Something I feel very strongly about and felt the need to share with you all…something disturbing, very basic but seen only rarely.

Question: Do you think there is intelligent life on other planets?

Answer: I don’t think there is intelligent life on ‘this’ planet.

This dialogue on a TV show I was watching recently put my grey cells into a spiral and I am still trying to find my way out of it. What’s wrong with the human species is what comes to the mind again and again. Didn’t God give us a larger and superior brain than all our other co-inhabitants on earth for a reason?

Over the years the reason has been long forgotten by the best of our species, lost among the rigours of life, the daily wrangling, and the antagonism, bereft of even an iota of the so called humanity that makes us so different from others who have the privilege of sharing earth with us.

Ben Okri, of Nigeria, Africa, of Earth, observes: “There was not one among us who looked forward to being born. We disliked the struggle for existence, the unfulfilled longings, the enshrined injustices of the world, the labyrinths of love, the ignorance of parents, the fact of dying, and the amazing indifference of the living amidst the simple beauties of the universe. We feared the heartlessness of human beings, all of whom are born blind, few of whom ever learn to see.”

I can never forget the sight of a man in a temple who prostrate before god was entreating him to forgive his sins. This it seems was his daily ritual. A righteous man I thought to myself until the day I saw him at the telephone exchange openly asking for a bribe.

But don’t we all swim in the same deep waters? You and I, with our eyes closed, tolerating the wrongs, the injustices, the cruelty, the brutality we see every day, letting it all become a part of our baser instincts, letting greed and the love of power overtake our humanity, fostering and nurturing it all like a little child, by our passiveness and inertness.

A lot many of you may be thinking of how we housewives are far away from these things- but are we? Don’t we all indulge in some kind of prejudice, unfairness, and misjudgements, by gossiping, spreading malicious rumours, backbiting, distrust, pettiness and not supporting each other?

Is this all because we don’t care or notice, or is it because we have developed short-sightedness to shield ourselves from the vagaries of life? We don’t even remember that it’s only the little things in life which can again bring our latent humanness to the forefront; the simplicity of a smile, a helping hand, politeness, a kind word of appreciation, empathising with others can go a long way to gain back our lost humanity.

The other day in a group presentation I attended, a lot was said about etiquette and manners. Good conduct and comportment was thoroughly explained.

But for me good etiquette is only about one thing, being a good human being. Not a superficial shell but a true human in the truest meaning of the word. Rising above the petty squabbles of everyday life and setting an example for our future humans is what we need to endeavour for. Undertaking this enterprise is not very complex if we can start with a clean slate scripting a new beginning for the almost extinct species- Homo Sapiens.

“When humanness is lost the radical difference between the bodies in the pit and people walking on the street is lost.” — Edward Bond

“Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.”
William Hazlitt

An individual full of contradictions can only hope that life in words will pave a way for a harmonious yet challenging life.