Posted on: August 16, 2012
India has been home to numerous dynasties since time immemorial. She has imbibed their customs, traditions and ethos. Ethos is the moral ideology of a particular society and, like legacy, is handed down from one generation to the next.
India’s pride in its cultural diversity can best be gauged from a pre-independence anecdote. On a particular occasion, Mahatma Gandhi was dining with the Queen of England in Buckingham Palace. When the meal was served, Gandhi started eating with his hands. After exchanging a few awkward glances, one of the Dukes politely advised Mahatma Gandhi to use the spoon.
“This spoon must have gone into thousands of mouth before reaching here, but my hand has gone only into my mouth since my birth,” said Gandhi, without batting an eyelid. “It will be unhygienic to use the spoon.”
Smitten by his reply, the Queen temporarily gave up the cutlery in an attempt to eat her meal with her hand. Such has been the impact of the Indian ethos on the world.
Consider this in contrast to what comes to mind when we think about ‘today’s India’.
Squalid streets filled with garbage
Eternal animosity prevailing among people over trivial issues
Big cities hurtling towards materialism at a neck-break speed
One wonders, ‘What’s the use of such speed that takes you away from your home? When we are able to manage big corporate houses, then why aren’t we able to manage our own lives and lifestyles efficiently?’
Parents form an important part of our lives because it’s only from them that we receive the essence of life. Caring for our parents constitutes an essential part of the Indian ethos. Why then is the ultimate sufferer the person who sacrifices his life to bring up a younger generation? I understand that every generation wants to appear more street-smart than the one before it, and wiser than the one that is yet to come. But do we have to look upon the advice of our elders as ‘intervention’? Does the solution lie in shifting our parents and grandparents to old age homes?
John Masefield rightly said, “Life is a long headache in a noisy street”.
Even those who say that they will never let this happen to their parents, change when they are put in the vicious circle of wants; the greater the wants, the higher the risk of polarisation.
The younger generation should understand the need of older generation. We should not make their days so dark that they start feeling suffocated even in their own homes. Let them not feel utterly dependent on you. Sit with them, talk, smile, cry with them; hold their hands because they are special.
Because by the time you realise your father was right…
you might already have a son trying to prove you wrong.
Categories: Student Speak