Sep 18, 2011

Imagining Happiness

I like trees. Their green color fascinates me. When I lived in hostel we had huge Nilgiri (Eucalyptus) trees in the campus. I loved leaning against them during evenings while I listened to radio. I used to touch them as a form of greeting while passing by them. Nilgiri are among my most favorite trees because of their long, characteristic stem. And of course, then there's the scent.

Most of the times when I'm traveling, even within the city, I keep staring at the trees. When they shed all their leaves and get brand new ones, when they change colors, when they get flowers, all that makes me happy. This is the season of Booch flowers. I haven't spotted many Booch trees on my current route. I think I'll go for a drive on the road where those trees are ample. They make excellent white carpet that makes me feel like a princess, even though I don't step on them when I can help it. Instead, I pick up few flowers. Again, beautiful scent.

There's a difference between observing them from inside a vehicle and actually touching them.

The happiness I feel by watching a tree is merely an acknowledgement of that tree's existence. There's a subtle difference in the happiness I feel when I actually touch a tree. And I realize this difference only when I touch it.

Sometimes, we imagine happiness. The so called happiness you feel when you observe something is imaginary. The real* happiness comes from action and experience. I am not saying the imaginary happiness is wrong or bad or misleading. In fact I can say for myself that it covers major part of happiness. And it is equally valuable for me. Happiness I derive from listening to music for example. But then there are rare moments when I am suddenly reminded of a song, few specific words, and I think 'Oh god! Now I know that emotion. Now I understand that word. It is present in this very moment. It is real right now.' At such moments I realize I had not understood the song I so like! Outside that particular moment, that understanding regains the shape of imagination. It is only in that moment when you are living it, that you have "experienced" the happiness.

*(I am using the words imaginary and real because I can't think of better words. If it's any comfort, I'll remind you that 'imaginary numbers are as real as real numbers are imaginary'. If this increased discomfort, I am sorry.)

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