The first episode of Satyamev Jayate had me in tears. But then, I cry easily and at the drop of a hat. Yes, I’m very emotional. So I waited until I saw three episodes before I wrote this post. The second episode also tugged at the heart-strings while the third showed a lot of positive changes. They struck a chord not because they affected me personally in any way but they made me think as a woman (female foeticide and dowry) and as a mother (child abuse). I’ve always been fortunate enough to make the choices I’ve made and live the life I want and being a woman has never come in the way. And yes, I’m brave enough to stand up for my rights!
There were many reactions, some knee-jerk and others, as contrived as the accusation that ‘Aamir was performing on screen’ one! Well, the show’s format is simple and strikes where it has to. We know it’s happening around us and we don’t want to acknowledge it but we don’t realise that not acknowledging will not make things go away. Life’s not simple as that! Well, if Aamir, the celebrity cried on screen and made us cry along, he also made us stand up and think. Satyamev Jayate also portrays reality in both its macabre and as well as its heartening forms. Whether it will see the stirring of a national consciousness, only time will tell. But the message is clear – if we work together and towards a problem, things will happen and we can certainly be the change we wish to see in this world.
It’s so easy for me to wax eloquent or for you to criticise. And it’s so easy to also shrug it off and say ‘to each his own’! But it’s definitely heartening to see so many people making a difference in their own little ways. My friend posted a link on Facebook of two Tehelka journalists who are terribly sick and in hospital after they ventured into Abujmarh, a Maoist territory, walking 40 km on foot into remote and hostile terrain. Someone wondered whether there is a difference between bravery and foolhardiness. Both these journalists are in their 20s. Well, if you are sensible enough, you can come to your own sensible conclusion.
A colleague recently told me about her friend who volunteers with Slum Soccer in India, an organisation that uses football as a tool for social improvement and empowerment. And why does he do that? Because that’s what he wants to do, it’s his choice to see a change.
My friend’s father who is 75 years old visits the municipal hospital close to his home in India almost every day just to talk to the patients there. He listens to their problems and is a soothing and calming presence in their lives. Why does he do that? Because for him, it signifies seva or selfless service.
I’m so proud to know so many people, friends, colleagues both former and current who selflessly work for a positive change, however small it may be. And yes, without making even a whimper about it. Yes, even stopping to offer a lift to a labourer in the burning 50 degree heat constitutes a ‘change’. In attitudes, perceptions and empathy.
And those who don’t want to do anything or do not have the inclination and claim that they do not have the time, well, the choice is again yours. But do not deride those who are doing good, pick faults or pass judgement. You never know when you will be at the ‘receiving end’ of their goodness. Yes, life’s also strange, that way!
After watching Satyamev Jayate, my first impulse was to write to Aamir that I ‘wanted to be a part of his show’! But I didn’t, of course! I am doing whatever I can (that I definitely will not talk about!) in my own way and only keep wishing I could do more!
I have grandiose plans of retiring at 40 to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to accomplish it or not, but you can be sure it’s going to be the emotional kind!