Stopping at a traffic light, I saw a little boy, dressed in the worst rags, clinging to an equally shaggy dog. It was moment that looked like absolute love. Neither cared what the world thought, they both sat there, for each other.
Another time, another place, the railway station. A family of albinos, all very poor, possibly beggars, sat together eating and laughing. From where I stood they looked happy. Even under the eerie orange glow of the streetlight they had a look of joyful beauty. These are moments of love and kinship. Unwanted souls on the edge of the street with nothing …yet they find happiness to hold on to.
Human beings are meant to be happy. What was remarkable here was the simplicity of it all. I refuse to romanticize it. There is very little happiness in being poor. The sheer human degradation of life will rob most of it away. What makes it remarkable is the way these absolutely poor people found it. Amidst the street fumes, dangers, fears, the simple moment of contact.
Recently in Pune about 250 young people were arrested at a rave party. The police over zealously took the media along, and the camera’s caught them at their happy high. Of course it came rapidly down, as they had to spend the evening regretting their pursuit of happiness,that would be found in a cocktail of drugs, many sounded straight out of a chemistry lab. It was most escapist kind of joy that they were seeking, like so many others, for whom the last vial could be the ride all the way to paradise.
It’s just amazing how many ways there are for us to seek that happiness. Many of the paths actually form the very basis of the seven deadly sins. Yet none of them really harm, a great dinner with friends, with a dance thrown in may cause some cholesterol but other than that no harm done.
Yet, with some happiness gets more and more convoluted…so far from what could constitute reality. The very meaning of happiness changes. Nothing can satisfy, because you are within so unsatisfied. The more convoluted the pursuit the more we hanker back to simpler days, and remember little boys and dogs sitting on the corner of a busy road….simple memories that refuse to go away.