I wonder about random thoughts, ideas, possibilities, ambitions, the past, what could have been etc. quite often. I used to do delve into the intricacies of life and dig myself a well of horror, hope, excitement or despair, depending on what led me there at that point in time.

Nietzsche said:

"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler."

I am not sure about "simpler".

As I grew older, I yearned more and more to dive back into that well but somehow, that well has been transposed to a very tiny, remote area of my brain. I visit it on and off but that just leads me to information recondite even to me! This information is more of an esoteric debate that never ends, yet I manage to put a lid on it when I want to and move on because, in this case, I need to catch up with life. 

Today, I wanted to borrow one such thought from the abyss that I foster in my brain and try to untangle a few knots of the intertwined mess we call "happiness". 

Are you happy? Take a minute. Answer this for yourself, for your sake. Are you happy? 

The generation that I belong to, does not have a comprehension of this word in its entirety but we are in a constant pursuit of happiness.

Most of you would have seen the movie, Pursuit of Happyness and if you have not, then you should. Chris Gardner, beautifully played by Will Smith, gets evicted from his apartment, his wife walks out on him, he has no job but he has a 5 year old son to take care of. The struggle is wonderfully depicted about how he finally lands a job in a prestigious brokerage firm. That moment, where he gets that job, he calls that moment happiness. It is a very emotional scene of the movie, one that I have never been able to watch with dry eyes. However, I did say it was a movie.

It is a movie based on the true life events of Chris Gardner who went on to become a millionaire. The very close bond depicted in the film between Chris and his son Christopher is very touching but in real life, Christopher lived with his mother while Chris was doing his internship. Then, after that moment of "happiness" Chris, IRL left his son and pregnant wife and moved to New York to work in Bernstein and then to Chicago where he relocated with his children. If that moment was "happiness" then why relocate? Why leave your kids?

Chris Gardner earned his first $1 million when he was only 34. As a reward, he bought himself two Ferraris, first red and then black. The black one was first owned by NBA superstar, Michael Jordan.

I am not questioning Chris Gardner's parenting but I am raising a different, deeper question. Why was one Ferrari not enough for a man with two kids? Why purchase a Ferrari previously owned by a celebrity? 

I am a 90s baby and I grew up loving F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I still watch it everyday. True story, no exaggeration. Remember Chandler Bing? The ever so sarcastic and clever, Chandler Bing played by Mathew Perry. Perry completed a 28-day program in 1997 for a Vicodin addiction. His weight fluctuated drastically over the next few years and once dropped down to 145 pounds (66 kg). He lost 20 pounds in 2000 because of pancreatitis. Perry again entered rehab in February 2001 to treat an addiction to opioids (specifically vicodin and methadone), amphetamines and alcohol. 

FRIENDS was the most popular show of its time. The six cast members had fame, credibility, nominations and money! So much money! In their original contracts for the first season, cast members were paid $22,500 per episode. The cast members received different salaries in the second season, beginning from the $20,000 range to $40,000 per episode. Before their salary negotiations for the third season, the cast decided to enter collective negotiations, despite Warner Bros.' preference for individual deals. The actors were given the salary of the least-paid cast member, meaning Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer had their salaries reduced.

The stars were paid  $75,000 per episode in season three, $85,000 in season four, $100,000 in  season five, $125,000 in season six, $750,000 in seasons seven and  eight, and $1 million in seasons nine and ten, making Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, and  Lisa Kudrow the highest paid TV actresses of all-time.

Doesn't that sound like a dream for so many of us? Then what was Perry looking for? Perry received a Champion of Recovery award in May 2013 from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for opening Perry House, a sober living home situated in his former mansion in Malibu, California. 

The actor was responding to a question about his least favourite episode to BBC Radio, when he said: 

"I think the answer is, I don't remember three years of it. So none of those ... somewhere between Season 3 and 6."

Chandler does not remember The One on the Beach or The One with Chandler in a Box, or The One Where Everyone Finds Out. Doesn't that just break your heart? 

Let's bring it back in. I wonder if anyone in this world has lived or is living a truly happy life? I believe happiness is in moments. It's not a constant state of mind, it's a rush and it's addictive. Are we to look for happiness or contentment? They're not synonymous in my view. I can repeatedly hear myself saying "No", to the question "Are you happy?" because it is a moment which is usually very brief. Does fame make you happy? I don't think it was enough for Mathew Perry. Does money make you happy? Does family make you happy? Does love make you happy? I am just asking questions, I do not know the answers to these questions. I have ideas, explanations, theories but I do not expect everyone to agree with them.

At this point, let me clarify that I am not some depressed, goth locked up in a room with black lipstick on and Black Sabbath posters on my wall. I am a normal person according to my definition of normal. I have a restless brain though, a heart that feels way more than it should and I still have the tendency to come off stony.

I have changed a lot as I grew older but I like that realization that I have of how I am changing because then I can filter the changes. I see myself having lesser friends than I used to, I see myself laughing lesser than I used to, I see myself being more guarded than I used to, I see myself more resilient than I used to and I have accepted these changes because they make me, me! 

As this person, described above, I believe in the pursuit of contentment nit happiness. I want to be able to look back at my life and be content with the choices I made. I am allowed to not be happy about the mistakes I made because mistakes, by the very definition of the word are rooted in error, while happiness in perfection. However, I can be content with the errors I made. I don't believe in regrets. This is one good or bad personality trait that I firmly own.

I believe everything happens for a reason and given the context one acts in a certain way driven by reason, emotion or need- wrong or right. The mistakes I have made in the past should not chip away my confidence. If I have the capacity to acknowledge a mistake as a mistake, and I am a sensible person who learns from it, I do not need to regret it.  This may sound pompous, but I actually have maybe one or two things that I regret in my life.

I believe in second chances, I believe people can change, I believe people can be happy without acknowledging it until it's too late. To me, happiness is in the moment. To me happiness is a drug. People go to certain extremes to achieve so called "happiness" for themselves and don't realize the hurt they cause on their way to themselves and the people attached to them and that's why it is a drug. Also, like a drug, there's no other feeling like it!

So, when you're happy, you should savour the moment. Live in the moment!  Not many of us are able to do that and it ends up as regret for so many of us. These are just my two cents. I? I want to be content with who I am, what my life is, what I stand for and I accept that all of this will not always make me happy.