Thursday, June 28, 2007

Where are We Going - Think about it!

Just a few days back I was discussing society in general with a friend's dad. One line he said, stayed back with me long after. And that was, “Aajkal logon ka khoon safed ho gaya hai.” [TRANS: The love and bonding is missing in people today.]I kept pondering at the depth of his words. They were so very true in today's context.

When I was young there was a strange bond that we used to share with even the beggar or the 'Faqir' who came every week or so. He used to wait at our door specially, and if we gave him some money (which we always did when at home) he wouldn't go to the other houses in the neighbourhood. That used to surprise us. But, we had similar bonds with our postman, the newspaper guy (pandit ji we used to call him), the goldsmith - Ainul Haq, the general store guy - Vaali, the list just goes on. They were all so humble and simple, always ready to help in their own small ways.

It's been years since I saw the Faqir baba, pandit ji is no more, Aainul Haq is training his son these days (incidentally I taught the son years back), and Vaali's shop since his death is looked after by his son. A generation has gone and so have the good old times when a person was judged on the merit of his character alone.

The world has become very professional these days. Today, relationships are more of a buyer and seller kind. Shopping malls reflect the changing times, staff at the counters change by the day. You just go, shop around, pay in cash, and come back. Something seems to be missing. The staff at the counter is so mechanical. And rightly so, there are 10 others in the queue. There's no time for 'unprofessional' chit chats. And no matter how many times you visit that mall, you'll be a stranger to them.

The same professional attitude is affecting society in general. I still remember the night when my wife was going through the labour pains in New Delhi. I had to drive her alone to the hospital, when my neighbour could have accompanied her. And this, after her occasional show of affection and care during my wife's pregnancy. She just said, "Should I come along?" She was still unsure. And I read somewhere, "Love thy neighbour as thy self."

Today, we get into relationships of convenience. Our friends from one company become history when we join the other company. And some relationships have a lesser mortal. So the gardener, the maid, the driver, and others are to be treated as such. But, the same
profile in an influential house is dealt differently.

Aren't we becoming materialistic by the day. One should not forget, though, that people do matter. It took two hands to bring us into this world and it'll need four shoulders to take us through our last journey. The love that you spread will eventually come back to you. I still believe that the world is surviving on the 'little love' that remains.

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