World Happiness Index

The ‘World Happiness Index’ was recently released by the United Nations. In this report, they took into consideration- income, health and life expectancy, having someone to count on in times of trouble, generosity, freedom, and trust. However, I believe, one is not always happy when the aforementioned factors are fulfilled. You aren’t happy because you checked all the items on your list. Sometimes you are just happy for the sake of being happy.

We see around us, beggars on the street, our servants, chauffeurs, and others who may not be as well off. But aren’t they happy too? Does happiness really need an economic backing? Yes, money does make your life comfortable, which does lead to happiness, but does it always?

India ranked 122nd on the ‘World Happiness Index’ out of 155 countries. Shocked?

If you take a look at the report you will notice that Belgium ranked 17th. This is the same country where sex-trafficking is at its peak. Girls are forced into prostitution. I don’t think they are happy. Even though they are not a large part of the population, I think they are a sizeable population of unhappy residents of that country.

Iraq, that has been the epicenter of war and political unrest, has managed to rank 117th on the list. I fail to understand how the residents of that country are happier than India- a peace loving, war free country.

270 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria, and this country, where one is scared for their own safety ranked 95th.

India is a country where people come to find their inner peace and solace. We live in a country where helping a fellow citizen is like our second nature. Yes, we Indians are casteist, racist and even sexist; but we are still a nation where you see wide smiles on every festival, every cricket match that India wins and every time our fellow Indians do their country proud.

According to the assessment made for the years 2016-18, India has to contribute 0.737% to the UN regular budget. This puts India in the 24th place in the list of highest contributors. I am certain India is not lagging behind in generosity.

India gives its citizens the complete freedom of speech unless it is hurtful to anyone in any way. There, another tick in UN’s checklist.

I believe we are a happy country, happier than most other countries. The fact that a sixteen-year-old is writing about how displeased she is with her country being ranked 122nd on the list when she sees happy faces everywhere she turns, is reason enough to believe India deserves to be ranked higher.


Gender Neutrality

Oxford University has made a bold move, which most conservative individuals might term imprudent and rash. It has introduced the concept of a gender neutral pronoun – ‘ze’. This move was made to prevent students getting offended by the use of wrong pronouns

I firmly believe that the beginning of gender neutral pronouns is a good start for humans to instil in them the sensitivity they have lost.  Being considerate to a transgender or queer individual by addressing them as ‘ze’ will ease their difficult transition. Being transgender is not easy as many people believe. Sometimes even your family does not accept who you are. By using gender neutral pronouns, we in our own way show that we are support these individuals for who they are.

Everyone has a right to define themselves as male, female or transgender or queer. If one does not conform to the binary gender rules, well they don’t have to. Giving people the “ze” option is a thoughtful, considerate move.

Adopting this in other schools and universities would be a dauntless move, especially if it is adopted in Indian universities and schools. Through this action, Indian teens struggling through gender transition would at least not be bullied by intentionally calling them with the wrong pronoun. This will also help Indians become more open-minded and accepting.

However fearless or bold this move is, I don’t believe India is ready for this kind of a radical change. India – whether you like it or not – is a conventional society. I do not think we can just ask Indians to change all of a sudden.

Children learn what their surroundings teach them. One of their biggest influences is their parents. Most parents either consciously biased or unaware about transgenderism. For this thought of having neutral pronouns, it is them who should first make aware about the concept, and then approach the children.

Let’s just start with baby steps, and first bring about acceptance about transgender individuals, rather than suddenly dropping a bomb such as this on Indian society.

© Creatifxpressions

The Journey Home

Admiring the ornate gold carvings, walking in the Louvre Museum, I looked at each painting and got lost in the swirls of innumerable hues of blues, reds, and yellows. The beautiful strokes of the paint brush amalgamated in one graceful symphony of colour.  The painting was spectacular. It captured my attention and seemed to hold for quite a long time until letting go.

