Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Raigadcha shetkari?

Why this name?

because my best and my oldest friends Mihir, Rahul and Jaideep call me with that name....

Does it have any more significance?

On the face of it, NO. But if I go a bit deeper, YES. It all started an hour ago, where I discovered that my dear brother Shantanu has been writing blogs for over months now, and some of his blogs disturbed me. Or maybe relieved me.

They all spoke about something that any human being or animal treasures the most... freedom!

Freedom? Yes, something that we got at birth, without much fight.. but not only that, this is about a greater freedom, freedom of thought, and freedom to think independently of others - friends, siblings, parents, society, etc. That my brother (and some of his really good and extremely intelligent friends) - who form the creamiest of the cream of the intellectual world, crave for their freedom, crave to break free from shackles of expectations and pre-defined rules, disturbs me. And with a 5 minutes deep thought, it comforts me, because I realize that they are growing and more importantly maturing. They have been working too hard all their life to get into the shady Maharashtra merit, then the exciting Olympiads, and then the most important exam of them all - the JEE. They deserve to wander a bit, it will help them, only if they are cautious not to lose too much in the bargain.

But why 'Raigadcha Shetkari'?

because I have also wandered in the past, and am still wandering. I am definitely not born 'Raigadcha Shetkari' - a farmer from the region Raigad in Maharashtra, nor do I suppose any of my ancestors (who were teaching Brahmins) were farmers ever, but an unsophisticated, rustic and crass person that I am, and have always been, the names sticks.. because my best and closest friends thought it appropriate.

Myself - being too much orthrodox on most of the matters of the world, and 'seemingly' a strong opponent of the incorrect influence of Western culture, have always been ridiculed both by good and not so good friends alike. Being a person who has always despised people who do things just for the heck of appearing 'pseud' or because 'others do it', I often come across as a old and rigid 'Maratha Manus' unfit to be a 23 yr old in the new hep and 'cool' era called as the 21st century.

And as so many 'Raigadcha shetkari' would have been lost in the wilderness of the busy Mumbai when they set foot there in the 1940s, I similarly feel lost in this wilderness of this concept called 'modern life'. It doesn't help whether I am in Bombay or in my Richmond apt. or whether I am touristing the wonderful cities of Chicago, Boston or New York.

I shall remain the lost 'Raigadcha Shetkari'


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