Are you living the kind of life you want to live? Are you working on the projects that you love to do? Don’t feel cornered if your answer is YES. Because, according to the latest Gallup Poll, 85% of the people in the world hate their jobs. As a result, they are not happy with life too because we spend one-third (or more) of our days at work. An inspiring discussion with Jaipur’s Award-winning artist Jai Shankar Sharma reveals why people are not happy in life.

Jai Shankar since his childhood was attracted to paintings and colours. He would sometimes draw paintings during his school times. When he completed his college education his father late Shree Govind Ram Sharma took his interest in paintings seriously. Although he was not fully convinced. As other conservative parents, he would also want Jai Shankar to get a degree and find a good job to live a stable life. But Jai Shankar was sure that he wanted to become an artist.

Jai Shankar was sent to a known person Shravan Kumar Jain in Jaipur to learn the art. However, after a year, Jai Shankar discontinued receiving Shravan’s guidance and started working on paintings on his own. He has explored many kinds of paintings from cloth painting, wall paintings, canvas painting to traditional painting. He is now more interested in traditional paintings. He told that he is the only artist in India who gave rebirth to the Tibetan Buddhist art which was lost for 1100 years.

Slow by slow Jai Shankar started gaining fame for his work. He got so famous because of his uniqueness in paintings that he received an award called National Kalidas award in 2002. He became famous not only in India but across the globe. In 2018, North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), which was established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Culture, honoured Jai Shankar as Kala Guru.

Paintings by Jai Shankar


“It was tough to convince my father for my passion. But when I start gaining recognition for my work he became happy too,” revealed Jai Shankar.

Jai Shankar shared that he has also met the Missile Man A P J Abdul Kalam when he was a president of India. The meeting lasted for eight minutes which generally would not happen with anyone else. “He was so inspired by my paintings that he spent more time talking to me. Many artists were there to show their paintings but he did not entertain anyone more than a minute,” added Jai Shankar. They both became friends after the meeting.

“What I regret most even now that I was invited for lunch with A P J Abdul Kalam but unfortunately I couldn’t make it because of some reason and then he left the world,” Jai Shankar expressed his feeling.

Jai Shankar now runs art class in Jaipur. Moreover, he is also regularly invited for guest lectures and as a chief guest from various colleges across India. “I have received many great offers from overseas institute to teach art for them. But I want to share my knowledge and skills to Indians,” told Jai Shankar.

Painting by Jai Shankar

While talking on his struggle and achievements Jai Shankar also talked about why people are not happy with life. Here are some takeaways from his discussion over life, happiness and career.


Don’t turn into a machine

Jai Shankar said that we destroy the childhood of children by sending them school before they turn five. After two or three years they are told to excel in studies and other activities in school too. They face stress and anxiety from childhood. Once school and college are over then the young age is destroyed in finding a better job for a stable life. However, there is no stability at all in the world.

“In this process of getting a stable job, having a big house and an expensive car people forget that this is not happiness at all. Happiness is about having free time to spend with loved ones, doing what we love to do, knowing the world and immersing into nature,” said Jai Shankar. He further added that nowadays we are turning into machines.

Jai Shankar advised that parents should understand their children and figure out what they want to do in life. “Education is important. Not for turning into a machine but for becoming a skilled person,” added Jai Shankar.


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Reduce materialistic expectations, follow your passion

You might have been thinking of doing something that you love to do. But you already have EMIs to pay and lifestyle to maintain. Jai Shankar said that this is the biggest problem of this generation. They first build a hurdle and then blame others for not being able to do what they want to.

“Instead, reduce the materialistic expectations and do what you love to do. It is important to invest in something that you are passionate about not a big house and an expensive car,” said Jai Shankar.

“Is it necessary to have a big house but not happiness?” questioned Jai Shankar.