Archive for October 2011

The pursuit of happiness

Author : admin

By now the tired sun had lost its shine in the red horizons of the west. A mild chilly dusk had taken over the ‘city beautiful’ which was garlanded with series and grids of lights, announcing the arrival of the festive season. And I was inside an electronic appliance’s showroom to buy now a day’s (current) families’ latest crush – A Flat LCD TV.

I was almost lost in the crowd when one of the salesmen accosted me to understand my requirement. He then escorted me and made me walk across the series of running TVs, much like a minister who walks to receive the guard of honour from the cadets on 26th January. I checked the prices and the available features of almost all the models – the ones which I knew wouldn’t be affordable for me even in the next 5 years, the ones which were either too small or nonsensical enough to replace my current model and finally, the two which suited my need and budget. One was dearer by a thousand bucks than the other. I therefore, spent the next fifteen minutes bargaining with the salesman, whether he could give me the dearer one at the cheaper one’s rate. But other than the dinner set (the default gift) and his repeated utterance of ‘Sorry Sir’, the salesman had nothing to offer me.

In an unhappiness to spend the extra 1000 rupees to fulfill my happiness of procuring a better TV set, I stepped out of the showroom to call up my family members for their views. But before I could do so, I saw a bunch of kids strangling with each other to occupy the narrow sitting space on the railings of the staircase outside. Their faces and bodies were smeared with dirt all over. Half naked in their torn rags, they belonged to the class, which in the night, sleeps on footpath and in the morning, beg alms. Surprisingly, they all were giggling, showing their few teeth and more gaps. I wondered and turned back only to find that all the giant and small TV sets were now treating those kids’ with the Cartoon Network channel. Amused, I resumed my gaze back at those poor kids, dirty kids, yet happy kids. They were enjoying in unison. All of a sudden I felt a pinch in my heart. On one side, inside the showroom, were more not so happy people like me, who were ambivalent of whether taking back home ‘only happiness’ with a good TV set or ‘more happiness’ with a better TV set, and on the other side, were these kids who were cherishing happiness in whatever form they were receiving it. Seeing them encash their share of happiness in this way touched me and taught me that in the rat race of accumulating more happiness, we all are ultimately letting ourselves drift into the zones of unhappiness. And apparently, I realized that being happy is no rocket science and it’s a myth that most of the time we can buy happiness. But yes, we need to scale our horizons right and adapt to them.

Happy at this learning, I thanked the salesman who tunes the Cartoon Network channel everyday for his little guests. I didn’t call my family members and bought the cheaper TV set, thereby saving 800 bucks. The differential amount of200 got spent in buying chocolates for those kids. After a long time, that evening, sitting amongst those wonderful kids, I watched ‘The Simpsons’.

A condom in my wallet just in case

Author : admin

The other day I was in Delhi metro. I was travelling from Rajiv Chowk to Dwarka Sec 9. Standing right beside me were two boys from school. With the book in one’s hand, I made out they were in +2 second year. Their lean bags, a tattoo on one’s neck, an ear-ring pierced in other’s ear and their common untidy grey-white school attire differentiated them from rest of the passengers. As they munched their respective chewing gums in between their jaws, their body languages flashed the I-am-a-spoiled-kid message (at the least to me), which got verified as they began their shitty talks. I almost stopped following their interaction until they notoriously indulged into a scuffle. One between them was trying to rob other’s wallet, when along with a few coins a sachet fell down. The owner of the wallet quickly held his right foot on the sachet to hide it from everyone’s eye. But his friend and I were quicker than him to notice it. A bold picture on the cover revealed it was a condom. The other guy circled his lips. He ran agape and his eyes froze gesturing his latent question. ‘Just-in-case’ came the response (along with a wink) from the owner. A sudden embarrassment took its place on his face and persisted for almost 30 seconds before it vanished. As they resumed their talks and went ahead to touch various other subjects, my thoughts stood at the condom subject. I was wondering what was I doing when I was in class XII? I certainly found big differences in between the yester decade kids and the present generation. Young kids at the door step of puberty want everything in their reach: be it a driving license, be it cigarette, be it whisky or be it loosing virginity. It’s a rat race to experience almost everything as soon as possible. And where on one hand the condom has made its place in the wallet’s of young kids, the presence of contraceptive pills in the purses of young girls have taken a parallel stand. Mostly such scenarios persist in Metros where life runs at 100 miles per hour and parents have lesser time for their kids. Precisely similar ugly looking cases occur more in upper class family in comparison to the rest of the society. A friend of mine who is a gynecologist, once revealed how the early age premarital abortion business in the recent times has augmented in Delhi. Big lump sums are offered to abort the early age pregnancy behind the closed doors, and far bigger lump sums to forget that it happened. If such conditions are not taken care of now, it will be too late for us to see our budding generation subtle in future. We need to suppress our desires and prohibiting our lives from getting into an ugly mess. We need to educate the generation next with the difference between needs and wants and how for the latter there will come a time where in one can cherish his/her share of happiness. Especially, in metros where in we are witnessing a culture of both the parents working, it is time to check whether they are devoting additional time in interacting with their kids and check their habits and expectations. Not only they should be friends with their kids but also with their kid’s friends as well to have a better insight of what’s going on in their children’s lives. A few abstinences for good is what we need. A condom certainly deserves its need in the wallet but not just in case, rather at the legally right time.