Sunday, December 23, 2012

Reflections On The End Of The World at Bodh Gaya - 2

By Manuwant Choudhary

Bodh Gaya: I think Bodh Gaya is the happiest place in India.

But of course no survey has been done on this....but a recent CNN Gallup report suggests that wealthy Singaporeans are among the least happy people in the world, less happier than people living in Iraq, Afghanistan and even Syria.

I wonder why bombs make people happier ?

But yes take a walk in Bodh Gaya and you will see the laughter all around...smiling monks...and yes even stiff Europeans open up and smile.

Something to do with the place.

Also the weather.

Summers are terrible in Bihar and Bodh Gaya perhaps the hottest place.

Only Sri Lankans visit Gaya in summers....because its just like it is back home.

With malls coming up all over even Bihar's poor are waking up to preferring cooler climes like this new Bhojpuri number where the girl demands AC, AC, AC.....from the boy...and only then will she marry him.

But spiritually, happiness lies in the giving.

So pilgrims here love to give alms and thanks to our politics poverty is something  Bihar has an abundant supply of.....

But this year I noticed a damper..with the temple management committee sealing the `begging wall' completely.

Earlier, thousands of beggars had their hands stretched from behind this wall and pilgrims would happily oblige.

Now just a handful of beggars pretending to be blind sat singing in the bazaar.

But seriously we all give all the time....and if you don't give in your lifetime then you just leave it all behind like excess baggage.

What do you really need to be happy?

I don't know where Indians stand in the Gallup report.

For some happiness comes from alcohol...and Bodh Gaya also has an alcohol shop `Bodh Gaya Brothers' right on the main road.

Happiness in sex..I can understand why Thailand is such a happy place.

But monks too are I met this kid monk playing with his puppy and I could tell he was naughty enough to take on the might of  China's President and North Korea's Kim Jong !!


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