Nisha JamVwal explains the contrast between enjoyment and genuine happiness.
Bonding over shopping, a game, a walk, a French lesson – just about anything cements a relationship with that special connection which a forced social introduction can never do. We all know it. But something about metros gets us inhibited. It’s not the sophisticated urbane thing to bond without social interaction, beyond barriers and ‘classes’.
Let’s understand the difference between enjoyment and true happiness?
What constitutes happiness?
Lasting joy and happiness come from good work and wonderful bonds of love and friendship. Transient and branded materialism are enjoyable, but love and work bring happiness as well. It’s a double whammy and a lot of fun. There may be times of teething, but the end result is comfort zones of understanding and with good work comes security, gainful engagements and a strong sense of self-worth. Schmoozing and collecting friends in a wannabe state of ‘wanting to arrive’ into a social scene, or being invited to every party and frantically hopping from party to party is not really going to give you any sense of timeless self-esteem and self-respect.
Quite the contrary, it is as wasteful as gossip fleeting ‘fun’ with sad repercussions. Let’s always look to the long term. What your mum and dad preached is actually true, trust me. I’ve been there done that bought a t-shirt and come back with this same realisation, that work and lasting deep bonds count for lasting, deep-seated happiness.
Share your happiness
Time spent with friends is to be cherished. I may not be able to recognise an LBW if it is served to me on a platter or be able to converse too educated on the nature of the ‘pitch’ or other finer technicalities of the game, but I love watching cricket matches. I don’t only love it because it is a fantastic sport, but because the matches present a bonhomous panorama of close friends bonding across such divisive barriers. I never saw it more clearly than at the 2011 World Cup win. The entire country unified in one gargantuan celebratory party, one massive wave of bonding like no other. Everyone rushed to the streets, from urchins to Abhishek Bachchan to Sonia Gandhi. Joy pervaded the air one breathed. Love, brotherhood and the human kindness flowed. I saw such a positive picture of hope that I realised even bonding with total strangers is possible. Renovations were in progress at an interior site at the time. The carpenters were given time to watch the telecast. Tea was served and the equation between master and employee dissolved. All of us watched together, rooting for our country. This is why common threads in relationships are imperative.
Building real relationships
India’s joint euphoria, on the streets, at clubs, at hotels at winning the World Cup was just an example. Today it’s the IPL. Every IPL match displays the unbridled expression of kinship and joy. Right at the top is the joy of sharing a moment of good work or great bonding. Be it joy, pain or a common interest. The point is that loneliness need not be an option. It comes out of not having a relationship of sharing due to the perceived lack of inclination or time constraints or priorities of other kinds that bring emptiness and pain. Social climbing, agendas, schmoozing and desperate networking to ‘make it’ should not be more important than good work and real relationships.
Make the first move in a relationship
In all cases, the outcome of loneliness is not always happy. It need not be that way. Remember Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol?’ The turnaround from the story lies within us, as I realised with my workers. Cliché though it is, to have a friend we have to BE a friend. We wait for them to make the first move and wonder at the lonely world around us. It is a task, but with small beginnings. A warm smile or a good morning wish is all you need and you’ve made a jogging partner. Hear him out when you ask, “How are you?” Respond. There’s a bond! Ignore the calls on your cell when a friend is opening his heart out to you, look interested. Your friendship is a gift that transcends all social agendas. Give time and nurture the relationships you enjoy, make trees out of those metaphoric saplings. Relationships of any and every kind are amongst the best investments you will have in your portfolio.