It's a mad world!!!
Neither exceptionally outstanding nor anything astounding; this is how I can describe myself. I am like most of you, a normal person. Of course, being ‘normal’ is very relative. Everyman’s concept of normality depends on the background one hails from and more importantly, on the expanse of one’s thinking and experience. Anything beyond one’s expanse could appear ‘abnormal’ or ‘shocking’.
People, whose idea of leading a normal life is all about education, job, marriage and kids, not only love to go through the set pattern but also live to see the same cycle being repeated by their children and grandchildren. This is ‘normal’ for them. When they happen to meet persons who don’t believe in the social institution of marriage, they would be flabbergasted! They simply cannot imagine there could be a person who doesn’t want to get married or a couple not too keen on having kids. The later lot, on its part, would wonder how people could tirelessly go through set patterns generations after generations…
Every one is free to form one’s ideas and lead life according to them. It’s not about you choosing this or that. What is shocking is an undue emphasis on either this or that, which ultimately leads to neither this nor that!! Here’s a friend from whom I learn about most of the happenings in the world (in spite of working in a newspaper myself). Her analysis of things is often interesting. One day, she pointed out that a common thing doing rounds in Gen-Y was unwillingness to marry. So be it, I would say but for her, it was shocking. Each to one’s own and she had many reservations about it.
To please her, I showed her an interesting article in a tabloid about a couple having 15 biological kids. ‘‘Are you talking about today or about something that happened decades ago?’’ she asked. “Very much today.” I described what I had read; how do they live in harmony, how they have disciplined each thing right from brushing the teeth to going to bed. We wondered how the family would be travelling together without any hiccup. ‘‘All of them must be good event managers as arranging anything, even daily meals, must be no less than an event at that household,’’ that was my take. Nevertheless, I could read my friend’s face who found it a little ‘weird’ or ‘uncomfortable’. Each to one’s own…
So having no kids is ‘abnormal’ and having a dozen is ‘weird’. What is ‘normal’ then? When I meet some people, what strikes me is an attempt to fit everything into a frame. The same I found on the Women’s Day. It’s not wrong to celebrate women’s freedom or potential, but insisting that every woman must do something would be unfair, wouldn’t it be? As TOI columnist Bachi Karkaria put it: ‘We shouldn’t let the neo-dictatorship of feminists become as bruising as that of the old Big Daddies’. We can’t force every woman to be a Kareena, a Konkana or a Kiran. A few could be willing to be housewives, but it seems neo-feminist may not allow them that ‘freedom’.
Again, cases of new age woman driver driving hundreds of miles from one metropolis to other to celebrate womanhood or some activists taking out rally after 7 pm to assert women’s rights, too, aren’t unheard of!
It appears a mad world. Some people are at one end, trying to glorify old traditions and there are reactionaries going hoarse over reforms. If you are at any extreme, it could become a pattern. If one is a little centred, it’s not difficult to find freedom in the patterns as well.