The same friend who had accused me of melancholia, after reading my post on Life, rang me up this morning to reinforce his argument that I am prone to melancholia.

This time around, I took some time to reflect on his arguments and also went back to identify some times as upsetting as the present one to wonder if I am indeed prone to melancholia.

The two earlier occasions were the death of my mother in 1999 and the death of my wife in 2009. Both oddly enough in March though the dates were different.

I must confess that I felt more or less like I felt when my brother died and went through a period of why-me-itis. I would not however call them melancholy but, more a sense of unfair and untimely loss. I eventually got over both, as I am sure to do with the latest. So, my expressing my anguish in writing is not being melancholic but a cathartic exercise to face up to reality.

While one friend still wants to win brownie points with my post  Life, another, aware of my COPD arising out of six decades of smoking decided that the best cure for my whatever mood was some humour and sent me this very appropriate and mood lifting video on smokers. I leave it with you to decide who scored brownie points.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.


I received a phone call this morning from a friend inviting me to go out for lunch with him. I excused myself giving some innocuous excuses but, he kept trying to persuade me to accompany him. Finally, he gave up and asked me why I was being so unusually melancholic today. I responded that I did not think I was being melancholic but, just lazy.

He went off alone and I was left wondering about his comment on my being melancholic. I had not heard the term used by anyone in a long long time but, remembered a few things which came to my mind that I share with my readers here.  The statue on the left is by Hanneke Beaumont called Melancholia.

In 1866 the major French literary figure Victor Hugo published “Les Travailleurs de la Mer” which was later released under the English title “The Toilers of the Sea”. This work included this quotation.

“Le désespoir a des degrés remontants. De l’accablement on monte à l’abattement, de l’abattement à l’affliction, de l’affliction à la mélancolie. La mélancolie est un crépuscule. La souffrance s’y fond dans une sombre joie.
La mélancolie, c’est le bonheur d’être triste.”

“Despair has ascending degrees. From prostration one mounts to despondency, from despondency to affliction, from affliction to melancholy. Melancholy is a twilight. Suffering melts into it in sombre joy.
Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.”

No, I am anything but melancholic.