THE JOY OF LIVING
Most of what I have written till now has been connected to the exploration of my own inner world. I had said “The responses that I get on my blog have helped me understand and appreciate contrarian viewpoints and have contributed to an enhanced awareness of my own inner world”. This is true and may be a selfish viewpoint. I had also said that it gives me the joy of connecting with my friends and others. Of course all that I have written centres around my own way of looking at things and that will also be true of anyone writing on subjects that interest them. These are debatable issues for everyone has his own perception and interpretation of life. So when you write people may read what you have written and arrive at their own conclusions. This is important, for a debate is always necessary to appreciate that there are other view points. Sometimes these end up being judgemental. So I sat down to review the lessons that I have learnt over the last two years in connecting up with my friends through my blog postings. What I discovered was that maximum connection happened when I wrote on topics that reflected a joy of living, small little inane things which we may have otherwise disregarded as inconsequential.
It all started with my ‘A Walk in the Rain’ and continued with ‘Me and My Beard’ and the last one on “A Conversation with My Beard’. Starting with the exhilaration of being drenched in the rain to the personification of what we all take for granted as something which grows on our face. Giving it an individuality and treating it as something very much alive gave me immense joy and what pleased me more was that it gave my friends the pleasure of an enjoyable debate. I am sure that my joy was transmitted to them also.
It will be true to say that each and every one has within him those moments of happiness, which he has experienced. We like to relive, share these moments with our friends. There is nothing more innocent than the smile and laughter of a child or for that matter even us grown ups when we share a hearty laugh. For at that moment the mind comes to a standstill and does not judge, the essential ‘you’ comes out. Perhaps, because it comes straight from the heart it is called a hearty laugh. Laugh and the world laughs with you. It is also a thing that can be shared without losing anything.
I remember and most of you will also remember that the two most likeable pages in the Readers Digest used to be ‘Humour in Uniform’ and ‘Laughter the Best Medicine’ and perhaps these were the first pages one used go to, on obtaining a copy. It is when you learn to laugh at yourself, that you will be able to laugh with the others. Some of my friends used to joke about my baldness and suggest that I wear a wig. My reply used to be that I did not need any camouflage as I was not fighting a war. I also used to tell them that whenever a photo was taken of me using the flash, one could see a halo around my head, which was only indicative of my angelic origins. I have also said that since all the grey matter was inside my head I did not need the hair on my head as an indicator of my wisdom. I have been laughing all the way along and the best compliment that I get from my friends is when they remark ‘you have still retained that laughter’.
In ‘A Walk in the Rain’ I had said “not only did I want to relive the exhilaration of childhood but also the romance of youth”. But I have also relived a number of times ‘A Walk in the Clouds’ a spirit of adventure and a feeling of transcendence.
Way back in 1976 when we were undergoing a training program in Pune, a few of us close friends decided to spend a weekend at Lonavala. We did and after a spiritual excursion on Saturday night we set out on a spirited trek on Sunday morning to Khandala, the highest point on the way to
It had rained heavily the previous night, monsoon rain and you know how heavy
that can be. The clouds descended as we started our trek and soon we were
engulfed in a sea of mist. A very light drizzle helped to erase whatever
hangover was there and we walked, taking care to avoid obstacles on the way,
the visibility being very poor. That moment comes back to me even now whenever
I hear the song ‘Dil Dhoondtha hai phir wohi fursat ke raat din’. Bhupinder’s
haunting voice brings back memories of those moments, enveloped in the mist,
the chillness in the air and the transcendental journey with a faint view of
the valley below. I am sure many of you have such moments somewhere deep within
and all that it needs is a touch, a smell, a sound or a word to invoke and
relive them. Like I said these are pure moments of joy, when the mind sleeps
and the heart speaks. Bombay