This is what it all boils down to
Posted September 13, 2009on:
Today in his weekly column, Khushwant Singh listed what according to him were the “the elements of happiness”. With his breadth of experience, and his 92 years of life, i was certainly interested. What would this man with a literary sensibility, wide reading, someone who has met people from all walks of life, had abundant love, and lived a full, long life, have to say about happiness. What he had to say was typical of Khushwant Singh. In at least my readings of Khushwant (which mostly consist of following his column in Tribune for a few months now) his style seems blunt, straightforward, understated. Theres no attempt to use the power of words to make life seem more than it is. So, his seven elements of happiness:-
1) Good health
2) A healthy bank balance
3) A life partner
4) A self owned house (with a garden preferably)
5) Cultivate a hobby (music, reading, sports)
6) Keep away from people who descend upon you for gupshup.
7) Curb the propensity to compare yourselves with others who were more successful in life.
Anti climatic, yet practicable. His elements fly in the face of spiritualists who talk about the “essential problem of unhappiness” or the “universality of unhappiness” and prescribe grand solutions – faith, annihilation of the self, inner awakening etc etc. Maybe it’s all self indulgent chatter in an attempt to inject grandiosness in life, which is otherwise mundane.