Money Money Money

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I was chatting with a friend of mine about money. About how much is enough and how our entire lives are about earning to get rich or to get richer, whether the hours we work are justified and what kind of savings we have.

Anyone telling you that they work 20 hours a day at a corporate ONLY because they love the job and not for the money need a drum of hot coffee poured on them to wake them up from their delusions.

The only way to tell if you really love your job – is to be working merrily at a place where you don’t get paid or get paid peanuts.

I don’t get most people’s idea of wealth anyway.

To me – There is only one type of true wealth – and you can tell by one question.

If I absolutely want anything now – could I potentially buy it?

Literally anything. A helicopter. A Private island. A trip to the moon.

Anything less than that is not wealth.

It’s just money.

500 and 2000 rupee notes. That is all it is. 

Your so called wealth could be demonetized in a day if Modi gets a second wind.

So 10 lacs or a 100 lacs doesn’t matter.

That’s just mildly well off.

Anything short of a billion is ho hum.

And even a billion – if it means that you have to go in to work every day  – is still just money. 

So simply by this theory of mine – we are released of all obligations to try to attain wealthy status. Because we can never do that unless you turn out to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. At least not wealth in the conventional sense of the term.

So there may be another kind of wealth that we can aspire to.

The abstract kind.

It is made up of dew moistened grass and smiles.

Of chaotic colors and first rains

Of ripe mangoes and mildewed memories

Of tone-deaf singers and kulfi hawkers

Of unattainable mountains and insane mountaineers

Of dried flowers in diaries and giggles

Of unforgettable words and haunting movies

Of horizontal tangos and midnight snacks

Love.

Longing.

Dances and Foolishness.

Yes.

That’s the kind of wealth rat race I can get on board with.

Little Truths

Gris-Gris is well known for its sea cliff. This part of the island is not surrounded by coral reefs. Thick waves crash directly on the cliffs. The most spectacular part of Gris-gris is the “Roche Qui Pleure” where the constant squashing of waves against the flanks of the cliff gives the impression that the cliff is crying.

I see heads bobbing prettily all around me. 
Like hot air balloons that are tied to a string. 
Appearing carefree and floating and weightless
But they never really take off from the ground.
 
I see people fraternizing at communal festivities
Like dancers pirouetting rapturous on a stage
They seem graceful and blissful and euphoric
But it is a choreographed happiness.
 
I see humans flying all over a shrunken world
Like migratory birds with multiple entry visas
They appear unshackled and blithe and winged
But gravity pulls them down ever so often.
 
I see hands being held adoringly everyday
Like an inseparable bond between iron and magnet
They appear steadfast and enamored and devoted
But there is a deathly silent rust setting in. 
 
I see friendships seemingly discovered in a second
Like glittering diamonds in a coal mine
And they are feted and treasured and coveted
Even though the market is flooded with fakes. 
 
I see life going past in the slow motion of a movie
Like a lethargic snail counting little paces
It is plodding and dawdling and sluggish
Yet surprisingly it is over before you have even begun.

 

I know Better

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Everybody imagines that they know the secret. The secret of a truly fulfilling, happy life. They may not actually be living it – but they imagine they know.
 
And anyone who does not conform to what their idea of a beautiful life – is a poor idiot living out a miserable pathetic little excuse for a life. 
 
Someone in desperate need of rescuing. 
 
Try telling people that you are happy. Just the way you are. With who you are. Where you are. They will not believe you even if they sometimes pretend they do. 
 
Try believing it of others yourself. 
 
A mildly obese woman with three bawling kids and no household help tells you she loves every bit of her life. Aren’t your eyes rolling around in your head shaking with disbelief? 
 
A man in a humble post in a government office with a plain wife and one averagely performing child in junior college who aims to be a doctor says life has given him everything he asked for. Aren’t you smirking at what you feel are his small pathetic dreams ?
 
A couple together for a decade who say they are happy together. Don’t you feel that is just a put on show? 
 
A woman who has lived all her life in a tiny town and never travelled anywhere else in her life says – this is the most beautiful place on earth. Don’t you want to laugh at her naiveté? 
 
We think THEY are blind. 
Blind to possibilities. 
Blind to the fact that there is so much more out there. 
 
 
Sometimes I wonder is it possible perhaps it is WE who are blind? 
 
Or perhaps suffering from what I call the ‘I know better complex’? 
 
Just because you have money – everyone who does not must automatically be unhappy.
 
Just because you are beautiful – anyone who is plain must definitely be miserable. 
 
Just because you don’t work at all – anyone who works a 9 hour shift must be cursing his existence. 
 
You match every human to that yardstick in your head. If it does not conform to the picture  – that human must be unhappy.
 
I don’t think happiness conforms to any one idea.
I don’t think there is even a good definition for it.
I am sure there is no formula.
I think it is possible to be happy in almost every situation. Even miserable ones. Maybe not constantly. But a little. Because a few moments of joy can be stolen from the stingiest of situations. 
I think if we believe people when they say they are sad then we should have no problem in believing them when they claim to be happy.
I think happiness is found in the unlikeliest of places.
I think it defies all convention. 
I think it likes surprising us. 
I think it likes shocking us even better.

 

Gurus – A Dime A Dozen

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Every body is a guru these days. How to live MY life better – is always better known by everyone else but me.
 
There is always someone ready to tell me:
 
How to be :
 
Happier
Thinner
Sexier
More intelligent
Less rude
More complete
Crazier
Saner
Prettier
 
 
And if they are not telling me ‘How to be’ then they are telling me ‘how to find’ :
 
Inner peace
Friends
Spouses
Money
Love
 
Everyone knows exactly how unhappy I am. 
 
And in the off chance I bravely venture to say I am happy – everyone knows not to believe that because no one can actually be happy AS THEY ARE NOW, can they?