Compared to the US, so many people in India are going without. Without many things we consider basic essentials. Adequate water supplies. Electricity. Needed medical attention. If the rules of the jungle apply anywhere, it's here. India is the jungle.
That being said, I'm not sure I've ever seen happier children. Rather then being plugged into computers and gaming systems, they find creative ways to spend their time. Utilizing household items to entertain themselves, they stay busy for hours. Here are some recent examples.
Dhoni (Ramu and Lakshmi's son) had a blast playing with a homemade kite constructed of string and a plastic shopping bag. He wasn't the only one who enjoyed it!
Keeping a tire rolling by hitting it with a stick is something I'd only seen in the movies. I figured it was a game played before the invention of matchbox cars and barbie dolls, but alas, it's alive and well in India, and clearly a lot of fun!
On every lane, you'll find pick up games of cricket, each child dreaming of becoming the next M S Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar. The other day the kids in my lane were even playing a game "frisbee" using a rubber gasket. The creativity seen is inspiring. These kids are enjoying life to the fullest without the need to be plugged in to the latest gaming system, blasting away at their opponent. There's no feeling of going without, or jealousy over who has what. At least not from what I've seen. These kids are genuinely happy.
Maybe it's true that less is really more.