All’s Well for an Optimist


All’s Well for an Optimist.

So the news is, Actress Jiah khan committed suicide (recently) due to a failed relationship. If everyone with failed relationships ended up committing suicide the earth would pretty soon be de-populated. I am not; pardon me, making fun of Jiah Khan, dead that she is now. I am merely pointing out the incongruity of her actions when she had a bright and independent future ahead of her, a future which might not have included a happy relationship but had almost everything else her heart desired.

Her first movie (and the only movie i saw of her) Nishabd proved that she was a fine actress, considering that the only part of her acting we saw on-screen was her toned legs. But that’s par for the course with Ram Gopal Varma, for his movies feature specific body parts in place of heroines – like Urmila matondkar’s butt, Antara mali’s abs and Priyanka kothari’s breasts. The actresses themselves are not germane to RGV’s movies, just their assets are all that is required and shown on the big screen.

Anyway to return to Jiah khan, she could have benefited from adequate help or psychological counseling in time, but actresses are both narcissistic and afraid of public opinion. These celebrities are adept at hiding their wounds from everyone and hence suffer more, compared to the ordinary mortals like us who rant and rave everywhere when our hearts are broken. And which in its own way is an effective pill for our ills, a stress busting cry for help, bringing succor from near and dear friends.

Which brings me to the story of my friend who has recently undergone heartbreak. She is the celebrity type who believes that a break-up is the end of the world as she knows. While i, wise old man that i am, have been telling her that love is fleeting and to be enjoyed and remembered only and even if grasped tightly cannot be retained without spilling out of our hands like water. At a certain point of time when it happens, love will seem all there is to life, but if you move on you will be left with just the good memories and a sense of closure.

And that’s my personal philosophy based on my personality. But it might not be applicable to everyone for some people are inherently pessimistic. While some, like me, are the polar opposite- the extreme optimists like Micawber in David Copperfield. If you remember that glass is full/half/empty analogy- people are divided into pessimists, optimists and realists. But no one is fully one thing or the other all the time. We alternate depending on our moods and circumstances. Sometimes we are one and sometimes we are another.

In the middle of a company of boisterous friends even the most pessimistic of people feel that there must be something more to life other than this sadness they are feeling. Lying alone on a bed, in the dark hours of the night, even the most ardent optimist feels the pangs of pessimism when reality strikes and we take a good hard look at our current life and say to ourselves “hold on, my life sucks. Is this how it is going to be five years or ten years down the line too? How can I face such a future?”

Such doubts which are crushed deep inside ourselves during busy daytime activities strike unexpectedly in the deep reaches of the night when our psychological defenses are down and we feel all alone. The optimist faces these doubts and fears just like the pessimist does. While the pessimists give in to their fears and despair of ever being happy again, the optimists’ soldier on, hoping for a turning point and postponing any important decisions till the morning comes.

And when you wake up in the morning and see a fresh new day with a bright sun shining outside, then you realize that you are at the start of a glorious day, a day with endless possibilities, where anything might happen before night falls. You tell yourself that THIS is the day that your luck turns, the dice fall your way and all your wishes will be gratified and you believe it wholeheartedly and go out with a smile on your lips. And sometimes it comes true too. Even if not, well there is always tomorrow and a fresh start again.

So the difference between an optimist and pessimist is that while a pessimist believes that tomorrow will be the same as today, while the optimist believes that tomorrow will turn out different and everything wished for will happen. And the super-optimists like me? Well, we believe that tomorrow comes in the next hour and everything will change by evening. If there is one thing which life has taught me it is that life is very consistent in its inconsistencies. Nothing is the same again. Things change in a jiffy- for good or bad. No one can predict what comes next- the unsinkable Titanic sunk, didn’t it? So if bad things can happen so suddenly why not expect the obverse? That good things might happen too, unexpectedly?

Imagine such good things happening to you and go out with a smile every day. As a last resort console yourself with the idea that a man who eats one meal a day need not be afraid to starve while he eats thrice a day should be afraid of famine. So if your life already sucks then hey, you got nothing to be frightened of anymore, right? And so look forward with hope and believe it’s just around that corner or will happen tomorrow definitely.

In the immortal words of Charles dickens character mr.micawber from David Copperfield “What if something turns up?” and his motto “Remember my motto -Nil Desperandum! -Never despair!”

And so I am waiting for something to turn up soon. And will never despair. Do so likewise, dear friends.

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