Thursday, March 21, 2013

Remembering the first Happiness Day

I’m writing down this post to remember the first International Day of Happiness. And the way I celebrated it here in Thimphu. The day shone with a bright sunshine, only a few patches of clouds spread over the valley. It’s a beautiful day though.
I was undoubtedly happy - for one good reason – the government declared the day holiday, a national event to observe the day and to contemplate the importance of life. I didn’t plan anything for the day. Perhaps I was not sure what to do, how to celebrate the day. One of my colleagues remarked, “Happiness is very subjective. It shouldn’t be the national event.”

I too had mixed feelings about the day. The truth is that I was not a big fan of GNH. However, I was thinking to be home all day, reading book and going out for a stroll in the evening.

But later, at noon, I marched down towards the town. I was very surprised to see the street unusually spilled over with hundreds of people. There was not a single vehicle in the street. People of all walks of life were sumptuously walking by - all smiles on their faces and sharing laughter with their family members and friends.
A loud noise of songs and dances was blaring out from an entertainment centre, the Clock Tower. The place was overtly crowded. A row of food stalls around it served people with foods. And how sweet, scores of people were sitting around, so relaxed. And they were graciously having foods with their beloved ones. It gave me a cheerful feeling and the tint of my mind was all happy. It’s a real happiness day. Believe me.
Then, I went to GNH Centre where I was invited to attend a meditation session. Through mediation, I learned to relax my mind. The mindfulness training helped me to understand my mind and emotions. After that we watched a wonderful movie, ‘Life of Pi’.     

It was late afternoon when I walked back home. On the way, looking at children playing and laughing made me all happy. The world burst into bloom, and I admired it on notice things walk.

Back at home, I read a few chapters from J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy. And I contemplated on the day, the first happiness day. It’s uncomfortably joyful day, enriching and happy. And yes, eventually, I realized the significance of the day.

I realized that how we’re lulled into “busy” humdrum of our lives every day. Remember that we hurry every time. We run after time, after scholarships, after appointments and after money. We run after people, conflicts and controversies. And the sad thing was that we hardly spare our time to contemplate on the most important aspect of our life i.e. happiness.

The Happiness Day, however, provides this opportunity for all Bhutanese people take a break from our busy life and to reflect on the importance of life in order to understand our life better, love ourselves better, and become wiser person, happy.


  1. I can imagine how the situation was, as the way you described here and I can also imagine how happy you were and you posed with big smile on your face while you were walking. Just to read this post has already made me happy especially when you yourself realized what happiness is :)

  2. your shots are oxygen to my lungs and your write ups are food to my stomach...keep updating

  3. gud one Riku! i just admire that u write for i find it very difficult to do so.........keep posting more!

  4. I really love the quote, "Happiness is subjective. It shouldn't be the national event"
    So true! This should have been the headline on International Day of Happiness. So glad, there is a day to celebrate happiness and get a holiday on weekdays adding on more smile on everyone's face. I just wish March 20 to remain on Weekday's calendar and not on weekends and specially not on Sunday. This will really ruin my Day and I am sure it will ruin others as well. :D