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UAE resident turns writer in pursuit of happiness

Khaleej Times 2018-11-08 23:56:16

Inspired by the happiness buzz in the country, a 16-year UAE resident travelled to Bhutan - the happiest country in the world - for a week and what followed was a book on the serene country.

Unveiled at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) by former Kerala minister Binoy Vishwam, Malayalam book Bhutan: World's Happy Land penned by Harilal Rajendran narrates life in the only carbon-negative country in the world.

"I wrote this book to highlight how easy it is to imbibe happiness into our lives. While travelling is fun for a lot of people, you can see people in Bhutan, who are content with their souls for generations, being static in their surroundings. I felt the warmth of the space and it also aroused curiosity within me," said Harilal.

The book was written during his off-days from work at the Dubai Duty Free at the Dubai International Airport. A pharmacist by profession, Harilal has always been marvelled at the travel opportunities offered by Dubai and is constantly inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Talking about the landscape in Bhutan, he narrated an incident on his first day in Bhutan.

"I and my travel companion ordered a Bhutanese main course dish Ema Datsi as recommended by the restaurant chef. What came to the table was red-hot chillies in cheese which surprised us. Apparently, the locals use spicy food to withstand the turbulent cold weather there."

With research spanning three months, the book has rare historical information about one of the first monasteries in Bhutan, Chagri Dhorjjidhen, and also details the plans taken by Shabdrang Rimpoche - the founding father of Bhutan - to form the country. The book has included various QR codes which can be scanned to locate places along with revealing more historical information about the sites.

"Dubai is a hub for travellers. This book would act as a cultural guide for those travelling to Bhutan to experience the peace the country has to offer.

"Gentleness is part of their culture. The power of their gentleness is reflected by the country's harmony with neighbouring superpowers like India and China. Bhutan is always happy and feels eternal," said a happy Harilal. 

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