Money can’t buy you happiness: Ramesh

Actor Ramesh Aravind introspects about what makes him happy and contented

Ramesh Arvind

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. A small incident, last month, led me to think rather deeply about happiness and what makes me happy. 

I was waiting in my car at the Yediyur signal. To my right, I saw a well-dressed man seated in a big expensive car. He was loudly shouting at somebody over the phone, banging his fists... he looked disturbed and unhappy. To my left, I saw a coolie, a shirtless man whose body was smeared with cement sitting on a pile of cement bags in an open tempo. He was wearing headphones and bopping his head to the music; enjoying music from his inexpensive handset.

The poor coolie looked much happier than the wealthy man in the car. These two contrasting sights got me thinking about what really makes one happy. 

 It is clear that happiness has nothing to do with external factors like your car or bank balance. Happiness is an attitude. I am not saying that money is not important. Money is very important but it is not a guarantee for happiness. Happiness is an internal feeling. You choose to be happy. 

When I was residing in Chennai, I was staying in an apartment. Apart from me, there was a businessman and a bank employee on the same floor. Our night watchman always wished to have a job like a bank employee with a regular 9 to 5 timing so that he could enjoy evenings watching TV with his family. But the banker hated his job and wanted to be like the businessman with flexible working hours while the businessman thought my job of an actor was super cool. So the feeling of “grass is greener on the other side” is a sure sign for unhappiness.

You must get inspired by everybody worthy but never compare yourself with others. The only healthy comparison is what you are now v/s what you are really capable of doing, and what we could be v/s what we are. 

I feel all of us need some kind of acceptance, reciprocation and love. Not necessarily from a person, it could be a pet.

Even a few people wishing you well can bring additional happiness. This is where family matters so much. The more the number of people who like you, the happier you will be. 

To me, a project that involves me deeply is a true joy. I think any work immersive in nature is surely a source of happiness.

 Finally, I imagine misery, sorrow and suffering to be Hiranyakashipu. How did Narasimha kill Hiranyakashipu? It was neither outdoor nor indoor and it was neither in the day nor at night, and it wasn’t on the ground nor up in air. It was the midpoint.

To kill suffering you must find the balance and stay away from extremes. 

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