Jalsa , Mumbai Sept 8 , 2011 Thu 11 : 30 PM
Was to work today … cancellation .. and another off day to recover from ailment … but work just springs out of the woodwork and BAM ! .. before long we are in the thick of it, not knowing when it all began and when it shall end ..
Shobhaa De, the eminent writer and columnist, sent across a gentle lady to take my views on ’sanskaar’ and its power in the lives of us as Indians. How does one really begin to describe what ’sanskaar’ means to an audience that does not understand the language. I have no word for it in the language that you now read … I know that I was fortunate to have possessed the virtues of ’sanskaar’ from my family and I hope and pray that generations after me shall, within the family, continue with them.
I am asked how does one develop them, where did they go with the present generation, have we lost them in changing times, how important are they to us in our social standing. I have nowhere to go to explain such questioning. I have not deliberately been given lessons on the subject and neither has there been a concerted effort by anyone, particularly my parents and family, to formally teach me what this aspect of living was all about. But … I observed that when elders entered the room, the young stood up in respect. I observed that the heads of family and those that were given honor and pride of place were the ones that you with regard and servility, touched their feet for their blessings. In a restaurant with my Mother for coffee, I was corrected by her when I stared at an outsider unknown, with more than deliberate intent. A fleeting glance was considered a more aesthetic manner of behavior. I noticed that the ‘ji’ was to be more respectful than a ‘tu’ .. though in some languages of the country the ‘tu’ is considered a more endearing term.
Opening doors for ladies, ushering them on before you, pulling out their chairs and seating them at tables, sitting down after they were seated .. were perhaps more to do with manners and perhaps a kind of discipline that we were initiated into, but does it come under the realm of ’sanskaar’ …? I wonder !
A well mannered attitude was considered as possessing a good ’sanskaar’. How one behaved in public, how one delivered within the morals of agreeable society, was more to do with ‘in possession of good sanskaar’.
I cannot put my finger to a moment when I was taught it - sanskaar ! It was something that simply one acquired over time. Something that was unspoken and unsaid yet said and spoken of. You either had it or you did not. If I am responding to the sms or messages on the mobile and the laptop with a certain degree of promptness, it may not be considered as an act of correctness and discipline, but certainly would go down in the mind of the receiver as an act that emanates from ‘achche sanskaar’.
If I have spoken or written about incidents that have been memorable and of relevance to me in this blog, and they have found some patronage among a few, it is not coming from ’sanskaar’. It is what I picked up from my Father or Mother as a lesson to learn from. To equate it to ’sanskaar’ would not entirely be correct. That I have felt the lesson important enough to work by it and abide with it, could well be termed as one that has a certain ’sanskaar’.
There is however a concern about the changing trends in our society. The oft repeated refrain is, that this generation has not kept up the ’sanskaar’ they should have. Maybe maybe not. Each generation has its own view point and morals and methods of what it thinks to be morally right. They may not agree with mine, but I would, if ever I were to be confronted, give reasonable license to cover the decade change that we have now come to accept. Provided those that asked for it came forward for it in the spirit of understanding and more importantly understood the lasting fact that liberations in behavior does not give them the license to compromise with their ’sanskaar’.
There may be reasonable argument against this as well. Fair enough. But that is the precise understanding that I talk of. Each parent may have a different point of view. And if they are liberal enough to accept the natural change in the decade, then they must also accept the natural exigencies that may occur with the generation that has just stepped into a world where they may not be too willing to accept what has remained with them in the past. Change is a natural equation for progress and development. Not just in the material sense, but also in the manner in which life conducts itself. Yes the youth shall bring about another aspect and we must learn to respect that, but within the boundaries of a ’sanskaar’ that was imbedded in us as the young. Those shall remain - should remain !!
You are polite and generous to the contestants that arrive on the HotSeat in KBC ! Yes I am ! I am so because to me my little technologically proficient region of the KBC set is my home. When you come and sit by me you have entered my home and I shall treat you with the politeness and generosity that I would any other that would come to Jalsa. This is not habit or good manners, well maybe it is, but ideally it would be referred to as being in possession of good ’sanskaar’.
My genetic body tells me to rest now … my mind wishes to stay back with you …’sanskaar’ does not come in here. But if I were to end today by not acknowledging your presence and wishing you well, it would go down as not ‘having good sanskaar’ …
Good night then and may all of you be safe and well looked after … including today in particular for Shams, who celebrates her birthday tomorrow the 9th . Happy birthday Shams … and may you continue to be your delightful self as ever !!! Love