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Author: Mamta

Does Happiness or its opposite really exist?

People always ask me if I am happy  and I answer,  ‘Why not?’ Frankly I always thought it a strange question . I can almost see the frown and disbelief in your face. I always ask people why should such a question at all arise. We live in a relative world where the opposites reign supreme, and  where one exists to  prove the other. So I can say, I understand happy because it is the opposite of sadness and vice versa.  But the question I have to ask is whether either of them are the truth…so they exist in all time and in all situations. To my mind neither  of them exist, they are all a creation of our mind . We are aware that the mind operates on our desires , nay it is the monkey that creates these desires and happily sits back and watches the chaos it creates and the chain reaction of events it sets into motion. 


We are a species that requires a myriad of support systems that start at birth. The learning starts as soon as we are born although at this time it is mainly through the absorption of the surrounding.  Over time the constant repetition of what is right and what is wrong, through the guidance of the elders and the circumstances, and a system of reward and punishment meted out by the elders, teachers and well-wishers along with the teaching structure consisting of a vast number of institutions and the laws laid down,  make us walk on  the well-trodden road laid down by the past generations .The new and the young walk on and thus life creates the do’s and the don’ts that are further strengthened by both learning and experience and the reactions from the society that has been  following it for a long time with a few changes of and on.
Hence the development of the value systems that seem to change for every generation depending on the changing social systems, the requirements of the society that are dictated by the scientific revolutions and the constant fluctuation of the economic status and the everchanging shifting of the power nexus that go  in the making of the life of an individual , who is mainly driven by his  or her immediate environment that is essentially created by him by his or her thought processes, and the action and the reaction that go in the making  of each individual experience special and unique.
Having said that yet there are two aspects of life i.e. positive and negative. Learning and academics are constantly stressing on the positive and side tracking the negative. This constant focusing on the positive alone and teachings that are constantly stressing on the good and trying to raise man to walk on the higher path is not always successful. We need to know how the negative affects us and how it can be debilitating and degrade our very lives.


It was the month of July and as is the case every year, there are submissions to be made to government offices. While India is trying hard to make everything online and smoothen the process it is indeed an uphill task.
There is a great hurry to make everything on-line, and like in most matters government, there is a lack of perfection in planning and execution. Add to this the teething problems of an unfamiliar system operated by employees who are unfamiliar with the computer operations along with the general attitude of carelessness and unwillingness to be an active and interested worker, there are bound to be glitches. Thus, the constant postponement of deadlines provides some solace to the citizens.
Be that as it may, the general mode was to upload the information which would then generate an OTP number, which for reasons of security is not to be disclosed to anyone.   This meant that the whole submission should not take more than 15 minutes at the most. But things never work as smooth as one wishes, and this is when the struggle begins.


Since the market came into existence through the barter system when goods were exchanged for goods right up to the present age, where money is used as the medium of exchange, the market has undergone a sea change. Right from the simple village weekly markets there is now a whole structure in existence and it is a well-connected network, where buying and selling  of different commodities and products take place . Not only that , there are different kinds of markets like the commodities market and the gold market and the share market and then there is the wholesale market and the retail market and further the real estate market and money market and the capital  market and so on and so forth.
Well mostly people know about this and this is not what I am talking about here, this is not an economic essay on different types of markets’ etc. Its more about people and their manipulation and how commerce has taken a different turn altogether.


I relaxed on seeing this smiling typical housewife and shaking away any misgivings I greeted her in my usual exuberant fashion, at the same time wondering what was next on the agenda. Obviously, this was an enquiry and I turned my attention to her and said, “Hello Ma’am, what brings you here today?”. She turned her attention from the flowers and acknowledged my presence and immediately launched into a series of questions. However  I could feel that something was different, but I continued answering her queries about music lessons for her child who was in middle school….but something was missing, I couldn’t quite place it… all seemed a little out of place. My sixth sense had alerted me to another vibe and my senses had sharpened to their presence. Still I continued answering her queries and satisfied her curiosity as best as I could.

Suddenly it struck me that she had not asked me any personal questions about my background ,or about the teachers teaching music…this sent me wondering on a different track and I now was waiting for a shift to happen…