Hello दुनिया (world).

‘Ripples often look like many rounded smiles’. Photo by: Julian Bock

Recently I stumbled on to a picture of me pondering instead of looking in to the camera when I was 3 years old.

My mother and me (Nav Chatterji). 1985

I believe I’m still that curious kid, but hopefully with a better taste in sweaters.

(ok maybe not. — but ugly sloth sweaters make me happy.)

Over the past few years my curiosity seems to consistently veer towards a singular topic — happiness.

A few years ago I started with the idea to explore the fundamentals behind happiness through thought exercises. Over the course of my ongoing journey, I have realised how much happiness we sacrifice in favour of whatever the zeitgeist pushes our way and how these exercises can help us avoid this pilferage of our most treasured state of being.

Today I’m happy to reveal Khoob Foundation/ खूब.com, my vehicle to share my findings and further promote these explorations with friends.

So what is happiness? Happiness differs in its essence from people to people, society to society and generation to generation.

The Chinese notion of happiness (fu 福) has five elements: longevity, wealth, health, virtue, and living out one’s natural span well.

In Buddhism, life itself is a state of ‘dukkha’ or suffering. To achieve a state of transcendent bliss and well-being, one needs to look beyond his/her material life and detach oneself from all the passions, needs and wants of life.

According to Gandhi — “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

If these ideas seem anachronistic and don’t map on to your perception of happiness in today’s world perhaps we should look to a more recent and relevant repository of modern day philosophy — Wikipedia. Socrates believed definitions need to evolve with time. He would have loved Wikipedia. The definition of Happiness on Wikipedia has been edited over 6,000 times by more than 3,000 users over time.

“Happiness” according to Wikipedia:

In philosophy and (western) religion, happiness may be defined in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion.
In psychology, happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

It is perhaps revealing that the definition of happiness is so hard to pin down. It is hard to gear our pursuits to the maximization of something that feels so abstract and ephemeral.

Enter Khoob.

Khoob — adjective (Hindi, Urdu, Bengali) : Excellent.

Khoob will be a foundation that will explore the fundamentals of happiness through radical real-world explorations. Our sandbox for now will be India - India currently ranks in at 122 out of 155 countries in the World Happiness Report 2017 . Verticals we aim to cover will include work, wealth, sustainability, education, medicine among others.

The aim of our approach will be binary — “how to do things” or “how not to do things” that help promote the fundamentals of happiness. Through this journey we will learn a ton from friends, family, the amazing people within Khoob and perhaps most importantly our past and upcoming mistakes ( “🔥 and learn”) — ie. we are not afraid to fail while trying.

If you also learn something from our exercises please do share with those who would be interested in this space. I will love you for it, our hardworking team will love you for it, and hopefully those you share it with will love you for it.

If you want to get in touch feel free to drop me a line at: nav.chatterji@khoob.foundation. I love meeting interesting, like-minded people.

“Happiness Is A Journey, Not A Destination” — many people

Our journey begins with Part 1: काम (Work). Strap in. Enjoy.


🙏 JD and Vidur for help with the edit.