“When a small child, I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away.” -Anna Pavlova


It peeks at us from around the corner. Smiling invitingly. Singing the siren’s song to mesmerize us. And as we rush towards it the damn thing vanishes into thin air mocking us to the very end.

It shows a glimpse of itself in shadows on sunny days. On a rainy day we catch its scent as petrichor or  get drenched with it as we dance under a rainy sky with a loved one. It rises as a vapor from that hot cup of your favorite beverage on a cold day. Like the whiff of a bonfire amidst the glorious mountains it tugs at our heartstrings. But like a mirage taunting a dying person lost in a desert it promises us the safety line of an oasis and then fades away leaving naught but emptiness in its stead.


Why do we declare that our intention is to be happy and then we do everything that makes us unhappy? Obsess about things that aren’t as important as we build them into. Know what would make our lives easier, less stressful and happier and then in our laziness and apathy ignore those very actions. Misunderstand, mistrust and derive negative meanings out of statements made by people who obviously care so much about us that they couldn’t have possibly meant it that way. Insulting and pushing away those who love us. Letting the negative people enter our mind space and sow seeds of doubt. Do jobs that make every day a task rather than an exciting journey towards a particular goal. Let egos get the better of our rationality and empathy. Know our reactions are irrational and not apologize anyways. Take people who care the most for our success and happiness for granted.


The beast slips away due to one or the other reason. We gasp, grasp at straws and blame the world and everyone else but we are responsible for our own happiness or unhappiness. To catch and tame the beast what we need is empathy; trust; hard work; taking responsibility for our own actions and their consequences; and a little slice of luck. But damn it one or the other is mostly lacking. And amidst plenty there is a drought. The beast is not scarce but very wily. So if you catch it do share it with the rest of us. Let’s have a hearty meal of happiness sprinkled with positivity and maybe, just maybe, a significant number amongst us may not feel famished anymore.

For me there are little islands where the beast finds it difficult to hide from me. As I stare into those smiling eyes of hers and hold those beautiful delicate hands, as if they were a life vest and I were drowning in this merciless ocean that existence is, I catch more than a glimpse of this elusive beast. And I know I have to hold on with all my might to those moments; for happiness is the most precious treasure of all and the one who can take me to it the most important person in my time on this ball of blue floating amidst the stars.

By – Aseem Mahajan


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