Settlement contrast

Years of living outside Kerala in the metro cities being exposed to a different way of life, has now made me rethink my affinity towards the native home. The nature and the healthy food, with all round moderate climate, with people talking the same language as you, all looks tempting and all. The reality sinks in when we live here for weeks and months and not just for a vacation! Maybe my noticing abilities have increased over time owing to how much I miss the necessities.

The mindset of smaller town is akin to newer generation youngsters complaining about the generation gap with the older generation. Believing that doing laundry with bucketful of water and beating the clothes on stone is better than using a washing machine. Washing vessels is a chore to be done outside the kitchen by squatting near the well, thereby not messing the kitchen sink. Sleeping together with family means, to be subservient and adjusting enough to sleep on a rigid mattress, which maybe labelled as somewhere between a single and double bed. Some people having a superiority complex towards city life and apartment living in general, because there is no backyard or soil of our own.

There are some similarities too. The government offices require the same number of multiple visits and requests which can drain our patience. We still have to adjust with our existing constraints as change comes around rarely and we end up exclaiming, “here it’s like that only”!

These thoughts all started when I decided to accompany the other half to a nearby supermarket. I had thought of upgrading the broken kitchen grater and to introduce something called chopping board to the house. I ended up buying nothing. As grater was not favoured because of the unpolished looks and the latter didn’t made its appearance at all on the market racks. My humble attempt at latching in and adjusting with the changes around me failed yet again. And I resign myself to a virtual world till I muster enough the courage to shake things up again.

It’s quite disbelieving that, these circumstances and native living was favoured by ourselves at a younger age. Earlier, it was assumed that after earning enough for retirement, we would “settle” down back native with family and relatives. Now that our minds has broadened, I wonder whether we would choose that option for the future. I realise it maybe the conditioning and narrow mindedness of the childhood that made it all bearable. The modern mind welcomes a new way of life that can make the living easier and doesn’t mind spending extra on such appliances. And when you are open minded, you start looking for solutions to incorporate both traditional and modern requirements of our lifestyle.

The mind swings between the duality prospects of the future. The first option is to settle in such non city atmosphere with relatives and family nearby, missing out on the luxuries. The second option is to settle in a city, far from the madding crowd of ours, alone and isolated among a similar yet different crowd, with all the luxuries which can make daily life much easy. The decision making is hard. Which one do you choose!?

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