On an amazingly pleasant evening during the summer vacation, along with my family, we were strolling leisurely at a fair. This is somewhere during the mid nineties and I must be around 13 or 14. It was a small city, however the capital of the state. There were vendors everywhere, makeshift shops assembled in perfect lines, selling varieties of products which you do see in your city shops, are specialties of far located lands, some selling food, some selling toys and whatnot. This is before Jabongs and Amazons of the world were in India.
We will stop at each shop to peruse through each product, and moving on to another occasionally buying something, sometime products of actual value and sometimes which we kids would create hell for our parents if they don’t buy it for us. What made this even special, is that we were at our relatives place and I would wait the whole year, for this time, when father would take 3 - 4 days off from his business to take us to their place, and me and my cousins can have a blast.
It was a perfect moment, with no worries at all and in the best of company and means.
This time was not the same this time. While strolling I happened to notice a small vendor sitting in the middle of the ground, those who cannot afford to have a big tent put together and have many products to sell. This vendor have small 4 by 6 box about 2 feet high, was selling a spring driven toy, if I remember correctly. His team, were two kids, probably his own, one boy about 5 year old and another girl around 7 or 8 years old.
Something got my attention to them, when I was observing them, this man asks these kid to pick a piece of box from place and keep it on the other side of the box on which he already had some goods on display. The boy held the box from one side and the girl from the other and on their task.
Suddenly soap bubbles, a lot of them, come floating in the air, blown by another person standing near to us, looking at the number of kids in our group, with the hopes to sell some. With the air they passed by those two kids as well. The boy very small obviously got involved with the bubbles, and with one hand holding the box, got distracted to play some with the bubbles, for a moment.
A loud sound shook me from my trans like state, the man who asked the kids to perform the task, shouted like devil at this mistake of the boy. Obviously the boy stopped playing with the bubbles and in a shock held the box again with two hands, but that’s when I don’t know why he saw directly into my eyes.
I was frozen completely and felt a deep pain of helplessness, thinking what can I do something for this boy, should even care about doing anything for him, moreover am I even capable of doing of anything, and many train of thoughts were passing by. While I am troubled in my mind for a reason do not seem to understand, another thing happens. This boy finishes his task, and the boy and girl goes playing happily as if nothing has happened. It hollowed me completely.
That day, I understood few things, of-course not as maturely as I understand them today, but at-least the essence of it:
- Happiness is Independent of Material
o It is not in things, people or time
- Importance of Letting go
o When we seek happiness in Material, the illusion makes us cling to them, in the hopes that if something is lost, happiness is also
- Appreciating the present
o Multiple aspects here. Pleasure derived from blowing bubbles, catching flying disk, playing car race on PlayStation, or buying an iPhone are all equal and only pleasures. Do not attach to the thing or the moment, live it as it was and move on to next.
o Time dependent aspects like focusing your energies on something like revenge or proving to somebody do not give Happiness, you want to achieve something pursue it but for you not for others or for what happened in the past.
- Look beyond yourself
o I had a frame of thoughts, before I experienced this incident and like everybody I would cry about something that I don’t have. I and you will always have something that we don’t have. We cannot have everything and believe me it will not give happiness. But after releasing the above four things, I released what I am capable of what I actually have tangible and intangible. This wealth, please notice now I am calling it wealth, earlier which was glass half empty, I am now looking at the glass half full, making it my strength to take care of myself as well the world around me. How many times have called BlueCross to help a fatally sick dog. After understanding the previous three aspects, upon achieving this fourth level, I saw the So called ever lasting Happiness. “even in the burning heat of the Thar Desert, it will keep you cool” figuratively speaking.
“Happiness is not a Pursuit, it is right there with us.”
Contributed by:Aaryak Joshi.
Contributed by:Aaryak Joshi.