The Happiest Year – 2

while happiness isn’t static (i.e. one is not always the same level of happy), the actions involved in becoming happy can be routine. think of why one might have a favourite ice cream, why a junkie needs the dope, or why a man might make love to the same woman his whole life. this kind of happiness may ebb with repetition (marginal utility), or may not (inelasticity). often, we hope that the stoner grows bored of the high, and that the man stays faithful; unfortunately, that’s not usually the case in either situation!

pardon the digression.

When I was six, we used to live in a compound which had over a hundred little houses. I use ‘houses’ here loosely. Our house was a two bedroom-one bath affair, and like all the other houses was build out of what I can only imagine was several layers of cardboard, held together with plaster. It was big enough for me to play in, but… did I mention I was six? And not a big, or fat, six year old was I. In retrospect, it was tiny. So were most of the houses in this compound.

It wasn’t The Ritz. To sum up my family’s financial situation, that year my brother went to school on loaned money.

Here’s the crazy thing… this compound we used to live in… was a paradise for untamed wildebeest…

(okay, i’m sorry. i’m getting carried away here. on a stretcher)

…was a paradise for untamed wildebeest kids. It had everything. A pool. A pool table. A table tennis table. A club house. A carpentry shed. Mysterious buildings. Small factory units. A huge cemented area which I could only imagine planes landed on. Paths to walk, run, or bike around on. Obviously, a playground (or two?). Pebbles. Rocks. Boulders. Grasses. Shrubs. Trees. Quicksand. Ponds in people’s backyards with fish and frogs. Pets. And kids. LOTS of kids.

I had no idea about my family’s dire straits till 15 years after the fact. Because these things don’t matter to a six year old. That, and I thank my parents a little everyday that they didn’t let their problems touch me.

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