As the Indian republic enters its 62nd year, it’s only khushi and hardly any ghum in the lives of a majority of the urban Indian youth. A youth survey conducted by Hindustan Times among 10,000 participants in 18 cities reveals that of all the towns in India, Jaipur is the happiest, with 91% people in the age of 18-25 claiming to be very happy, closely followed by Mumbai, where 89.5% of the youth claimed to be in good cheer. On the third ‘happy’ spot is Ludhiana, with 85% happy souls. The Capital, too, features among the happy cities, with 60 - 85% of its youth population smiling. Guwahati fared worst, with a meagre 43.5% of its people claiming to be happy.
Most young Indians who were quizzed said it was their parents who were the biggest source of happiness for them, and girlfriends and boyfriends came last on the list of reasons. Experts say that’s because parent-child bonding has grown stronger in the recent years, with parents becoming more understanding, liberal and realistic in their expectations from children. “Parents play a significant role in determining how happy you are. For young adults, it’s not enough that their materials needs are met. It’s the emotional and psychological vacuum that needs to be filled. The findings of this survey reflect that the gap between parents and children has lessened and parents now know what their children want," says psychiatrist, Dr Sanjay Chugh.
But, why has Dillwalon ki Dilli not managed to score as well as Jaipur, Mumbai and Ludhiana? Delhi breeds insecurities, and life’s often not in control here, says Dr Avdesh Sharma, a psychiatrist. “You worry about every little thing in life, right from reaching office in time to getting a small job done without paying bribe," he adds.
Jaipur, on the other hand, is the happiest because it is a reasonably peaceful city with a high level of aspiration that’s usually fulfilled. “It’s upwardly mobile, yet not completely a metro. Family ties are still very strong. It also has a lively culture with a heavy influx of foreign tourists every year. No wonder then, that the youngsters there are a happy lot," says Dr Sharma.
Mumbaikars, he adds, are happy as they “keep their noses out of other people’s affairs.”
Why Delhi’s youth is happy
Delhi is one of the greenest cities in the world
We have wider roads than most metropolitan cities
The Delhi Metro has made the daily commute much easier for youngsters.
What irks them
Delhi is unsafe for women as compared to other metropolises
Delhi does not have a nightlife
It is a hot-tempered city, with the maximum incidents of road rage.
Toshi Sabri, singer
In my city, people give a lot of importance to the little joys of life. Jaipur-ites don’t believe in trading their value system for success. There is a strong bond between parents, siblings and friends. And, we are a caring, sensitive people.
Very happy: Mumbai
Shahana Goswami, actor
The day I set foot in this city, I felt it was a city I could live in, happily. It is the general vibe of the people, the work ethics, the melting pot of cultures and the safe, independent environment that makes it happy.
Prashant Verma, designer
It’s not as if Delhi-ites aren’t happy. But, I confess, when I travel to a city like Mumbai or New York, I do feel happier. It feels like you’re in a city which is alive, on the move, and that means a lot to a young person like me.
Least Happy: Guwahati
Ranjan Engti, artist
You’d find the city flooded every time it pours, and there are terrible traffic snarls. If there is any night life, all the fun gets spoiled when the army roughens up the people. So, there are our reasons!