A few days ago, I was coming back from my tuitions. The city, though small, is quite fast. 2-wheelers, 3-wheelers and the ever increasing, luxurious 4-wheelers, all were moving as fast as they possibly could (taken into consideration the mish mashed traffic on Indian roads) and through all the possible places they could possibly fit in. I had no idea what all this rush was for. The scene could very well be described as an amalgamation of anarchy and technological advancements.
I was making my way through this unorganized mess at peaceful pace. Red back lights, Flashy headlights, Buzzing Horns, crossing civilians on a normal day you tend to ignore these entire things but on somewhat peculiar days like this particular one, you inadvertently shift your focus on the finest of these details. On my way back to home when, I was keenly observing all these intricacies, I bumped into an Old man. Instantly, I jumped back when I noticed it. He was wearing a Greasy Kurta torn at places. He had an untidy, long, grey beard and ruffled grey hair. He stood there spreading both his hands wildly as if he was about to give someone a hug of a life time. There was a beaming smile on his face and it reflected in his eyes which sparkled in exuberance and delight (though it was hard to comprehend what possibly could be the reason for it). He obviously was a poor fellow living a life of misery (his cloths made his condition self-descriptive) yet he seemed to be having time of his life. This sincerely puzzled me.
All of a sudden he started moving in circular motion still spreading his wings (At least he thought so) and the beaming smile on his face seemed to be plastered. Every now and then he said something in a strange language that probably only he could understand. That’s when I actually realized that this senile man had lost his senses. But as has been my habit, I began contemplating the thing MADNESS, and what exactly did happiness mean? The senile dude looked really happy…
We all live a life fighting against things, small and big, to make our existence as convenient one. But, the toughest fight we have is with our Thoughts, our conscience. We set for ourselves rules and regulations. Limits and so called standards. We define a term called success and a term called failure, where the two are so strongly interlinked that it is not possible to differentiate between them easily. This is what we will consider success and it will be a failure if something goes wrong. Human beings as a species, have a knack of defining everything that comes their way (something should better be left undefined as it depends on the pursuer how he explores it). And in the process of defining things we stop taking life as it comes. Instead we waste our time reflecting on past and speculating about the future. And whenever we find something adverse with our definitions we are disappointed. As we always chase an illusionary happiness defined by our limits and standards we suppress the urge for momentary happiness. When our body continuously lives in the present, the mind either dwells in the past or the future.
That man probably lived his sane life suppressing the momentary happiness that life threw his way. He probably kept worrying about the future and grieving about the past. He may have hoped for a successful love life or a prosperous professional life (in short a successful life defined by certain standards) but things might have gone otherwise. Since he never lived in the present and when this illusionary success crashed on the floor of reality, his life all of a sudden lost all its meaning. Baffled by the reality and unable to accept the failure, he lost his sense of future and past and all that remained was a present. And the deeply suppressed momentary happiness now exploded from him like air from a fully blown balloon.
Now you may say, Is this what happiness means? Is this what living in the present means? Well NO! Living in present doesn’t mean forgetting the past and neglecting the future. Your past acts as a guide for your future endeavors. In short it’s your existence. Where as your future gives direction to your present, it tells you where you are heading. But at the end of the day, things have to be done in the present with guidance from past and the outcome will be reflected in future.
The man that we are talking about has lost both his existence and the direction to live further so, though he may look happy on the outset, he has no idea what price has he paid for this UGLY HAPPINESS