Damn, we’re happy!
We, Indians, are a doleful people. Which is why the joy of coming high up in a happiness survey.india Updated: Feb 13, 2012 23:00 IST
Glad tidings came over the weekend as we learnt that we, Indians, are among the happiest people in the world. We did not manage to come out tops though, being pipped to the post by the inhabitants of Indonesia, whose cup of joy seems to be running over. Not that we are the kind of people who hold a grudge, or nurse injured emotions or generally affect any kind of despondency. We are the happy people, a permanent Cheshire Cat-like grin pasted on our face, walking-talking real-life versions of those smiling emoticons that you thought were limited to screens of computers and mobile phones.
That we are all in such high spirits, of course, owes to a survey carried out by Ipsos Global, which found that Indonesians, Indians and Mexicans were the most contended people on the planet. Happiness was relative, the survey found; while you might possess magnificent wealth and yet crib, someone else would find contentment with a ‘cooked meal’ or ‘a roof over one’s head’, which probably explains the moderate levels of happiness experienced by people living in the US, Canada or Britain. Family, too, was a source of solace and comfort. We are still trying to figure out the implications for a breadwinner saddled with a huge family who has suddenly lost his job, and whether his joyous family life would help overpower his worry about how to now feed them.
This refusal to ever admit being beat up (since a survey is not a truth test but an aggregate of what people like to think about themselves) is likely to have ramifications for other fields as well. Necessity has always been the mother of invention. But if you are always content with whatever little life has thrown your way, improvising would soon be a lost art. Our guess is that the situation is nowhere near so dire, and that when the surveywallahs had popped in with the questions, the Indians just decided to put their best — and happiest — face forward.