Why The Doors Are Always Closed ?

As a part of my preparation for the Marathi examination, I read an article by Shraddha Belsare titled दार घराचे सदैव बंद  (The door of the house is always closed). She reminisces her childhood when a colony was one big family. The neighbours celebrated each other’s happiness and were by the side of a person in grief. They encouraged their neighbours and kept a strict watch on the activities going in the neighbourhood. What we call the “invasion of privacy” now was the way of life then. Nobody seemed to mind it. But all of a sudden, the world has changed so much. People are now closeted in their own houses and seldom know about the neighbours name, forget about his whereabouts. The writer ends with a question in her mind that what could have brought this drastic change.

I was fortunate to live in such a colony where the doors were always open. I used to torment my young brother and it was only because of my neighbours who took care of my brother so that my mother could do her household chores. One special mention should be done of Nisha Didi’s mother. She took care of my brother like her own son. When I was in 10th, my grandfather passed away before my board exams. My parents had to rush back home. I and my brother stayed. Aunty used to take care of us. In the meantime, my brother contracted small pox. She made him sleep beside her and took entire care without bothering that she might contract the disease. She even performed the puja at Shitla Mata’s temple which usually a mother does. It was love and nothing else. So was the case at my maternal uncle’s home. People used to come and go all the time and it was like the entire colony was my family.

But in the last decade, all has changed. Now, the life in these places is full of privacy. The doors really don’t open.

What could have been the reason?

  • The biggest reason people give is the advent of television.
  • People also claim that nuclear families created this rift. They believe that one who cannot live with his own family is not supposed to be cordial with his neighbours.
  • Devoting a larger time to career related activities is also said to be the reason.
  • People are becoming independent is also a reason.
  • People also believe that in the past decade or so, the moral fibre of the society has also deteriorated. People have stopped believing in others and this has lead to this insular society.
  • And last but not least is the influence of the Western society.

Now at one point or the other in time, we all have come across these explanations. Now are they correct or are they wrong. Actually if we consider, all are correct and have contributed to this insular society. But are these the reasons or the effects. Like my mind always asks did television stimulated insularity or insularity stimulated the popularity of television.

But how could a country of thousands of years of history deteriorated in matter of a few decades. What the Turks and Afghans couldn’t do. What the Mughals and British couldn’t do was done by us, the independent Indians. How?

It all started with a thought of individuality. Most of our peers wanted individual glory which the Indian society wanted them to share with everyone. This was not acceptable to them and they rebelled. Big business houses which survived the British “Divide and Rule” policy were bifurcated. A country where the family name carried importance was now full of individuals.

I am not saying that this was wrong. Everybody needed to be recognized in their own capacity. But what resulted was not what was warranted. These individuality seekers brought a new word into the Indian lexicon, “ME” which replaced “WE”. “I, Me, My” became words which brought in the fault lines. Our ancestors had brought “WE” because they believed in harvesting the individual brilliances for the common good of the society. I would like to quote Akira Kurosawa here, “Filmmaking is a cooperative workforce based on individual human talent”. Just like a brilliant film, a society also benefits from the cooperation.”

The first horde of individualists succeeded in creating an alternate society based on self – respect. But as time went by, not every individualist was well equipped to carry on with the flag march. But by then the society had been polarized. And these pseudo – individualists had a form of self – respect which we better call as “ego”. And satisfying ego is very difficult. Such egos always bring wrong notions which unfortunately seem quite attractive in the beginning. These false beginnings take us to an end which is not at all attractive.

We instead of understanding our shortcomings and fallacies secluded us from others. If there is nobody to accuse you, how can you be wrong? And thus slowly and steadily we have created a society of self – rights who are only accountable to themselves.

And lastly are the blind followers. As I have mentioned in my last post, Duffers Conundrum, people are losing their intellectual capacities fast and thick. Thus they follow these provocative, attractive and false policies without understanding the consequences.

Sane Guruji says,

आधी मन नम्र होत मग मस्तक झुकतः

आधी हृदय द्रवत मग डोळ्यात पाणी येत

आधी अहंकार विरघळतो मग हात जोडले जातात

(First the mind becomes humble and then the head bows down.

First the heart becomes wet and then tears flow down the eyes.

First ego is dissolved and then the hands get folded.)

Similarly, first let us open the doors of our mind and then the doors of the houses will open automatically.

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One thought on “Why The Doors Are Always Closed ?”

  1. Human is said to be a social animal. But now the social behavior of human is turning personal because social needs are satisfied by machines. for example, earlier all the women use to gather in the evening at someones house and discuss their life problems. Now, women are less intereated in social problems of neighbours and more interested in problems of ‘saas-bahu’ of the idiot box. This is according to you the first reason for closing the doors. Once I read in the Hindu that many proffessors of California are ammused of Indian Family System in which large families were successfully framed . and now the size of family in Indian society is also bounded to just 4 -5. We have accepted everything west has given us without verifying it and rejected our traditional and prestigious ways of life . Your article is really appreciable and people must think on this issue.
    We have shrinked our hearts amd become self-centred. The size of this heart is as big as sky and even as small as poppy seeds as written by Bahinabai Choudhary in her poem,

    मन एवढं एवढं,
    जसा खाकसचा दाना ।
    मन केवढं केवढं?
    आभायात बी मायेना ॥

    Unfortunately we have accepted heart whose size is small and hence its hard to open the doors of heart and house for others.

    great article ..!!!

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