Don’t we all crave Bliss? Some find it in lucre while some discover it in the high of wielding power over others. Some see it in beauty and some feel it in love. Many experience it in their bellies when they eat to their heart’s desire. And for some it is a delicious fruit borne of abstinence. To some it is God’s gift in form of contentment while some are condemned to spend their lives looking for it. Some find it in sanity, rationality and some stumble across bliss in madness. “There is pleasure sure in madness which none but madmen know”. And for many it is the mundane routine that is most pleasing. Bliss has many colors and we experience its various hues as we age and grow. A child may experience it in the lap of her doting mother and a husband in the arms of the beloved.
But what is bliss? The Oxford dictionary defines it as a “state of extreme happiness”. Extreme happiness should be a consequence of extreme events; monumental turns in our lives indeed sink or lift us. It is the capacity of the mundane existence to make us happy which I find so endearing. Bliss is born in the mind and then in an instant infects the whole body. It may be an overwhelming feeling of joy, a surge of emotions or a sense of supreme serenity. It is a state of mind that a slice of time owns. A moment with a loved one, a kind word, a fragrant whisper, the first swallow of a long evening, rain drops making love to the leaves, an unsolicited smile and sometimes simply an instance of submission and gratitude to divinity. Little slivers of time that have the magical power of defining the meaning of life and existence, of happiness and tranquility.
Bliss. When you go hazy listening to the symphony of the scissors. When your eyelids become heavy, droopy with pleasure as the artist sensuously sprinkles water on your hair. The swarm of super fine water droplets land on the face only to lose their existence against the warm skin. And then as the hand gently runs through your hair, the scissors follow it like a lover in tow. Head reclining, you experience that indescribable relief as if all your worries have been sucked out of your life. When all you can hear is the symphony of the scissors.
Bliss. When you wake up early morning squashed between your kids. Not particularly comfy but blissful for sure. Bliss is when after hours of tossing and turning in the bed, you finally hit that perfect posture. One pillow curled up under your head, one in your loving embrace and one crushed between the legs. Four in the morning and three more hours to go. Half asleep you can’t help but heave a sigh of relief. The quiet is surreal, so are the silhouettes of your kids and family utterly oblivious to your brief interlude with bliss.
Bliss is listening to Tony Bennett’s “Look of Love”. The afternoon is warm, the room ethereally quiet and the mind taking a quite trip down the nostalgia lane. Bliss when in a crowded room you catch that special someone looking at you. The moment is fleeting yet has the power to scar for life. “Some people live a lifetime in a moment”, whispers Al-Pacino in the “Scent of a Woman” as he takes Gabriel Anwar for a tango.
Bliss. When after endlessly wading through murky water you hit that clear patch. When you are suddenly able to cut through the haze and see with stunning clarity. It is that moment of realization, of knowing which bridge to cross and which to burn. Bliss when you call your mother to check on her and greeted with a sudden shower of heartfelt benedictions. She is there is give and not judge. Bliss when you wake up to the early morning rain. It is like eavesdropping on God.
No winding road to bliss. No mountains to be crossed, no oceans to be feared. Bliss is in the little turns here and there. Open your eyes, open your hearts, embrace the ordinary and bliss will come to you.