Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

I have been thinking lately. I have been thinking hard. Not that I seldom practice it and hence I have to blog (read brag) about it, but then there is something unique about this particular thought.

I have thought about this since long time. When I was a child, still this thing kept me worried. And that worrying thing is nothing but a question: “What is the purpose of life?”

When I was a kid, one fine morning, while playing with my friends, I fell, and I was crying. Suddenly I realized, I was crying for myself. As I had a feeling that my “self” was not in the so called happy mode. I wanted to see if I could do away with the crying part, and I could laugh. I tried and I succeeded. Of course for a brief stint though. I hadn’t paid much heed to it. And my parents and the others around me, found me to be very brave and courageous.

That was not the least true. I am a coward and everyone who knows me a well, knows this about me. I am scared of everything around of me. Not necessarily I cry though in every situation. But I do.

I remember I was scared of lying to my mom when I was a kid. So after flunking a number of math problems in class IV exam, I came back home and lied. I knew I had got a couple wrong, and my upbringing told me that was an unforgivable sin. My parents never would beat me, but still, I feared the very worst, and lied. I am afraid of failures. In games, or in exams. That’s why I was pretty much a studious student till my fourth grade. I feared coming second and studied even harder. All these fears were allayed off one day.

When one by one they came true. I was no longer the best player among my friends (not in cricket, not in football not in TT), neither I remained the best student in the class (came second in fourth). All these slowly ragged the fear a bit down. Things I could do so well, when I was afraid of them, were not my forte any longer since I faced those very fears. In a way, I won over them.

Coming back to the topic, crying and laughing became an experiment for me. I have laughed at strange circumstances where none would have thought of, though never actually tried crying when I should be laughing. Probably it was because a moment of laughter is too dear a thing to be wasted in meaningless tears. The thought that these experiments gave rise to, was of profound importance and gave me a belief which made me what I am today.

I started believing a human being is who he wants to be. The circumstances do play their part in shaping you. I am no master at human psychology to deny or to trifle at that. But I believe I am who I wanted to be. And of course you are who you wanted to become. These played a part in going forward in my thought process and ask a few more questions.

I wanted to know if I am who I wanted to become, then in reality, who I am or rather who I wanted to become. I hope I am not perplexing the reader with too many complex sentences. Then I started asking, why I wanted to become what I have become. What was the purpose that led me to it?

While growing up, slowly trifle things took over my mind. Trifle things like, studies, career, job, onsite, dollar, rupees, pound starlings, and girls and many more. I never took care of thinking about these things anymore. The other day, I was talking to my mom over the phone. And we were joking about my aunt’s devoted faith in Shri Ravi Shankar ji’s “Art of Living” gyans. My mom had a confused state of mind whether to pursue what others are so devotedly pursuing. She said, at her age, people should be devoted to God. She should be now, thinking about religious matters and should be set free from all the trifle things of life. She thought, all her life was spent in trifle things anyway. And now as she nears that ninth gate towards eternity, she should remember the One who sent her here on earth to fulfill her duties. I could not help but laugh. And at the same time, my questions which always had bothered my subconscious came back to me at once.

What was the purpose of human beings life? I, at once, realized that it’s not fulfillment of duties that people think they should be doing. Rather, it’s a pursuit of happiness that human beings are here for. That pursuit of happiness makes what you are. And being happy is the goal of life.