A new friend came into my plain life: The Guava Tree. It has added natural colours and a distinct taste to my life.
It shares that I have filled in its emptiness and now it has a wonderful admirer. We often talk on numerous things from weather, society, friendship to life etc. It also whispers good night to me by gently moving its leaves on my window.
It once said to me, “I am still growing in my vision and height but my roots are more stronger and deep inside the Earth, so one thing is true that I am certainly grounded and matured. Life may go upside down but I promise, will never leave you in any circumstance till death.”
This sentence reminded me the lost essence of life values in modern humanity.
“It was a tough time when we measured the road with our legs from big cities to our village”, sighed a man.
“But Kamla didi never gave up and motivated all women to get self-sufficient and empowered”, another man proudly complemented. Everyone nodded.
“Corona made us to come back to our village”, said a woman. “Tough situations let us to embrace traditional earthen pot making as per modern designer requirements”, added another woman.
“In this way, we also saved our Mother Earth from piles of plastic. Never loose hope. Tough times build people. Today we are proud of ourselves and eager for year 2021 to come. Naya Saal, Naya Aayam, Nayi Umeed” said the hopeful Kamla. Everyone continued to sing the folk songs on the eve of new year.
We live in 21st century which is now largely digitized with modern setup and numerous free speeches related to equality and awareness about women empowerment in India. But have we achieved it holistically or do we believe in it? Or it is sheer work of using meaningless words by tongue and mouth without dedication? Of course, women don’t need a “Certificate of Appreciation” from their opposite sex to prove themselves. Also, the comparision is not necessary as both the factors play a balanced and necessary role in society and its sustenance.
Yet the sad fact which exists even today is that in the era of Modern India is that the patriarchy and male chauvinism are still breathing and living in open. Women are often judged and criticized for their roles and responsibilities. They and their work are being negated. They are being compared and considered as “the secondary citizens in family“, ” the shadows“, “the ones with no or less important work“, “the weaker or lesser humans” or “the burdens with easy life and little roles“.
It is also expected from women to say to please the another gender or else to be their dumb voiceless puppets“.
In the mad race of getting rewarded and appreciated from their counterparts, they often compete within themselves, downgrade the same gender to qualify the false and dubious standards of the unbalanced world.
This plight of women is living since the ancient India till today, only the difference with the time is that the people are more literate with degrees, the standard of living is changed, the language English has largely replaced Hindi, women are largely educated, preferably professionally qualified, the family status and incomes have risen, the conversion of villages and small cities to the larger cities with high class facilities and exquisite lifestyles is rapid, the technology is the daily necessity and the debates, programs, semi/webinars related to women and related issues have increased exponentially.
Yet we still dive deeply in the lows of shallow mentality of women criticism, mockery and comparision. And the sad fact is that as we progress the status graph from BPL to low income status to middle class to higher class, we encounter incement in the patriarchy and related undervaluing of women. A great sociological thinker once said the only cause behind this hidden fact is that due to the intact values and culture, the high class women are less open and expressive to addressing this issue openly in public and vice versa in other case due to societal fear.
The question is mere conducting events, talks, interviews related to an issue are enough or the practice of equality is necessary wholeheartedly, from family to society? It should be soul believed issue and not a outer world forcible issue. What we say must be practicised and not vice versa. There is no issue of comparison which is necessary.
We must not forget that both the genders are humans with own importance in the world. Let them live and cherish their life jointly, with their intact self respect rather than comparing and downgrading one or the other by devaluing and snatching the joys of life.
This criticism is not applicable to all males. It is related to anyone be it male or female who practices this spineless practice.
Also, there are few women who utilize this matter of concern for their personal benefits which is of course derogatory in itself.
Some college friends were chatting amongst themselves. They all started a game where each one had to define “modernity aspects” in their life.
There were numerous viewpoints of modernity ranging from shopping brands, having stylish phones, using slangs, doing adventures, getting drunk, having numerous relationships, nuclear families, increasing divorces and break-ups, exploring new places, being loud mouthed, having short temper, maintaining a classy lifestyle, intolerance etc.
There were few more opinions like being educated, application of knowledge, having healthy lifestyle, better jobs etc.
One answer surprised everyone in the group. A simple minded girl said, “The aspects of modernity in her life are having patience, relaxed mind, very less anger, no shouts or slangs or foul words in language, tolerance towards others, respect for all humans, animals and nature, employing knowledge in life, stepping in other’s shoes and understanding their life, non aggressive and non-violent debates, even if the opponents are howling at the top of their voices, dedicated and trustworthy relationships, healthy lifestyle, no alcoholism etc, taking adventures, having fun and enjoying every part of life.”
There was an absolute silence. Everyone in the room was aghast with her points. Ultimately out of curiosity and restlessness, one of her dear friend asked, “Don’t you feel that’s not modernity but boring old fashioned pattern of living?”
“Who defined it?”, asked the girl.
Her highly impatient friend now said,” Everyone does the opposite these days. These characteristics are no longer practiced or applicable. They are dead now.”
“No, they aren’t. It’s just people have started blindly following what everyone else is doing, without understanding whether that thing is necessary or not. We humans are behaving as per others perception. Shout, cheat, be angry because that shows one is courageous. Have drinks, maintain many non serious relationships because that shows how cool one is. Maintain brands, classy lifestyle or speak slangs or foul words, tell lies every second for no reason, be egoist, do not respect others as all this signify high status and superior attitude. This is the reality. We have to be broad minded and analytical. Understanding real meaning of quality modern life is absolutely necessary”, replied the innocent girl.
To her amazement, her dear friend asked, “But how can one with less temper, being patient, soft spoken, having less arguments, maintaining low pitch be modern?”
“Just have a look around yourself. What do you find? People are stressed, full of anger, hurt, sad, shattered, extremely impatient etc. They aren’t relaxed and calm. Style, class, status are exhibited when fewer individuals practice it amongst many. When individuals are few and different, they outshine. How many people have you seen happy inside-out, soft spoken, social and successful but not egoist, intelligent but not arrogant, efficient non-violent debators etc? Handful right! So, who is having higher standards? It’s pretty difficult and adventurous to be calm and pleasing person among shouting, fighting, lying, arrogant dark images. That’s why it’s stylish to be different”, answered the naive girl.
Her friend asked, “Two final queries, how can one imbibe these qualities? And secondly, can one sustain in modern society with these attributes?”
The simple girl with a broad smile said,” It’s very easy to imbibe. Just keep your eyes and focus on judging yourself rather than others. Criticize and correct yourself. Introspect, change, grow and work upon yourself each day. Compete with yourself to overcome lures and wrong habits. Each individual on this Earth has a positive point, start searching for that very point, try and understand other’s life, respect and tolerate relationships as you are also tolerated by others. It’s a mutual effort to be happier. Spread smiles for free, people need it.
And for the second question will these characteristics sustain in present societies. Yes of course, it will perfectly shine and succeed. These are the golden gems of all time. These characteristics were established and made to sustain in any era. Do you know we celebrate 30th January as Martyr’s day in India. It’s the death anniversary of the great Mahatma Gandhi. You know why he is called great because he helped India to achieve its freedom on the foundation pillar of unity and non violence. These characteristics do not make one dumb and exposed. Rather these give a person valuable insights to surpass any blocks or situations. The ones who practice it become more learned and proactive, becoming a brighter people with sharper minds.
Lets now become modern in real sense of the word.“