Today also I remember those dark nights full of light of wisdom when my grandfather used to tell me lots and lots of stories. Fables from the village where he grew and the way he lived those years, parables from day to day life and tales of that inglorious past where there used to live people who did glorious work.
Born in 1912, he witnessed the World War I, Indian Freedom Struggle and World War II, the immediate situations prevailing post independence and much more. Adding to it was his inquisitiveness to know and learn more about the world that made him an ocean of profound knowledge. Above this he was a man with mouth gasping knowledge about our cultures and traditions.
So I had wonderful nights listening to my grand pa who used to give me a picture of the past and I saw the world before my existence through his words and explanations. Today that’s why I am a man with roots strong enough to give dynamism to the shoots of my life.
Off from my office, that monotonous 9-5 work routine leaves me exhausted and exasperated. And while I was swinging in my mom’s rock n roll chair, it so happened that I took a plunge into my forthcoming life, when I would become a father and I would have more responsibilities on my shoulders. And probably that would be the time when it would be my turn to turn their dark nights into wisdom full nights. But I wonder if I would be able to do so..?? I guess not!!
Yeah, I think what I would narrate to my kids as part of their history and my life. Will I start from 1984, and take it to 1993. Or shall I tell them the grim situations prevailing in Kashmir in the late 80’s. Or would I explain to them how unsafe their country had become at one time that the Prime Minister was shot dead/blasted? Or shall I imbibe in them also the differences of Babri Masjid and Ram Sthal Ayodhya?
Will I be able to explain to them the two big birds knocking down the sky scrapers that held the world trade? Or why again and again India and Pakistan went on war with each other be it 1965 or 1999? Will I be able to tell them about the culprits of Godhra riots? Or shall I tell them the unlucky sequences of 13 and 26 of any month when India gets attacked?
Or would I ask them to believe that Julian Assange is a dork no matter how much truth he uncovers? Or I can ask them to learn the names of few “glorious” people who have so much of country’s capital locked in Swiss accounts?
After recapturing all this, I blanked out. I definitely don’t want those tender hearts to even know about this, let alone narrating all this to them. And the inglorious present of my life has not yet stopped. My children are unfortunately going to witness such a History book that writers would also think twice before broadcasting.
Such is the present we have written for them. How could I forget to mention global warming? Tomorrow they might ask me “Dad was the weather this hot and turbulent when you were a kid?” I guess I would have no answer other than to drop my head and eyes with guilt.
I wonder! I wonder! I don’t think this would be safe bait to tell them all this when they would be about to sleep. So I think, what is that I would feel good in telling my children. There still are certain good attributes of my present such as the rich culture, unity and diversity, though tacit yet exists. There is the gift of nature bestowed on my nation to host beautiful destinations.
There are the magnificent architectures, royal tales that are carried forward generation by generation. My country is the country of saints, the dawn of mathematics on which the world dances. My country is the owner of Ayurveda and other Vedas that explain the science from micro to macro concepts. And there is an Indian in every one of us. I do have these things to tell them. But the task of keeping them alive till my child is born is quite daunting.
We really need to understand the importance of our country, culture and traditions. We need to be modern in our thoughts that bind us in the grapples of casteism, sects, regions and religions. We need to be modern in our deeds and rise above all. We need to be modern enough to accept changes for good.
But we need to be traditional enough at heart to keep those millennium old values inherited by our fore fathers. We need to stick to those roots that still hold us strong but we are in race of breaking those bonds. And if we could do it, I would happily say “Kiddo, These are tales I have to tell…!”