A happy lot

We have reasons to rejoice. An international survey has found that Indians are the fourth happiest population in the world. Our happiness quotient is far higher than that of First World countries like England and Canada. Only Australia, the US and Egypt are ahead of us.

Those who dismiss us as a depressed lot due to our grinding poverty, illiteracy and diseases will find this contentment intriguing. But we ourselves will be least surprised. We know the art of extracting cheerfulness out of any adversity. The British survey only confirms this fact.

Supposing a flight or train is 36 hours late. People in countries like Russia, Japan and France, which are in the “unhappy” category, will tear their hair. Not us. We will celebrate that the plane/train has not been cancelled or hijacked.

We lose 1-7 in hockey. No sweat. We dance the night away for that one brilliant kick that we sent past their star keeper. Even if we momentarily lose our calm when Saurav Ganguly fails to reach double figures yet again, we just burn a few buses and trains and are back to our chirpy self again.

We are beaten up by policemen for no reason whatsoever. We do not raise hell. Instead, we thank our stars that we were not branded terrorists and shot.

Papers are leaked and exams delayed by three months. We take solace from the plight of our brethren who have found after studying for years that their university was fake and their degrees worthless.

We go to a hospital with an emergency case. There is no doctor. The patient dies. Do we raise a hue and cry? No, we are thankful that we did not have to incur huge expenditure on treatment because we know that the patient would have died even quicker had he fallen into the hands of the doctor, who owed his job to his relationship with a minister.

Ten persons die in our locality after drinking hooch. We drown our sorrow in liquor from the same shop.

Terrorists kill all men in a village. We eulogise them for their humane gesture of sparing women and children. A killer of 20 innocent persons is to be hanged. We organise a march to protect his life.

Politicians take us for a ride for four years and 11 months. Come payback time during elections and we again allow them to make an ass of us. A leader siphons off crores of rupees. We do not boycott him. He brought phones to our village, didn’t he?

There are cows on the road. We are beholden to the administration that there are no tigers. We consider a government servant upright if he takes bribe, but at least does our work.

There is no electricity, water or road. We are still grateful that there is kerosene in the ration shop. If rapes and dowry killings go out of hand, we simply kill our daughters at birth.

With such sterling qualities, we deserve to be recognised as the world’s happiest people. Yet, we are relegated to the fourth place. We are ecstatic nevertheless. Cheers to that spirit!

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Copyright © 2013 Amar Chandel