Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Happy Planet Index

Went home this weekend again. I just love being away from all the mails, the internet and the computer. I’m sure I can’t keep away long enough, but 2 days is just about the right time you can stay comfortably away without being troubled. The mobile was a potential intrusion, but it was luckily silent for the most part this weekend.

Coimbatore is so unbelievably pleasant this time of the year. A cool breeze keeps ruffling the leaves… people have a slow pace of doing things; most things look still in time… the houses en route to home, the woman crouching in the hospital footsteps munching paan, the damaged cars that got stashed in a road corner some years back, and the tea-shop that just hasn’t changed its look since the 12 years I’ve seen it. The same people visit and eat the tasty ‘molaga bajjis’ and masala teas for all the years I’ve known. You see them being happy and chatting away to glory, and sun and rain doesn’t really matter. You don’t see any signs of the growth that you could otherwise see in more active parts of the city – where bungalows have doubled in size and number, and traffic jams have become the order of the day.

The opulent side is also where you could get to see irritated looking people chomping big packs of Salt and Pepper Lays Chips sitting inside the car and cursing traffic. I really am confused if all the growth and the so-called action are as good as has been infused into all of us over the years. Does all this capitalistic rat-race really mean anything? Would we have all been better off just taking it easy – the old-ish 8 hours, 5 day weekdays and weekend visits to the temples, pedaling along in an old cycle, and waiting for the only TV channel to show a melody number?

Maybe Governments should actually go the Bhutan way and measure the nation’s growth every year using a Gross National Happiness Index instead of the Gross National Product? Or are we going to be better off just cherishing the 9% growth story year-on-year and slowly but surely yield ourselves to the waistline-widening service sector? I know service sector doesn’t always mean widening-waistlines or lesser lifespan (if you take the Japanese example) but I guess the correlation is indisputable. Whatever the answer is, I’m positive equating an individual’s or nation’s success to material wealth/salaries etc is just about the dumbest thing anybody could do. Interestingly, countries with dominant service sectors rank pretty low in the Happy Planet Index.

P.S: I haven’t exactly become anti-capitalistic/anti-progress or anything, but let’s just consider this as one of those routine thoughts that just got accidentally recorded!

10 Comments:

At Wednesday, July 18, 2007 6:29:00 PM, Anonymous Kevin, The new one! said...

u r still a small town boy at heart!

 
At Wednesday, July 18, 2007 8:15:00 PM, Anonymous Govar said...

Dhoda...

 
At Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:31:00 PM, Blogger Arunkumar said...

//
I’m positive equating an individual’s or nation’s success to material wealth/salaries etc is just about the dumbest thing anybody could do.
//
well said...
Nice post

 
At Thursday, July 19, 2007 8:24:00 PM, Anonymous Mahesh said...

Machi, our president has echoed ur sentiment - "There are many economically developed nations that are not happy. Since we have a big value system and are blessed with a rich heritage, we can make our country a combination of economic development and moral values that are derived from our civilisation,". Full read here - http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/jul/19prezpoll8.htm

 
At Friday, July 20, 2007 12:53:00 PM, Blogger coolkrishnan said...

wonderful thoughts penned in a very simple style...

I echo your thoughts wave-by-wave !

 
At Saturday, July 21, 2007 12:12:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

Thanks man!

 
At Monday, July 23, 2007 10:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ennada ore senti dialogs a pottu thakitu iruka on ur blog... me if i read all this i will run home sooner than expected

kevin basher (aka gaaja killer)
venkat

 
At Sunday, July 29, 2007 1:50:00 AM, Blogger Jammy said...

Thta's one of the frequent thoughts for me since I landed here. Is the rat race worth it, or should I just go back and enjoy the plain simple life? My be it is too late. By joinig the management stream, we have already enrolled ourselves into the rat race.

 
At Sunday, July 29, 2007 1:59:00 AM, Blogger Jammy said...

P.S. I too am not anticapitalistic ;)

 
At Sunday, July 29, 2007 11:39:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

@Jaammy: Echo your thoughts. I guess we are already a part of the matrix. ;-) And no, we aren't anti-capitalistic! We are just introspecting!

 

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