Home > Magazine > ChaiTime > The Humor of Melvin Durai


The Humor of Melvin Durai

May 2011

An international survey, conducted simultaneously in 140 countries on April 2, has found that Indians are the happiest people in the world—with no other country even coming close.

Researchers at Brown University in Rhode Island, under the guidance of Professor Michael Tibbs, called 100 people in each country at random to determine their level of happiness.

“We were amazed by the results,” Tibbs said. “We asked people to rate their level of happiness from 1 to 10. Out of 100 Indians, 98 said ‘10,’ one said ’11,’ and the other said ‘I’m so happy, I could die.’”

What’s most remarkable, he said, is that Indians ranked 12th in the world in a 2010 survey, with an average level of happiness of 7.43.

“Though we asked several probing questions, we weren’t able to determine how Indians suddenly became the happiest people in the world,” Tibbs said. “The economy hasn’t improved that much in one year and, as far as we can tell, the price of rice hasn’t dropped.”

Tibbs said his researchers gathered a few unusual answers to their questions. Asked about the importance of religion in determining happiness, one man said, “I finally believe in God,” and another said, “Dhoni is our savior!”

Tibbs said that Indians have very positive attitudes about life. While people in other parts of the world were likely to describe life as “okay” and “not bad,” Indians were likely to describe it as “too good to be true” and “better than in 1983.”

“Something has changed in India,” Tibbs said, “and as soon as we get some more funding, we’ll conduct another survey to determine exactly what that is.”


1. India’s top female basketball player received an invitation to try out for two WNBA teams.

2. The Kochi Tuskers, one of two new franchises in the Indian Premier League, were originally named the Indi Commandos, but fans in Kerala shot the name down.

3. Sonia Gandhi’s enthusiastic celebration of India’s World Cup victory caused even her critics to deem her a “true Indian.”

4. Tennis stars Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi reached the top of the ATP World Tour Doubles Team Rankings, but everyone in India was too focused on cricket to notice.

5. Visiting the country for the first time, Warren Buffett said he felt a “little bit of a retard to have come to India so late.”

(1, 2, 4 and 5 really happened—and 3 almost did)


As engineering colleges in India multiply in number, so does the ease of earning an engineering degree. Sometimes it’s as easy as writing your cell phone number on an exam paper. That’s apparently what 26-year-old Deepak Sharma did, after failing several exams at ITM University in Delhi. He promptly received a call from the examiner, offering to pass him and his friends if they paid him Rs. 10,000 each. “I feel almost 99 percent certain that if I didn’t pay the money, I would have failed the exam again,” Sharma told the Wall Street Journal. In case you’re wondering, ITM does not stand for “Ingeniously Taking Money.”


United Provinces of India
British band Cornershop collaborates with Punjabi singer Bubbley Kaur in this music video.

Indian Driving Test
Can it get any easier than this?

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more.]

Enjoyed reading Khabar magazine? Subscribe to Khabar and get a full digital copy of this Indian-American community magazine.

  • Add to Twitter
  • Add to Facebook
  • Add to Technorati
  • Add to Slashdot
  • Add to Stumbleupon
  • Add to Furl
  • Add to Blinklist
  • Add to Delicious
  • Add to Newsvine
  • Add to Reddit
  • Add to Digg
  • Add to Fark
blog comments powered by Disqus

Back to articles








Sign up for our weekly newsletter




Krishnan Co WebBanner.jpg


Embassy Bank_gif.gif