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Is Happiness A Pipe Dream?

Last updated on: February 29, 2024 12:25 IST
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We are spoilt for choice with the buffet of options available to us, notes Aarti David.

Illustrations: Dominic Xavier/

In life, we tend to look for that which we don't have rather than appreciate what we do have.

I guess, it's basic human nature to go after the forbidden fruit. Since childhood, we have always wanted to do what our parents asked us not to do.

We all grow up to follow our path -- sometimes we follow someone's advice and pursue a goal, but most times we tend to go after that ever-elusive dream. There is nothing wrong in going after what we strongly believe in.

The funny thing however is that, once we have achieved that goal that we set for ourselves. It no longer seems that exciting for us and loses its relevance.

The same is true in the case of relationships, be it something as simple as friendship or something as complex as a romantic one. Most of us want to be friends with the most popular person in school, in college or even at the workplace.

A desire to be sought after as well, since it would give us that added edge to be called so and so's friend or be a part of their inner circle.

Strangely though, once we have accomplished that feat, we tend to move on to the next thing. In romantic relationships too, we pine for the one who seems attractive to us, someone we think is out of our league.

Yet when we have made an acquaintance with them, or better still entered into a relationship with them, the euphoria dies down and they sort of lose their sheen.

Why does interest wane so quickly?

Why do we overlook the little things that attracted us to them in the first place?

Is it about the power play?

Once we have something unattainable, we feel it no longer holds us in its mystique and suddenly seems as ordinary as any other thing we already possess.

Is it just the thrill and the rush of adrenaline that makes us go after our pursuit?

Why does what we thought of as exquisite, become ordinary?

Why are we unable to appreciate what we have?

Why don't we value the individual for who they are and begin to take them for granted?

Why do the things that brought two people closer together surprisingly become irritants over time?

Aren't adults pretty much like little children, who keep pushing their parents to buy them the most expensive toy till they have had their way?

But once they have the toy, they lose interest in it after a couple of days of play and move on to the next one.

All of us have two sides to our personalities. One that we have for ourselves and the other that we show the world.

We maintain an image or should I say a façade for the world where we manage to be courteous toward strangers, and be civil and polite at the workplace because that behaviour is expected of us living in a society; yet, we struggle to respect and admire those with whom we spend the better part of our lives.

Those people who do things for us without any expectations, those who stand in the shadows for us and support us unconditionally. Those who have seen us at our worst and yet never give up on us.

Why does it seem so difficult to praise them for their little gestures or say a kind word of appreciation to them?

Why do we feel embarrassed to say thank you and I love you to those who are an integral part of our lives?

Why is it that we put our best foot forward to impress the world outside and when at home we transform into a completely different person?

I understand the argument that one can only let their guard down with their close ones and be comfortable and free in their presence. But that shouldn't necessarily mean overlooking their existence, should it?

There could be counterarguments to this point suggesting that we don't need to verbalise our feelings towards those who are close because they would or should already know.

It's also true that familiarity breeds contempt and we resent those we love for doing all that they do, perhaps because we realise that we aren't doing the same.

Seems confusing but if one were to reflect on this, it wouldn't seem impudent. Each person needs some tender, loving care. And this needs to be shown through our gestures and actions.

Simply assuming that our loved ones should know how much we value them or taking their acts of love for granted, slowly fades them into oblivion.

In a world that is bursting with options, it has become even more impossible to hold one's attention to one thing for more than a minute.

We are spoilt for choice with the buffet of options available to us. Technology allows us to lead multiple lives in the multiverses that have opened up for us.

In such a scenario, relationships are getting even more alienated. It's true people hang out together, even sit at the table to eat together. But have you noticed; how many are glued to their mobile devices?

It's almost as if the device is their second skin and they are unable to disengage for even a short while.

We are beginning to get more and more detached and are losing our identity and our emotions to an unknown algorithm-driven app, game or reel, that gives us a momentary high and in turn, missing out on the real-time moments of value with those we love.

Have we gone too far chasing a pipe dream that there is no point of return for us?

Or can we still find our way back to the simple things of life?

The simple pleasures such as enjoying a cup of tea or coffee or breakfast together or simply waking up together. Seeing the sunrise or sunset together.

Just look at each other for once instead of our devices and observe and maybe appreciate what we see. It is the little things that fill the heart with joy after all. Aren't they?

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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