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Friday, 3 August 2012

The action- Pleasure

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Traditionally its always action followed by reaction. I chose to blog the other way around writing about pain and then pleasure in order to better appreciate how there is just one factor -pleasure. All others stem from how we approach this lone factor.

Freud describes the pleasure principle as the concept of people seeking pleasure and avoiding pain  in order to satisfy their biological and psychological needs. At the bottom of it all that's all there is to it, but as to everything related to us Human beings, we don't quite fancy a straight forward explanation, we rather prefer a long drawn one.

This month of Ramadan is about restraint. It's about curbing all urges, involving food, body, speech amongst other things in order to restrict ones attendance to meditation and prayers. It's almost like a month of retreat to purify ones soul and conduct. Deprivation of such "pleasures" helps me realize that I am really not missing that much. Hard as it might be to avoid watching a new released movie, or the urge to cuss at some particular annoyance, there is a sense of accomplishment I feel in mastering my nerve.

As in pain, pleasure is neither good or bad. Tip toeing around the more complicated factors of the ID, EGO and SUPER EGO, its sufficient to say we continually seek pleasure and try our darnedest to gratify it. Pleasure instinct unfortunately exists in all of us whether we admit to it or not. Fetishes of all forms, acceptable or not occur in the realms of pleasure, what makes them "wrong or right" is how society has conditioned us to perceive it.
At heart, us hunter and gatherers will run around like headless chicken not knowing how to balance our own pleasure gratification and the delicate tandem of society we live in, which is why rules and laws were made to curb the instinct to make us more "civilized and lesser brutes". Amusingly the more forbidden a certain pleasure is, the more appealing it becomes. Not our fault, I say, Adam started it!

My forbidden fruit a fortnigh t ago happened to be Haagen-Dazs. Now this incident brought about a delicious enlightening of my own character forth. First, I hate Ice Cream. I ac tually loathe it. Second, the moment I was half delirious at the beauty of the ice-creams presentation, KK and I were skint. She being of sound reason dissuaded me, before I completely embarrassed myself drooling over the magazine sized menu. The fact that I was not even going to taste it but merely wanted to take pictures because it was so purty, did not seem at all odd to my mind. After all I bought a really expensive camera and I ought to be able to take pictures of things oh-so-pretty. ( One cannot but marvel at the explanations and justifications one would put forth just to satisfy ones pleasure instinct). The image stayed in my mind, mingled with resentment of the denial by KK. Next day MG, being on an impulsive streak became my partner is crime and we went to Haagen-Dazs over lunch from work. We felt like a pair of naughty school children, me being the worst of the two as I chipped in my ridiculous share to partake in a spoon of whipped cream and a chocolat e biscuit. Bless MG's cotton pickin heart, she finished the entire platter.
The point here is not the cost of the ice cream or my lack of interest in it. The point is the  pull of my pleasure instinct burgeoning need of its gratification. And as the good lord is my witness, I admit, It felt good.

As I said before, us Humans are but children at heart seeking new pleasures at every breath. It is who we are. We can deny or curb it, but the fact is, it exists.
Mirza Asadullah Ghalib's words hold true, if not for everyone, at least for me:

hazaaro.n Khvaahishe.n aisii ki har Khvaaish pe dam nikale
bahut nikale mere armaa.N lekin phir bhii kam nikale
(There are thousands of ambitions that each such wish could consume my life
My desires , and I experience them all intensely, aren’t enough for this one lifetime.)

So wafting from the pleasure of an uneaten ice cream to my new Galaxy tab, from the anticipation of a hearty Iftar at sundown, to chuckling over Mark Twain's words, my simple pleasures, alas I admit are to me a limitless horizon. 
My justification, if not for any other, to me is- What can I do?  but accept, my biology and partake in all this wonderful life of ours has to offer.

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