Sunday, July 22, 2012

The More I Shop, the Happier I Get

Shopping usually makes me happy. There's something about just going out, and coming back with something, neatly wrapped in a bag. Of course, the worries don't disappear magically, but the world seems to be not such a bad place after all. And that is why I turn to retail therapy. Of course, it isn't like I jump into every shopping mall in the vicinity, every single time I feel upset, otherwise I would be broke by now. And I don't mean to say I shop only when I'm upset. I don't really need reasons to go shopping- as they say, 'A girl can never have enough shoes'. At the end of the day, it brings me happiness, and maybe takes away the worries, even if it is only for a few hours.

This morning, a friend and I decided to meet for lunch, following which we decided to go shopping in Chinatown. So there we were, walking in the hot afternoon sun, gossiping along the way, and hunting down bargains among the rows of shops that sold scarves, sarongs, beads, bags, necklaces and a million other trinkets. The original purpose of this shopping expedition was to help me get a gift for my dear granny. It's been nearly two years since I met her, and since I'm going home soon (YAYYY :D), I wanted to get her something from my internship allowance. So we hopped from shop to shop, in search of the perfect gift. Finally, after walking through the alleyways, we came across a shop that sold beautiful Pashmina shawls. They were just perfect- neither too thick for the humidity of the fierce tropical Kerala monsoons, nor too thin that they could pass off for scarves. I imagined Amooma, sitting at the dining table after dinner, quietly writing Sri Rama Jayam in her diary, the shawl gently draped across her sari. So, I went ahead and bought one. I do hope she'll like it! And this post would have had no meaning, if I hadn't shopped further. We decided to go to more shops, and there I was spoilt for choice. Pretty sarongs in every imaginable hue, bracelets of jade and emerald, silver bangles, batik bags... I decided that I just HAD to buy something. So being the impulsive shopper that I am, I went ahead and bought a sarong. Usually, that would have made me really happy- I would have come back, gingerly opened the bag, taken out the sarong, and admired it, before trying it on and prancing around in it. (Yes, I'm slightly crazy that way.) But today was different. There was something that was nagging me at the back of my mind. After the initial exhilaration from buying the skirt (I told you, shopping gives me a high!), we began discussing some serious issues, and I felt a slight dip in my energy levels. I felt my old worries creeping into me, and all of a sudden, the bag I held containing my newly acquired treasure, did not seem so precious any more.

As I returned home, I mulled over those issues. That led me to thinking about a number of other issues- how X was better than me in a number of ways, how I had not done well in something while Y was immensely successful, how I could have probably done better in something but didn't, what I didn't have which others had, and so on. It was a completely futile exercise, and it left me feeling sulky. A few minutes later, I overcame my grumpiness, and began to admire the skirt, and that made me happy again. Then I began to ponder over the nature of happiness. Was it the skirt that brought me happiness? Would I have continued to feel sad if there was no skirt to 'cheer' me up? What makes a person happy? What is happiness, anyway? Why do certain issues upset us, and what helps us overcome those? I recalled reading something on the wisdom of the ancient Hindu scriptures- Happiness is the very essence of man. Unfortunately, in the course of this journey called life, he forgets his true nature, and finds himself a victim of maya, worldly illusions. When man realizes this, he is said to have achieved that state of perfection, the ultimate goal of Sat-Chit-Ananda. Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. Hence according to the scriptures, happiness is within ourselves for it is the very nature of man. If happiness is indeed at the very core of our being, why equate happiness with something? For example, I will be happy only in the absence of sorrows, I will be happy only if I get a job at a prestigious firm, I will be happy only if I get that new dress... And therein lies the magic of maya. We forget our inherent nature- happiness. Ironically, we believe that material wealth will bring us happiness, which is why it is so difficult to be happy all the time.

