Friday, October 05, 2007

Pursuit Of Happiness

"...true happiness and meaning resided in places we would never find and perhaps did not wish to find, but - whether we were pursuing the answers or merely pleasure and emotional depth - the pursuit mattered no less than the attainment, the asking as important as the views we saw through the windows of the car, the house, the ferry. With time, life - like music, art and stories would rise and fall, eventually to end, but even years later, those lives are with us still in the city views that flow before our eyes, like memories plucked from dreams."
- Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul

I'm not happy. Haven't been for quite some time now. I feel stuck. Stagnated. Heading nowhere. Drifting. And helpless. My beliefs, most importantly in myself, seem to be crumbling every day. Of late, nothing I want seems to be destined to come to me. My Ma once told me that I had a problem with wanting something really bad. That I never really yearned for something and so it never came to me. She told me that if one really wants something, one can get it. Ma I think you were wrong.

Why have I put myself in a position where others decide my happiness. Why do I end up feeling miserable because somebody thought that things shouldn't work out the way I intended them to be. Why should a 'I'm sorry but...' or a 'No' make me doubt myself, my life. Is it because I care too much about what people think of me. Is it because I have defined happiness and satisfaction to be what people make out of my life. Is it because I am a person who is not dumb enough to be content with what he has and not gifted enough to be able to do anything about it. Is it because this is what everybody goes through. Then why do I see everybody I know, moving, going on with life, heading somewhere, whereas I find myself in this sort of a quagmire. Maybe you would say that I am overdoing it. I have so many things going for me and its just that I want more and can never be satisfied which has induced this ranting. But wouldn't you be feeling helpless if you knew you can get something and yet never got it. When even the signs seem to suggest the same. Because for once you want to be happy for yourself and see people congratulating you. Because for once you want a sense of utter fulfillment to take you over and flow with it. Because you want something to happen. Because you want to be happy the way you have defined it and not what some well meaning friend tells you.

Does this mean that the sensible thing to do is to indulge in activities which give you a sense of freedom. Which don't tie you. Which are under you control and involve only you. Is that why writing and reading Pamuk gives me such a sense of calm and contentment. Because I'm not being judged. Because I'm not being evaluated. Because I'm not being questioned. And because it would stay with me.

Why then, do we associate happiness with the people we care about, the people we like and love. Is it in the hope that they will forever be there with us or is it because even if one day they are gone, the bitter sweet memories would be worth the effort. Is it because thats exactly what living and longing is all about.

Finally, do I really want the things I think I want or is it just a means for the pursuit. Is there more gratification in the pursuit than in the attainment. Even if there is, yet I would like to attain something and then know for myself which was more pleasurable. I hope that life gives me that opportunity. At least once. To get something which I really wanted to even if I didn't clearly know why.

*Too many posts with the tag Music of late. So here's the Introspection one, though I know some would have preferred the Nostalgia more.


gurinder said...

"Why have I put myself in a position where others decide my happiness"

Well said dude....!!

Shreyas said...

i think your last line was the essence...whether all this is introspection or nostalgia.
Its hard to put comments when someone raises these questions. I always remember that Scrubs episode, and i am sure u will remeber too, which was about the TV serial and how it always ends well in TV. but in real life its always hard and hardly fulfilling

Atish said...

@shreyas yes, that was a Brilliant episode..