I read a couple of articles this morning in the papers that set off this line of thought.
# 1: Mukesh Ambani's house
Mumbai Mirror reported that he is building a 27-storey house with features such as helipads, mini theatre, swimming pool, 6 floors of parking space (to house upto 168 cars), two floors of guest rooms, 4 floors of living space for the family and 600 service staff to maintain the mansion. I wonder if he’d be happy with this, or want more, once it takes shape in concrete and mortar?
In contrast, my maid told me this morning that she is thrilled to have found a first floor asbestos roofed 1 room house before monsoon and she aims to buy a one room shack in two years time!
Who would be happier once they move into their dream house? Would they want more after that?
# Cars and Car Owners
Bluetooth backseats, warm seats, I pod connectivity, moon roof, run-flat tyres.. the list goes on. As if it were not enough to own a BMW, these are some of the extra features that are regularly asked for by BMW clients.
In contrast, my colleague has begun traveling by rick once she moved into this company. She says she is much happier without having to fight for a foot of space on the train each morning. She is saving up to buy a second-hand car in 3 years time.
Will a BMW go faster in Mumbai traffic as compared to a 3 wheeler? Who would be happier traveling in their mode of transport on a rainy day? Would they want more?
When some material, spiritual or emotional change brings us comfort, it doesn’t last, we want more. Want more salary, want children now that we are married, want to go to all jyothirlingam sites….
When do we start saying ‘I want’ and when do we stop?
Who is happy with what they have... my maid? Mukesh Ambani? Me? You?
“It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. How did he know that? “
- Will Smith in ‘The Pursuit of Happyness'