You know what’s funny? Its the fact that I had to double check how I spelled the word compassion just to confirm if I got it right. Although it speaks volumes about my self-proclaimed understanding of the English language what alarms me more is the fact that I had to give it a thought and affirm with a search engine; the very essence that makes us human – to feel for one another. I feel its been ages since its gone. Now you see it in TV commercials and WhatsApp forwards where you try to show your children little clippings for re-enacted events of the past where people actually smiled where they had time for another man’s problems where we all just had more time for each other. Even if it were to cat fight and argue about some small little thing. What it meant was that we still cared. As human beings we acknowledged the presence of others in our lives and we felt for each other. It horrifies me when I think about events that I have been witness to over the past decade where compassion seems to be dead in totality. I am not someone pointing fingers or blaming time or people for this. Neither am I blaming god. This isn’t me just cribbing and playing the blame game. This is just me realizing how far we have come as beings of a futuristic bright world where everything is bright and gay.
I’m proud to have been born in the 80’s – those according to me were the golden ages where two paradigm shifting times met. The 50’s-60’s&70’s met the 90’s-to-date. We were bang in the middle and our childhood was so blissful. We had neighbors that cared and stray dogs that chased that cricket ball with you. We had a lot less diseases and that lone tree right in front of your house which served as your cricket stumps when playing with that lone other friend who thought it was alright to be out playing forever as far as he had you. Gone are the days when the TV was meant for the adults and the phone was a luxury that many would just ignore as they were content with just one phone in the neighborhood and all of them could get their messages there. Now a family of 4 has a minimum of 6 phones hiding their dark secrets from each other. We had communities; be it in school or at home. This ensured that we had people to look up to, we had people to perform for, we had people to play with and we had people to sit around and share a meal with. Now, we sit in different corners of a room and chew listlessly on food ordered from some place across some street meekly staring at a TV that never gets rest while that tiny new thing in our lives looks on at our face confused at what my folks are looking at on that very unreal thing when I’m right here with my pranks and smiles? Heh, I really have no answer for all these times when I seem to delve into a cloud of dark realization and self pity. There is always a catalyst I tell you and this time its something that’s deeply affecting me and what’s strange is that there is nothing I can do about it.
I won’t quite get into the detail of things but its just that there’s this incurable skin condition I have called “Lichen Planus” – you guys (those who come by) can google it up. Its an average to rare skin ailment stemming out of poor health reasons caused due to years of abuse to ones body. You don’t quite know this but you yourself dig a tiny little grave for your skin to rest in. All the good things you ate over the period of time where you left home and you thought you were invincible up until now decide to haunt you and they make a triumphant return in a re splendid fashion giving you sleeplessly itchy nights. No I don’t mean to gross you’ll out – its just that I never thought I’d be pushed into a corner like this. Heh, not that my life’s come to an end or something but I feel cornered suddenly as my life was moving along at a decent pace and had good momentum. I knew that there was this lingering issue but I never bothered too much and this was till I decided to take it up seriously and do my research. Seems glum.
Getting back to my point though. The above state of mind made me think back about where I came from and what my childhood was like, my culture, my people, my street, my childhood friends, my school and all those events which would never ever come back and which I cannot transfer as experience to my darling daughter. I could only wish for her to have gone to the kind of school I did. Since I spent 12 years there, it is only fitting for me to say that my school was what made me who I am; as a person. I am a decent human being. I have my flaws but don’t we all deal with different kinds of flaws at one point in time or another? I speak about that poor old beggar who sat in the corner next to the medical shop from where I caught my van to my Junior High and back and how it was that there was a small daily amount of Rs 2 that I could save considering that dad gave me 10 bucks to and from school and 10 bucks for food as need be. I did use up one of them on the one hour session at the cyber cafe and the other 10 had to be used for travelling. I am still left with Rs 2 that I would hope to save for 5 days so that it converts to 10 bucks which I could use for something else. However on my way back, my eyes would meet his and all I could do was give him the 2 bucks for that bite of food which kept him going. I wonder if kids these days would feel the way we did when we were small and tiny. Shruti spoke about how the security guard at my sisters building picked up a couple of 14 years old with pot/weed and how heart breaking it was to notice that a generation is dying while we all continue to chase our dreams.
Meh, COMPASSION? Nuff said.