“Duniya ka sabse bada rog…..kya kahenge log?”
Are you also one of those kinds who take decisions based on what people say? Or at least are swayed into changing decisions because your own people might not approve it? Don’t even pretend to answer because I am anyways not gonna believe you. Because no matter how much we think or bully ourselves into believing that we care two hoots about what the society thinks and we do as we like, the truth is that somewhere deep inside our hearts, we are always looking for an acceptance, in any form, from our kin.
Our whole lives, we are brought up with fear inducing threats like, “What will padosi uncle/aunty/dada/dadi/mama/chachi/teacher/dog say?” And as much as we ridicule these lines and try to snap ourselves out of its tangles, it sticks on to us, much like the flu or the virus. Unknowingly, we have caught it from the air, breathed it and it now forms a tiny little part of us. Over the years, this virus grows and we begin to realize the wisdom of our elders, and keep spreading the virus to all our progenies.
But there are some, for whom the virus hasn’t grown big enough yet. And they have taken some pretty off-the-rule-book kinda decisions. But as far as I have seen it, our society isn’t all that forgiving. Even though it will not ridicule you out rightly, yet, after all these years, it will keep you wondering as to what you did wrong. Somewhere deep inside, you will expect or even want to hear a good word or two about yourself/your decision, but nada. Its indifference as well as cynicism will get to you. You will try to conform to your own logic of I-don’t-care, but you know that you do. And you will keep squirming in your seat at all social gatherings when you will be subtly but out rightly be siphoned off, just because having your own mind isn’t (wasn’t ever) a fashion.
And I am not even trying to say whether this is right or wrong. Just because your risk paid off, hundreds of others are going to imitate you, but are not going to succeed. And so, you will have to carry the burden of their failure on your shoulders too, despite having got no credit for your own achievements, ever. Wanting a pat on the back for taking a new path is like having your cake and eating it too. And our society ain’t that generous. It takes centuries to identify a genius. Almost always posthumously.
So, for all those of you, who like being happy (who doesn’t?) or have a weak heart which needs a little canoodling and pampering every now and then, deviating from the herd is just not your thing. You might not be able to take the lifelong rejection. Strangling your genius might just be the best idea.