New Delhi: In his latest literary feat,popular author Ruskin Bond has attempted to crack the code to what all human kind strives for - happiness.
He has wrapped a handful of his own pithy observations and those by great personalities he admires, in a pocket-sized anthology that is "a miscellany for all seasons, one to cherish and to share."
For Bond, who has perennially sought happiness in the mountains and the trees that envelope his little hutment in Landour-Mussoorie, "Happiness means different things to different people."
"Rakesh is happy behind the wheel of his car; the last place where I would be happy, having once driven through a garden wall in Friends Colony in New Delhi," he writes in the introduction to "A Little Book of Happiness," published by
It is perhaps the subjectivity of the emotion and mankind's incessant search to attain it, that the 81-year-old author decided to give a piece of his mind and heart to his readers.
He tells them what makes him happy - curling up with a P G Wodehouse or a Charles Dickens on a rainy day, completing a story or a poem.
"I'm quite happy on a rainy day because then I can curl up on a sofa, visit Blandings Castle with P G Wodehouse, enjoy a village cricket match with Mr Pickwick and his Dickensian friends, or go rowing on the Thames with Jerome K Jerome's three men and a dog.
"As a writer I am also happy when I have completed a story or poem or essay and feel pleased with it," he writes. Feeling "pleased" is imperative, according to him. "Failed creations make me unhappy," he writes.
Bond's first advice towards achieving happiness is, "To find happiness, look halfway between too little and too much," It is followed by an African proverb that draws an analogy where, "Happiness is as good as food."
He goes on to tell his readers from his experience how for most of his life, he relied on his instinct rather than intelligence and found himself in a "modicum of happiness."
"Life hasn't been a bed of roses. And yet, quite often, I've had roses out of season," writes an optimistic Bond.
The book is peppered with the words of wisdom by stalwarts from different walks of life - authors, political leaders, scientists....