Returning to one’s roots!

4 min read
Image: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanathan

Development has enabled us to enjoy smarter ways of connecting, reducing distances. On an internet call, you can virtually visit any part of the world. People generally say, “Time is money”. What if, time becomes static? What if, our optimism is defeated and our most dreaded nightmare of reaching a dead-end, unfortunately, comes true? What if, time locks us up in our own paradise?  So, on the flip side of embracing development, we have now become prisoners of money, time, facilities, and social media.

I am of the view that we have probably missed our paths and lost our way and, that time is telling us to pause. It’s time to rediscover ourselves and, return to our forgotten roots. Time is taking us back to the days when our dependency on housemaids was less and when visiting those fancy restaurants wasn’t really a part of our lifestyle. Earlier, our childhood was based on simple innocent longings of playing together for hours; the whole family would huddle together to watch the famous and the only National television channel ‘DD National’. Be it Chitrahaar, a weekend movie or, the evergreen serials like ‘Hum Log’, ‘Buniyaad’, or ‘Ramayana’. I still remember we children used to watch Satyajit Ray’s ‘Damul’, the film which aired on television during that time with sincere attempts to understand the movie even though as children it was somehow out of the reach of our mental capacity to understand the movie due to the somehow compulsory ‘family ritual’ of watching a movie during the weekend time. However, discipline was still there as time was fixed for everything. Childhood dreams were very innocent. Our plays were not mobile-based. We knew the smell of rain, sand. We are born and brought up in the time which trained us to understand how food is grown in the field. For us, dal was not yellow, black, and green but we knew the names of each dal. For us, vegetables were not only potato, tomato, and bhindi, but we were introduced to many seasonal vegetables. 

I believe that we can do with much less than what we actually accumulate. I also sometimes question randomly that, do we really need global markets open to all countries in each and every sector or, should we just think about the idea of self-sufficiency and see where we can apply it?  Earlier, several traditional industries existed with people practicing various indigenous jobs to earn a living which has now been sadly forgotten.  I vividly remember a few of those now obsolete jobs - ‘Sil Batta banane ka Kaam’, ‘’Peetal bartanon ka kalai ka kaam’’, ‘Jadon mein razai mein ruee(cotton) bharne ka kaam’, ‘Sutli ki rassi ki Charpaayee’ etc. I am certain that you would also relate to my nostalgia and, will reminisce fondly about these traditional jobs which alas, are either non-existent or have lost their noble sheen.

I am not implying that the usage of modern ways is wrong, I am only stating that there was a lot of significance behind those old systems and methods. We were more sensitive, we were more of a community and were far more social sans social media. We valued and used nature’s gifts like water, air, forest, or land wisely.  Our love for our Nation wasn’t Facebook-based and we didn’t need a degree to label ourselves intellectuals. We were more concerned about being empathetic to each other and maintaining our relationships rather than paying heed to trivial political issues. Change is inevitable but change which leads to isolation, accumulation, materialism, nuclear families, selfish self, no connection with nature is the right kind of path we all may have chosen. And so I say, it is about time to slow down from this rat race that has engulfed humanity.  Wonder whether this resonates with you as well… I’d like to conclude with:

ज़िंदगी जीने कि चाह में ज़िंदगी बंद किये बैठे हैं

रोशनी हों इसलिए अंधेरे का समाँ बनाये बैठे हैं


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