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How to Find Happiness?



I lived in the United States for 4 years. My office was located in Washington, DC, a few blocks away from the White House. I rented an apartment in Virginia. Office commute was excellent, thanks to Metro. I must say that the quality of life in the US is fantastic. Washington, DC is an incredibly beautiful city and I admire how incredibly well planned the city is. The monuments and buildings in the city are spectacular. The interstate highways are excellent and so are the city roads. If anyone would ask me how the United States is, my one line answer would be - “Everything in the United States is well thought through and well planned”. Almost every single city in the United States is extremely well planned.

Now one would ask, if you have all this fantastic life at your disposal, would you leave it? The answer is yes. I left twice. I hail from India and I had left the US not once, but twice, for good. Of course the question would be how can you leave for good twice? Well, the first time I actually left for good. I had to return back to the US the second time due to official reasons. Anyways, now coming back to the question, why did I leave the United States if it was so good? The answer is simple. I just came back HOME. No matter how incredibly good your life was in the United States, if you are not at home, you are not at home. A home is just not a physical structure. A home is also the people you love. If you don’t have the people whom you love around you, and you live 12,600 km (7,830 miles) away, how would you ever feel home? How could any fancy material feeling substitute the deeply connected roots that you have with your country and its people?

There are many days I have spent in the US going online and searching for flights to India, wishing to be back home at the earliest. I really did not know why, but in spite of having a good and a high quality lifestyle, I was always obsessed with this feeling of going back.

Now one could argue that there could be other reasons too why I felt this way. May be I didn’t mix well with folks in the US or may be I didn’t make enough friends. I don’t disagree with them, though I did have a couple of friends, of course. But the fact is that they never compensated for the way I missed my people back home. I felt my life was incredibly monotonous. Monday to Friday - Office. Saturday and Sunday - shopping and running errands. Again back to Office. This cycle continued again and again and again. It looked as though your life was programmed and you are some mechanical machine listening to instructions. Everyday looked the same. I did go out on getaways, spending weekends and long weekends visiting different places. None of them mattered much. Long drives and weekend getaways also started getting boring. You would still long for the day you would finally land in India. There was something really different about India.

Yes India has got its own set of problems. Every day is a struggle, right from your daily commute to Office to getting a good night sleep. Some times you need to fight and struggle to even fulfill some of your basic needs like garbage disposal. Yet you are happy to be back. Being back home in India is the epitome of tranquility. For some reason or the other, you are happy. You are happy that people are around you. You are happy that no two days are the same. You are happy that you have people to rely on in case of emergencies. You are happy that you can see your parents, brothers, relatives and fellow neighbors. You are happy that you don’t need to miss the weddings of your near and dear ones. You are happy that you are there to support when someone is in need. You are happy that you don’t have to pay an insane number of bills. You are just happy because you are at home. And there is no place on earth better than home!!

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