Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Let's take a break

Alright! Tell me what pops in your head if I ask you "What makes you happy?"
Sounds childish? Or too silly? Then it's cool, because that was the intent.
There is no dearth of topics and thoughts if we sit down to discuss about how to live life, spread positivity and happiness. Hence, for limiting my thoughts, I have zeroed in on two trends/concepts that I found really worth taking note of and which make an impact on lives of people.

1. Concept of Gross National Happiness Index (GNH)

            "Gross national happiness is more important than gross national product"
                                                         - His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuk of Bhutan

Let us first see how most of the nations calculate their development. The most commonly used scale is the GDP or Gross Domestic Product. Which roughly is the sum of all goods and services produced in an economy or say the total amount earned or spent. Some countries calculate their PCI or Per Capita Income, which is, again in simple terms, the sum of all earnings of a country divided by total population. The latest in economics terminology is HDI or Human Development Index, it is a more comprehensive scaling index calculation based upon composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and of course the regular economic stuff.

But, a country, nestled in the calmness of Himalayas calculate its development and growth not upon these monetary terms but upon how happy her people are!! Yes, it is true and you can know more about it here. The idea is not based upon some lofty ideology that all her people must be smiling and laughing all the time. Instead, it is calculated upon several factors which not necessarily absolutely quantifiable but is defined more by the intangible and emotional aspect of things like psychological well-being, time use by people, cultural diversity and resilience, community vitality, ecological resilience and general living standards.
The central idea of Bhutan's pursuance of GNH is the belief that, to be happy one does not need to be in the mad rush of getting all the physical comfort available on the planet and in the process leave behind the true human value of empathy and compassion. Though, Bhutan certainly don't have all the material luxury present on earth, but I think they surely have one; Peace of mind.

2. Concept of Slow Down Culture

Ever wondered why do we need to rush for things? Why do we need to eat fast? Drink fast? Listen to our favourite music on a go? Visit a place haphazardly? And virtually do everything as fast as we can. The answer lies in the sense of urgency created by us. Now, let me express here that in no way I am saying that we should slow down the manufacturing process of an automated car production plant or a response to medical emergency. What I am referring here is the idea of appreciating finer things in life.
Now, one may have a question in mind,"Why do we need to slow down and appreciate things?". For this I would urge one to take a step back, zoom out and see our planet from space. What do you see? It is a planet with few thousand different type of creatures roaming around. Then how do we humans stand apart? Yes, there lies the, answer; we humans don't do things just to survive. Just take a look around yourself, do you need all that just to survive? Now that we have established this fact, we should ponder as to why don't we appreciate things in all its glory? Why are we mechanizing ourselves? Robots are fine, let them do their work, but we are humans.. let's not forget that. Let's not make our little lives so much short on time.

You might be aware of Sweden and other Scandinavian countries and the quality of life there. I feel it's worth  mentioning here that the headline of this paragraph actually comes from Sweden. There is a movement going on in that part of globe, where people already are getting more and more aware about their human nature and appreciating life as it should be. Eating a meal within 20 minutes in a restaurant is considered rude to the chef, He will personally come to you, thinking that you didn't like the food! And if you think that with such mindset they will be left out in this Industrialized world, think again, because Sweden houses few of the world's best known enterprises like Electrolux and Ericsson known for their 'innovation' and quality. No wonder many of these are suppliers of NASA for its space missions.

Imagine grabbing a burger on the go and munching while talking on phone. Now, let's imagine a good lunch/dinner with family, disconnected from virtual world and enjoying the meal in every bite. Discussing about spices and how they taste. Which one seems more attractive to the human in you?
We must be thankful to our age old Indian traditions that we still can enjoy such moments in our lives. But the rate at which we are pursuing individualistic life style and modern culture, this would soon become a luxury. So next time you are on visit to an art gallery, an eatery, a hike with friends or a music concert, before rushing to get back, do remember why you were there in the first place.

I hope you read the whole article without rushing down directly to the conclusive paragraph. ;)


Disclaimer: All images are copyrights of their respective owners.


  1. We certainly need to slowdown :)

  2. Reply from my colleague BHATAWADEKAR Nachiket:

    That’s a nice article there!
    I quite believe in what you wrote there..
    Actually, technology was intended to speed up the mundane tasks for us so that we get more time to enjoy the finer things in life(like those that u mentioned). Reality is just the opposite!
    In this mad rush, fuelled by advertisements, peer-pressure, herd-mentality etc. we forget who we really are and what we really want. When that happens, we spend our time running behind things which are thrown in front of us and we don’t really necessarily need. End result is we are never satisfied with what we have(cause we most probably did not desire them in the first place) and mess up our lives running behind things we don’t need…..
    P.S. I use my (wife’s leftover) smartphone ONLY to make calls, reading a book or to listen to music before going to sleep. I don’t even have an active data connection on it. I don’t watch TV more than 1-2 hours per week 

  3. yes i do agree and even i had lot many times tingled myself that what em i doin is all these runnin behind the unnecessary things really necessary?... but then i was replied that to live here in so called society you should be doing this.
    Well with most of the crowd with whom i came across no one is aware of why they are doing or following the pattern set by society. No 1 is curious enough to go in depth of these things and discover for them whether it is really necessary.
    I do such thinking when i am empty with other stuff but most of the time i am full with the things which rather i don’t want to do still i am pursuing those...
    So i don’t want to suggest anything or direct any1 but every1 shud find for themselves their wellbeing or may be where they will find the peace of mind.

  4. true...
    the Indians in 30es at least have first hand experience of days when there was not much rush, days without telephone, when people use to write letter and can go on with their lives till get a reply (after few days)... now in the age of instant connectivity, everyone (including these same people) expect person at the receiving end of a call to pickup his mobile at once, otherwise they themselves become restless!

  5. Nice post. Simple n sweet!! Now a days its a fantasy to make the things in hurry to show the others that how busy we are. We won't be happy untill we get honest with ourself!!

  6. Nice research on the Bhutanese, Sweden and Scandinavian culture. In the race to move forward we have forgotten on the simple aspect of life called happiness. We have tangled ourselves in the lace of responsibility and competition and have abandoned the very need of life called, happiness.

  7. That's is a Nice self check Abhinav.
    Most of the times we willingly or unwillingly are with 2 state of minds at one occasion. One that tries to focus in the present and the other that keeps contemplating about what next or what other. In the process we forget to enjoy the present. But this thought process has entered into our system in such a manner that we sometimes don't realize this or can't get out of it. It needs someone else to tell us or an article like yours to realize that yes this is what is happening :)

  8. I agree..v shud find happiness in every lil lil things dat come r way...:)
    Nice article Abhinav...keep up the good work!!

  9. Wow!! You write quite well must say.. Love the idea of offending the chef if I finish my meal quick!

    I hope he'll offer me different delicacies to please me lol

    On a serious note yes if we don't slow down we are headed to lose a lifetime opportunity of creating memories everywhere we go. We will forgo the chance to experience many miraculous and life changing moments to appreciate His creations.

    Time to wake up and realize how fortunate we are!

  10. A real bit of joy reading this! Your words give many people a chance to slow down and re-think, amazing...

  11. Very well written ..keep it up!!