Desire, Want or Need?

What is that one thing you truly desire for, a thing you want desperately, a thing you always ask from Santa every Christmas and put a note under your pillow or hang your stocking next to the fireplace? What is that one deep wish that came true, a desire that you thing is a want and then shapes up as a need. Well for me it was my craving to posses my very own pair of pink shoes.

Materialistic you may call me but I did want them more than Dalai Lama wants world peace. So can these words that we use to describe our inner ‘craving’ if I put in simple words called synonymous to each other.

Let’s take it one by one, a desire a want and a need. The Kashmiri Pandits living in the refugee camps desire to get return to their homes from where they were driven out almost two decades ago. The Palestinians watching there orange orchards from the other side of the barbed fence and wanting to erase the past and come back home. And thousands and millions and billions of people living on this planet waiting for the fulfillment of their need for peace.

All of them desire, want and need. So do these words differ in there meaning. Apologies to my economics teacher, I don’t think so.

Then what do I call my demand for pink shoes? Now that my friend can be termed as nothing else but plain ignorance. Ignorance of what is happening and has happened. Ignorance that I have faced by staying comfortably in my bubbled acushy world. From where I have not batted an eyelid on the happenings around me. When there were feet being chopped off I craved for pink shoes.

Fourteen years after the end of the Bosnian war the state still fights for its existence. It is still picking up the shattered pieces of glass that it suffered through the blow it got in the name of ethnic cleansing. The economy is still in tatters, with a high rate of unemployment which is more than 40%. Talks of secessionism are been spoken openly. And to add a cherry on top there are talks where our big daddy has commented that the only way things can be sorted out would be by Washington intervention and redrawing the ’95 treaty. And let’s not pretend that we aren’t aware of the consequences further on.

Bosnia is just one piece of the jigsaw puzzle there are plenty lying in front of us. It is indeed unfortunately that we can pick and choose.

We don’t need to go that far our own country is full of such illustrations. The bloodshed that we have faced in the name of ethnic cleansing has still not been soaked by our secular and sovereign carpet. A mention of those incidents is not even necessary. The moment we are born we are labeled as something- Hindu, Muslim, Serb, Huti, SC, OBC, Aryan, a Kashmiri Pandit and the list is never ending. As an individual you don’t belong to a society but part of an ethnic group.

I once was told by a co-passenger during one of my train journeys, “My great grandfather told my grandpa, ‘When your time comes, you will see peace,’ My grandpa told my father the same thing, my father told me the same thing and I told the same thing to my children.” I hope that the next generation doesn’t hear the same statement.

Where there is a desire for change, there is a want for harmony, we need peace. I think more than my craving for pink shoes, Dalai Lama’s World peace is a more meaningful desire want and need.

Aakanksha Ahluwalia

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