As I meandered through the hallway, my eyes soaking up the beauty of the paintings like a river flowing slowly, collecting little treasures from the seabed, my eyes fell upon the legendary painting of Mona Lisa painted by the renowned painter Vincent van Gogh.  I looked at the painting. I walked across the room and felt Mona Lisa’s eyes following me. I looked at the dark hues of green. I looked at the slight dash of orange in the background. And then I looked at Mona Lisa winking at me!  I was perplexed for some time and stood there stupefied.  She winked at me again. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me. I was certain that the chains of my imagination had been cut loose and they had become free to run wild. She winked at me again.

The world froze around me. People stood lifeless like statues. The various hues of the universe began swirling around me. The vortex of colour gained speed. It began inching towards me. Slowly creeping nearer like a monster under a child’s bed. I was frightened and confused. My heart was pounding. I could feel my heartbeat in my throat. As it came closer I could feel the gust of wind become fiercer. My hair fluttered in the wind. One last gust of wind and I was sucked into it.

I woke up, lying on a wooden floor. I looked around me to see blotches of paint on the floor. I saw innumerable books stacked neatly on the bookshelf. The books had begun to gather dust.  On the other side of the room I saw rows of canvasses. There was a wooden palette on the table nearby. I seemed to have come to the house of a painter. The style of furniture and the absence of a television made it clear that I was not in the modern world anymore.

I got up and realised that my clothes had changed during the time travel. I was wearing a dark purple dress with a bright orange hat. Oh how I longed for my comfortable jeans!

I began to wonder where I am, and to quench my ever-present curiosity I began to look around the house. I went out the room to find a long hallway carpeted with more blotches of spilled paint. You could almost call it abstract art! I walked down the stairs to find the kitchen.  The house was so quiet; I would have been able to hear a mouse squeak!

Breaking the silence my stomach groaned, shouting at me for not giving it food. I walked up to the kitchen. My first thought was to look for the fridge, then I realised there was no fridge.  I looked around but I could not find anything decent to eat. I found some potatoes which had begun to sprout fresh green shoots. I boiled those potatoes, seasoned them with salt; and this became my dinner.

I looked through the windows, which had a layer of dust settled on it. I saw the bright orange sky give way to a gentle mauve and a playful pink that filled the sky. I was tired, (time travelling is more exhausting than you think) so I retired to one of the beds in the house.

The next morning when my mind had escaped the powers of the apparent daze I was under, I realised the gravity of the situation. I had been sucked into a time vortex, sent into a random year from the past, was in the house of a very disorganised painter, had nothing to eat and no money to buy food either. Furthermore I had no way of going back to where I came from. I sank into the faded maroon armchair, despondent. My mind went for a little swim and I got lost in my thoughts.

Suddenly I heard a loud thud, which shook me out of my thoughts. I went to investigate the source of the sound. Seeing the birthplace of the sound I smiled. It was a little black kitten who had got tangled up in the threads of wool it was playing with and crashed into the side table which sent the vase flying down to the ground to meet its end. Seeing the kitten struggling to get out the hold of the wool which was holding the little kitten as tightly as a falcon would hold his prey in his claws, I began to untangle the little kitten. During this time the door creaked open and a dishevelled man walked in. You could see by his attire that he was a painter, the paint stains made it evident. I was oblivious to the entry of the man until I heard him clear his throat.

I let out a shriek in fear! When I took a better look at him, I thought I had seen his face before. I couldn’t put a name to the face. However, I then thought, it would be implausible for me to know someone from this time.

While my minding was running at unimaginable speeds to find a name for the face, the man began shouting at me for entering his house. He ran towards the kitchen, rummaged for a sauce pan and held it threateningly. My fear knew no bounds.

He towered over me as the iceberg had towered over the titanic, as I sat crouched in the corner of the room. In a booming voice he began hurling questions at me.

“Who are you?”  “Why are you here?”

Suddenly it struck me, he was Leonardo da Vinci. I remember reading about him in my history text book.

