Easy Step to Happiness: Kick-Out the Word “Enjoy”

Aseena (not real name), our family friend, is working as a Nurse in UK. She always ends her phone call with these words: “Have fun, Enjoy!”.

One day Aseena was talking to my daughter. I heard my daughter saying: “My appa (father) doesn’t like us to enjoy that way. He never allows us to go to shopping malls or hang-outs or outings with friends…”

Then Aseena talked to me:”Uday, you should give some freedom to your kids…Don’t you know that world has changed? You have traveled around the globe but still behave like an old-generation village pumpkin Brahmin. You should let them enjoy life…”
“Aseena, what do you mean by enjoying life?”

“You never give your kids any pocket money. You won’t let others too. You should allow them freak-out at least once in life time. They should understand what enjoyment in life is?”

“You still didn’t answer my question – what do you mean by “enjoy”?”

“Hey English MA, you don’t know the meaning? Having fun and being happy!” she teased me.

“Aseena…Enjoyment is something which is due to sensory perceptions, it has more physical sense in it…Happiness is state of mind…”

“So, what’s the big deal?”

“Enjoy is shorter-term and felt while doing any act. People may get enjoyment from junk foods, movies, music, sexual pleasure,and all sorts of other things. There are drugs that will give you feelings of pleasure and enjoyment. A person may smoke cigarettes or consume alcohol to get enjoyment…”

“I didn’t mean all those”

“Aseena, pleasure is a short lived sensation (related with sensory organs). YOU CAN FIND PLEASURE EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT HAPPY…Any enjoyment would increase lust…”

“Uday, don’t use such word as “lust” when there is a moderate word “desire’ ok?”

“No. Contrary to popular mis-conceptions, I feel desire, wish, want etc are good”

“How come? Desire is the root of suffering”

“No. If your desire comes true, you would say “Hari ichcha” (=God’s will, ‘Insha Allah’ in Arabic). If it doesn’t happen, again you would say, “Hari ichcha”. Lust is a different ball game. If it works, you would be happy. If it doesn’t, you would be depressed and sad”


“Lust synonyms with enjoyment. Just like any other addictions, you would want more and more in lust. It will end up in frustration, depression and adharma (non-virtuous deed)… Is that what do you want for my kids?”

“No – you know very well, I didn’t mean it at all. They are like my kids – I wish only good for them…I might have used the wrong word, but what’s in a word?”

“Aseena, it is not just a word – it is a clear statement. The word “Enjoy” was alien to Indian culture. I think approx 21 years back, when this word was introduced by MTV, I wrote in my column (in a vernacular paper – Deepika) that I smelt a rat in that word. I wrote that it was a marketing word created by some wily Asuric minds. I said there should be a conspiracy theory.” Even those dearest regular readers pooh-poohed me. Some people alleged me for being so kiddish. Others asked: What’s wrong in a word?”

It is history now. What the invaders couldn’t achieve in (800+200=) 1000 years, just a word and the concept behind it achieved. And we failed to notice the “cultural terrorist attack” behind that simple word. Everybody began to use this word “Enjoy!!!” And thus “enjoy” became a must-use word for Indians. “When you wish kids ‘enjoy’, you are conditioning them with a wrong perception that life is for enjoyment. They would develop a concept that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy. And the life becomes a superficial reality show for them” This idea is being cleverly sold in India.

And NOW the market-media (through Channels,FMs, Print, Social etc) INSTRUCTs you how to “enjoy” your life. They have already set up a design – a concept of your enjoyment that seduces you to the extreme lust. They not only make you buy all unessential things but also make you addicted for that. Market-media force decides how to enjoy the life – all you can do NOW is follow them like a robot or slave. The object for enjoyments varies from expensive cosmetics, costly perfumes, branded apparels, games, night clubs, alcohol, drugs, sex etc…And, everybody wants to enjoy life!
It doesn’t end there. The next natural step is: “Make money somehow and ENJOY!” Making money by hook or by crook has become motto for a large chunk of population. Everything becomes “commodities” in the consumer market. And human beings are just “use and throw” items!

Any enjoyment (lust) would definitely lead to misery; it would be difficult to eliminate the craving to pleasure, which has a chemical basis. Eventually this will end up in frustration, depression and violence (to self or to others). You would be totally ruined, even before you know it!

“Oh, I didn’t think so much…” Aseena said.

“My kids are not going to get a single penny from me to buy unessential things in life or to “enjoy”. I know the temptations from schools, neighborhood and market-media are unlimited. The attitude of ‘enjoying kids’ may create inferiority complex in non-enjoying kids. But I don’t want to be a party to ruin their life. I would tell them, contend with what you have. When they start earning, it is their choice then – they can enjoy the life the way they want to…”

“Now onward I will wish them happiness…”she said.

“Yes. Happiness is everlasting and felt more after doing something good to someone. It’s felt by heart; it gives smile on lips. When you share and care, happiness would double…and it will pass on to your DNA too.”

“Hmm. I understood. You know, mine was an innocent wishing as everybody does…”

“I know. Your intention was good. But it has a strong symbolism behind it you are not aware of… It gives a wrong message. Kids will believe that life is all about enjoyment…However, let me share a secret truth with you Aseena…”I said.

“What’s that?”

“It is the only proved cosmic truth…”

“What?” her curiosity rose.

“If you depend upon anybody (a person) or anything for happiness, the “person” would either leave you or cease to exist and the “thing” would cause you misery or sorrow after sometime. So do not depend upon anybody or anything for happiness. Happiness is your inherent nature, that’s why you always seek it. So just be happy, come what may…”

Udaylal Pai
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© Uday Lal Pai. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing at uday@udaypai.in

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2 Responses

  1. Arcanjoe Almeida says:

    kids – teenager dont know what is rite or wrong as they dont have the ability to understand even if v tell them..

    In today`s world how to explain them what does Enjoy mean and even happiness.
    For them the term enjoy and happiness is same.
    They c or think thru others eyes. And it is difficult to make them understand.

    For eg how to make them understand that Mcdonald is junk food which is not good for them as they have come to know from their friends or thru media.

    Living a really simple life in today`s world is next to impossible.

  2. Vinay says:

    Thought provoking Uday. It has to be happiness that should fill our lives not the instructed ‘enjoyment’.

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