What is a Good Life?

Note:  You’ll find an occasional sprinkling of Urdu/ Hindi/ Kannada languages in all my essays written at this particular site, it is a personal site. I let my Indianness and or Muslimness ooze out of me with occasional references to things that are Indian and or Muslim. In all other writings, it is nothing but English, if you have a need to understand them, please shoot an email to MikeGhouse@gmail.com 

Is it about having what others have, or living your own life? Until a decade ago I had a great materialistic life from the first point of view, but in the last several years, I’ve chosen to live my own life, a minimalist’s life, that is living with bare necessities with only what is needed. Indeed, happiness and desire for things are inversely proportional to each other.

If we focus on living our own lives, we’ll live happily. The problems begin when we want to have things that others have, there is no end to having things, and there is nothing wrong with wanting and having stuff if that is what you want. You choose your path and live up to it. 

I am hoping, each one of us can find a new mirror to see ourselves, and purposefully determine what we want out of life.

Tum bhi ek din mar ja o’gay, hum bhi ek din mar’jayeingay
Ana ki Takraron ko mita kay, sukoon hum kab payeiengay?

One day, your life will come to an end, and mine too.
If we keep arguing with our egos, when will we find peace?
When will we stop and smell the roses?


Whether it is new or an age-old tension between you and your sister, brother, parents, spouse or kids, and friends, customers or clients, how long will you carry the burden?

Tum bhi ek din marja o’gay, o bhi ek din mar’jayeingay

Death will end the complaints anyway, then why do we need to carry the burden through death? Why not end them now and enjoy the rest of the life? It is good to be free, free from anxieties and tensions.

Whether it is hatred for an individual, a group, or their faith, race, ethnicity, nationality, culture or other uniqueness, it is our burden, they quietly come and go, they may not even know about our hate, but we’d be still carrying the burden, anger, and pain.  As a corollary, you or your friends may have loved someone intensely during your teen years without the other person even knowing about it. Pyaar huwa chup ke chup ke se, huwa tha na?


All the stuff I have accumulated over the years would be useless whenever I croak.  It would be a hassle for my kids to get rid of that crap (good stuff to me) should something happen to me, and my kids have zero interest in anything I own except the family pictures.

Why should my kids spend time in disposing of the stuff they don’t need?   Should I burden them with a sense of guilt to get rid of that stuff?   Should I worry what they will do to my stuff after I am gone?  They have their own stuff they have accumulated like I did, and I should set them free to live their own lives.

Should I become a watchdog guarding my ego, my way of doing things, controlling and seeking perfection in others? To be tense and give tension to others?  It’s a choice we make, to enjoy life with or without things we need, and do things that give us peace of mind.

I came from a 5000 Square foot home with lots of great furniture, paintings, silverware, expensive knick knacks etc… you name it, I had it. Three years ago, I gave away everything I had and chose to live in an apartment with bare necessities. The 4th copy of one of the Russian paintings that I gave away sold for 45,000 to a Bible Museum in Dallas. I did not flinch losing it. I am glad, I did not feel the blood rushing either. I had some extraordinary sandalwood carvings – I am happy I don’t have any of that and when I die, I will go with freedom. I am free now. “Ab shaad hoon main, azaad hoon main, kuch kaam nahin hai aahon say.”


With a few exceptions that I regret, I have not maligned anyone in my life, or gone around telling bad things about others.  I have no grudges in my heart either.

What is the gain with hatred and malice or backbiting? It’s actually a loss, it keeps you bonded with the dislike of others.

Asking others to forgive you for your shortcomings is not giving away control of your life, but giving an expression tof how you feel. If they act up, you forgive them and move on.  Let it not be you who gives up on hope.

Let’s tie the loose ends of life, every day and live a full life!  My mother tied the loose ends, and I was able to facilitate Najma, my late wife to do the same, and here I am, making the efforts.

Michami Dukadam friends. Let’s start our life afresh with a clean slate, now, from today!

I went to Dallas to attend celebrating a friend’s life who had passed away a week ago, he was a great soul. It was time to reflect on life. While there, I went around in Plano with my son and his family. The Quality of life is undoubtedly far better here than most places to raise a family, and the amenities and facilities were incredible. Plano and Richardson are beautiful cities with God’s diversity of creation, people of different races, faiths, and ethnicities were all there. I went to watch my Grandson play soccer indoors, and it was a joy to see all of God’s creation there.

On the way back home to DC, I was sitting on the plane next to a friendly sociable woman, and we had a good healthy conversation over a period of four hours. She had so many experiences to share, and occasionally my mind wandered at the possibility of taking this conversation further, and each time, I dropped the idea. Thanks to the problem in the plane, it was delayed by an hour and I was secretly humming the song, “Aye abr-e Karam, aaj itna baras…”

As we landed at Reagan Airport and walked towards the baggage, another song helped me preserve these beautiful moments.  “Chalte Chalte, younhi koi mil gaya tha.” In the journey of life, I ran into someone,  those few moments were pleasant, and let them remain so, and let them remain a dream. We parted, I did not ask for her phone number nor she did.

For a few moments the desire to live that life again surfaced, but am glad, I quickly came out of it and woke up reminding myself of what I’ve chosen. My commitment is to Pluralism, and I should stick to it until the Center of Pluralism is doing everything I wanted it to do. I have to live a purposeful life and leave behind ideas and practices that may benefit one soul or the other. This is not a noble thing or a great thing, it is simply what I want to contribute to my planet.

Tying the loose ends of life – the real story of my late wife Najma

Mike Ghouse


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