Families were big,
Life was simple, but t’was fun,
When kids were many, not just one.
This in nutshell was the life about three quarters of a century ago. Today our miniscule community is dwindling away to almost non-existence. There was a time when there were some families that could have propped up a cricket team, and there were many which were volley-ball teams in themselves. Somehow the mindset changed and the family score dried up to a single child. The idea was that we can give a good life, the best education and greater comfort to our lone offspring. But contrary to this erroneous belief, children grew up suffering from what I would term as the ‘Richie Rich Syndrome’ – a lot of things to have, toys, clothes, electronic gadgets, good schools, best tutors but no fun, and none to share and play with, enjoy with. A modicum of selfishness creeps in, in such children, as also their inability to accept ‘no’ for an answer. Married life which means a fair amount of give and take, sharing, adjusting, loving, all become an obstacle in life that was so far self-centric, it collapses. Today we have reached a stage where it has become imperative to go back to the basics in order for our community to survive.
Our youth is quite resilient. Now that the entry into banks does not depend upon one being a Parsi, once a very essential qualification, our youth is job-fishing into different areas, and quite successfully too. Nothing is lacking in our youngsters! What is lacking is charismatic leadership that can enthuse them to do their duty towards their community, so that it may survive into the 22nd century and far beyond.
Us Parsi Zoroastrians marched through centuries preserving and even spreading our faith. We survived the vengeful aggression of Alexander the Terrible and the Hellenic onslaught that followed. We survived the marauding Islamic hoards and kept our holy fires burning in our Atash-Bahrams and in our hearts. That is our history so far, history of valour, glory and implicit faith in His teachings. The history that will be written will be contrary to the one so far. Posterity will laugh at us, ridicule us, if our community fades away into oblivion not due to some outer force but because of our infighting and our inability to adjust to the present progressive outlook. Inspite of being an incurable optimist, the realist in me says our future looks bleak. I sincerely hope I am proved wrong.
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