Many of us spend the better part of our lives in an elusive search for something - someting which we believe will guarantee us satisfaction with ourselves. While on this pursuit, we even postpone enjoyment of everything else we have which in effect amounts to postponing "living". At the end of the search, perhaps some do find what they are looking for but most are left tired and with the realisation that what they have been looking for never existed in the first place. these are the members of the 99 club.
The 99 club?! yes, read on to see what it is:

"Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content.
One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy. The King asked the servant, "Why are you so happy?"
The man replied, "Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don't need too much - just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies."
The king was not satisfied with that reply. Later in the day, he sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the King's woes and the servant's story, the advisor said, "Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of The 99 Club."
"The 99 Club? And what exactly is that?" the King inquired.
The advisor replied, "Your Majesty, to truly know what The 99 Club is, place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant's doorstep."
When the servant saw the bag, he took it into his house. When he opened the bag, he let out a great shout of joy... So many gold coins!
He began to count them. After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were 99 coins. He wondered, "What could've happened to that last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins! "
He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive. Finally, exhausted, he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete his collection.
From that day, the servant's life was changed. He was overworked, horribly grumpy, and castigated his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin. He stopped singing while he worked.
Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was puzzled. When he sought his advisor's help, the advisor said, "Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club."
He continued, "The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never contented, because they're always yearning and striving for that extra 1 telling to themselves: Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life."
We can be happy, even with very little in our lives, but the minute we're given something bigger and better, we want even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, we hurt the people around us; all these as a price for our growing needs and desires. That's what joining The 99 Club is all about."
(Source of story:Unknown)

Henry David Thoreau said " The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run." It is an irony that for many of us the cost of a huge part of our life is the "missing" one coin!
17 Responses
  1. Mahadevan Says:

    True! True! True! Didn't Shelley say

    We look before and after
    And pine for what is not.

    Almost all of us are members of 99 club. Many of our spiritual texts are trying to dissuade us from becoming members of this club. Tolstoy's 'How much land does a man need" is a pointer in this context.

    In a lighter vein, A.G.Gardiner said, " Nobody in his senses would become a King if he could be a cobbler, for, the cobbler has freedom and obscurity and the King only prison and publicity.

    A few days of enforced rest seems to have stimulated your thinking a great deal.

  2. ravi Says:

    Coming back again just to say thanks for the last words of ur post n i m taking this liberty to paste these lines of u in the comment section.

    I think there is a beauty that shines through a person who ages gracefully accepting the natural changes in her body rather than the constantly surprised look of a person who has had a facelift. It is certainly not possible to reverse something as natural as ageing - the best way to handle it is to wear the wrinkles with dignity. Something which our earlier generations did without even tryingese lines.

    Thats very very true. I learnt a lot frm these lines if i have to be honest.

    Yes this 99 ka chakkar admi ko ghanchaker banna deta hai..n what abt all those batsmen who get out at 99. How elusive this ONE becomes at that time.

  3. MJ Says:

    :)...learned a good lesson early in life...lifez worhth living with all smiles n chasing the challenges but definetly not at the cost of only material things.

  4. Alapana Says:

    It is a never ending quest,its upto us where to stop,if we dont then the run will become endless,while doing so we forget to see the beauty around,within ourselves,the joy of contentment:)

    Mom is fine now,recovering,will mail you in two days,will be out of town.Thankyou for the words and i will sure rush to you whenever in need. takecare.

  5. Hip Grandma Says:

    I know a good no. of people who belong to the 99 club.we in our college call them 'sukhrogis'.people who can never enjoy the 'sukh' that they have been blessed with in pursuit of the 100th gold coin.

  6. Ardra Says:

    so true Usha...
    and abt u'r prev post abt ageing gracefully- am trying to remember that whenever I notice yet another grey strand...

    and err, Usha, have tagged you- hope you feel like doing it. pls chek:

  7. Shashi Iyer Says:

    :) i can never figure you out. haha. i've read something that shares these sentiments. "(An army officer to trainees) We might never have to war; yet we must practise". i guess the 'must' is inevitable.

