Nowadays, when we are staying or working from home, and this being considered the new normal, it is natural to remember the old days ( not very old, but just few months or years back), and it seems that things have come up a a long way. Today, when we find ourselves stuck up in the virtual world of social media, Netflix and work from home, but we forget there used to be those days when we cherished the small walks in garden or in nature, drinking the hot chai during the rains, going for trek in nearby mountains or hills ( my hometown is blessed with many surrounding hills, and I have very fond memories of it), meeting friends in the evening and talking about out of the box topics, or even roaming around the city by car or bike, just for the sake of passing the time.
When these things were easily done by everyone, everyday ( without even being aware of it), we somehow did not value them. But even those small things add up. We often know and understand more by discussing with friends, rather than internet or books. We make good friends in real life by actual meeting, sharing, with all those fun and random gossip, and not over social media, or accepting follow up request. There was a time when people did not need daily motivation quotes or inspirational videos to stay motivated, but just looking at the real life problems and striving hard to solve them, kept them inspired. There was a time when people did not join weight reducing program to stay fit, but just doing the daily work, traveling by bus, walking, cycling, climbing the stairs, doing housework kept them fit. Gone are the days when every kid had to suffer the punishment at the hands of their parents and teachers, and that punishment somehow got engraved in their memory, which reminded them of not committing that mistake again. But today, on the contrary, we hear that the parents and teachers are punished if they do the same. But even those small things added up in life. We discarded them on the grounds of modernity, freedom and independence, but somehow, we see the need of those things.
After all, we are not meant to be confined to a virtual life or digital image on some online website. We are not meant to be just working to survive the competition or to stay ahead in the success race with family members or friends. As J K Rowling famously said that many people confuse between life and qualifications. We see that in old days, the reasons of stress were poverty or famine or floods or any natural disaster which would destroy the crops or house. But today,we are much much ahead of them, and still our generation has more stress then ever in human history, for what? To beat the competition, to keep social status, to maintain the relationships?? We are stressed out in our work not to make life better or find solutions ( there are exceptions like Elon Musk though), but just with the fear of public opinion, or to avoid breakup in marriage or relationship etc. Today, the equations of life are altered to such an extent where the good old ways of living is simply out of fashion. In this quest to carve out our digital identity in a virtual, encrypted world, we no longer find time for simple, random acts, or loving nature, or even just finding time to be with ourselves.
For the Indian audience who grew up watching the movies during 70’s and 80’s, there were some unique set of movies which glorified simplicity, honesty and innocence. They used to be called parallel cinema. After hearing the sad demise of Basu Chatterjee, many of us were reminded of that era. Particularly were Choti si Baat, or Rajnigandha, or Baton Baton Mein. Today, do we find the satisfied life, or happiness in simple things as depicted in those movies? Even though they were movies, but still those characters and the story touch common man’s life even today. Why? Because they showed reality, they showed the day to day life problems, and also showed the way to live happily amidst all those problems. That tolerance level, capacity to accept the hardships in life, patience to wait and let evolve the beauty of relationships is what we miss today. In many ways, that life was much much akin to nature.
More to write on the beauty of parallel cinema..