Have We Made the Right Shift or We Need to Take a Safe UTurn?
Are we making a big cultural shift or an unabashed imitation of everything that shines is digging a grave for what we proudly call our’s? The process of change has indeed begun and it has begun with a bang. The kind of changes, I have noticed personally are mind-boggling.
India is seen as one nation that holds insane scope for multinational vultures to come and set up their businesses here and reap the great benefits at the same time. The humongous availability of land, the massive pool of brain, the outrageous number of cheap labour and abundance of corrupted minds, make India the ideal place for world powers to scout new business possibilities in our country.
I left India in 2010 and found a completely unfamiliar culture and trend when I returned six years later. Don’t get me wrong, a big change had started to shape way before that but it became visible in its great form fairly recently. I was gone for a mere six years but what I witnessed at my return was nothing short of a Renaissance.
I saw fancier cars on the roads, I saw better infrastructure, new lifestyle that people had started to follow and a common trend to socialize on virtual platforms or to socialize in plush places. Whether you want to hold a work meeting, or you want to take a client for lunch or you want to catch-up with friends, people now head to coffee shops or prominent food joints to impress others. The concept of calling people home and serving them is fading exponentially.
I do not see kids sitting next to the elders in the family and asking them to tell a story, what’s even more exhausting is the fact that there hardly are any elders in our homes. People have made a big move to living separate from their families; even if they do live together, they live on different floors. Kids are not being taught the significance of relationships and how crucial it is for them to know and love their grand parents and how their grand parents still crave to speak to their grand kids. Kids today have not heard the stories of Raja Harishchandra or that famous thirsty crow; they only know about Spiderman, Batman, and Superman. They can spend hours fighting virtual enemies on their X boxes. Leave them alone for half hour with another kid their age and all they will do is boasting about all the latest toys that have been bought by their parents. They have not played musical chairs, or Corner, or any other game where we as kids gathered with others and played for hours. The concept of co-existing, making adjustments and accommodating others is something that kids of this generation have not been taught.
Couples sit together in their lounge and speak to random casual friends on their smart phones. Chatting on WhatsApp and many other similar portals has replaced the cozy time that people spent together in the past, which can also be counted as a major reason behind people not sticking together, not having a better judgement of their relationship and not having a kind of bond that keeps two together. We are so glued to seeing those funny pictures on Instagram, sharing that lewd joke on Facebook group, to have a superficial chat with someone new on chatting apps that the person sitting right across gets royally ignored. The real worry is that we are not even realizing what we are doing to our relationships.
Everyone wants to have a fancy car parked outside their door, that is secondary that they take a mad loan for the same from the bank. House parties, Kitty Parties, school and college reunions have replaced the family dinners and lunches; the only thing that people are now concerned with is to find new ways of flaunting their expensive phones, jewelry and homes. We are all so consumed with living a phoney life that we have shamelessly given up our roots, our values and principles.
The move that we have made is lavish, it looks beautiful. After all, change is the only constant but at what cost? At the cost of our values and our relationships. Wouldn’t it have been great if we could keep the best of our past and imbibe the best of present, amalgamate them both and make the perfect blend that would have given the world an example to follow?
I am ecstatic to see all the growth that this nation has made in last one decade or two but I am also heartbroken to see what we have sacrificed to achieve our present. We have sacrificed something incredibly solid to have something unbelievably insidious.