Rose Platter: visit your neighbor for HAPPINESS
One of the secrets of being happy is to keep in touch with your neighbor says David Niven’s book A 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People!
Many of us don’t know who are neighbours are! And they don’t know anything about us! But we have our neighbourhood, our surroundings in common and can share their upkeep with them. Those old front porches which allowed neighbours to talk and share and gossip, exchange recipes and plant cuttings with each other need to come back! Greater community interactions can increase happiness by almost 30 per cent, researchers have found out!
I fell into getting to know my neighbours in the most awful and unpleasant way! When I arrived in a new neighbourhood I discovered a horrible routine the people next door indulged in. For ten days of the Ganesha festival they brought an enormous loudspeaker which was stacked in their front garden. Then a 100 of them and friends collected to screech out all night, chants and prayers to celebrate this very important festival.
While a festival is good to share and enjoy with family and friends, you cannot drown out the whole neighbourhood with noise. I urged them several times to stop using the loudspeaker all day and all night and they did not listen and were rude and shocked that I did not care for Ganesha which wasn’t true! I love this cheeky, naughty little God but was sure he too would not approve of so much noise. So finally I had to call the cops to help out as it is against the law to disturb the neighbourhood with any kind of noise. At first even the cops were unwilling to get into religious disputes and told me to “bear with God”! Then an amazing thing happened. Several neighbours from other houses came to speak up too, telling the cops that their children were studying or were sick and could not sleep and overall the noise was horrendous.
Then the cops decided to do something and since I was working in the newspapers then, they were wary of me and finally took away the loudspeaker from the neighbours! The 10 days of hell were scrubbed off and later the same old man from next door who had even threatened all dire mishaps for me, later became a pal because he approved of me helping to heal or find homes for cats in our street! When the cartman selling vegetables tried to cheat me, the man next door always scolded him and showed me how to buy the best, fresh vegetables and fruits!