Happiness is a strange thing, for some it is an abstract concept, for some it is a fleeting emotion and for some people like me it is a state of being.
|The house in Bangalore|
Since I have asked such a seemingly obvious question, you know it is a trick question. You know the answer is that the second guy is happier, and this is right.
|5 days before I|
moved to Spain
|After moving to Spain|
|The studio in Madrid|
|The sea view room|
My moving to Spain also made me realize a two other things. One is about time. I travelled a lot, to villages nearby, to a forest close to my house and to every other city that is everyone’s European checklist. When my wife was here a for a month’s vacation we covered Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Switzerland and Ibiza in a month! Because we knew that our time was limited. This sense of urgency, this understanding that this will not last is a great motivator. In my humble opinion that is how life should be lived, with the understanding that it is an ephemeral thing; that we will never be here again, we will never be in the same moment again. Our time here is limited and that is what makes our lives beautiful. When I was in Bangalore I always wanted to go to Bylakuppe, it is small Tibetan settlement around 80 kms from Mysore, I made the plan many time and then cancelled it by saying we can go any time, and of course I never did go there. That is because I always thought I had unlimited time. Don’t most of us do that? We think we can do this any time and we wait for some perfect time for it. When we will have the weekend totally free, when we’ll not be as tired, when we will have a little more money, when the weather is a little better, when all our friends would want to go etc. etc. You know the answer to all these whens is never. There is no better time than right now.
These however are not the only thing I realized. I also realized that I should respect us Indians a little more. I used to think we are exceptionally stingy, close-minded, conservative, littering, rapey, racist people. We are not. We Indians like to think we invented a lot of things like Nuclear weapons as Bhramaastra, Airplanes as Vimans, the number 0 and surgery. However racism, crime, poverty are certainly not our inventions. We are just poor, illiterate and a lot us cramped up in a comparatively little country. The Spanish from the 1970s tell stories of how they conserved plastic bags to carry stuff in them and had metal plates. South Koreans did not have any music that was not approved by conservatives until the 1990s. Women get catcalled on the streets even today in Morocco and the women in Brazil still feel unsafe going out in the night they have a female only taxi app called FemiTaxi. And yes, the Filipinos throw a lot of garbage on the streets and pee in the open. The cause of most of our problems boils down to poverty. Since we do not have money we do not have good public schools or dustbins on the street. People cannot afford to build toilets in the house and no restaurant or café will allow them to use the toilet while they are outside. The police is understaffed, underpaid and under equipped to handle the crime. Most people cannot afford to travel outside the country and have never seen how the world is. Vacations are scarce and most people are overworked. Women and men are kept segregated most of their lives because of the crime and our conservative values and this manifests in weird ways. I can go and on but the bottom-line is that we are not inferior in any way, we are just poor and a little behind in the development curve as a society. Once our living standard improves our country will become better.