What is Happiness ?
That you're loved and treasured ?
Superiority ? Status, as measured ?
Security, comfort ? Riches, glory, or fame ?
A respected, recognizable name ?
The joy of giving something your all ?
Being able to get up after you fall ?
Freedom, or even an irresponsible path !?
The courage, means and will to follow your heart ?
That you're as curious as you ever were ?
Contentment ? Or a forever hunger ?
Is it in you, or around ?
Is it lost, or is it found ?
Is it merely a lack of reasons to be not ?
Only in its absence sought ?
Is it a state ? Or in one, a pause ?
Just an effect, or as much a cause ?
Does it makes all these feel true -
The things that add up to ?
The few times I've come across death.
Or the idea of it.
Its been about numbness.
And sometimes a feeling of being totally helpless.
All the control, cause and effect, effort-reward,
Seems fake. False.
Everything is not as it seems.
Priorities get seriously relooked at.
The celebrated seems puerile.
Goals, dreams, fears all in the realm of the inane.
Life becomes about moments.
Lived, loved, smiled.
Lost, fought, regretted.
But each important.
What am I chasing ? And why ?
The journey is not important. It is all.
For it can end. Cruelly. Randomly.
The grocery store next door - SMART - has started charging folks extra for plastic bags. Just a buck each, but you do see some folks getting their own bags or refusing bags for just a couple of things they could carry home.
Also, started keeping aside plastic packaging (milk, bread, cereal, and pretty much everything else!), tetrapaks, etc in a separate container for pick-up by our cleaning crew who said they can make some extra change by selling it at the local kabaadi-wala. A lot of the organic waste already goes to the composting bin. The fill rate for the dustbin has fallen dramatically again!
A couple of more residents in our apartment complex have picked up cycling.
And a lot many are interested in the bottle-in-the-flushtank idea.
We, collectively, have a very funny conscience. We've trained it to keep it clean with the much practiced technique of not-digging-deep.
So trash put "neatly" in trash bags and picked up by staff on the premises is "well taken care of"
And an emission check actually makes us believe our vehicles are environment friendly
Water from the deep (borewells) is used just like water from easily renewable sources
And because they said its bio-degradable plastic, we can use as much of it as possible
The "re-cycle" mark on so many products makes it perfectly legitimate to chuck things in dustbins
And the colour green or the label "herbal" actually passes for the real deal
Notions of convenience, comfort, even extreme ideas about safety trump responsibility all the time, and the latter is anyhow outsourced - to service providers, manufacturers, the government. In short, "them".
So we can continue with our lives as we have gotten used to. And do as little as we can.