Khushwant Singh is a widely acclaimed writer with a large readership. He has vastly travelled across the Globe, seen and met diverse people and cultures, studied various religions and customs and personally interacted with leaders and statesmen in and outside India. Looking in retrospect on the wide spectrum of a historic career, he has, at the ripe age of 95, recounted in his recently published book, 10 sources of happiness, which according to him should necessarily be present to make ones life fulfilling and purposeful. Of these 10 sources, nine are such that any successful man will scarcely fail to mention either some or most of them at any public forum. What is more noticeable and which I propose to discuss here at some length, is the presence of a healthy bank balance as a primary source of happiness, which according to him, comes only next to good health. But he qualifies it by saying, It need not run into crores, but it should be enough to provide for comforts, and there should be something to spare for recreation eating out, going to the movies, travel and holidays in the hills or by the sea. Shortage of money can be demoralizing. Living on credit or borrowing is demeaning and lowers one in ones own eyes. So this is the approach of an honest and rational human being who has a strong dislike for cant, hypocrisy and humbug and who had all his life been calling a spade a spade. In Pakistan, I thought, if one had invited a hundred scholars at a public seminar to tell you various sources of happiness, none of them, I am sure, had indicated a healthy bank balance as a primary source of happiness ( not due to ignorance, but out of personal expediency). While studying in the G.C., once, while looking from the roof-top of the New Hostel down on the busy intersection which remains clogged by heavy traffic, I wondered why everybody was running helter-skelter instead of sitting comfortably in their homes. At once it occurred to me that it was certainly to earn their bread and butter which made them run around on the streets, confused and mad. In other words, everybody was mad after money, whose acquisition was their chief concern and for which everyone was prepared to go to any limit and to make any sacrifice which came their way. Not only that, once they had it, they will still go out again to get more. This struggle will continue in endless circles and instead of satiating the urge, it would seem as if increase of appetite had grown by what it fed on, as the Bard of England once said. Thus it is in common knowledge that everybody is keenly pursuing his days activities to acquire a healthy bank balance, and there is hardly any ground to hide ones face behind a veil while admitting this truth at any public forum. If one were to give the money the place it really deserves in the heart and mind of the people, I feel that it must occupy a niche in the front corridor of their houses symbolically in the shape of a gong made of silver or bronze and each time while going out of the house, the people should pay their respect to it by taking a solemn pledge that they would assiduously woo it and bring it back by winning her favours through fair and honest means as is the wont of true and faithful lovers. ZAFAR AZIZ CHOUDHRY, Lahore, August2.