It was a long day. We set out at 4:30 am and only rested our weary heads when we reached Siliguri at 9:30 pm.

The roads were absolutely terrible and traffic backup caused by large trucks had us inching on the highway.

We discovered a different side to West Bengal. A series of villages, each with a distinct sense of purpose. One seemed to be a recycling village while the village just after seemed to rehabilitate reusable items from the one before.

As we drove down country roads along the Bangladesh border, it felt as though we had gone back in time. Eco friendly thatched huts, cattle grazing in the courtyard, men playing a game of cards under a tree – no signs of modern amenities. Not even electricity.

At first I felt guilty for having led such a privileged life, I couldn’t even begin to imagine a life of such penury. But as I continued to look out my window, I realised that for those people, it’s the only type of life they’ve ever known. They seemed happy in their own way.

Each strata of society faces its own set of challenges and hardships. It’s all relative at the end of the day. One man’s fruit is another man’s poison.

When faced with adversity, mankind does what it does best- adapt. And somewhere along the way, we find happiness.