The Game Changers.
It was my brother’s Parent Teacher Meeting. The D-Day. My mother and he had fairly satisfied smiles on their face. We were laughing about the fact that he had at least passed, seeing as he was only a 7 year old. While walking down the road towards the car, I heard a faint noise calling out to us,” Madam, aree madam!” My mother looked back to see this man get down from his truck and come towards us. With him was an almost anaemic little boy, holding the man’s hand. You see, they wore tattered clothes; the boy was looking quite ragged and dirty. They were not the breed of people we would usually know. Certainly not someone who will visit a school like ours! Understandably, we were quite puzzled as to what they would want from us. The little boy left the man’s hand, who was most probably his father, and finally approached us. He went up to my mother and said,” Good morning, madam. “
“Hello beta…” my mother replied. I could see her tensing up and wondering what was going on. Then he just stood there. If you are in India, you would be quite presumptuous and think that either he was begging, or he was just begging. But then all of a sudden my brother, with his child- like innocence, exclaimed, “ Aree Raju, how are you, man? How come I see you here? “
“Yeah, I came here just to collect my result.” the boy replied in broken English.
“And what about that fracture of yours? All okay now? We missed you in class, you know.”
“ Nahi. I am all okay now. Happy also. Thank you lot for asking.”
“ Is he your friend Vidhu?” My mother asked.
My brother nodded his head. Finally grasping on to what the matter was, my mother held Raju’s hand, telling him to come with us as she had some chocolates to give to him. The boy then put his arm around his friend and they talked all the way till the car. Raju’s eyes sparkled when my mom handed him the wafers. With a meek thank you and a good bye, he went to his father with a smile on his face. When we sat in our car and later passed by them, the man looked at us with gratitude and Raju waved at my bother. Later on, I asked my brother the whole story. He told me that the little guy was in his class. Most of his friends did not talk to him because he was not really good in studies, did not talk much and would not really be the ‘ideal’ boy in the class. When I asked him as to why he would talk to Raju, he replied, “He just seems like any other guy. So why not make him my friend?”
Call it stereotyping, differentiating, categorising or ostracising, it all leads to hurt and pain for the people who are experiencing it. When I see the world at large, all I see that people are put into groups. Then some of them are told,” Hey! Guess what? You are minorities okay? So we will make you guys feel bad about yourselves and then supress you. Okay?” Please don’t judge the sarcasm levels. But what we need to ask ourselves is: where does this end? When will we finally as humanity accept each other as who we are? No one on Earth, not even the ‘Gods’ above, provided us with such demarcations or lines that have come into being. They have been either just born yesterday or have been present since time immemorial. But we as humans have outdone ourselves greatly! We have presumed and changed the rules and made our own decisions as to how these groups will be treated. And that, my readers, has made the world like it is today.
On a very crazy note, I think children should have a ‘blocker’ in their mind. Because as soon as they enter the world, they are filled in on their societal norms. Then how do you expect the child to have his or her own sense of understanding? Where do you leave room for their own decisions and thinking? When we barge in on them with loads of preconceived notions and presumptions?
I think we must really put things into perspective here. Who wants a set of generation all with the same like mindedness? Maybe time will be a faithful companion for us. But then the game changers are us in the end. Greek philosophers such as Socrates said that we don’t really need to change the existing reality, but need to make a new model which will make the people shun the previous one.
Because, you know, great people don’t sit on the comfy sofa, watch TV and wait for the changes to go around. They haul their asses and make the change themselves. By the way, this was a modified 21st Century quote. Believe in it.