Armed with sophisticated devices, craning necks and trendy essentials, warriors of the concrete jungle of suburban Manipur, wake up and readies with their ‘carpe diem’ attitude. Much to say, society has romanticised the concept of ‘wealth’ with ‘power’ to a stifling degree. How it has placed more value on how much wealth we have and materialism than on achievements and people themselves.
Whereas, conflicted about life, for some, waking up is both a blessing and a curse with thoughts about losing their loved ones, the future, career, problems and everything else triggered by the conflict, all cobbled up in their mind like tiny pieces of glass fragments bouncing around their heads. And for some, with their nose buried in work, using their workaholic tendencies to do anything but think about the situation, helpless and in denial.
While, at the very top of the jungle are those who hold a monopoly on power, speaking in tongues to feel like they are in control, aiming against those whom, in their terms, they label as ‘undignified’. Attempting to enforce their perception of cultural or social norms and acting under strong emotional conditions, they refuse to give a say to the rest or choice and often leave no room for negotiations. With none to govern their actions or for the damage they cause, they seem to ‘come to their senses’ belatedly and in return breaking the pact with the people.
As such, due to their ‘moral policing’, those at the end of the barrel of the gun face extreme consequences, with their basic right to life and liberty infringed and threatened. Lest them ‘moral police’ forget, such acts impede the development of our society as a whole, promotes gender biasness, sow discord and does not leave even a tiny space for difference and toleration to exist which leads to altercation and conflicts in the society.
Given the evolution of our societies, where humanity is in the midst of migration, the movement of people from rural areas into urban ones, and along with it their mindset, often at times shallow. The underlying assumption is that with urbanization comes environmental decline, but aside from the environment is the morality of humanity.
Avarice and greed have led to low ethics and moral values, increasing crimes and inciting fear psychosis and threat among innocent masses. With increasing violent phenomena over the last 8 months, it seems to have disrupted the way people perceive their fellow human beings. Needless to say, the decline in kind, civil, polite and generous behaviour in everyday life, in the street and at work. But will we be satisfied or make it out alive when the curtains call the time?
Lest we forget, making ethical decisions, morality and kindness are few of the best things in life. The reason our society is mired in chaos and confusion is because people, despite being fully aware of it all, love things they can consume with less regard for the damage caused to either the surrounding or the next person. But unfortunately, you can give sight to the blind but you can’t force them to see and people seem to always chase wealth and power, and those who have them will do anything to hang on to them and will do their utmost to grasp more.
We often hear ‘things were better before’. The idea is that in the past you could trust other people that people respected each other, but that’s no longer the case now. The city's a monster, all concrete and steel, swallowing us whole and spitting us out on the cold sidewalk. Surrounded by millions of stories, with most of them being a broken shard of glass circling in rivulets of tears, people are running in circles, aching for meds to numb the pain and afraid to make a move and make it out of the fires surrounding them.
We break, mend and ultimately learn to blend in with the madness while silently fighting battles at our lowest and hoping for the day they will notice it all. And even though we say it’s enough and begged, we are bound in a place where everyone has learnt to live in the ruins with a tiny thread of hope, knowing full well their own contribution to the ruin. We sleep with the conviction that things will be okay tomorrow, enduring the craving desire to be alright, which is feeding us inside, only to wake up to the same concrete jungle.
(The views expressed are personal)