Monday, November 10, 2014

Day 6,7,8 and 9 of My 30 day Happiness Project

This is an experiment i started from the 1st of November - to record things, events and moments that make me the happiest in the day.
The objective of this project is pretty simple - to understand where do the happiest moments of my day lie and to understand the hedonistic paradox, which says, we cannot actively pursue happiness, but it must come as a by-product of the activities we do. You can read more about this project here.

Day 6
6th November, Thursday

It is payment day at work, i am trying to think of something, anything else, that made me happier in the day, than having my pay check in my hand - as a reminder of why we work (other than the diplomatic and nice sounding answers - for satisfaction, passion etc). i work for money, money makes me happy, i get to buy things that make me happy with this money, i can stay in the house i love and pay the bills with this money. I can buy groceries and cook exotic sounding dishes with this money - and that makes me happy.
The four of us - mum, dad and Gauri (my sister) had a conversation on this very topic that day when we went out for a late night coffee - how we are apologetic about money, even more so about inherited money. Especially in a Brahmin household, how money is frowned upon, how pertinent it is to make your own way in the world and how we are taught not to rely on your parent's money at all. Which are all good lessons - kids and adults should learn to make their own money, to fight in the world, have a job or business and not treat inherited money as one's own. However, in this process be honest enough to say that i am making money and i want to make lots of it. Let us not be uncomfortable discussing money or our motivations for it. Why is it so hard to talk about something that is so important that our lives revolve around it, in one form or another. Money needn't be at loggerheads with our value system, but should be allowed to fit into it. There is nothing wrong in thinking about profits in a business, investments for personal finances and money based promotions, just as there is nothing wrong in understanding that not everything is about money - happiness, satisfaction and relationships are the driving forces of life.
The blog post that i had written in August, Can we survive without money?, was quite clear on one aspect it is impossible to imagine a world without money, however how much importance each one of attaches to it is different, and no one can judged for it - on either side of this scale.

Day 7
7th November, Friday

This was my weekly day off, and if were in Pune, i would have spent the morning and possibly even the afternoon cleaning, organizing, re-organizing the home - sorting and labeling in the kitchen and completing other chores - bank runs, grocery runs.
But i was home, and i had nothing to do - i read my book, spent quality time with Simba my dog and waited eagerly for Sagar to come to Aurangabad for the weekend.
It was an overall "happy" day!

Simba basking in the sun

Day 8
8th November, Saturday

This was the day i said yes, on an impulse, to
a hike organised by Gauri's colleague Natasha and Natasha's husband Sameer. It was an eclectic bunch of people - a journalist, a Marathi film director, 3 people from Czech republic - working at the Skoda office in Aurangabad, social activists and workers, an architect. The 11 of us headed for a "two hour hike" a little beyond Daultabad fort in Aurangabad. After a lot of out of breath moments, we reached the flat top, and walked across, wanted to set up a bonfire, (could not manage it because of the wind) ate sandwiches and chips and looked across at the almost - full, orange moon casting a beautiful glow atop the mountain.
The two hour trek was more of a 4 hour trek, descending at night time, along the ridge by the lake and dinner at Hiranya resort at the foothills.
There is something exhilarating about going out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself.

This is the only snap i managed to take of the hill we were going to climb
Day 9
9th November, Sunday

It was time to leave for home, but before that we had a breakfast invitation from Sagar's uncle and aunt (who also happen to my dad's partner and our closest family friends) in Aurangabad. The food was delicious, with his aunt making her specialty - potatoes wada - one of these days i should get the recipe from her!
And this was a happy time - with my family around me, laughing, joking and reminiscing.

It was followed by another gleeful prospect of having Sagar all to myself in the car and we (read i) could chat and talk for a 4 hours till we reached home. I also coaxed Sagar to let me drive the whole way to Pune. And i have thoroughly enjoyed the drive - along the highway, through tiny villages and crowded towns, across little streams and small mountains, looking at fresh vegetables being sold by the vendors in markets alongside the road, and stubborn bulls being pushed into pulling carts.

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