If recent news feeds of my friend list are to be analyzed with the mind-eye of the past, they bring to my mind the forced necessity for societal conformity on their part.
Anger had been stoked in them:the humble metamorphised into the widely misunderstood show offs.
If my childhood memories of these people are to be trusted they were people talented beyond measure, pioneers who overshadowed many of us in their chosen interests. They were people who were literary giants and artists, people who invented things deserving praise for ingenuity and frugality.
Resources were limited and the only money they had was of talent and ability. Have met many such wonderful folks throughout my childhood and beyond.
Where appearances belied the fact of the genius within them which the society thought as different or strange.
They projected introvertness and they spun tales of depression for their obvious lack of social points.
Some managed to escape the eyes of the public by fierce battles against the vulture-like jury which ended in a complete breaking off with the society that plagued them with ridicule and dealings of ostracism.
I found an old references in a work of Bacon: ” Cato, surnamed the Censor, one of the wisest men indeed that ever lived, when Carnedes the philosopher came in embassage to Rome, and that the young men of Rome began to flock about him, being allured with the sweetness and majesty of his eloquence and learning, gave counsel in open senate that they should give him his dispatch with all speed, lest he should infect and enchant the minds and affections of the youth, and at unawares bring in an alteration of the manners and customs of the state. ” that aptly summarizes the experience of ostracism that one sees everywhere these days.
When authors write stories about their childhood lives being stereotyped as “japs” and “chinks” just because of their remote association and heritage, one imagines a society far lost in the past; almost medieval in thinking and just not cosmopolitan and civilized.
Further the truth as noted by renowned sociologists in the readers digest a couple of months ago testifies to the fact that this practice of alienation and disrespect is still prevalent in contemporary Indian mindset, seeing people of African descent residing in the country as someone to be belittled without any cause.
This is again witnessed in the recent dealings as reported in the print media; on some crime in calangute relating to some anti social elements which conjured up a blanket term to discredit an entire community based on nationality of a single person.
It is disheartening to see such attitude prevalent in this country at this point of time; when Indian identity is at its peak in the global scene(as I see it with my limited world view. help from the brutal crimes against women in the country
has put us on the global news)
Some of the values that were ingrained into us was to see the differing cultural identities of people as valuable avenues to experience the wider human thought and cultural ideas of our species.
When people are limited by the constraints of time and money that prevent them from experiencing one of the joys of travel: experiencing different cultures. This mindset of the nation that alienates people is simply disenchanting to say the least.
Back to the main point of stories in my friend list: a desperate attempt by the natives to impress to a society that clearly doesn’t understand the global lives we live in.
When the brunt of the society- the expectations and dreams that are setreotypically forced on the said native geniuses, they become the much disliked show offs posting images of the foreign cuisine on their social media feeds to win socially normalcy and not be seen an outcast who went astray and unsuccessful in their careers of their chosen childhood interests. I can empathize.
The human identity which the country valued in the past should again be the core of our world view.
And the definition of success must be rethought with valid assessments based on values and virtues; ignoring the society’s expectations which are; imo greatly uneducated.
There are some of us who take this idea farther and see life in all things in the universe.
A connection, one with the stars in this singular pale blue dot of a planet.