(Caution: Not a funny Read)
So I was watching this beautiful movie on tv - Things We Lost In The Fire (2007) and it would have made me a lot sad had it not been for gushing over this beautiful beautiful man Benicio Del Toro. Such unbelievable intensity and sexiness even in the out of shape character that he acts as. (Reminded me of the Doctor from Pakistani series ‘Dhoop Kinare’ that came when I was a teen and how I crushed over him) Phew!
Anyway, Toro plays a drug addict whose life is wasted due to heroine consumption but he can’t stop. Halle Berry has lost her husband and wants to take to some drug so she could sleep or escape the world. When she asked him how it feels like to take heroine, he says something extremely intriguing on these lines -
It’s a heavenly escape. Nothing can compare to it. How it makes you feel. But that magic happens only the first couple of times. After that you just keep pursuing it in the memory of that first time but never ever feel it again. Even though you realize you’re losing it all in the process of it.
Can you imagine the depth in this statement! What a capsule of explanation for human behavior at so many levels and how it forms an allegory to everything in life (or so I found in it). Say Love, for example. It’s magic the first time and then that forever pursuit of getting that adrenaline rush thereafter. Or why people obsess over having sex randomly. Does sleeping with new people satiate something besides the crude momentary lust? For I feel it should kill some of the soul. I think part of the answers lie in this feeling of pursuit of elusive happiness. For it’s seldom as pathbreaking as the memory of that first time (or the first time that it really happens like that).
Even for say simpler things like meeting someone after a long anticipation is just wondrous for the first time. And then that ecstatic sensation may or may not return when you meet again. Money, power, weight loss, fame - we strive for it all, for that first and ultimate high. After that it becomes just a number and maybe three times over but the pinnacle of emotional euphoria was reached and post it, nothing really moves you. But do you stop? No. Because you remember the taste of that first conquest. You remain agitated because you can’t feel it anymore on your tongue, though they’d be claiming it is better or more now than what you had then. Addictions and how they pump and suck the life breath out of us, just like that!
It may perhaps be the reason why people continue to look for love even after being heartbroken several times over. That feeling of freshly into new love is worth the pain of falling out of it yet again. Or why people look for love outside their marriage. Because the high and the rush is missing. While we as a generation probably learnt to curb these urges better, I wonder about the recklessness of those in the current times.
The ‘high’ obtained from wearing the most overpriced dress, is lost after it’s worn the first time. The iphone7 is no longer cherished because just a few months later the iphoneX floods the market temptingly. The producers are tapping into our weakness and we are being the eager victims. ‘Upgrade to change to have the best ever - in technology, lifestyle or humans’ , is being subconsciously drilled in our psyche. No patience in wanting to wait to get to know someone, but wham-bam through tinder for that instant gratification. The Living-For-The-Instant Generation.
I’m not any holier than thou, mind you. I’m moving, though inchingly still. I remember I did not own a mobile phone, till ten years ago because I was scared of being dependent on or addicted to a gadget. I still resist getting a Netflix because I know my love for good onscreen drama and how my four walls will probably suck me in. Or I keep switching off the AC every now and then even in the torturous heat because something stops me from excesses. If I over indulge, it will stop giving me the pleasure.
But I’m beginning to give in. Noticing the small changes despite me. Like I’m constantly whining to G for a holiday because that ‘high’ received just once a year, makes you restless when you see others soaking in it more generously. Or that I don’t mind picking up a dress I do not need, just because it’s on sale and I might need it in future. What I do need, is to sit with myself one of these days. Or rather sit outside myself for a change.
Like the infrequent Saturday night-outs I go to or the hair spa I’ve just taken, none of them really gratify me anymore. Why? Perhaps the merciless knife of comparison is sharpening its edges upon my reason. “I’ve had better, so this is not good enough or I must go on till it is good enough, which never is.” I need to live in the moment and tame my highs and lows. So that I don’t exaggerate the fuck out of a good experience transcending to the rest of my senses or shove myself in a pit of self pity over something that can threaten to ruffle my peace.
Maybe self awareness is the key. Though the locks for now look intimidating. Maybe if I keep telling myself that all this is just in pursuit of happiness that’s already in me, it will finally come out and show it on my skin. So much for the unsolicited gyan today, folks. Until next time :)