Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Life, Trauma, Questions & Alexander McQueen

"The Good life is not a place you arrive at. It is a lens you bring to the place you are at right now"

Just yesterday I wore an Alexander McQueen backless dress and felt beautiful in what was a most ingeniously created work of art. In its construction and conception. Must take a beautiful mind to have conjured this I wondered, and then my mind began to ask what made this acclaimed creative genius said to be worth twenty million pounds, commit suicide at 45 at his stunning  two million pound flat in Mayfair, central London? He was doing work he liked, achieved recognition, success, money, fame, adulation and was one of the greatest creative geniuses of our times. Not enough reason to endure living? Are there further barriers to the elusive state called happiness? 

One hint perhaps, was, critics opined, an obsession with the 'Afterlife' that came across in his work. Did he see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, on the other side from life? Perhaps!

The ostensible reason was that the fashion designer – high on cocaine- slashed his wrists with a ceremonial dagger on the eve of mum Joyce's funeral was the grief of her parting. 


But we loose people through life. Life is a series of loss, from the day we are born. So then what is the way out to grapple with pain, loss and suffering? I’d say the  only way out is within. What comes to mind is a famous quote about happiness –‘chasing happiness

Try to capture it and it evades you. Sit on a bench and close your eyes - it will come and rest on your shoulder’.

McQueens psychiatrist  shared with the inquest that he felt constantly let down by people. By friends whom he had felt exploited him, that they had taken advantage of his fame and he had felt "let down" by some long-term relationships. And then he was shattered by the loss of that one person whom he trusted, his mother. And this only highlights the same point, that the very elusive happiness does not come from relationships. Nor even from material triumphs. 

One cannot be obsessive about money, house, friends and faithfulness from those friends, because these wants and expectations prevent peace. 

One can only do what comes one's way and try to be serenely absorbed in that. Remember Fountainhead’s Howard Roark? His greatest joy was the journey, his creation, his obsession with his perfection. Sorrow comes from resisting reality and from discontent.  One has to flow with life and accept the let downs as teachers- to grow with the good and not so good . That is the only way to equanimity. Sorrow is what we allow ourselves to reach in and wallow. Please lets live life one day at a time. I’d have said that Mc Queen. Let Go. Because you can’t change people and you cannot change the past. People are what they are.

So then what is the route to happiness? I believe that there is no such thing as permanence in any state, not even happiness. But one can snatch happy times, learn to savour the moments and like Wordsworth so aptly put it, stand and stare. Do we really ever stop to enjoy nature (whatever little of it we have left)? 

 Greenery is a great healer, and walking barefoot in the grass is therapeutic as is hearing music one enjoys. The good life is not a place you arrive at, it is a lens you bring to the place you are at right now! So snatch happiness and enjoy the journey. Because there is no destination at all but happy moments create a bank balance of fortitude and delight that you delve into when the going gets touch. It makes you into a survivor than a quitter! 

Nisha JamVwal nishajamvwal@gmail.com

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kittybuddha said...

This was really nice. Now I really want you to read my book. I'm glad you think the same way I do. And I hope I can live up to your expectations :) love

Anuja said...

Its strange how we envy and pine after these A list celebrities lifestyles, despite these constant occurences in both Bollywood and Hollywood. Take for instance Parveen Babis tragic end,Fardeen Khans drug issues, Salman and Sanjays arrests etc. Then in the West Britneys meltdown, Marilyns death, Alexander McQueen...the list goes on. Whilst we relaxingly pick up our papers/magazines for catchups on the latest news, see who wore what; I'm sure many of these stars are full of nerves and dread to pick up those same magazines, wondering whats been written about their weight gain, the outfit they wore to the party last night, that one pimple thats appeared on their skin etc.

The price to pay for being in the spotlight or having luxuries, it seems give the public/press an automatic right to bully, thinking they have it easy when its usually anything but.

Alot of people seemed to think my first solitaire on my 19th bday , or a brand new Gucci bag gave them a reason to pull me down and automatically label me as spoilt and arrogant without having ever spoken to me, choosing to back stab rather then hear my side...how my father chose to give me such a thing as he knew id place more value and care on that then anything else he'd give, or to buy myself that bag the sacrifices id made such as no holidays, outings with friends etc.
I felt i had a choice either Id come home and cry or just hold my head high, smile and show their opinions were worthless.

Like so many people I pine for that amazing necklace advertised in Vogue, those Jimmy Choos or THAT dress on Katrina Kaif, but in the end that happiness and buzz from those purchases last until the NEXT IT dress on Priyanka Chopra, or the the new collection modelled at Lakme Fashion Week. Of course I never go without my luxuries at all, but the biggest buzzes come my picnics in the park, munching the street food at Juhu beach and seeing my baby nephew giggle and smile at me.

Be happy with what you have, if its less then others its still alot more then millions around the world and they still learn to be happy, for instance many didnt like Slumdog Millionaire due to showing the slums... Firstly the movie is called SLUMdog millionaire and secondly those kids were portrayed as just as happy and mischevious as many other children, not once did you get the impressions they were lacking or pining for anything other then Amitabh Bachchan's autograph.

Amazing article as always Nisha!real, completely truthful and makes you think what's really important.

Leonidas Rueda Rueda said...

Hay actividades donde se presenta mucha presión, no hablo del trabajo excesivo e inmediato, sino hablo del trabajo donde hay mucha competencia, donde hay envidias, donde exigen mucha perfección; ademas hay personas como comenta usted que son codiciosas, que desean, aman el dinero excesivamente, que no importan como conseguirlo que si tienen uno o varios fracasos sucesivamente o que no logre coger un ritmo de trabajo continuo esta persona puede caer en una depresión y tomar una mala decisión.

Por eso las personas debemos ser sensatas, mentalizarnos si como triunfadores en la vida pero no siendo personas codiciosas.

Si la persona cree en un Ser Superior puede confiar sus problemas, sus dificultades, sus actividades en El, logicamente actuando para lograr resolver sus dificultades.

Linda que tengas una bella semana.

Nisha JamVwal Roller Coaster Called Life