I recently visited house of one of my in-laws and offered a chocolate to the toddler there who is yet to be admitted in any playgroup or preschool. It was obvious that the overjoyed kid enjoying its chocolate felt dutiful towards me and made all possible attempts to ‘entertain’ or ‘please’ me as long as I was the ‘guest’ there. However, the innocent but childish efforts of the baby to be the center of attraction for all the time started to get onto my nerves as it was impossible to have a dialogue with the adults out there as all of them seemed to enjoy the baby-acts that they have witnessed may be for thousand times. As I couldn’t see even a hint of a sincere effort from any of them to control, take away or at least ignore the child’s play and focus on the discussion in progress, I lost my interest in taking it ahead and got into the act by playing an ideal guest who must get entertained by the host.
Now, with a full-house audience applauding the act and paying keen attention to every move and sound of the baby, overwhelmed with the attention it started getting, it suddenly discovered its newfound role as the leading performer of the center stage and with all the enthusiasm and energy that it could put in, went on to continue its naive act that soon became the talk of the house. I found myself a helpless bystander to witness all this from a distant, perplexed with a usual thought of –
‘Oh sometimes it’s so hard to know who is right and what is wrong
Where are you suppose to stand when the battle lines are drawn?’
Well, somehow I managed to finish my visit in a decent manner without hurting anybody including the baby and was assured that it was pleasure for the hosts to have me as guest and they had a great time! I accepted all the compliments without a word and as humble a smile as possible to any gentleman of my temperament. I understand that you should not burn the bridges permanently as you never know where your destiny would take you and on the return trip you might need to cross that river again with help of that bridge. But few questions kept disquieting me all the same no matter how philosophical perspective I tried to put the thing in.
I was invited to the house as a guest, wasn’t I? Was I supposed to devote my full (quality) time appreciating immature acts, incidentally of no relevance to anything I had to share but suddenly becoming of everybody else’s interest? If the tot was innocent and had no idea of what it is being put through, was the kid to be blamed or the audience making a hero out of it? Wouldn’t it be more sensible on everybody else’s part to show some responsible conduct by focusing on the matters of importance and neglect the kid that would eventually get tired and exhausted once ignored?
Well, as usual I have these questions that nobody ever dares to even ask, forget answer! Now if I am being intolerant by asking these questions, I can’t help it because it is high time we are being taken for granted and also being tolerant of every act of pseudo-heroism claiming ‘Freedom’ or ‘Satyamev Jayate’!
The paradox of India today is everybody is playing the role of somebody else which he or she is certainly not or not at all supposed to be. Actors are becoming Social Reformers, Social Activists are turning Businessman, Businessman are getting into Politics, Politicians are trying to Entertain the Society, Society is following the Celebrities, Celebrities are thinking of themselves as Thought Leaders, Thought Leaders are engaged in symbolic protesting and, above all… students and amateurs are overruling the parliament sessions.
God save this Country… Certainly, NOT a Way to go… however!