Wednesday, January 26, 2011


serious pursuit of happiness

sometimes back just after the hurricane katrina created serious havoc in new orleans and some other parts of the usa i read in the international herald tribune an interesting article which i forgot what the title was. but the gist is something like this. here is a man, handsome, in the prime of life (lets say in early thirties) has a highly paid but high pressured job which takes him to travel everywhere and he has all the girls he could eat. for vacations he takes his girl friend (which he changes on almost yearly basis) to acapulco or some such resorts but he couldn't leave his job well alone and need to take and make phone calls send and reply to e-mails and switched on his laptop and keep connected 24 hours a day. and here's another person. this one is a fat lady, quite ugly, has a low paying but undemanding job . her days are spent with her grandchildren and on sunday she goes to church and contribute a part of her small pay to charity. if given a choice of who would you want to be it's quite obvious that all of us would choose to be the guy in question rather than the fat lady. but if one is to pick who is living a happier life perhaps there would be big difference in opinions. depending on how you think what happinness means . the international herald tribune pointed that in all likelihood the ugly lady would be leading a happier life. it took me quite a while to see through the article though. it was nothing about not to worry about being ugly and living a simple life and all that but doing some charity would do good to you. and yes, in a round about and sly way go help the katrina victims.

but in any case that's the good thing about happiness. you don't have to be handsome or beautiful and have a well paying job or filthy rich to be happy and it's not uncommon for someone who has everything to jump out of a building. people thousands of years ago know this. the great buddha and the saints of all religions know this. but despite all these, we are hell bent on trying to be the most of everything in serious pursuit of happiness. why? i don't know fuck why but in one word i think what we all search for is not so much happiness but 'fun'.

and for fun i'm currently reading gunther grass who is one of my favorite authors . the book is call of the toad . on one level it's just a love story between two very old people. doesn't sound much fun but if you know gunther grass you know nothing seems to be what it is and i find it very stimulating to savour his baroque sentences.

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