the future.

I would even argue, that our greatest fear, and cause for discontent, and anger, remains the thought, that someday, we too shall lie, unmourned and unremarked. Underground and unloved.( both words show up as errors in WORD™)

Unless you’re a hindu of course..

I see around me, people lining up, to make that JUMPstart to their careers, “stay ahead of the competition”, “earn that 6 Lakhs per annum” minimum salary, get into that “TOP INSTI machan!!”, get into that “fortune 500 Company dude, that’s something you know”..

And know what, maybe most of them are genuinely happy at getting those things. But somehow, somewhere, the impression I get, is that more than the elation of success, it’s the crushing blow of failure, that seems to occupy the minds, most of the time.

What’s really at stake here? A house? A car? Jet setting status? A trophy wife/husband? Or, your ego/ability/inability, to get those things, while people around you, are getting those?

Sad fact is, I see people treating the above, as the end, rather than the means to an end..

The greatest line for me, in Fight Club, is when Brad Pitt’s character says-
“ your life is worth more than the last column in your pass book”.

Maybe that’s why, we tend to remember the guys,who challenged our notions of what happiness is.. you know the conversation-“ can you believe it? That guy Left his mit seat, to join some ashram somewhere..MIT!!!!” , or “ how a person could leave a 7 figure salary, MNC job, to come back home, is beyond me, you know..”

Somewhere underneath that veneer of skepticism, is the reluctant acknowledge, that that person is a reminder of our own personal failure, to breathe life, into our dreams..

Despite all the “ BOOMING ECONOMY©®” talk, I also see a mushrooming of psychologists and Lifestyle gurus.. you would think that a job/car/house/wife/jetsetting would do(maybe not in that order).. maybe not..

I remember this dialogue from before sunrise, where Julie delpy’s character says.-“ people with the greatest ability to change the world, often remain silent and we stay ignorant of their ways. Which is a good thing, cos once they come back into this world, they become part of it” or words to that effect..

I have many dreams.. seeing Gangotri once, before it melts away forever, seeing St. Peter’s church, going to Jerusalem, learning Aryan Sanskrit, to read our epics and texts, the way they were written, learning to speak in atleast 6 languages, write a poem in Tamil someday(yeah, scoff all you want), working with VALVE or Rockstar in my lifetime..

Atleast, I am aware that these are things that I truly want. But I fear that they make look at the world, not see it.

I cannot honestly say that I know what the joy of a delicious meal is, because I have never faced starvation. I do not know loneliness, because I am yet to enter a place full of strangers, I do not know the solutions to the world’s problems, because I do not know what it’s problems are.

I do not know what’s wrong with me, because I cannot pretend I know myself completely.

I think that we have restrained ourselves, in the chains of expectations, to drown our happiness, in the sea of dreams..

I cannot hear the call of happiness.. but I do not know, if I have turned deaf, to the sound of my inner self.

all i know is, nothing.