Is there really any Great Divide?

A couple of days ago, I read an article in The Tribune titled “The Great Divide” that talked about the unbridgeable gap between the youngsters of urban and rural areas. There were various factors that were discussed in the article and it elaborated the lifestyles of these two areas. It discussed that the youngsters who come from rural areas are not able to mix with their counterparts in the city. It also portrayed the urban youngsters as complete fashion lovers and the rural ones as book worms.

After reading that write up, I have little confusion. I do not think that the guys and girls who come to the city from interiors have problems with mixing up with anyone as such. You and me, we all live in cities and originally hail from one or the other village. Though we all are living on modern and contemporary lines, yet deep down inside we have some rural instincts and traits within us…which we cannot deny! So, somewhere or the other, we are able to provide a comfortable space to these youngsters.

I have been living in cities and metropolitans since the time of my birth and I have seen people from almost all sections of society. I have a belief that there is hardly any gap between the rural and urban youngsters today. People who come from backward areas may face some problems initially, but later I have seen them transforming into total new avtaars. Right there from the language both sides speak to the food they eat to the clothes they wear, everything is somewhere connected to each other. And even if it is not connected, the rural youth is very eager to learn all these and be a part of the so called ‘happening’ crowd.  They may get a tough time through all these and many more, but majority of them have outshone the city youngsters in all the terms and aspects.

During my college days in Chandigarh, I had the privilege of meetng many girls from the interiors of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. They were all nice and very down to earth. The first and the fresh year for them was full of innocence and ignorance. They knew nothing about latest trends and fashions. Their sole aim was to study and attain good marks. Paranthas with achaar were their main meals and Pizzas were something they never heard about. Wearing salwar kameez was their uniform for an educational institute and sporting tight pony tails was the only hairstyle they knew!

Then as soon as they stepped into the second and third year, they had complete knowledge of fashion and style, which they mixed up with their rural personalities and turned different from the rest of the crowd in their own way. Innocence and ignorance took a back seat and coloured hair and bright nail paints started governing their lives. Not only in college, I had seen the same scenario in the university as well where students from the countryside were big time fashion hawks than others. The “Punjabi munde” turned into “studs” and “kudis” transformed into “hotties”.

I am quite sure you all must have noticed these things very often that students from rural areas are more fashion conscious and aware than others in the city. They have the latest cell phones with them, they roam around in the most expensive and swanky cars, buy the latest outfit first and what not… Either it is the Barista-CCD culture or the multiplexes; today you will find no great or tiny divide among these two sections of the society. They all are so gelled among each other that at times I wonder do I really belong to the urban class. Despite being brought up in the city culture and environment, I have never done many such things, which people from the rural areas may have done!

I am not speaking against any section or I am not in favour of any, I am just trying to put my words across to you all, that the divide does not lie in the living standards of any of the two. The only difference and divide lies in the approach and mentality. Why you and I expect students from the rural areas to be too studious and away from all trends? And, why do not they expect us to have a simple and easy living? Who decided any dress code for you and me? When no body has chalked out any specific plan for anyone of us, then why are you and I are ready to believe that yes! There is an unbridgeable gap between urban and rural? I think the problem is among us and in our mindsets. No doubt, there is an unbridgeable gap between the people of these two sides, but the gap is not of cultures and lifestyles, it’s purely of thoughts and mind sets.

Bhavna Modgils