Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Twenty-two SMS on my mobile and 12 e-mails wishing me Happy New Year reminded me that today is the first day of yet another new year in my life. Every one of the SMS and every single email had one thing in common - each one of them wished me a Happy New Year; not one of them cared to ask me if my past year was a happy one. But I want to tell you that my past year has been a happy one - not because I won a lottery or that I built a house or that I acquired a new car, but because the only way I lived my life is  - HAPPILY! And I can guarantee you that my coming year, or the year that is already here will be a happy one too. The reason is simple.

My happiness is of my own making; I am happy because it is in my disposition to be happy. I am happy because I have not allowed any one - repeat ANYONE - to dissuade me from making the pursuit of happiness as my single minded goal in life. I refuse to believe that there is virtue in surrendering my happiness because someone else does not have the wherewithal to understand that I am not responsible for his or her happiness. Each one of us has to understand what makes us happy and pursue it with dedication.

I am happy because I have learnt a long time back that happiness is all about being content with the things I have, rather than be woeful about the things I do not have. I have come to terms with the fact that in life, there is not a single person who can claim to have all that he desires. It is for the reason that it is impossible to have everything I want, that it makes the things I have so much more meaningful and precious.

I am happy because I do not allow myself to be bothered by what could have been - what is in the past is gone and done with. No amount of regret or repentance is going to help. Similarly, I do not allow myself to be robbed of my today’s happiness because of the dread of tomorrow’s uncertainty. Tomorrow is in the future and there may never be a tomorrow for me. But if it does come, I have the confidence that I will conquer tomorrow the way I have done all my more than half a century of yesterdays - with confidence and happiness.

There is only one thing I worry about: have I made a difference in someone’s life? Have I given freely to those who stand in need - that which I possess and can spare? Have I been true to myself and to my responsibilities as a member of the human society?

I am HAPPY to say YES, I have!

Wishing every one near me and around me and to all those across the seven seas, A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.


  1. My friend, I hope I can contribute to your pleasant state. Best wishes. Carlos

  2. Hi Carlos,

    Yesterday was our New Year. So, while everyone was rejoicing the arrival of the New Year, I was quietly walking down the memory lane and taking stock of my life so far. I thought long and hard - about how fortunate I have been all my life. Then suddenly I realized that happiness and dissatisfactions are a matter of individual interpretation - happiness can mean different things to different people. It is all in the disposition of each individual.

    The arrival of a new year means that you are one year closer to death. So, I don’t know why people choose to celebrate the New Year’s day with funfair and merriment. I am intrigued by the concept behind the celebration of the New Year. Is it to say farewell to the passage of a bad year or the past or, to celebrate the hope of a good and prosperous new year?

    I hope you are well ... and I wish you a happy year ahead.

  3. hi, i'm compelled to respond to your comment because you seemed to dismiss the sanctity of our losar, new year.

    as a bhutanese yourself, and a good one at that, as far as i understand you to be, it's - i'm afraid - demeaning to either ignore the value of the richness of the day we call as losar or to fail to grasp the meaning of its magnanimity!

    what is losar? even if you understand it to be or mean it to be no more than simply the first day of a new year, i bet it deserves more than what i might call a misguided philosophical rendition of a day that we all ought to celebrate - yes, in our own way, proportionate to our own ability.

    i understand it could just be your opinion, and both you and i know very well that each is entitled to his own opinion, but again you'll agree that each person doesn't and cannot have different version/facts of the same story, for that defeats what the matter in actuality is.

    therefore, please permit me to honour the day as it is even though you do not celebrate it for whatever reasons.

    tashi delek to you.

  4. Hi Anon,

    I suppose you are referring to my comment in response to one made by my friend Carlos from Portugal.

    I admit complete ignorance - I am totally clueless as to a Losar’s (new year’s) “value of the richness of the day we call as losar or to fail to grasp the meaning of its magnanimity”.

    As far as I am concerned, Losar marks the beginning of a new year - beyond that, it is not significant. To the villagers, it may hold some special significance … but frankly I am not aware of it. If you do know, please do tell so that, if it holds relevance to me, I can begin to look at this day differently.

    But seriously speaking, I do want to know the historical background on why we Bhutanese celebrate the first day of a new year as something of an event.

  5. First of all Losar Tashi Delek to you! I have every reason to be happy with my past year as my desires are few and regrets are next to nil. And of course there is always something that shines above everything else. By the way, are you a practicing Buddhist? You have a number of Buddhist precepts in this piece. And you know, it's not only the Bhutanese who celebrate the first day of the New Year as as special occasion. This happens all over the world, although we may be the only ones celebrating all kinds of New Years in one calendar year (chunipa, lomba, etc.). Also, a New Year does not bring one a year closer to death; every second brings us closer to our eventual destiny - death. Anon.

  6. Hi Anon,

    I am not sure if I am a practicing Buddhist .. but I am going to post a article on the subject ... so please decide. I am not able to answer you justifiably :)

  7. So you have come a long way not to let your happiness be effected by the wrath of your mood and surrounding.
    Standing ovation!