Food For Thought


Yesterday I was discussing with my colleagues whether we should discuss and highlight the grim aspects of life. There was a clear divide. A few of us were in favour, while others were against.

But the life is not so simple, as some of the fortunates think so. If the sun rises every day, it sets too. That is certain. But what is not certain is the dark and bright sides of life. Those who have not seen a difficult time till date can’t be sure of the same good time prevailing throughout the life.

If a person has seen brighter side only, he or she may not appreciate the other side. If you don’t know darkness, how can you appreciate the quality of brightness? If you don’t know what heat feels like, you can’t realise the importance of cold.

Destiny is a force that one cannot comprehend or avoid, but can definitely control the way he or she responds to it. When all of sudden, one finds in an adverse situation, for which he or she is not at all prepared, it becomes really difficult to sail through.

There are glaring examples in our daily life, but we don’t take lessons from them. We always extend a protective umbrella to our children, we don’t allow them to mix with children from poor and downtrodden sections.

In the process, they don’t come to know what is poverty, what are the abuses and downsides, and how difficult this life is, if the protective umbrella goes off suddenly. A child gets agitated, withdraws, and starts hovering on the verge of a mental meltdown, even on flimsy grounds.

That may be precisely the reason why today’s children have high IQs, but low EQs. We are proud of their intelligence, but they can’t empathise with others, thay can’t manage their emotions to relieve stress, to overcome challenges, or to diffuse conflict.

Can you understand the feelings of the child, who just after being beaten or scolded by his own mom, clings to the same mom, sobbing?

After all, what is emotional intelligence? It is awareness of self and society, it is the management of self and relationship, which is terribly missing in most of the households.

In a joint family, we used to have an emotional support in grandparents, but in the nuclear family, a child is deprived of the quality time of even his parents, as both are busy with their careers and aspirations, and the residual time goes to computer screens and social media.

I have seen parents giving mobile phones to their children of just one or two for watching cartoons, to keep them engaged. If they take mobile off, the children get irritated. In a way, we are making them habituated of this, and shaping their behaviour.

If children are becoming capricious or temperamental in nature, we are also responsible somewhere. We are coming in the way of their development of the well-rounded personality.

I find most of the children now-a-days feel lonely, and to fight their loneliness, they throw themselves to the menace of social media, through which, other vices too, we may not even think of.

When I was around thirteen, my mom gave me hundred rupees to go all alone to Lucknow from Varanasi for sightseeing, just to make me self-reliant, just to face the realities of going alone in a strange city.

She made me cook rice and vegetables during my childhood. I still make rotis sometimes. I know these are not unique achievements, but one should know what is what. Most of the people counter why we should know the lanes or bylanes that we are not going to traverse. But are we sure of it?

You must have heard of cases of farmer’s suicide due to inability to pay off bank loans. But are you aware who these farmers are. They belong to developed states and they themselves are not so poor, but sometimes, affluence also becomes a reason for despair. It is the state of mind, not the physical condition.

I had spent around four years in Bihar, a comparatively backward state. I used to visit villages frequently. I had seen and interacted with half-clad farmers living in acute poverty and misery. They have also taken loans, but during my entire stay in Bihar, I never came across a single case of suicide. They may be impoverished, but are emotionally strong.

Farmers’ agitation in the country has been going on for more than hundred days now, but who are in the forefront? Affluent farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and western UP. They can influence Greta Thunberg and Rihanna. But a farmer from Bihar remains anxious about his daily meals and needs, how can he sustain for so long staying away from their farms?

I have described what I have felt as an individual. I’m not in favour of generalising things, as exceptions are always there, everywhere. Some of you may disagree too. That’s fine.

I don’t wish to give any prescriptions for you, my dear friends, I have simply placed some bare facts before you to ponder and come to your own conclusions.