Imagine slogging away in order to earn yourself an extremely precious item- for example, a diamond necklace. After months of hard work, you find yourself robbed, and thus deprived of the necklace. Can you comfort yourself and continue to remain happy, in the same way as you would have been if you got the necklace, because happiness is within yourself? You would eventually overcome it, of course, but at the very outset? Tall order, indeed. One would have accomplished the purpose of birth if one achieves this state of realization.

But since that is so difficult (and I don't know how many more janmas I have in store for me), I might as well stick to my old policy of getting happiness, albeit for a short time. 'Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping!' :D

10 comments:

  1. Loved the last line - You hit it out of the park :D.

    We all have our vices, enough said.

    Ponder worthy post, liked reading it.

    Cheers :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you concur!Thanks for reading this one :)

      Delete
  2. Absolutely loved your post! I've been sulking since a very long time about how I haven't shopped for college yet, and how since there are sales everywhere, all the good stuff will be sold out by the time I make it to the markets. But all my immature worries seem to be even more futile after reading this post. So thank you, Krishna. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shopping for college is something I love to do- you don't need any reasons, hahaa. Thanks for dropping by, Ruhani- and happy shopping!! :D

      Delete
  3. I couldn't agree with you more. The Main thing is, we know what makes us happy, Shopping for this case and once when we turn our attention to buying them, our attention gets diverted and we are transported into an entire different world where the only thing we need to worry, is, if the dress will look good on us. It's more of a diversion and a welcome change :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true, shopping for new clothes does help break monotony, at least for me :) But you're right, the next thing I start to worry is whether or not the dress looks good on me- nevertheless, shopping still remains fun! :D Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  4. For an impulsive shopper you're way too philosophical :p But that's what makes your posts so beautiful...great going sis!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! :D Thanks so much Swetha! Hope you're doing well. It would be lovely to catch up with you someday :)

      Delete
  5. Shopping! I just don't get time. And the little time I get, I spend it on blogs and fb. :(

    And by the way,

    Congratulations.
    You have been given a Award.
    Check this link for more details.
    Thanks.
    Take Care. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa! Thank you so much! I'm honoured indeed :) Shall come out with my post soon :D

      Delete

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The More I Shop, the Happier I Get

Shopping usually makes me happy. There's something about just going out, and coming back with something, neatly wrapped in a bag. Of course, the worries don't disappear magically, but the world seems to be not such a bad place after all. And that is why I turn to retail therapy. Of course, it isn't like I jump into every shopping mall in the vicinity, every single time I feel upset, otherwise I would be broke by now. And I don't mean to say I shop only when I'm upset. I don't really need reasons to go shopping- as they say, 'A girl can never have enough shoes'. At the end of the day, it brings me happiness, and maybe takes away the worries, even if it is only for a few hours.

This morning, a friend and I decided to meet for lunch, following which we decided to go shopping in Chinatown. So there we were, walking in the hot afternoon sun, gossiping along the way, and hunting down bargains among the rows of shops that sold scarves, sarongs, beads, bags, necklaces and a million other trinkets. The original purpose of this shopping expedition was to help me get a gift for my dear granny. It's been nearly two years since I met her, and since I'm going home soon (YAYYY :D), I wanted to get her something from my internship allowance. So we hopped from shop to shop, in search of the perfect gift. Finally, after walking through the alleyways, we came across a shop that sold beautiful Pashmina shawls. They were just perfect- neither too thick for the humidity of the fierce tropical Kerala monsoons, nor too thin that they could pass off for scarves. I imagined Amooma, sitting at the dining table after dinner, quietly writing Sri Rama Jayam in her diary, the shawl gently draped across her sari. So, I went ahead and bought one. I do hope she'll like it! And this post would have had no meaning, if I hadn't shopped further. We decided to go to more shops, and there I was spoilt for choice. Pretty sarongs in every imaginable hue, bracelets of jade and emerald, silver bangles, batik bags... I decided that I just HAD to buy something. So being the impulsive shopper that I am, I went ahead and bought a sarong. Usually, that would have made me really happy- I would have come back, gingerly opened the bag, taken out the sarong, and admired it, before trying it on and prancing around in it. (Yes, I'm slightly crazy that way.) But today was different. There was something that was nagging me at the back of my mind. After the initial exhilaration from buying the skirt (I told you, shopping gives me a high!), we began discussing some serious issues, and I felt a slight dip in my energy levels. I felt my old worries creeping into me, and all of a sudden, the bag I held containing my newly acquired treasure, did not seem so precious any more.

