By D N Singh
History repeats but not always. A phase of wind of wellness, which had helped us to survive the vicissitudes of delirium, has been blown away by human errors. Time has changed drastically and can never be the same ever, and that is true to the time we are in.
Crushed under Modernity
Corona has come as a lesson for the modernity across board. We have recklessly ignored the value of nature and crushed our bonding with the latter from time immemorial.
Kicking the dust on the front yard, taking on the humid afternoons by restorative idleness of solitude and then, wallow in the evening breeze, have been lost to the past.
Generations which had grown in houses of mud with thatched roofs, during rains, water falling from the slanting roofs creating hundreds of water bubbles, bursting in seconds, have got dissolved in a concrete monstrosity of today.
Viewing the rains through the windows, children splashing water, kicking on the mini pools on the backyards and screaming with joy, unmindful of the muddy splashes on the clothes.
But, today’s younger generation is no more that. It has become more dyspeptic post the virus attack, a complete departure from the moorings. Now they run to check the time table on whatsapps …stressed and worried.
Is that generation in its last leg? Fears are not unfounded. One can recall the days when games like ‘kabaddi’, ‘Gilli danda’ ‘Bohu chori’ and hide and seek were the ones breathing energy into each one.
That was the generation which arranged discarded tires of bi-cycles to make a complete match of win and loss. Difficult to think that the same generation had managed to read the lessons in the evenings in the dim light of lanterns, sitting on mats and ogling at the proverbial stick dangling in the teachers’ hands.
One can vividly recollect the use of garlic (rasuna) as an adhesive to keep a cracked glass of the lanterns intact.
Emotions in that time had never a space in any digital platform, neither telephones nor smartphones but, it were all on a 5 paise post card or an inland letter that travelled miles carrying our emotions and needs.
When in hostels, imagine the money orders, the sight of the particular post man peddling through the dusty tracks and triggered mirth of some good time for days.
How robust was the acclimatizing ability of the body. No air conditioner nor cooler, yet all slept well without any of them around. Summers were difficult yet, then, people had the options to beat the heat in a natural way. Resilience.
Lying on string cots, under the moonlit sky, or on a clean bed-sheet spread on the roofs, eastern breeze soaking the sweats and how beds were perfumed by fresh jasmine flowers from ones own mini nursery, lying motionless, often gazing at the vast blue firmament where millions of star blink ; sleep came deep till the morning dew drenched you as a waking up call.
A generation which woke up to a dose of pasted turmeric as one of the best anti-oxidants and using mustard oil for a massage had kept the present days’ moisturizers and so on as the only recourses.
Fried pumpkin flowers, chopped brinjal fried with tender ‘neem’ leaves, and a dish called ‘kanji’ made from lightly fermented water of cooked rice or, reuse of vegetable peels as ingredients for a special curry, were all a fabulous pack of appetizers.
From a handful of fried ground-nuts now to, ‘tedhe-medhe’, ‘Lays’ or ‘Punjabi Tadka’,’Kur-kure’ are all agents those make many kids piss ammoniac bitterness one day or the other.
The differences are so discernible. Then the mothers used a tea spoon to decide the amount of oil to pour for a curry but, now the ladies use a serving spoonful of oil to grease the mouth and debilitate the metabolism.
Days are gone and changes have usurped with new thoughts. Even with time, etiquettes have changed too. It were the time when children crossed many lines of mischief but the sight of a senior person from any hue always drove them to hide in some obscure corner of the village .
Or abruptly getting down from a bi-cycle when a teacher coming from the opposite side was just an act of spontaneity which had never been taught. It was somehow inbuilt.
Modernity is good but it should not have been given so tight a hold to uproot all those nuances of the childhood, adolescence or youth, and suddenly become persons confined within a die of make-believe adulthood, beginning the day with a smartphone and sleep with that at the bed side.
Circumstances have pushed all to a state, where isolation has become the only prevention against all dangers, even you cannot inhale as much oxygen you require because, you don’t dare a walk even without a mask. Five to six hours with a mask on, restricting the dose of oxygen a day!
About the Author:
DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com