Since childhood, I think it has been told to us that we are different from each other. I think the first time we only feel this is at the age of six to seven, when we start going away from girls. You know at that age, we don’t like playing with girls. Now, before that all was okay. But at that age, around five to six, even if you’re playing only with girls, other boys will start teasing you or sometimes your parents won’t like that you are playing only with girls.
So first difference is boys and girls, which is still okay because I think all the animals they differentiate between male and female, on gender only.
But soon you will realize that at the age of nine to ten, there are two types of girls, sister or not sister.
I remember as a child, my neighbor, very beautiful girl, very fair and they were far superior than us, that family, in terms of all the parameters, including money and everything.
And as a prophylaxis in precaution, her mother, every time she used to say this to me, “She’s your sister, She’s your sister.”
So I thought okay, there are two types of girls, sister and non-sister.
But by the time we reached fourteen to fifteen years old, then we are very careful in using this word. Before that, we are absolutely okay of saying sister to any girl. But at that age, fourteen to fifteen, we are very careful.
So one difference is still okay, male and female, boys and girls, but I think human beings have gone beyond that.
There are so many things on which we have decided to differentiate us.
The first thing distinctly and if I remember, I had a very good friend at my school and suddenly one day he said Praveen, “I’m not going to share a seat with you”, because we used to sit together. In a school, all good friends used to sit together if you had the liberty of doing that. And I said, “Why?” And he said because my Mama told me that don’t sit with those people and eat with those people who are non-vegetarian and I was non-vegetarian.
So another difference was you are vegetarian. You are non-vegetarian. Even in this, there was further more declassification.
There’s Something Called Good Non-vegetarian And Bad Non-vegetarian
I remember one day as a child, I was just playing. It was a rainy day and we were playing in water and suddenly my mother came from there and she said, “Praveen come home.”
I said, “Okay, I will come. Don’t worry. I will come.”
I used to take the liberty of my mother calling me like this.
But if my father, then in one Praveen, I’m at home. Then after sometime someone came and said, Praveen your father is calling you and I ran. My father said, where were you? I said, “I was playing with my friend.” And he said, “You will never play with him again.” I said, “Why?” He said because your mother told me that he plays with earthworms and that my friend was from Northeast and they’re very comfortable with earthworms.
My father also said that your mother told me that someone told her that they also eat earthworms. I’ve never seen my friend doing that by the way. But for a moment, I thought inside, Okay. In case, if they do, because even we are non-vegetarian.
But then my dad said, no, we chicken, we eat fish, which is good non-vegetarian.
So then I realized there’s something called good non-vegetarian and bad non-vegetarian.
So even in non-vegetarian ,we were different.
Then one very big difference, ladies and gentlemen was very, very early in my life at that age, I realized that. When we used to go to Artillery Center in Nashik, my dad was in Nashik Artillery Center. In the Artillery Center in Nashik in Army area there are four big religious structures. Mandir, Maszid, Gurudwara and church.
Out of curiosity, I used to ask my parents why are they so different from each other.
It was like, the structure is different. There is dome, there is cross. The God is different. The ritual is different. What the person is doing inside, the way they pray are different.
There are benches in the church. There are no benches in the Mandir. In Mandir we are not allowed to take Chappal inside.
In church, we can’t do that. I said, oh my God, huge difference. They used to say, they are different. We all are different from each other. I said, okay.
Then one more difference, ladies and gentlemen, I realized is this very early in my life is the difference of rich and poor.
I still remember that movie and it was a movie of Rajesh Khanna. I was sitting next to my mama and I’m watching that movie. I asked my mama, because Rajesh Khanna was coming down from those staircases with a big bungalow and on those two staircase from two sides and that shawl. And I said, “Mama, do people really live in this kind of bungalows?”
And she said, “Yes Praveen, they are rich people. They are different than us.
We are middle class. We are poor.” I said, yeah, the world is really different. It’s like, we all are different from each other.
Whether You Are A Hindu or Muslim, You Still Have The Same Kind Of Fear?
But really ladies and gentlemen, my question to you is this. If we are so different from each other, then why we are reacting to this coronavirus the same.
Why whether you are non-vegetarian or vegetarian, you still suffer the same symptoms? Why would whether you are a Hindu or Muslim, you still have the same kind of fear?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re Hindu or Muslim nowadays, you’re not going in the lift along with other people, right?
So the way this coronavirus is behaving with you and the way you are behaving with the coronavirus, don’t you feel it’s the same.
Don’t you feel that biologically also all human beings, have 99.9% DNA alike?
I understand that you have a different religious belief, different food habits. I understand a few people believe in God. Few people do not believe in God. Few people are spiritual. People are not. Few people are atheists.
I understand we have different ways of understanding life, but that doesn’t mean that we are different. We are all the same and that’s the reason, I think we are reacting to this virus same. I think the one key learning from this coronavirus or from this Covid, it should be this; that we are not different. We are the same.
What’s your perspective? Are we really different?
We all are same and it has just been told to us in childhood that we are different.
Share your perspective.
This is a Praveen Waldalkar signing out until we meet again.