Happiness and contentment are complimentary. What is happy and content for one need not be so for the other. Happiness and contentment is related to what we perceive as the state of physical and mental existence where and when we are not afraid of leaving the world and passing into history- death.
Yet not many leave the world in the sate I mentioned. Many fret and go with remorse, dissatisfaction and discontentment. For many it is the surfeit of want that predominate need which creates an unhappy and helpless end. Though our physical state is not entirely within our grasp and likeness while we are in the twilight days of our life, yet there is something that we recollect and see as the life we lived, and the moments we had which we never dreamt will be for us, to experience and relish- that gives the courage to depart in peace.
I write this as a brief eulogy to a person, a relative of mine. He was an unassuming person and with small beginnings and end. He, I felt during some twenty odd years of knowing him, was very soft spoken and unobtrusive that he may not have pained another soul, human or animal. He had his own share of penury, and hard times. Bringing up his three children with a subsistence level of income is not a wonderful experience to relish. But whenever I have been to him he has always uttered little jokes that would tickle smile and laugh from within me. One amusing comment of his has to be noted here to remember his tongue in cheek wit. He noticed some minor irritant between his son and daughter in law (son’s wife).He consoled his son with his facetious comment that, “Well we both made terrible mistakes. We both married from
Kozhikode”!!!!! When the banter was in Malayalam the tone and essence was immensely amusing. (I m sure he meant no ill to the fairer gender from Kozhikode).
It was quite an amusement when I received on my "facebook" a friend request from him.I responded in the affirmative, and when I met him later I joked to him ,'uncle at last we are now friends'. In his later days he was an ardent social net worker on facebook. His nieces and nephews where his net working mates.He found subtle and effective ( I guess effective) ways to overcome his illness.
He was not false, fake and intrigue or connivance was not his world. Perhaps he was not ambitious enough to run after wealth and power. May be his chemistry was not meant for the scramble for such life. And since he was not so I guess he died peacefully in his sleep.
I have been well treated and kept in good humor by him whenever I was at his home. He used to bring out his quota of military supply of Rum to share with me. And crack subtle anecdotes and jokes. During his later part in life after affliction of cancer and slow but unsteady recuperation his children used to wag their fingers when he tried to drink a second glass of alcohol.
I met him at his daughter’s home, just a fortnight or so before he passed away. He was back from a weeklong trip to Goa, where his daughters took him for a family sojourn and fun time. That night, before dinner, I chose to be the bartender and offered him three drinks. When he mentioned the diktat of his children of limiting alcohol to one drink, I suggested, just ignore them and enjoy! Later he came to me, presumably in pleasure after the few drinks and said, “I had a wonderful time in Goa. And I have not ever dreamt or thought that I will be able to visit such places, and I'm very happy that my children took me there.I have no words to express my happiness. I will hold close to my heart the days I spend there with them”.
He died a few days after. And I m certain the little things that he found happiness like the short trip to
Goa with his children is perhaps what would have seen him depart with a content heart. Perhaps his soul must be still reliving a life in Goa!
He, I feel showed that, one need not climb the pinnacle of power and wealth, need not cruise on the QE-II, race across Europe in a Porsche, and need not run around temples and churches ostentatiously proclaiming ones piety and sacrifice for the rest, but only have the heart and the mind to savor the little things that come ones way, and not hurt the ones who love you and leave the rest unhurt.. And I guess he did so.