Idea better than Reality!

“The idea of you is better than you in reality”… My wife blurted out in one of the many exasperating moments she had in my month-long garden leave. Whilst I could write about how I still manage to have a happy married life after starting with such a statement, pacifying your wife and managing marital bliss is an over analysed and stereotyped topic – hence this is not about that.

It got me thinking… the idea of most of the things in our mind feels better than the reality of it… looking at vacation pictures… photos of kids when they were young… your own snaps of childhood… musing over friends from school time or even long lost friends…

A caveat though – it’s not true for everything and every time. There are instances when one is bowled over, mesmerized, surprised, enthralled – at that very moment. They are genuine wow moments. I know it for I have had many like that… when I first saw my wife (hint – how to manage a happy married life – slip in such things silently in an off-topic ;)… Or my trip to Maldives or Ladakh…. Or when at times my son says very insightful things out of sheer innocence and the way his pure mind works… Or when I had my daughter in my arms for the first time… Very personal and quite a few… Works for sad events as well… I have had very bad experiences which hurt real bad at that time than what it does now during recollection (time heals as they say – and I have emotional amnesia)… or the pain I suffered for some events was much higher than what I had mentally prepared myself for… so you see… reality does win at times…

But in comparison they are quite a few and the instances of the contrary is huge – in sheer numbers… its every time I close my eyes and daydream of anything… or when I open the snaps folder and view old photos… the idea of anything I imagine or the memory of the past… feel so much more amplified and appealing then what I know it felt like when it was or will be when it will become real…

Why is it so with most of the things?

I believe its a mash-up of several nuances of our brain… our imagination being more powerful than reality… our minds ability to have a selective focus on past events and not a holistic vision during recollection… our desire to escape reality… our innate instinct to hope and dream…

We love listening to music, closing our eyes and losing the sense of reality… We love watching movies, engrossing ourselves in the story and at times reliving it somewhere within us as if we were part of that fiction… We love reading books and getting absorbed into the plot and the thought…

We love dreaming… About ourselves, about the ones we love… And revel ourselves in our own little world… Escape the world that our open eyes see and conscious mind observes… And we are the only living species that can do it!

What a mesmerizing source of delight… Complex yet free and available to all humans… No class, creed, sex or ability distinction… Allowing us all to experience the feeling we desire… And giving us that recharge of life within us to go on…

This is our imagination… more powerful than reality.

Looking at the childhood photos of my son, we always go awww… but we forget the pregnancy pains and postpartum issues my wife had… the days when he acted up and we were splitting our heads as to what we were doing wrong while raising him…

We look at pictures of our vacation and find them so much cooler – and for many, I have observed, even made more beautiful by the likes and loves received on social media sharing… forgetting the painful hikes, rushed packing, arguments with partners or kids, long and arduous travels…

We think of our long lost friends and we imagine all the fun time we have had… the cherished memories we have had… forgetting our fights or even the gaps in communication we may have had with them then… and not even wanting to acknowledge in that moment that in reality today they are not the same as what they were then…

This is our minds selective focus at play…

And a combination of this – where memories and imagination, hopes and dreams feel better than reality, result into something… us wanting to live in our own dream world… recollecting only the good things in our past life and in the own make-believe future world in our mind…

For reality requires something – effort, work… its painful at times… requires dedication and patience… it’s not free… there are failures as well… the desired result takes time… nothing is instantaneous… Everything that in our mind is not – immediate, all good, amplified, within our control…

No wonder people want to intoxicate themselves with alcohol and drugs… to hallucinate and lose their consciousness…

And its no wonder people procrastinate… No wonder why new year resolutions are broken…

All because we have a source of delight that requires us to do nothing… Happiness is a state of mind… And the idea is better than reality!

Epilogue: Just in case anyone was wondering how I managed pleasing over my wife after the episode I began the article with… I simply smiled and sang to her a Gujarati song “Nayan ne band rakhine mea jyare tamne joya che, tame cho tena karta pan vadhare tamne joya che…” (With my eyes closed when I have seen you, more than what you are, I have seen you)… Surmises the whole article – doesn’t it… Poets I tell you… 2 lines and conveys a whole saga…

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