Saturday, May 14, 2011

Unlimiting Dreams

A recent photograph took me back some years to the days when a ramp was a sign of prosperity and achievement
I am referring to the cemented scooter ramp that was part of the front verandah of almost every Indian home. What struck me was the fact that it was permanent and carefully designed as part of the front facade.

That was the life most Indians lived.
When owning a two wheeler was the ultimate dream and also the final.
The days of Hamara Bajaj scooter ads of families riding into the horizon of content and happiness.

Those were the days of limited dreams.
When all we seeked and strived for was permanence and security.
Of jobs and relationships.
It was a driving underlying need that underscored our job decisions, our family decisions and everything else.

Today, the winds of change have swept through Indian doors as well.
We seek a better life and are ready to achieve it on the altar of permanency and risk aversity.
We move cities, buy Nanos, change jobs, take Active English courses on Dish TV.
Coffee shops are the new hangouts. Eating out is not just an occasional celebration. Debts are permissible for a better life and plastic has inflated wallets.

Yet, underneath all these embraces, we still find strong underpinnings of the desire for permanence and low risk. Underpinnings.

We still seek some longevity in jobs and opt for packages with PF, Gratuity and Super Annuation.
We buy land and invest in property whenever we earn that extra bonus.
We opt for brands that have longer lifespans rather than a use and throw away option.
We look for relationships and seek bonding in interactions. Whether jobs, life or brand consumption.
We replace our phones and bikes and cars less frequently than most other markets. It is not just about money.
We bless for long lives
Family is still first priority for most young Indians.
festivals, rituals, elaborate weddings are again a sign of our desire to have a sense of permanence.

We have unlimited ourselves in our power to dream.
So long as the dreams are still rooted.
Whether culturally, socially
And gives us a sense of permanence.