We live in a world that is like a rainbow of different cultures, which lead to a diverse range of habits. And, in some cases, it is difficult to generalize the kind of behaviour that humans exhibit. (And if you have something to gainsay about this point, I suggest you go and read my psychology textbook.) However, since our DNA is the same, we do exhibit some general habits (with small variations, of course). And one of these need to be changed RIGHT NOW. So, read on and see whether you exhibit it or not.
If there is one thing that Indians love, that is 'gossip'. It doesn’t matter whether it is true or not, whether we know the person or not, or whether it is our business to interfere or not (which, in most cases, is not). And it doesn’t even matter if we have zero knowledge about the actual event (because we’re anyways building castles in the air, isn’t it?).
Don’t get me wrong, please. I appreciate the essence of the whole process. I know that the ability to come up with multiple stories based on just a single scene is an art. And I’m nobody to stop all those who religiously practice this rather elaborate art of gossip every single day. All I’m saying is that the typical notice “All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental” doesn’t hold true in this case. (Before you come up with a whole lot of ‘fake’ justifications to prove the truth, let me tell you that I don’t care about your explanation at this point.)
The person in focus is a real, living, breathing individual (or was at some point in time.) And in consideration of the heart that you claim to have, please consider the repercussion of every single word that you say. What might just be a matter of making your life a bit more interesting for you might mean social isolation, community alienation and family degradation for someone.
Every time you ask my cousin, “Why aren’t you getting married? When are you getting married? Aren’t you getting any marriage proposals? Must be because of your dark skin. When I was your age, I got at least a hundred marriage proposals every day” she sinks deeper into the whirlpool of self- loathe. Every time you comment on my brother stating, “Hey, didn’t you get 70% in your 12th boards? How will you even get admissions in college? You know, my son got 97%. He got into IIT” he contemplates suicide. Every time you complain to my dad, “How do you even live in this rat hole you call home? But what can you do, with the amount you get paid, you can’t afford anything else, can you?” he hides away from the world and cries. So, please I beg you (Is someone even listening?) to stop it. Stop gossiping about things you don’t know and about situations that don’t affect you.
All I want to say today is (I didn’t want to wait for a special day to say this, we’ve already waited too long), let us all take this step for the betterment of others and stop gossiping. Today, let’s keep our personal animosities aside and join our hands for a better, gossip-free society.
PS: All the gossip–worshipers, before you get offended at my words (and start gossiping about me); let me tell you that my intention wasn’t to hurt you. If I did, I’m sincerely sorry.
Written by Aneri Doshi
What makes my heart race? Books, Coffee and Rain