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Home Food for Thought Reflections Wonder Years of Childhood

Wonder Years of Childhood

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1940s may sound like the Old Testament to the ears of the modern generation.   Their parents too trudged the same road and the same time, and what the modern generation has inherited has a direct bearing on the time their elders  lived during these years.

The second world war had ended in 1945, and I remember how we kids ran round the house shouting V for Victory, not knowing who died and who lived.   All this came to light nearly sixty years later, when we had access to the Internet.   As children, our focus is on what is near to us, and our immediate surroundings.  We absorb information that is provided to us, thinking that it is the absolute truth.  However, our innocent minds do not grasp that the adults who govern us, are goaded by their self preservation and interest, and fudge information in such a way, that we always trust them, and not their enemies.  This can not last, as the child matures into a man, and starts reasoning, and searches for answers, but if all avenues of information  are closed, then this society will be blinkered and short sighted and susceptible to misinformation, and even go to wars, not knowing if the enemy is real, or painted to be real.   Maturity does not come unless we try to achieve it.   Our mundane interests keep us from many a Truth, and we are satisfied with our life, as long as we have food and shelter.    Those who want more than that, achieve it by hook or by crook, and due to this, use illegal and shady ways to achieve it.   Judgment of the information comes only, when we are able to discern truh from untruth.   Just taking our own human nature, we can judge the effect of an action on another and the reason why a particular reaction takes place.   It is fortunate, that the modern tools, make information available, but one needs to judge who tells the truth and who is fudging it.   I have realized that whatever we may think, the One above us, is the final arbiter and decides on the outcome.  In the first three centuries of the Christian Era, the Roman Empire persecuted the budding religion, but it changed with the coming of Emperor Constantine.   Culprits who were interested in the status quo, were shocked.   So too when empires disappear, the poor and the lowly take their place, ceded by the powerful, who have be driven to impoverishment by Divine Providence.

I remember that in the forties, life was not a luxury.  When it was offered, there were many takers.   The distant farmer, who was subjugated till then, and provided a good life to the land lord, soon had access to wealth, with the oncoming of an Independent India.  This left a lacuna in our growth pattern.  The Governing classes, soon tilted from the land lords to the farmers, and as culture and wealth are not synonymous we had a lackadaisical development.  Those who felt, that their opportunities were better served by going abroad, left the mother country, and settled down in the countries of our erstwhile colonialists, and adopted their way of thinking.    Thus our English Media tilt towards these, and look at the masses with a condescending outlook.    Irrespective of the culture, the way one thinks is the same.   Everyone looks for his self survival, and it is a competition of haves and have-nots.

In those days, the time taken from 1945 to 1950 - just five years, they seemed to be ages.    Even the modem  restless youth, feels the same in their own patch of time.   It mellows as we get older, and then everything looks like hurtling down a cliff.  

We have entered a period of turbulence, when some smart guys think that by churning the muddy waters they get fame, and they will be able to filter the water to its original purity, without thinking where they will store or sink the filth.    It is easy to blame, but who is going to tell how to fix the broken society?    USA and Europe are struggling with this but in India, our loud mouths want to bring down the edifice, and plan to use the same model with fresh blood.   Will they find themselves in worse situation in the end, and the loud mouth leader will be hanged on a gibbet for misleading the crowds, as they did during the French Revolution ?   It is a good sign, that our people still debate, and will try to find a middle ground.  Those who hold power, will be sensitized to the hardships of those whom they are supposed to work for, and the masses will goad them on, to do the right thing.    Seeing from the vantage point of 2012 I feel that the dreams we dreamt in the forties will not go in vain, even though our children and grand children do not understand what had been going on in our minds.     As the river that flows from the mountain, carries with it, all dead wood and moss down to the sea, and is replenished with fresh water let us hope the same happens to our society, provided we are strong enough to demand that no self seeking entrepreneur destroys the ecosystem, for his own benefit, and to the detriment of his children and grand children, and all their friends in the surroundings.   He will be penny wise, and pound foolish.

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