I sometimes wonder, dont we so unnecessarily complicate things in life? I mean, there is so much of beauty in the world, yet we resort to petty behaviour. I guess I am just being naive, but it miffs me to see how difficult we make things for ourself.
I was home for a week during Deepavali and got a reminder of the simple life people live. My mother and I went for long walks and I became esctatic at the sight of mist that clung lovingly to the mountains behind my house, the cold cold breeze that is very bad for the skin, the lazy cows grazing and lying royally in the middle of the road, the smiles... Now by no parameter is Madikeri a village, in fact, Konaje where my uni is, is more of a desolate place. But it was whenI was home that I realized how distant I had become from the Earth. Going home was good for me to realize what I was missing, and also to sadly acknowledge that it was only going to get worse and there was nothing I could do about it.
Anyway, we are re-modelling our garden. It looks good now with lawns and a lotus pond and plants planted in the shape of sun's rays. We have this part-time worker called Hoovanna (I have never seen a person work that well before) who loves talking. The other day, he was asking ma how people in Bangalore could be so foolish as to venture out in the rains. The issue here is that he just could not comprehend that water actually came into houses. He has no idea what a lakh or a hundred thousand people is or what a big city looks like. It is sort of.... I cant think of right word here. Human civilisation is so advanced, yet we have people who are so simple that it almost breaks my heart.
Then there is Shailaja, my maid. She is by no means simple, she has lived in Mumbai, understands a number of languages and can speak a number of them too. Her husband is a drunkard. She looks after her three girls and husband. Inspite of everything, I never fail to be amazed at her fortitude, her cheerfulness, her survival instinct. She is so chirpy that my otherwise dead silent house comes alive when she comes in for work. I was talking to her youngest kid the other day, a very precocious child. She was very excited because her parents had gone to the market and had promised to get her ice- candy. How innocent. She has never had icecream before, we, the so called rich people, take such "luxuries" for granted.
When we were working on designing the garden, these people started telling me ghost stories. Now, I dont believe in ghosts one bit. Some opine that if you believe in God, you have to believe in ghosts too. But I dont. The stories they told me were very amusing, though they believed in them absolutely. Maybe I will tell those stories some day. Today I can only reflect on their innocence.
I imagine how life would be like if they would ever have to migrate to a city. Coming from their tiny village to Madikeri is in itself a big deal for them. Life is so unfair, they are millions of deprived people, animals and people are killed for no fault of theirs. I guess the only way is not to think of them, take the easy way and look in the other direction. It would not be a simple life to feel guilty for the pleasures you enjoy, for the things that you take for granted. I think I am sounding like a communist, communism in its original form, not the politically distorted version that you see today. It is a very sensitive issue in India but I am not one. But like Che, I am seeing things that I am writing about. These are not theories I read.
Siddhartha had a way out, so did Che. I am but a prisoner to my way of life, trapped by the trappings of having to lead a live, albeit the way I want to.
Gosh, this post is so serious!!