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Are You Really Happy or Make People Think You Are?

Updated on September 11, 2013

We feel happy but never feel what happiness is.



“We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:

Our sincerest laughter;

With some pain is fraught

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought”

(To a Skylark, by Percy Bysshe Shelley)

So, the complex species that we are, we even search for sweet things in the tone of profound sadness. Though it stands antagonistic to that we call the happy state of mind we, for some reasons unexplainable sometimes feel like dive into the streams of some sad thoughts piled on deep down our heart that we love to get back to in our self-drawn lonely leisure. There won’t be found on earth a single one who never searches for happiness either consciously or unconsciously. But in a robotic and highly mechanized life we hardly stop by giving a mere think what actually happiness is as the binary opposition to sadness, or asking our souls if we are really happy or make people think we are.


Outwardly we seem to be leading a happy life with what we are or things that we have. We never forget to play a smile around our face in our social interactions. We do partake in all our daily activities as per the routine work; even if we regularly take breaks in our weekends by making some trips to some interesting place, or excavating pleasures in a whole-night party. But, going beyond the surface we would discover, to our utter surprise or disgust, even our weekends have also been turned very much regular. Doing the same sort of things for over and over again easily turn our life monotonous; all our feelings thereby getting blurred. The taste of our life with all its colors starts fading away, no matter we see them or not. To a lot many people life gets stagnated and they keep acting their role on the stage of the world attuning themselves to the socially defined happiness, pretending to be happy, acting knowingly or unknowingly like a happy person.


T.S Eliot raises the sort of question in the astonishingly thought-bearing lines I found my pleasure to quote here:

Everyone's alone — or so it seems to me.

They make noises, and think they are talking to each other;

They make faces, and think they understand each other.

And I'm sure they don't. Is that a delusion?

( The Cocktail Party )

Very few people try to understand or know how they actually feel and the rest don’t even try to give a think about their inner-self, nor do they ever ask themselves if they are alone in the crowd. However loneliness is not the thing that makes anyone unhappy keeping aside how it appeared to the life of Mariana in Tennyson’s poetic world. There are times we really feel happy staying alone far from the madding crowd. Again sometimes we feel sad; you can term it as a sign of partial or transcendental unhappiness, as Antonio once felt in the beginning of comedy, The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. Antonio couldn’t figure out why he was feeling sad despite having everything one could ever aspire for: money, honor, friend, and favor- anything to rule over Shylocks of the society. For reasons guessable we may not let people know to save us from comments like: extravagant, flamboyant or even luxurious unhappiness. In a situation like that of Antonio we can’t but wear an air of smile disguising our temporary state of unhappiness.


Apart from our happy smile to camouflage the Antonio’s sadness inside there are other moments as found better superb expression in one of the most popular Indian film titled Three Idiots. There were three bosom friends who excelled all others in everything except, as everybody including two of the friends believed, making a better impression in their class performance. When the final result appeared the two having found their name in the bottom of the list felt sad not because of being last but thinking the other friend had failed as his name was not appeared close to them. Their sadness got deeper when they finally came to know that the other friend’s name wasn’t listed last, as all were expecting, because he stood first. And they came to the bitter realization:

“It felt sad to know your closest friend got failed but the sadness gets deeper when you find him topped the merit list.”

No matter if you feel happy or not experiencing something like that, the fact is you can never ever let others read your face going beyond the surface meaning. As a reflex action you would mask your inner feelings with such a profound delicacy as to make people think how happy you are hearing such great news. This is not the ultimate truth applicable to each and everybody, but things may happen like this and it’s not all about mere guesstimate.


There goes a saying collected from the classical antiquity: “A man can never be called happy until he brings down his happiness down to his grave.” It’s not likely that you are always happy all through your life. Again it can’t be that you are always pretending to be happy to make people think what you are not. But there may be situations with the possibility to make you act like the happiest person and you deliberately do so sometimes responding to the appeal from the unconscious layer of your mind. And my point is that: stop by for a little while and give a short break to see if your life is just going on with the flow. Try to unearth the upper layer and ask if you are really happy with your life or just dragging it down the end losing the taste of it in the insatiable materialistic hunger. If so, bring about the changes, get back the colors and feel your life in vigor and drink it to the last drop.

Atique.


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