The quest for happiness


There are instances when you experience moments that transport you to the past and you cannot help but reminisce the good old days. On one such occasion, on my way back to the university, I came across a group of undergraduate exchange students from India in the campus bus. While I was lost in my own thoughts about how our quest for happiness changes as we grow, the energy of these youngsters in their early 20s enticed me. I could easily sense that they were making memories in that moment. Moments that will be forever etched in their minds as the complexities of life will turn happiness into a sorcerer’s stone. And as I started thinking about memories and moments, I slowly drifted away to the joyous past.


It sometimes surprises me how unknowingly we can experience happiness in the purest form and in the most simplest of the moments. But what amuses me more is how we can spend our entire lifetime looking and praying for that ‘one big happy moment’ just to realize that years later we will find it in the form of laughter shared with school friends on a movie day, the dance of the butterflies when the childhood crush reciprocated the smile or the hearty meals with family when dine outs were a once in a year soiree.

Unfortunately, as we evolve, our notion of happiness becomes complex. We start looking for those big moments to define our life – qualifying that one big exam, securing that one big promotion, buying that one big car, and splurging on that one big fat wedding. While the idea of happiness is extremely personalized, I sometimes feel that we truly miss out on the real journey that itself leads to the big moments of life. The joke that soothened the anxiety pang just  before the exam or the nervousness to meet the last sales order that lead to the promotion or that last one dollar that made up for the down payment of the car or the years of togetherness that culminated into marriage, all are overshadowed by that one big moment.

May be this is the reason that why most of us are leading an unhappy life. We pretend to be happy, but we are still confused if we are really happy because the concept of happiness has become blurred. In our quest for happiness, we end up climbing up the mountains, diving in the ocean, and trekking in the dark forests, just to realize that it was always sitting next to us. And maybe, it is then we realize that life is nothing but an ensemble of little pleasures that makes us truly happy.

PS – I hope to get this tattooed someday as a reminder not to overlook the little moments of joy in life. 🙂


One response »

  1. And as we grow up burdened by the vagaries of life, we realise sometimes happiness is simply the absence of misery. Well written.. This is the truth..that one big moment overshadows the small but real moments of happiness..!

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