Sunday, February 6, 2011

The pain is the same

At a lunch party this week, once again the ‘tiger mother’ topic came up. One of my friends referenced a blog where a mum wrote that the kind of mother one is can be largely dependent on the social strata you are in. Take yourself a few rungs down in income, career and education, and perhaps you will be more of a tiger mother than you are now. As much as I would like to think that I would never be anything like a tiger mother, I am a more of a ‘follow your heart and do your thing as long as you are not harming anyone’ kind of person. But that point stayed with me.

Yesterday I watched this absolutely fabulous film- Do Dooni Char- a beautiful touching, yet humorous, portrayal of middle class Delhi teacher (played brilliantly and so realistically by Rishi Kapoor- my second fav movie of his now after Kabhie Kabhie) and his middle class family. It will tickle your funny bone and pull your heart strings, both at the same time. It showcases the daily grind and issues faced by middle class families in India as they fail to make ends meet with increasing consumerism demands. Side-bar- It was an absolute delight to watch Neetu Singh back on screen. She is the best! And am so glad she did not make a comeback with a glam-sham Karan Johar movie, but instead chose this one.

And this evening I finally managed to watch Dhobighat. I will need to dedicate a whole post to talking about that movie. It was simply divine! The reason it makes its way to this post (while still retaining a whole post of its own too) is that Dhobighat also bought into limelight a similar issue of class ideologies and what happens when the 2 worlds converge.

All this made me different are we from each other? And I came to the conclusion that people’s emotions are exactly the same. You cannot classify love, hurt, pain, passion, longing, homesickness into working, middle and upper class.

When ‘Duggal sir’ in Do Dooni Char finds out that his son has been betting on cricket and making money, he makes him distribute all his winnings to street children. There is no shouting, yelling or any sort of punishment. Yes there is hurt, and there is a realization on how parenting teen kids can be a daunting task. It’s no different from how you or I would feel. We may react in different ways- depending on our temperaments and means-but the feelings don’t change.

A teacher living in a one bedroom apartment in Delhi suburbs and we living in high rise condos in district 9 and 15 in Singapore- are both helpless to protect our children from societies growing vices.

When in Dhobighat ‘Yasmin’ was making a video diary of her new life in Bombay to send back to her brother in UP, the pain in her voice when she missed her family was just what I used to feel when I first came to Singapore. She was in Bombay trying to get used to the big city life while enjoying all it has to offer, but she pined for her home. It took me back 13 years...I too had a made an audio diary of my life in Singapore for my family and friends- I told them of my new experiences here and I reminded them how much I missed them and longed to be back to my Bombay, back to them.

There is a big social divide between Yasmin and me. I have the means to fulfil my desires of being closer to my family. She did not. That was the only point of difference. The pain we both went through, the longing of wanting to be back home was exactly the same.

We forget this. We forget that all that all that separates us from them is that we have the means to change our situation. These means are usually monetary and sometimes social leverage. We forget that with kind of incomes we earn and careers we keep, we are a very small percentage of the society at large.

When it rained continously last weekend, we all cribbed how it prevented us from going out. Going out to spend more money and buy more thing we don't need. For most others it means that they will have to find innovative ways to prevent their make shift roof from leaking, or spend hours trying to get the rain water out of their houses.

When there is a power cut in urban India, we can barely survive those few hours without our TV and air con. And we forget that millions of people still don't have the luxury of electricity.

Quoting a dialogue from Kal ho na ho- “Apni nazar se dekho toh tumharein paas bahut kum hai, kisi aur ki nazar se dekho toh bahut jyada”.

Let’s try not to take these privileges for granted- because that's exactly what they are- privileges. Given to us by God Almighty and can be taken away anytime...Let’s remember that the pain is same.

1 comment:

  1. This is lovely Seema. Landed here via James Shelley's blog..