I recently happened to watch an extremely inspirational video from TEDx. Mr. Rohit Deshpande was the speaker. He talked about the issue that caused mental tremors all over the nation; 26/11- when the symbol of history and elegance “TAJ-Mumbai” was under panic and trepidation. In such a traumatic situation, there were only a handful who lost their lives. The guests were completely safe guarded by the staff members and managers of the hotel. Chefs formed a human chain and took the bullets on them safe guarding the guests. Understanding and analyzing what went through the staff members’ mind, I can only salute. Because, this did not happen long ago; not even a decade back. Most staff members were around the age of 23-40 years, not very older than us. Would you have given your life to protect another’s? Leave alone your life, will you give your room in your house for your ‘somehow related uncle’ to stay??
A staff after the incident said, “They came to our hotel, trusting our service and we cannot let them down. It is our responsibility to make sure they are safe and sound.” Do you really think they have to save the life of the guests at the cost of their own lives? They were no army men. So why do you think they immolated their lives?
This was answered by one of the chief members of the Taj board team. He said that, they did not hire people from metros or cities where most of the young minds are adulterated with irresponsibility and laziness. They hired young girls and boys who have finished high school from small towns like Tiruchirapalli, Chandigarh, etc. They hired men and women based on values and not on grades.
Thinking about this case, I was taken aback. Not because of their work, but I was beaming with pride that India still had people who are enriched with its primary ingredient “atithi dhevo bhava” which means ‘treat your guests like God’. But, no one can hide the fact that, people who are still attached to our cultural roots are very few. Why is it so? Is it because we aren’t capable? If so, how were our fore fathers capable of doing that? Or, are we trying to fix our roots with “non-Indian” soils?
Today, ‘To not be Indian’ is the new cool. To not wear Indian clothes or to not eat Indian food has become the mantra behind every teenager’s mind. Why? Is our culture too complicated? Are our clothes to stuffy? Have our mothers gone crazy to scream, “chunni pehanna”? There are reasons behind every little thing that has been sowed in our country.
Today’s teens, cannot go to sleep without texting a handful of people ‘good night’ when they are least bothered about the coughing grandmother in the next room. I have seen a few kids who tend to show respect by taking off their headphones. And thanks to the rising number of pubs, there are vehicles moving on the road even at 12 in the night.
I am sure all of us(teens) have that one friend who thinks its cool to have multiple boyfriends and to spend an hour or two everyday, at a posh coffee shop. Some of us even know friends who have lost their virginity even before they are 18. Do you think they had all their senses intact at that age? Most of them do it for the ‘curiosity factor’ or ‘peer pressure’. Time is changing so fast that, there used to be a period where to not be a virgin meant no marriage or a broken marriage for the girls. The today’s guys who are 20+ are much more mature than their fathers when they were 20. But the level of responsibility our fathers had to maintain decorum is lost in today’s fathers. They call themselves “cool dads” if they approve of their 15 year old daughter’s relationship with a 13 year old boy. And to talk words with $#!& is just awe-inspiring to these greenhorns.
Tracking down, we know who has to be blamed.
What have we(parents) done to our children? Fed them with enormous amounts of high fructose corn syrup and transfat. Made them sit on a couch when you went out for work and shopping. Kept frozen pizzas in the fridge for their dinner. And by the time they are mature enough, they are irreverent, abusive, profane, fat, unhallowed and what not? At 18, they are ashamed to face the world with an obese figure. Do not blame them, for, you did not raise them. They were raised by video games, pop corns, bad company, movies and the entertainment industry. But, you have no choice, you cannot blame pop corns and cheese slices. You end up screaming at them. So what happens at the end? They are counselled by psychiatrists and prescribed a dozen of anti-depressants.
To lose our roots is entirely different from changing our roots. Be whimsical with your own life. Try not to vitiate the essence of our culture and morality. Ultimately its going to be your call for your own country. Not just Indians, be it anyone, fly higher, climb up, fetch the best fruits ever. But, know the roots of your tree. For, without them, there ain’t a tree!