Two Kinds of Happiness

In today’s world, we will hardly find a guy/girl who has everything. Most of us need more money, some need respect and status; a few need the latest LCD and a Ray-ban aviator. You got the drift.

Well, I would like some me time. Some free time to do things. Things I know I will do when I will have lots and lots of time. When would that happen is an entirely different thing, isn’t it?

So, a few days back; I had a full day to myself, as wife and son were outstation. I suddenly made too many plans. 24 hours. So many things I can do. Where is my list of to-do things? Oh, there it is, in a diary. You might remember it.

So, the big day came. And apart from the first 2 hours of the day; I did nothing right.

Yep. You read it right. Almost nothing.

I say first 2 hours because I woke up on time and had my breakfast on time. Post that, the day kept getting south and south and south.

As it stands, I am waiting for the next day of myself with me to do those things hidden in a diary. And I know it is not going to come anytime soon. If it was 2012; I know what I would have done. But it isn’t 2012. I am 10 years wiser and wasted a complete day.

How did this happen? Let’s back up a bit.

What went wrong? I have asked this question a hundred times since then. And I guess I have the answer. It isn’t pleasing or pretty. But the truth has never been easy. It is supposed to hurt and in my case; it has hurt big, big time.

I will try to make it as much less mundane as I can do.

The short answer is- Mobile Phones/ social media. Although I have uninstalled Facebook and Instagram; Twitter has become, what they say nowadays, a new smoking habit. It is addictive and easy to scroll and before you can put it down; viola. There is a new tweet. Let’s read it and see among morons who are fighting.

The long answer is slightly complicated, twisted.

I have started this blog in 2011. This blog does not have many readerships today. The same was the case 10 years back. Yes, the goal somewhere was to create a blog that thousands will read and will become a brand and blah, blah, blah. That never happened and it never affected me. I kept writing because I wanted to write. I wrote because it made me happy. It made me feel content.

Fast forward today.

“No-one, and nothing, could make me very happy. I was tough, which is probably the saddest thing you can say about a man.”

Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

Writing had made me stop feeling happy. And you can’t do something if you are not happy; unless you are getting paid monthly for that.

I am not that sad or a pessimist. People who know me say that I do Ok socially. But apart from my family, my son; things hardly make me happy. And as quoted above; this is probably the saddest thing you can say about a man.

What you read above probably sounded bad. What makes it worse for me is the truth that I am turning into a kind of being who doesn’t feel happy happened with full realization. Every day I knew that something is not right and I need to arrest the fall. This fall has no floor. You think you hit the bottom. No Sir, there are deeper levels of sh*t coming your way. But yes, at every level; you may get some time to think about things and the sh*t you are getting into. You may also see a ladder that will take you out of the gutter. All you need is the energy to reach it. You grab that and you have found your bottom. Otherwise, this pit is bottomless.

As I write today, I am still latching on to the ladder to be out of it. I am sure I am pretty far from the bottom but still in the pit. The struggle will end the day I am out completely. It has been a slow grind for some time now. But I would like to believe that I will be happy again, very soon. And happy in my way of being happy. Happy with myself and about what I do.

The World Needs a ‘Gooder’ You

Since we were kids we were told and taught that being good is, err, good. Be a good boy whom everybody likes, a good student who get good grades. Then, as we move on with our life, it is about being a good employee, a good husband and a good father. And then we hope to die as a good man.

When I was a kid, good had a smaller and simpler definition- respect elders, do not lie, do not make fun of others and eat and sleep on time. Then in my teens, as I moved out from my hometown to do engineering, good became entirely different. It was more about not manipulating others, not cheating in exams, honouring, rather sticking to your words and accepting that you borrowed money from a friend and returning that on time.

(Actually now that I think of it, once you leave the comfort and security of your home, then only you realise who you are and how do you need to conduct yourself if you need to be known as good. There are so many people around and it is easy to choose the wrong path. That is where the vales kicks in.)

And now in job where you meet so many people- juniors, seniors, achievers, duds. All with different values and all with different perception of good and bad. Like us, they also have grown up with certain theories with them. What is good for one may be indifferent to the other; what is unacceptable for one may be normal routine for the other. Among all this, you try to figure and forge your identity. You see people on the top who are not ‘good’ as per your standards and the genuine, honest guys slogging under them. And you start doubting whether what you have been taught was actually right or it was just a myth that sounded good in books but hold no value in real world.

You know what- you need to keep your goodness with you. The world needs a lot of goodness and whatever you do may not be enough. And I am not talking about charity here. That is a different kind of good deed. I am talking about the goodness that cost you nothing- in terms of money and time.

What is this goodness? Well, nothing much. Helping your colleagues without them asking you. A smile here and a thank you there. Both with juniors and seniors and with people who cannot shout back at you like guards, cleaning staff, lift men etc. If you thank your boss for allowing you to be on leave inspite of some tight schedule; you should also thank the lift man who stopped the lift for you. It is a very small gesture but can do wonders to his morale and he will treat the next guy with more pleasantness in his attitude.

You may think here how does it matter if you would not be nice to people. Anyways, it is just a one guy. As they say, even for that one guy that is more than enough. You may make his entire day by a very small act of yours. It is important that we keep doing what we can do instead of worrying about why others are not doing what they should do. You never know that you may inspire couple of people around you to do the same.

The people around you need a ‘Gooder’ you. You may not feel it but world can do with lot of niceness. Keep doing your deed. And as a famous liquor brand say, you may “Be remembered for Good”.