While I was in India, we were going in a cab and it was a little hot inside the car, so I asked the driver to switch on the AC.
‘Bardaasht karna seekho’, my mom snapped.So, the AC wasn’t switched on and just getting rid of the sweater fixed the problem.
But that bardaasht (tolerance) stuck in my mind. Aren’t tolerance and adjustment two of the most significant yarns that weave the fabric we are made of? Being born and raised in India means being exposed to the ground realities of life and learning to live with them. I believe that’s one of the things that make us the survivors.
And the course of time, having lived in the pampered, protected environment for long is eroding the steel our guts are made of. Living in heated/cooled homes and offices, having our bottoms warmed up in heated car seats is taking a toll on that resistance, that strength we had.
We endure and we persist in difficult situations.Isn’t that one of the reasons we are the most sought-after and the relied -upon workers. Our upbringing is why we have a lion’s heart in our lamb’s frames.
We are the ones who rode our bicycles without helmets and knee pads and nursed our bruises and cuts ourselves, if at all, without the tetanus shots.We are the ones who sweated the hot July summer nights with no power and no breeze. We were always the walking feasts for mosquitoes and flies and did we get rashes and bumps-NO!!We were cohabitants with roaches and lizards and mice for a major part of our lives. We drank before water started to be bottled or milk started to be pasteurized.
We adjusted with passengers in the non-AC general compartment.We drank from the taps and devoured the imlis and raw mangoes from the neighborhood trees.We adjusted with sleeping in the midst of distant relatives in crowded wedding parties ;often sharing the blankets with them too! We adjusted to the sweats and odors, not to forget that we didn’t have exhausts in the restrooms.
We take care of our dead until they leave for their final destination. We know that death and dead bodies are real and we can deal with it.We don’t ship our dead to funeral homes and have unknown people prep them and even break their bones if needed to fit the casket.We hug and we mourn and we pray for them and not just dress up in our best creased suits to offer handshakes and eat the goodies.
Unlike the fragile people in offices, who plug their nostrils with cotton as they can’t tolerate a colleague’s cologne that is not even adjacent to them, but sitting cubes away from them?Collegaues' cell phone ring tones gives them migraines. Small work tensions cause them to pop sleeping pills at night.
The omnipresent sanitizers and the disinfectant wipes cannot uproot the virus /flu and the allergies, however hard they may try.The posturepedic mattresses and the ergonomic chairs don’t diminish the need for pain relievers and chiropractors.
Our tolerance goes a long way in making our relationships last and grow stronger. We don’t divorce the person we took vows with just because we can’t tolerate their snores and farts.We don’t bid goodbye just because he/she didn’t smile and honey me when I got home from work.
I do love the comforts of life and I am thankful for them but I am glad I have experienced the tougher life that would sound strange and incomprehendable to many. I am lucky to have seen both the faces of the coin.
Every experience has some learning, some insight that contributes to the evolution of a person -YOU.