The verdict is clear: India is a happy nation. A vast majority of us are happy with our own attitudes and actions, professional lives, families, cities (despite having to face and overcome many problems), the leisure and entertainment options, sex lives, money and physical well being.
The first Hindustan Times-MaRS Happiness Survey throws up quite a few surprises.
No, it isn’t the Delhiites, Mumbaikars and Bangaloreans who are the happiest. Far from it! Residents of Jaipur, Lucknow, Indore, Ahmedabad and Patna are happier than their big city counterparts.
Overall, women seem marginally happier than men and younger people happier than their parents’ generation.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, residents of Delhi and Mumbai seem quite satisfied with their professional lives. Obviously, multiplicity of job options has influenced them.
But Ahmedabad and Chennai, surprisingly, bring up the rear. A caveat will be in order here: people in these cities aren't actually unhappy with their professional lives, but their happiness is under stress.
There is also a question mark over the quality of family life in the bigger cities. Mumbaikars apart, residents of the other metros and Hyderabad aren’t particularly happy on this count.
One issue that emerges is the absence of extreme emotions. No city claims to be extremely happy about any particular parameter and except for Kolkatans, who are unhappy with their city, no other city is actually unhappy. (Another caveat will be in order here: these are overall index scores on each of the listed parameters; the components that make up these parameters, however, do have some extreme scores. But more on that in the week ahead).