Pleasure of life

During the time we spent in terrorism-affected North-East (as part of the IPS training), you couldn’t step out without at least three machine-gun mounted vehicles, and everyone was armed with AK-47 rifles — such was the security threat.

After that, when I landed in Kerala, even something as mundane as walking on the road unescorted felt like a novel experience.

What we perceive as mundane or exciting depends totally on what our mind has gotten used to.

Play a ton of video games and you won’t relish the sunset — ‘too boring.’ Devour candies the whole day, and a carrot will feel flavorless.

In fact, whenever I have idly, I take the first few bites just to taste its raw flavor — once you dip it in the sambhar, it overwhelms your taste buds.

In an ultimate irony, the excessive sensory stimulation we seek to feel good is precisely what robs us of the ability to relish life’s daily pleasures — psychologists call it ‘anhedonia.’

We don’t have to give up all sensory stimulation — but anything that hyper-stimulates your senses is a drug — video games, social media, and your phone itself. Indulge in moderation.

Occasionally, find time for non-exciting stuff, maybe reading a book or even doing nothing.

The best pleasures of life are also the simplest: the evening breeze in your face, the orange sunset-sky, a conversation with your loved ones. And maybe, just the flavor of an idly.

– Rajan

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