In a fictitious housing society very close to where I live, many sounds come out of the complex: Harsh words, screams, fists connecting with fists, connecting with shin and groin, and four letter expletives that shock the residents of other colonies who live nearby.
But it was not always so.
Many, many years ago, people belonging to one religious community, decided that since they all worshipped together, they would be happy living together.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up in the morning, and shout Good Morning to you, Brother Jerome, rather than some other greeting like Namaskar or Namasthe!’
“Excellent!” shouted Mr Jerome, “So let’s put up our own building, where all of us will live together, and wake up in the morning and greet each other with ‘Good Mornings!”
The idea spread like wildfire within the community, and soon, all the ‘Good Morning’ greeting people shifted into the same building, and felt so good for a few days greeting each other with ‘Good Morning!’
“We need a committee to run this building!” they said to each other one day, after saying their good mornings!” And as soon as the date for elections to the committee was announced, strange happenings were noticed, “His good morning sounds different from the rest of us, so vote for me!” said Jerome.
“His good morning shows he is from a lower class!” said another.
“His good morning shows lack of education!” whispered another candidate.
And soon rumblings were heard within a building that had residents who had previously thought of themselves as identical in thought and belief and ‘good morning’ greetings!
After those same elections, which were bitterly fought by like-minded people, the sounds that echoed from the building were loud, rowdy and boisterous, till this morning, when I saw residents walking to the local real estate broker’s office, “Get us a flat in buildings, were people say namaste, namaskar and even good morning,” said the residents, “How silly we were to think that people of one kind could live happily together!”
“Any message you have for the people and prime minister of this country?” I asked them as they trouped out, broken, bruised and battered from their building.
“Yes!” said the spokesman and no it was not Mr Jerome but his missus, “Tell the people and its leaders that the only way to grow together, is by mixing our differences and enjoying a diversity of…”
“and Salaam Alaikums..!” they all shouted together..!(Published on 06th January 2020, Volume XXXII, Issue 02)