Saturday, June 25, 2022

Unexpected Joys

With Kamalahasan's movie 'Vikram' trending all over on Social media, it was only a matter of time before something or the other about it crossed my timeline and piqued my interest. And so it did, this video interview of 'Agent Tina' aka Vasanthi, a barely noticed dance assistant so far but, suddenly, in a cameo that evoked applause and whistles in the theaters. Boy, the sheer unadulterated, and immense, joy in her face as she tried to express how it all felt.

It set me to wondering. I mean, if it were Rajinikant, say, whose scene was getting all that applause, would he be as ecstatic? It is almost axiomatic for his entry in any scene to be greeted by applause, so what is one more in his universe? As far as he is concerned, it would only be cause for grave disappointment if his scene does NOT get applause whereas if he does get applause it is just business as usual.

Expectations, as I have had occasion to say before, is the key. (As usual, repeating myself? Of course, it IS sort of EXPECTED. At my age, I am SUPPOSED to keep repeating myself otherwise I may be disqualified for the senior citizen benefits I am SO looking forward to in a couple of years.) The first time when anything happens, when you are not really expecting it, the pleasure is huge. Afterwards, and if it has happened regularly...

The first time you ever bit into a chocolate; the first time you had an icecream; your first love, yada yada...THOSE where when you had the most joy. After that, when you knew what to expect, the joy is much lesser. AND if you have anything very frequently, your expectations being met is sort of ho-hum. When it is NOT met you get pissed.

The same applies in your expectations of your own success. When first you succeed at anything, even your area of expertise, the high of the success is humongous. As time goes by, your own expectations will ensure that your successes starts seeming mundane. Especially in your own area of expertise. Which is why a 500 buck payout from your article getting published in a newspaper can give you a bigger high than the 2 Lakh salary that pops in every month.

Expectations are the biggest robbers of joy. When, in all that you do in life, success leaves you cold and failures depress you...well, that is a future where all you have to look forward to is boredom or depression, isn't it?

The route to joy, then, is either to rein in the expectations in what you do; OR try doing newer things where you have little reason to hold expectations!


  1. Yes, the truly successful/ joyful people tend to be those who can turn their bored passages in life into something creative or new. After the earth-shaking failure of the blockbuster, "Mera Naam Joker," Raj Kapoor shut himself in the house for years just reading Archie comics. Out of that boredom sprang "Bobby" and again, there was no looking back for Raj Kapoor. One finds imprints of Archie comics all over Bobby, e.g., the polka dotted dresses of Dimple Kapadia ... The trick is probably to learn how to get bored well.

    1. Or how to find something new where the success is exhilarating.

      Thanks Bibhuti Dash

  2. I did not expect anything less from you Suresh, yet I found joy in reading your piece on expectation and joy management! A conundrum? 😛😛

    1. Now that's the sort of conundrum that I can take joy in. 😀

  3. Expecting the unexpected has become usual thus making the unexpectation part as the expected outcome to become as unusual

    Anyway, you raised a issue which is quite prevalent and common ailment amongst us and also tried to give a solution for it....loved it !!!