BENGALURU: Good morning, Bangalore!
I consider myself a fairly erudite person with a certain mastery over my vocabulary and on occasion, can conjure up a clever phrase. But of late I am trying desperately to paraphrase or word a sentence which conveys a deep sense of anguish. I find myself allowing a sense of hopelessness and despondency to overtake what used to be a spirit of joie-de-vivre. Inherently, the generation that gave birth to the millenniums is an optimistic bunch. So much has changed, altered and disappeared in our lifetimes that we are forced to have a ‘Zen’ type of attitude which says, ‘this too shall pass’! We have run out of choices and other than giddy-headed optimism, we are truly sunk!
So going forward and dealing with this situation on our hands, we the optimistic generation are trying very hard to cope with this new situation. Most of us admit that we were mute spectators to the rampant destruction of our planet, Mother Nature, humane ideals and basic human decency. We also acknowledge that we chose not to engage with the unrest raging around us by pretending to be oblivious; merrily smelling the flowers and justifying our inaction by saying we did our bit by burning our brasseries and demanding gender equality (which was huge!). Yes! We were silent.
The erudite, savvy and intelligent generation of change-makers grew silent and complacent, trying desperately to keep up with the millenniums and the Gen Zs just to feel relevant. In doing so, we forgot our strengths which came squarely from facing the truth head-on, the ability to empathise and sympathise without feeling it was a ‘weak’ emotion, and the gumption to move mountains on the power of conviction.
Why do I rue my generation’s lack of courage now? Because a lot of us introspected during these unusual times, tried very hard to understand what suddenly changed our complacent way of life and how it impacted our future.
Many of us were planning the ‘sunset boulevard’ route of endless holidays, while many of us became first-time entrepreneurs and tried avenues we never had the courage to venture into before. Many of us kicked off our well-worn sandals to ‘chill madi’, play cards and look after our grandkids… in that order! Exciting plans till nature decided to kick us in the solar plexus. Once again we had to don the sensible adult/parent mantle because Gen Z and their millenniums’ pals we completely caught off guard! We had to play the cajoling adults, shouldering responsibilities (roti kapda makan and the internet) while the new generation was caught with their pants down, quavering in their pure silk Derek Rose Bailey boxers and clutching onto their ridiculously priced Hermes bags.
I sincerely thought by connecting with what’s real in our lives, we would think with compassion and clarity and perhaps live in oneness with nature. I, for one, definitely thought that I would be unafraid to speak up on how our silence and complacency brought our world to the brink! The feedback I got was heartening and positive. I wrote to all my nieces and nephews across the globe to look after each other, the environment, Mother Nature and other life forms and the repercussions of wet markets on the world. Then… one hears about the Elephant and her unborn calf and how she chose to die in the water… one with nature.
I read and heard numerous frivolous discussions on vegetarianism versus non-vegetarianism, atheists versus religion, and environmentalists versus capitalists. Human beings can always justify their hatred, their insatiable greed and their apathy with an unconcerned shrug. One will never know if the starving farmers set a trap to lure wild boar that devoured their fields, or whether it is the total government apathy to the recurring plight of the hapless farmers.What I know is, tomorrow this aberration will be forgotten and there will be a new one!