“You are Leonardo da Vinci!” I said delighted that my memory did not fail me, “I know you from my history textbook!”

He stood there frozen… The sauce pan dropped from his hand causing a loud clunk as it hit the floor.

“You are from the future!” He exclaimed.

He started dancing frantically across the room screaming, “It worked! It worked!”

My heart stopped screaming in my chest. In a timid voice I asked, “What worked?”

“The formula for the time vortex!” he cried, “it worked!”

“Well, can you send me back now?”

He stopped. “Uh…..”he fumbled, “I do not know how to.”

The slight ray of hope that had seemed to be emerging from the dark dismal looking clouds seemed to disappear behind the grey clouds of lost hope. Hope is a tease that prevents us from seeing reality. I did not want to believe what Leonardo said, but it was the truth. It was the cold hard truth.

“We’ll figure something out,” da Vinci said reassuringly.

“Would you like something to eat?”

“Yes,” I said half-heartedly, still trying to digest the fact that I would be away from everyone I know for a long time or maybe forever.

We went out to the nearest shop and got some mashed potatoes with a steak.

When we were back home Leonardo began showering me with questions about the modern world. I told him how he was a renowned artist and his paintings were at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

It was a beautiful day of spring. The delicate flower buds had just begun to flower and flaunt their rich and varied colours. The animals had begun to come out from their homes and enjoy the mild sun.

I wanted to go out in the fields and watch the sunset behind barley fields. So I asked Leonardo to take me there.

We went out for a walk in the fields nearby. The ubiquitous brown-gold barley spread across the field as far as I could see.  I walked through the field. I could feel the barley brushing against me and entangling my hair as I walked past. The last rays of Sunlight bid the fields farewell. The brown barley glinted and gleamed under the setting sun, like gold. The sky changed from a brilliant blue to a soft hue of red and purple. I could see streaks of orange-the glow of the setting sun. As the sun went down, the silver crescent shone in the sky. The moon’s little helpers came out to play in the night sky and shone like diamonds against the dark sky. I could not fathom the stars I saw, I had never seen so many before. The silvery light of the stars seemed to shine brighter than ever before, against the tenebrous sky.

It was late, so we headed home.

Once we were there I began telling Leonardo stories of our world. He listened intently to each and every word, until his eyes gave way, and succumbed to sleep. I kept rambling stories until I realised he had fallen asleep. I felt elated sitting next to the world’s most renowned artist. But, then I thought,’ who would I tell that to?’ Lost in these thoughts I too fell asleep.

The next day Leonardo set out to figure out how to send me home.

Leonardo began with witch craft. He would sit at his table and begin chanting all sorts of strange words that would presumably send me home. Every time he finished a spell and I would still be sitting near him, he would despondently hold his head in his hand. With every failure he became even more upset. I think failure was not his strong point, well is it anyone’s.?  When all the spells turned out to be futile events Leonardo was upset.

He switched over to potions. Leonardo tried all kinds of bizarre potions. He tried putting together all sorts of ingredients and then casting a spell of them and sprinkling it around me. But none of them seemed to work either. As every potion failed he became more upset.

I had told him potions and magic won’t work, but he dint listen to me. He had reprimanded me for my negative opinion and told me that the spells won’t work if I don’t co-operate. I refused to believe such nonsense and returned to reading a book I had found in the dusty shelves.

The day had passed at a snail’s pace. However much I wanted to go home, I wanted to make most of my sojourn. So I went out to tour the place.

I walked to the fields again. I had come to adore the barley fields nearby. The peaceful silence, only broken by the tweeting of a bird, or the ruffle of a rabbit running in the field felt heavenly. It was a mesmerizing sight.

I walked further down the road leading to a bridge. Below the bridge I could see a small boat floating by leisurely.  The boatman was singing a song. I could not comprehend the words of the song, but the essence of the song was so soulful that it touched my heart. The melancholic voice of the boatman seemed to echo in my ears as I walked across the bridge.

