Volume 10 : Issue 1

Published : Jan. - Mar. 2011

Group : And Life Goes On

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Understanding Society

By Arun Babani

To try to know life by trying to understand people is rather a misleading project. You will conclude: the world is a nasty place and therefore life is not worth a tinker’s damn.People, society, and world are more or less childish and ignorant. If you ever try to write the biographies of an entire population you’re not likely to encounter great difficulties: the life’s story of every human being, whether Indian or Chinese, German or Russian is almost entirely the same: birth, learning to survive, setting up a family, providing, praying, investing, growing old and dying. In all times and climes, everywhere in human civilization the story is monotonously repeated exactly in the same colors and counts. There is in each human life the same craving for more, same lust for permanence, same fears and greed and a few moments of the so called happiness. The same violent ME is in control and the same rat runs every race.

So to write biographies of people, young and old, rich or poor, famous or obscure is a relatively easier job than cooking an ordinary meal. It is so predictable that psychologists have come up with elementary textbooks known as ‘Lifespan of human beings’ that have come to be regarded as precise and accurate accounts of life on our planet. In fact, the whole of human life from pram to wheelchair has been made into a kind of a chart with exact milestones neatly laid out. These charts clearly spell out the human course of events in 6 to 8 phases of life. They fathom what a human being would do in each phase and explain the difficulties he/she will be facing, and the possible course of action he/she might take. The typical teenage issues or the mid-life crisis and so on are exactly the same in all human societies and serve as a guidebook to take you through the journey of life, effortlessly and smoothly. Sigmund Freud enumerated the two basic areas of human life as being the central concerns. Work and Love. Which means office and home,dukaan and makaan, money and sex.He even went into human dreams and stipulated most common dreams dreamt by humans and analyzed them, which meant that not only is the conscious waking state of human beings familiarly the same but even the unconscious dream state is no different either. Humans dream the same dreams as other humans in society! Amazing isn’t it? You and me are as predictable as the laboratory rats.

There are two types of human beings. The docile and obedient followers and the rebels. The followers believe it to be the human nature to be what they are. But the rebels, as few as fingers, say it is the damn culture that that exploits human fears and makes them submit to being carbon copies rather than originals. And that’s why most biographies are meaninglessly repetitive and boring. The culture puts before man the value system and goals that are childish and hackneyed. Further, the society and culture uses prize and punishment, carrot and stick to stick to that value system. Which works,the rebellion and the genius is easily sacrificed. It is easy to be a lamb in the herd rather than a cub in the herd. To follow guidelines, milestones and charts is secure but dead. Unfortunately no one has written a guide book or a road map for rebellion. Rebels have to make their own path by walking on it which, as History has shown, is destroyed sooner or later by society. Rebellion comes at a price of being alone against the crowds, secure in one’s own vision. A biography of an authentic rebel can never be written. It is impossible.