This whole world is besotted with everything else except what it must truly obsess over!
Mutely witnessing the goings on in Tamil Nadu politics, I can’t but wonder how much materialism has caught people in its vice-like grip. Sasikala’s vow to “avenge” at Jayalalithaa’s Samadhi yesterday reeks of such a debilitating, unevolved point of view. Ego, the desire to control, the greed for money, power – all of these are evident in the manner in which she “slapped” her erstwhile friend and mentor’s tombstone. This, even as she was getting ready to go to jail to serve a jail sentence! This, after holding not just 100+ elected representatives hostage, but after holding a whole state’s constitutional machinery to ransom over wanting to grab power. And what about the elected members of the state assembly? What have they subjected themselves to – don’t they even realize they have a fundamental responsibility to serve their constituents? More important, don’t any of these people want to learn a lesson from their recently-departed leader that despite all her success, all her glory, she finally left empty-handed, not able to take any of what she achieved or gained or accumulated – including the infamous disproportionate assets that Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling talked about over 564 pages – with her?
All this is so unsettling at one level when I look at it as a citizen who is concerned at the state of the polity and democracy. And it is all so banal when I view it as human being who is on a limited-period, single-entry visa, on this planet! Why don’t people get it, I wonder? Why don’t people get it that they only have this one Life – to live fully, to be happy – and yet they squander away precious lifetime in chasing what they can never take away with them? And they do all this chasing, often at the cost of others, and while being intrinsically unhappy and suffering themselves!
Let us not fail to pick up a key lesson ourselves from all this apparent madness in Tamil Nadu. I am reminded of a song Mujhe Naulakha Mangaadere from Sharaabi (1984, Prakash Mehra, Amitabh Bachchan, Bappi Lahiri, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle) in which the lyricist Anjaan, listing the different types of intoxicants that people are addicted to, says ‘bring me someone who is not “drunk”’… “…nashe mein kaun nahi hai, mujhe bataao zaraa, kise hai hosh mere saamne, to laao zaraa…”! Indeed, so drunk we are about earning a living, solving our problems, worrying, suffering, so steeped in stupor we are about wanting to control everyone and everything, that we are missing the magic and beauty of the Life we have. Unless we stop clinging on to material things and live happily with what we have, with what is, we will forever be living with insecurity, worry, grief and guilt. And that should explain why we suffer, why we are unhappy.
Therefore, to me, Sasikala and the AIADMK’s theatrics over the past 10 days have only been a metaphor. One that reminds me that this whole world is besotted with everything else except what it must truly obsess over! And that obsession must be over making each moment of your Life count. By living it fully, meaningfully, happily.
Happiness is the ability to sleep well each night, grateful that you have what you need – food on the table, a roof over your head and something to cover yourself. Everything else is a frill. The more you cling on to the frills, the more drunk you are, the less obsessed you are with living. And when you are too drunk and you don’t sleep, well, that’s when you have a hangover!