My next encounter was with a small puppy, who was sitting at the side of the street, watching the people go by. I walked up to him. Suddenly the puppy got up and moved back in fright. I slowly put my hand forward for him to smell. Slowly the puppy came forward and let me pet him. I played with him for a while before his mother came. He was a playful little chap!

As I walked down the ever-winding road, I could see green tufts of grass covering the sides of the road. In the distance I saw a heard of cows come out to graze in the fields.  This serenity around me was wonderful. I knew I would miss it if I would ever go back.

I had been out for quite a while and thought of going back. As I was walking by I saw Leonardo sitting in the barley fields. He looked dejected. He was sitting with a blank canvass in front of him. I walked up to him.

“Ah! You are here!” he said, “Have a seat.”

“With much regret, I could not find a way back.”

I was upset but not completely. A part of me wanted to go home but a part of me wanted to stay here, amidst, the beauty of nature.

Leonardo asked me to sit down in front of the barley field and began painting. I sat there wondering what my parents would be doing, if they were worried, if I would ever go home or not. I sat there in silence as Leonardo painted. He seemed to have a stern but thoughtful expression. It was as if he was painting here but his thoughts were somewhere else.

Suddenly he left his paintbrush. “I figured it out!” he cried.

“I know how to send you home.”

“We have to create a whirlpool of the colours of the world, to capture the essence of the world; this will create a vortex and take you back from where you came.”

However, the problem was, making a whirlpool would be immensely difficult.

I figured we could use the water from the water channel nearby. We ran up to the water channel and began to create a small whirlpool. Leonardo emptied out his paint bottles but nothing happened. I had taken the painting with me that Leonardo had just made. The painting showed the colours of life, not the lifeless bottle. I put the painting in the whirlpool. It sank down below, the colour mixing with the water. At first nothing happened. However, we kept churning the water to make a small whirlpool. In no time, the whirlpool began to grow. It was whirling at a tempestuous speed. The world stopped once more. I was sucked it. I wasn’t scared this time. I knew where I was going. Home.

The next minute I found myself standing on the floor of the Louvre Museum. I was home. It was such a relief to be back. However, a part of me missed the walks in the barley fields and the wonderful sunset behind. I will miss the moon and its silvery helpers. It was a wonderful experience to know the renowned painter, but being home is far better than it all.  I wondered if anyone would believe the adventure I had. I think everyone would call me lunatic if I narrated it to the world. But I think my secret is safe with you. I will never forget this adventure. I wonder if that painting is still at the bottom of the river. Sometimes I wonder if it was a dream, but I know in my heart that it was true.

© Creatifxpressions

The words of a starfish….

As soon as I closed my eyes,

I imagined a starry sky.

However when I opened them again,

And looked up towards the heavens,

Only the moonlight cast it’s silvery glow.

The shinning stars of sliver, I used to see,had magically disappeared.

I believe this is those human’s fault,

Destroyer has become their middle name.

I wonder when they will finally understand-

Life is supposed to be a joyous communion with nature,

Not this song of destruction.

I wonder when I’ll see my fellow stars again, maybe never at all….

© Creatifxpressions


As I stepped on the coarse but soft white sands glistening under the silvery luminous light of the cratered ball, I saw the soft gentle waves tenderly washing my feet from time to time, like a metronome. The chilly wind blew, sending shivers down spine. The white sands were deserted of human life and so making the experience all the more enjoyable, without the loud screaming and wailing of children along with others indulging in the baffling idiosyncrasies of life. Now the sweet song of the wind rushing by my ears, the rustling of the leaves nearby and the calming  and soothing sound of the waves falling in the sand filled my ears. As time passed, it took my footprints with it. The dark clouds covered the moon only letting it’s diffused light pass through sparsely. The waves escalated to soaring heights. The dark and gloomy night gave way to a magical sunrise, the orange orb sent red waves, illuminating the dark sky. Nature gave me my current to leave the world – a stage where all men are mere actors.