As I returned home, I mulled over those issues. That led me to thinking about a number of other issues- how X was better than me in a number of ways, how I had not done well in something while Y was immensely successful, how I could have probably done better in something but didn't, what I didn't have which others had, and so on. It was a completely futile exercise, and it left me feeling sulky. A few minutes later, I overcame my grumpiness, and began to admire the skirt, and that made me happy again. Then I began to ponder over the nature of happiness. Was it the skirt that brought me happiness? Would I have continued to feel sad if there was no skirt to 'cheer' me up? What makes a person happy? What is happiness, anyway? Why do certain issues upset us, and what helps us overcome those? I recalled reading something on the wisdom of the ancient Hindu scriptures- Happiness is the very essence of man. Unfortunately, in the course of this journey called life, he forgets his true nature, and finds himself a victim of maya, worldly illusions. When man realizes this, he is said to have achieved that state of perfection, the ultimate goal of Sat-Chit-Ananda. Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. Hence according to the scriptures, happiness is within ourselves for it is the very nature of man. If happiness is indeed at the very core of our being, why equate happiness with something? For example, I will be happy only in the absence of sorrows, I will be happy only if I get a job at a prestigious firm, I will be happy only if I get that new dress... And therein lies the magic of maya. We forget our inherent nature- happiness. Ironically, we believe that material wealth will bring us happiness, which is why it is so difficult to be happy all the time.

Imagine slogging away in order to earn yourself an extremely precious item- for example, a diamond necklace. After months of hard work, you find yourself robbed, and thus deprived of the necklace. Can you comfort yourself and continue to remain happy, in the same way as you would have been if you got the necklace, because happiness is within yourself? You would eventually overcome it, of course, but at the very outset? Tall order, indeed. One would have accomplished the purpose of birth if one achieves this state of realization.

But since that is so difficult (and I don't know how many more janmas I have in store for me), I might as well stick to my old policy of getting happiness, albeit for a short time. 'Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping!' :D

10 comments:

  1. Loved the last line - You hit it out of the park :D.

    We all have our vices, enough said.

    Ponder worthy post, liked reading it.

    Cheers :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you concur!Thanks for reading this one :)

      Delete
  2. Absolutely loved your post! I've been sulking since a very long time about how I haven't shopped for college yet, and how since there are sales everywhere, all the good stuff will be sold out by the time I make it to the markets. But all my immature worries seem to be even more futile after reading this post. So thank you, Krishna. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shopping for college is something I love to do- you don't need any reasons, hahaa. Thanks for dropping by, Ruhani- and happy shopping!! :D

      Delete
  3. I couldn't agree with you more. The Main thing is, we know what makes us happy, Shopping for this case and once when we turn our attention to buying them, our attention gets diverted and we are transported into an entire different world where the only thing we need to worry, is, if the dress will look good on us. It's more of a diversion and a welcome change :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true, shopping for new clothes does help break monotony, at least for me :) But you're right, the next thing I start to worry is whether or not the dress looks good on me- nevertheless, shopping still remains fun! :D Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  4. For an impulsive shopper you're way too philosophical :p But that's what makes your posts so beautiful...great going sis!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! :D Thanks so much Swetha! Hope you're doing well. It would be lovely to catch up with you someday :)

      Delete
  5. Shopping! I just don't get time. And the little time I get, I spend it on blogs and fb. :(

    And by the way,

    Congratulations.
    You have been given a Award.
    Check this link for more details.
    Thanks.
    Take Care. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa! Thank you so much! I'm honoured indeed :) Shall come out with my post soon :D

      Delete