Indian billionaire talks about charity life and death
Interview: Shri Satish Modi talks about charity, life & his book — In Love With Death in exclusive interview with Subodh Gupta
(Q) Rarely it is seen that Non Resident Indians like yourself actually doing some charitable work for underprivileged children in India. Your thoughts on this subject?
I think worldwide if only people are charitable, the poverty will vanish. It is very important that people who have been given more by the almighty must realise that their wealth will not go with them but their good deeds will when they die so good deeds must be done. When we say charity it is philanthropy to change the life of a poor person who has no means and I have taken education as the main theme because if you educate a person and then put a career in front of that person, it is a life changer for a under privileged child.
(Q) You are running many philanthropic projects such as Arts for India Charity. What is your vision for the humanity?
Everybody should get a fair chance in life and everybody should be given a chance to show their true worth and that is the vision for Arts for India Charity where we are providing free education, food living and everything to aspiring students and if you don’t have money in India, you can’t be educated.
We are also doing global charity Arts for India where we are promoting arts fashion and cinema globally with our global offices.
(Q) What life means to you?
Life is a journey for me. I am quite aware of the fact that one day I will be no more in this world. So when it is a journey you must enjoy it and live humbly and remember everybody gets ups and down in life and there is not a single person who don’t get ups and down.
However when you come across a phase in your life which is difficult, remember that it will also pass away and don’t live life in bitterness but in gratitude.
(Q) Important lessons in your life which help you to improve as a person.
Live in gratitude and not in bitterness because if you live in bitterness than all those years are gone.
Also you have to understand that nobody in this world have everything. Enjoy what you have in life for example if you have good health that is also a wealth.
(Q) How did you fall “in love with death” title for your book?
I got these thoughts in my dreams, which were sent to me by a very elderly holy person from Japan whom I happened to meet when she came with the Japanese prime minister in 2005.
She recognised me from previous life and she invited me to Tokyo and taken to Kyoto where I was given a huge reception and when I was leaving she said she would communicate with me through dreams but unfortunately she died when she was 102.
(Q) You have written in your book that money can’t buy happiness. Your thoughts.
I have interviewed all the lottery winners who won above £10million prize and you would be surprised to know that almost all of them were unhappy afterwards. It looks like they were happy but have problems such as divorces, fighting with parents/children etc.
Money is important but it is the excess which create issues. For example you may say that I like cup of coffee but if you are asked to have 20 cup of coffee, you would end up in hospital.
From time immemorial, all kingdoms have fight, all business families have fights because nobody said I have enough. Money can also break relationship unless use properly.
(Q) You have mentioned in your book that, to have money is to be ultimately lonely. Why this view?
It is said that it is lonely at top. When I am talking about money, I am talking about big money. The first billionaire in this world was Howard Hughes who was very lonely in his later years and cynical. You can’t really build real relationship as you feel everybody in your life is because of your money. In life you have to be humble and money doesn’t allow you to be humble. So it has its adverse effect.
(Q) You have mentioned in your book that whatever time is left in our life, one should spend wisely on those things which matters, so what things matter to Shri Satish Modi?
As I have said, live meaningful and die peaceful. It is important to understand that you are here for a limited number of years and not for ever. It is important to forgive. For example somebody said I can’t forget this person but once you die what you will do? Will you become ghost and come back (laugh).
(Q) You have said in your book that discussion about death can turns into positive force.
Death is a great equalizer. At death we all become 3.5 kg of dust. There are god ways of equalizing everybody. All things such as money will be left behind at death.
So once people remember that we are here for limited years perhaps focus can be shifted on good deeds, bigger things and purifying soul.
Once I met mother Teresa and I asked her how she become mother, and she said that “one day when I came back from teaching there was a beggar outside of my house however I couldn’t save him and he was also suffering from leprosy and I saw Jesus in him. So next day I shifted to leprosy colony and dedicate my life for mankind”, so you don’t have to be very rich and powerful to be a winner in this world.
(Q) If you have to describe yourself in 3 words, what will those 3 words be?
I am nobody, nobody, nobody!!! (point is to be humble and not have ego)
(Q) What young generation needs to do to motivate themself?
You can only have authority on work and not on the results as written in Gita. So my suggestion is put your best effort and don’t do acts which you regret.
(Q)If somebody wants to become next business tycoon such as Mr. Satish Modi, what they need to do?
He must tell himself he is nobody, nobody, nobody!!! (be humble and not have ego)