Monday, March 21, 2011


This story has been taken from the Journal l'absence de raison.
It is believed that the author after having written more than 345 real-life accounts, tore the pages away for 'apparently no reason at all!'

This is a part of the writing that was recovered. The conclusion and meaning is left for the reader to draw.

I started out with what an idea of happiness was. I thought I understood it well enough to recognize it when I would come across it. The shape, the size, the pretext would not matter, because I was confident that I knew what the feeling would feel like. The idea of happiness or the feeling would never be able to get past me without me recognizing it. It could not deceive me, no matter how well it disguised itself.

So I packed my bag and left my home and went ahead with one singular mission in life, finding happiness and sharing it with the world. All my family members, thought of me as a Noble man, a man with nothing less than a divine mission to fulfill. They were all happy for me but somehow when I was about to leave for my journey, I realized a few of my family members had teary eyes.

“Tears at the start of a mission for happiness?!” I said. I must confess that I was a little confused with this incident at the onset itself. “Ah…” I said, with a smile then, as if all of a sudden a lighting of knowledge had struck me, “Surely, those were tears of happiness. Of course, it couldn’t have been anything else.” Satisfied that I had managed to decipher the first little test of finding happiness that was thrown my way, I started to move ahead with more confidence in my steps.

On my way I saw a nest. A mother bird had just fed its young ones and was about to set out again to find some more food for them, who seemed eternally and insatiably hungry. As soon as the mother bird flew away, the young ones began to cry out for the mother, in their own ‘bird language.’ “How strange, that these young ones should cry for their mother, especially since they know that the mother has only flown away to come back with more food for them. Surely, they must know at least this much by now. Then why, do they cry and keeping calling out for their mother so frantically?”

I rested under that tree for some time, sheltering myself in the shade and getting some respite from the heat. All this while, I had the above thought in my head.

“Yes, of course, the young ones are sad because they miss the mother and to be without her security and warmth is a little too much for them to cope with, even if for just a little while, and in spite of knowing that it is for the better, they feel sad and call out for her.” That seemed to be the only reason I could think of and that made some sense to me. This line of thought however got me thinking in another direction and left me greatly disturbed.

“How come then, my family members did not feel any grief, when I left? Certainly they knew that I would be gone for quite a while before they saw me again. I agree that I have set forth on a noble mission, but don’t their hearts still feel a slight tug? Would they not miss me? Or as the tears I saw suggest, were they in fact happy to see me go? Do I mean so little to them?”

I decided to get up immediately and go back home and find an answer to my dilemma. “The quest for happiness can wait.” I said to myself. “I need to pacify these disturbing thoughts in my mind first, thoughts which have now started to nibble at me. I must confront my family members and find an answer.” “But what then would happen to your mission of finding happiness and sharing it with the world?” it was my conscience talking to me. “Well, I guess that, it will have to wait before I have found my own.” I said this and turned around, towards my home. As I took one step after another, a new thought entered my mind, “Would they be happy to see me or would they think that my coming back so early has shortened their happiness?”