  8. how very true...! and you know strangely in life I have always felt and seen that - it is easy to identify somebody else who is is a part of the 99 club and more easier to advise somebody not to be a part of it; but the most hardest part is to identify if we ourselves are part of the 99 club and most impossible - to get out of it, if we are involuntary members.

  9. sinuma Says:

    Businessmen understand the logic of 99(Club).Thats why the price tag goes as -- 99cents,$1&99cents.The psycology behind is -consumer's satisfaction of saving one cent.This is opposite of earning one $ to complete the 100 count.
    So some are misereble for fulfilling silly goals and some are very happy with what they have.

  10. passerby55 Says:

    hi there!

    do you know you don;t make people think with all your post ..

    "The 99 club" post makes me realise you help people to REFLECT rather than THINK

    USha where does this art of making people Reflect come from?

    Did i tell you i love visiting your blog?

  11. Usha Says:

    Mahadevan: A little bit of discontentment is perhaps necessary to goad us on towards betterment. But when we trade everything off in pursuit of this elusive thing, it is sucha waste.

    Ravi:Batsmen getting out at 99. Good point. I have always pitied them - it took a lot of hardwork to score those 99 but finally it is the last one they DIDN'T that seems to make all the difference.
    I get aso annoyed with parents whose children get 95 in math and the parents ask them "where did the other 5 go!" What a shame!

    M j:Yes, the idea is not to shy away from challenges but not to chase after things that do not necessarily make you happier than you already are.

    Alapana: You summed it up neatly girl.
    Glad to know mom's health is improving and waiting for your mail. You are welcome anytime to rush to me.

    Hiphopgrandmom:Sukhrogis - what a nice term! Don't we see them all the time around us? I know this friend in a very highly paid job blessed with two lovely children and asweet wife. He is so busy climbing the corporate ladder that he hardly has time for his family. he is postponing spending time with them until he has achieved some target he has set for himself. What he doesn't seem to realise is that by then his youngest will be a teen ager and he will already ahve bcome a stranger to them.

    Ardra: thanks and done.
    and stop looking for gray strands and soon they will cease to matter!

    Shashi: I understand that we cant all sit back and enjoy what we have and expect progress. But one should know the difference between inaction and necessary level of activity.Why ia making the next million mjore worthwhile than spending time with your ageing parents or growing children?

    Vidya: Yes, I agree. Somehow our pursuit seems justified while others' seems greedy! In some way we are all guilty of this kind of chase - our system makes it necessary and justified. It reqquires a tremendous effort to say "I am stopping now"

    Sinuma: Agree.

    Passerby: It has nothing to do with me. I guess I am plain lucky that such people read my posts and you know what the comments they share gives me clarity and sometimes a different perspective.
    Thanks for reading me and sharing your perspective and as a bonus, liking it too...:) I love visiting you too!

  12. Visithra Says:

    All i could think was pity the servant - he became a specimen for an experiment

  13. Shankar Says:

    It is about the journey, and seldom of the thing that induced the journey, yet the reality of things always make us live for the thing rather than the journey. How sad.

    PS: I've blogrolled you - I hope you don't mind. :)

  14. Aqua Says:

    Awesome post Usha (as always :)

    This post set me thinking about what the '100th coin' was in my life. I keep telling myself the day i lose 5kgs or the day i reach my 'target weight' i'll be happy...instead of living each moment to its fullest.

    to celebrate this breakthrough i'm going to treat myself to a sugar doughnut now :)

  15. Usha Says:

    Aren't we all unwitting subjects for government's experimental schemes sometime or other - is that why they were called subjects!!!

    Shankar: sure you are welcome. I shall add yours soon too.

    Aqua:Thanks . And hey, STOP right there and handover that doughnut to me. Now, 100th coin is finding happiness in the present you and not waiting for you to lose 5 kgs - it definitely doesnt mean that you need the calories of a sugary doughnut...heheheh. just let go and enjoy but be sure you know when to say "no".

  16. Wild Reeds Says:

    "The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run."

    Brilliant! Ils toujours me font reflechir, vos articles!

  17. Usha Says:

    wildreeds: Merci. c'est gentil. Mais ils vous font reflechir parce que vouse êtes aussi sensible, n'est-ce pas?