–Kaushal Kishore

15 Comments

  1. How lucky are the people in your building where you are meeting to discuss various ideas and topics? Are women included? Of course, you are right here on all counts. Children not only should know about those other, much less privileged children but encourage to share somethings they have, be it food or things. Parents should be role models, and take regularity something for the
    needy. Farmers are a complex issue;, I had to check on Google to get any sense of what the dispute is about it, and while I think they are right, the question you have asked is an important one. The debate could be on for some time…
    Thank you.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Joanna, for your thoughtful comments. The first time I had to put a disclaimer, because issues are controversial to some extent. Whenever you get time, instead of reading reviews and opinions, have a look at the three farm laws to find out whether there is anything against farmers. My point was the financial status of farmers, who were in favour and who against.

      In fact, I’m fortunate that I have got such a good company. Women sit separately. Thanks again.

      Like

      1. Apart from Google, I listen to the farmers being interviewed on the roadside of New Delhi, those who spoke some English; in their view, they say they and their families will starve.
        I have no knowledge of the intricacies of this and can only rely on your advice which I trust.

        Joanna.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Those English speaking and affluent farmers have access to all sorts of media, political formations etc. How can they starve, when they can manage all types of luxuries at agitation sites for months together. I was talking of those farmers who have no voice of their own. A number of such farmers also work as labourers for agitating farmers. This is all I can share, Joanna. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. At the beginning of the post, you have highlighted the darker side of life. I have written a poem today which ends within dark( actually not). Please read and share your thoughts. I know you read my every post. I’m a little curious about this one.

    Come to the post, you have aroused important issue. There are failures and guilts in life. It is important to learn the way how to deal with them. Thank you for a thought-provoking post. I appreciate such posts. Thank you. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You raise the very point of connection and awareness, KK. Whose responsibility is it to connect the poor farmer, with someone who could make a difference? Are those who can make a difference, aware of what the poor farmer is going through? On both fronts, I believe it is very much a social, economic and environmental responsibility of the greater community. We need to include governance as the fourth arm here to. However, making inroads within the greater community to seek its contribution in this matter is like walking through a maze. It is something I have always tried to do, because I can, but not everyone is of the same view.

    As we moved around the country (rural farming areas and regional/remote communities) with our children, we made sure they learnt the value of how the world works. They learnt and understood the value of water, where food comes from and how to get on in all types of people and community community. That is why all three can get on with people from all walks of life – it is normal to them.

    I learnt from my Nana from the age of 7 how to cook. It has stayed with me all my life and I have kept improving my skills. My mum was always happy when I cooked at home growing up and I cooked for the first 10 years we were married (because I got home first).

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    1. The agitating farmers are not poor. Poor farmers are working in their farms to earn livelihood. My point was this. The issue has now acquired a political dimension.

      But, I’m really happy to know about your upbringing and how you are inculcating values in your children. Really appreciable, Sean. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your beautiful life experience. Quite inspiring.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello KK, thank you for your clarification.

        Agriculture has changed significantly where I am. Those who can afford to, get bigger. Those who can’t, eventually fade away. In my state the number of farms have halved in the last 40 years. However, the rate of crop production has increased significantly. Less people on the land has decimated many rural communities, but they keep hanging on.

        I deeply appreciate your comments re our children. One of the great outcomes of this process is that it allows us to have constructive conversations regarding what is happening in the world 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m really happy for your children, who are enjoying quality time with you. As regards agriculture, it is really unfortunate, but the reverse is happening here to some extent, as a piece of land is distributed among sons after father’s demise. Thank you Sean for sharing such wonderful information.🙏

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ashley, for your beautiful remark. In a democratic set-up, everybody has right to speak. Thanks for your words of appreciation too.🙏

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Toiling on the barren land, working hard with machine and hand. Praying hard for a magical wand, to turn poverty into a richness under the super band. Yes, it is possible and can be true, if Farmers got educated and grew, with knowledge, backing too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, but the issue is complex. There is no political will. I had tried my hand once, but I had to withdraw quickly.

      Like

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