Sunday, December 8, 2013

Yeah-Yeah Civilization

All human beings are born different. However some similarities are bound to happen for we human beings have a large population on this planet and howsoever low the probability may be, some similar outcomes will happen. I remember my childhood and there seemed to be an originality attached to it. Each of my friends, neighbors had different behaviors, life style etc. Being observant as a child, I always enjoyed this variety in people and sometimes even thought about God's role in making sure that world is full of different flavors. The same also reflected in the food we shared with each other during interval at school ;-). I never thought so much about what I wanted to be as a child. I just wanted to stand first in my class. That was my sole purpose of existence on this planet.

Later as I followed the herd for the first time while deciding to become an engineer, I saw similarities in people whom I was competing with but there were more differences than similarities. I reached NIT and saw people from different states and my heart took leaps of joy to find so many new and different people. Each of them had his own style, own background and a Bihari babu, a UP Yadav, a Xavier's passed out Babu Moshai all were present there. All 346 of us who stayed in Boys hostel had great fun during those 4 years.

But during our placement interviews I realized, we had become similar during these 4 years. Our Individuality which should have grown over the last 4 years had been curtailed to certain extent. Then further higher education followed and process repeated itself. Today I work in a corporate and there are many more similar to me. We find it very comfortable talking to each other on any topic. We are even comfortable talking to any stranger on a flight as we all speak the same language.

This train of thought crossed my mind the other day when I was sitting relaxed having my breakfast in one of the Hotels during my business trip. This hotel had a beautiful property with lake on one side and distant mountains on other. I saw few families who had come on a vacation. In one of those families, I saw a father speaking on his phone to some business vendor and while trying to listen to him and saying "Yeah Yeah". The child mentioned to Mother, "Mumma mumma Yeah Yeah toh phone par baat kar raha hai. Nashta nahee kar raha hai" Mother laughs at this comment and says "Beta, Maine mana kiya hai na, Papa to Yeah-Yeah nahee bolte. Chalo Papa bolo." Suddenly My attention was broken by a call from this person whom I was about to meet in a short while and while I nodded listening to his Kannada accented English, I also inadvertently started saying "yeah- yeah". Even more funny are those people who continue to repeat this "Yeah Yeah" sound in quick succession and make "Yea..yea..yea..yeah" to assure someone that they are in agreement to what he/she person is saying. Most of us professionals have developed this habit. We are integral part of a strong, money minting, fast, rapidly growing Yeah-Yeah Civilization.

The irony to this situation is that the desire to become different has only grown in past few years as you see yourself becoming similar to everyone else, the pain/desire becomes stronger. On a deeper thought I think it is because this similarity makes us feel we are fake and we want to be our original self and our originality leads to need for differentiation, hence we want to be different. Social media platforms are also playing an important role in making us a herd as we now stay connected more than probably we should.

So what is it while can break this Yeah Yeah civilization? I think one of the most strongest tools is reflection. One should find some time to reflect on his day to day life. One should find time to have a third person's view on himself and see his original self, may be have a laugh at it sometimes !!