Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Give it back to parents.

Perhaps one of the most serious issues that the present day policy makers face is that associated with old age.  Not that they haven’t dealt with tougher challenges before. It is the magnitude of the problem that is frustrating. Remember those life cycles we would study in the biology classes right in the secondary school? Each organism including man is dependent upon its parents at one stage of its growth, parents who nurture it in every possible way, parents who would not really care about anything else if their young ones were safe and protected. So far, the situation is fairly simple and man shares an astounding similarity with lower organisms. Where the problem arises for lower organisms might still be under study but for man, the situation is pretty much clear. This young one of a man grows up to become one of the most ungrateful beings the world had ever seen.

I am not the kind of person who blames the West for every misconduct that is prevalent in our days. Despite this, I believe the western culture played spoilsport with the concepts of liberty and freedom of expression.The result? Not only could a child choose his career independently but also sue his parents and drag them to the court for insisting upon choosing the one they considered was right! Not only could a son raise hue and cry whenever his father slapped him for not studying but also he could abuse him or even assault him in revenge. Parents were portrayed as obstructions in the child’s independent decisions. Any suggestion by the parents began to be termed as ‘interference’ and ‘infringement’ of the child’s right to freedom. Once mature, these teenagers began expelling their parents from what was actually their homes. Then came the old age homes and so did humiliation. It is sad how we can do so much of lip service as to talk about justice when we don’t practice it ourselves.  This was what the poor mother had got in return for all the care that she gave! This is how we pay back a wretched father who had never undergone a health checkup himself, worrying more for his little child, until he became hypertensive. Talk about ingratitude!

There are so many alibis we put forward to escape our responsibilities every day. And like a true loser, we do not fail to make ‘time’ (or the lack of it) a scapegoat.  It really doesn’t take time to hug your mother and speak a few words of compassion. Saying to your dad that you are there for him always, is hardly time-consuming. But this generation has a different choice.  We choose to believe that our parents are ‘outdated’. That the times have changed and our choices have to be necessarily ours. In our ignorance, we believe it’s cool to not listen to them and to think they have a narrower perspective of things. It’s hip to say they are ‘old-fashioned’. How I wish more sanity prevailed in this world!

No matter how much good we might do to them, the hardships parents bear can never be compensated in reality. There are things that simply can’t be paralleled or paid for. The pains of a mother right from conception to birth and then to the careful nurturing of a child is inexplicable. The Holy Quran puts it as:

 "We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him." 

And so it is obligatory that we stand by our parents in thick and thin. It is important to overlook the minor mistakes they commit. It is required that we assure them of every possible support when the need arises. It is important to call them once in a while just to tell how much we love them. Like the way they cuddled us when we did not necessarily need it. Much like a worried mother who sat by the pillow while her son or daughter was ill and like the father who was ready to accept every challenge if his child had the best food to eat and the best dresses to wear. It’s time we pay them back, possibly with rich dividends!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

That one deed

That one deed…...

Little Jamy was gifted a penny by his mother for having his choicest ice-cream. What did he do? Did he have the one with the extra topping on it? NO! After school, he had the regular ice cream for half a penny and bought another for the poor kid at the school gate who would keep looking at him from a distance. Jamy might not have had the best ice-cream available but he sure did feel the best that day.  

When did you last leave studying moral science as a full-fledged subject? I remember having left it at Std 4. Most of my friends like me loved the subject. Mostly because it was scoring, hardly had anything to do with the use of one’s grey cells and probably because we all loved the teacher it was taught by. What moral science did to others is difficult to assert. My memory of what exactly formed the crux of the subject is beginning to blur by now. There was however a pic of a young boy giving alms to the poor, that has always remained etched in my memory. The young boy’s act exemplified a beautiful seven-letter word that seems to have evaporated from our daily practice-charity!

Among the several hundred tasks we do every day there is one common denominator. Anything we do to help others gives us an immense level of satisfaction. Try it out sometimes! The sweetness of slumber then has no match. The inner self emerges victorious. Remember the last time you patted an orphan on the back? Or donated clothes to the underprivileged? You can feel the joy within. We are all born that way. Like little jamy, we are born with sympathy for the lesser privileged. It’s all natural. Try giving 2 candies to a little child and you would find him sharing it with another standing close by, who is crying because he hasn’t been given any. What on earth causes our humane spirit to turn bestial as we grow up? When I come across a little child begging on the platform who should be playing with toys and going to school at his age, my eyes well up with tears. What makes it even more sad is the indifference that people show towards them. And then there are few who take the defeatist approach of blame-it-all-on-poor-governance.  How I wish all this blame game could be of help!

India has more billionaires than most other countries, yet they are the stingiest lot it seems. These cheese-paring, penny-pinching billionaires could have done the trick for India-start a culture of donations and charity programmes where the whole of India could be roped in. Unfortunately it did not happen. It might be more fun to build an Antilia and not spend in charity but it’s certainly not refreshing. Indians have been known for charity for quite a long time but the quality seems to be long lost. It’s time we become honest to ourselves. Instead of doing too much of lip-service, let us take a stride towards helping those who haven’t ‘made it large’ in life (Boy do I hate that beverage commercial!). Helping out financially is not the only way of involving in charity. A word of concern, a polite response, a little help to cross the road-every little act might just be charity enough to make our days beautiful. I avoid suggesting people too strongly in favor of something, lest they should take it to be a panacea for all worries. Well, believe me, this one is!:)

Friday, 14 September 2012

The first one:)

We are at that point on the world’s timeline when innumerable problems haunt us. From as basic an amenity as clean drinking water to political relations that I can never comprehend one bit, all reiterate one plain fact, life is tough. Worse, there are only slim chances that it will take a turn for the better anytime soon. If you are caught in a developing nation like the one I am in, you know what life is all about. Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory couldn’t be more true ever than it is today. Wait, Just a minute. Let’s take a break. Does life have to be only about it? Why take the glass-is-half-empty approach and make it look dreary? Does whining about the problems help us in turning the tides in our favour? That’s exactly my point! We as a civilization might be scaling heights that our ancestors wouldn’t have imagined but we have done more than just that. We are creating records when it comes to nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts. We have perhaps failed to realize that there are things beyond a posh villa and a Porsche. Remember the last time you visited a village (only if you ever did)? Serenity is the word! That’s what you feel all around. Believe me we need it desperately. Instead of queuing up outside a psychiatrist’s clinic, it’s time for serious introspection. Oops! Not serious;) Mild soul searching I’d rather say. The world needs more happy men in it than grumpy scientists, doctors and engineers. By now you are probably convinced that I should have enrolled for some crappy philosophy class. You can call me a fool and get away with it….perhaps only after we all have had a hearty laugh over it  :D