Friday, November 9, 2007
Moments of Grief.
The life revolves simply around two basic-est emotions. Happiness & grief. And somehow, the sad always overshadows the bright, happy one. It’s weird but we don’t think about a movie in which the actor & actress lived happily ever after, it’s the one in which there was death & tears that tends to linger on in our mind. Even when we read, the books that touch our soul are usually the ones, which have dealt with sorrow and distress. Maybe, the reason is because we can connect more to the pain, we can feel the pain. Then why is it that the happiness doesn’t strike as strong a bond? Of course the jokes make us laugh, the sarcasm clicks and the thrill as it unfolds slowly sends shivers down our spine. But the tears that a book causes, somehow measure the writing skills of the author.
It’s weird as to why I’m writing this today. It’s not that I’m sad, no. I’ve led on an average a great life. Though people like to stay in self-pity & go on forever how life’s been hard on them, I think that’s just the way of life. It doesn’t come easy, not even to the richest or the most popular or the most powerful. It may vary in the degree of hardships but no one’s life is oblivious to hardships. So, I’ve faced my share, and I’m sure there are many more to come. But I’ve had my share of happy times so I can’t complain. If I dare say it, I’ve had the best of things usually. And I’ve had the pleasure to experience some of the finest emotions. Again, it’s not the ‘good’ (as I say by convention) emotions that are defined as fine. They can never teach you as much.
In the eyes of an average beggar I’ve seen the desperation for my packet of lays; in the eyes of a little girl I’ve seen the pleading look for a doll she really wants; in the eyes of a mother I’ve seen the look of helpless-ness when she wants to but can’t get her child something that she so badly wants; I’ve seen the look of guilt on a father’s face when he can’t face the fact that he can’t provide as well for his family; the look in a sick man’s eyes when he knows that nothing any doctor says/does anymore can save him anymore.. He knows he’s breathing his last breaths and his longing to live just a little more, to spend time with his loved ones for just another day; the look of pity etched in a passer-by’s face when he/she sees a dog lying hurt; the laughter of a small kid; the wails of an irritated child; the sobs of a friend..
But as I sit here, there’s no worse a feeling than what I feel for my country. It’s the true definition of grief. I see as the crowd heads in their respective directions everyday, without the slightest intension of doing an extra something for their country, our country. I see the sensex shooting up everyday (having not any idea what it indicates/means) and yet, I see the streets full of beggars, the roads jam-packed with pollution causing vehicles, the population going over-the-top, the number of starving / thirsty / shelter less people bursting over the normal average, the crime rate soaring up, the number of rapes & molestation cases touching the sky, meaningless murders towering, the litter and dirt on the street & in the society reaching an all time high, the list is truly endless. But what upsets me the most is the fact that every individual is so busy in his or her respective life that he doesn’t bother to take out even a moment and spare one tiny thought towards “where” this nation is headed.
I’m not a student of history, so I many have the facts wrong, but from what I gather, this is not what our fore fathers- the freedom fighters- fought for. They struggled & fought & faced trials and tribulations against the British in order to achieve a better tomorrow. They envisaged a country with a bright future, for the upcoming generations. It pains me to say but their sacrifice was not of any use. We’re still mental slaves—to the dominant system, the corrupt politicians and most of all to our money-craving, power-hungry desires. We’ve stopped thinking beyond ourselves. I may not be a follower of any philosopher/leader but I sit here and feel sorry for Gandhi & Bhagat Singh & all the others, for having an ideology and for all their ideologies failing so miserably at the hands of the people of this country. I’m not amongst the people who blame the politicians—no. Because they too are one of us. We have selected them from this one billion plus population and it’s we as a society who should take the blame. Who amongst us is not corrupt? When we get the power, we’ll make sure that we misuse it too. Because we as a society are corrupt! We take pride in breaking rules, all of them. We think it’s a cool to misuse the public money, break people’s trust and ensure the expansion of our personal bank balances.
And yet, we all take “pride” in this so-called golden bird nation. Excuse me. What precisely are we taking pride in? Two to three hours of daily power cut? Lack of potable water? Sexual abuse of children, both boys and girls at the hands of their relatives? Fundamentalism in order to gain votes? Killing each other / fighting amongst ourselves while the real enemy walks away unscratched? Having the largest number of HIV + patients? Corporal punishments killing students every month? What is it exactly? The littered streets? The pest-infected country? The leaking taps? The height of mis-management that people die of drought and flood at the same time? The ever-increasing child labour? The sky-scraping number of crippled / diseased / suffering? WHAT? Enlighten me please; I’d love to know.
All these are things, which when I think about, I’m overcome by a greater grief than any sad book / sob Hindi film can cause. Because the sad-state of our country is incomparable. I know sitting and talking and writing about it is not going to help. Unless we all take some action, decide to make a difference, believe in the fact that we can make it happen and be the change that we want to see, nothing can be attained. So I’m taking a resolution this Diwali, that at least I will try my very best to make a difference in every way possible. Because, in the end, someone will have to take the initiative and realize that "The most exciting breakthrough of the 21st century will occur not because of technology, but because of an ever expanding concept of what it means to be human." (John Naisbitt). And even though I sound like a foolish, cheerful dreamer, as a Tee shirt in my closet reads, I’m not the only one.