Thursday, 23 June 2016

Paradise Lost

I haven't posted on this blog for a long time. No inspiration you see. But events in the past few years from 2014 onwards have created an unrest within me. A need to get things out, shout out the frustrations and indignation that I feel festering inside. These usually come out as discussions and debates with my wife, but tend to degenerate into arguments (heated) and unsatisfactory endings. (which have to be taken care of in the bedroom).

The wife thinks I take things personally and am of the mentality of my way or the highway, and as such am incapable of having a logical and unbiased discussion or debate. I initially dismissed the idea as absurd, since school I have striven to be liberal, equal towards all genders, castes, creeds etc., I couldn't have turned into a bigot surely. But, deeper introspection reveals the seeds are there and slowly but surely, I have started leaning more right than I would like to admit. Hence the post, get it all out, try to make sense of it and re-calibrate my needle to the good ol' position of centre, leaning right. This post may get very long and it may take me ages to complete and at some point of time I might decide to turn it into a series.

As a kid, my friend circle was diverse. Yes, I was a Brahmin, but it mattered not, we weren't rich, and I went to a convent school. Imagine, a family with strong RSS roots. My father did try to get me enrolled into a shakha, but I was too lazy...:) Anyway, I did not care that the guy who sat next to me was a lingayat, the guy whose 'tiffin' I shared was a Fernandes and that girl I had a crush on was a muslim. That was how it was. NONE of us cared. The first time I was introduced to the world of castes was when read it in the history books. But it was all a world of stories and things that happened in the past. No one went Sati anymore, there were no outcasts or lower castes etc. in my world. But it began to dawn on me that the world my parents had sought for me had no such barriers. As I grew up, I started seeing the walls, layer by layer, but we were young, hot blooded and weren't going to give up the girl of our dreams just because we were of different castes (tribute to a close friend and his wife, who did have to fight the caste barrier).

where is the country where no one cared about caste and religion.
why are we not discussing and taking care of the real issues.
why has the media gone so haywire and nuts?
what has happened to our politicians? 
Why won't we debate and discuss?
What are we doing as a community?
why is it suddenly a sin to be a practising Hindu in India?
why haven't we separated religion and state?

These and more questions keep bothering me. I grew up thinking it was us the village folk who really cared about castes and creed, that the urban population would have shed these shackles, that educated politicians would really think of this country as a whole, and not just their petty differences, egos, abyss like pockets and votes.

India is a such a land of opportunity and potential. And although I am not in India right now (so many will call my opinions here pointless), I do hope to come back and have the chance to live a happy and safe life with my family and kids, not worrying about rash drivers, whether I can trust the maid or the bus driver driving my kids to school, be satisfied that what my kids see on the news is real and not twisted junk, that their hard work gets them good grades and admissions to the colleges they deserve, that my wife is not passed over for a promotion cause she has kids, and the list goes on. I hope we come to our senses. Right now, it sure looks like paradise lost.

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