جنوب مشرقی ایشیا میں لکیر کے دونوں طرف ماں باپ کا المیہ یہ ہے کہ یا تو وہ بچوں کو اپنے ساتھ رکھ سکتے ہیں یا انہیں ترقی کرتا دیکھ سکتے ہیں
ریل کی سیٹی ۔ حسن معراج
سنگ میل پبلی کیشنز
The tragedy for parents on both sides of the line in South East Asia is that they can either keep their children with them or they can see them progress from afar.
Rail ki Seeti – Hassan Miraj
I have to admit that they first time I read this line, it bothered me a lot. In fact, it still does. It was not only familiar but also deeply saddening. I cannot help but think of the values that one is consistently taught in that part of the world.
“You must take care of your parents as they have taken care of you”,
“Heaven lies under the feet of one’s mother”
“If you cannot even take care of your parents in their old age, then what is all your success worth? Your children will abandon you, as you have abandoned your parents”
These are just some of the things I have heard over the course of my life. Not all of these were said to me but these words have been uttered enough times that perhaps you can always just feel them in the air. Has it really become like this? Do parents have to make this choice? Have they always had to do this or is this only happening now?
I also cannot help but wonder what the author means by “taraqqi” – What is progress after all? Does progress mean financial success? personal success? spiritual success? Where does one draw the line and who decides what progress means?
I got a chance to interact with the author recently and while we did discuss this, I think our discussion was inconclusive. Maybe everyone must decide what progress is for him or her and only then things can start becoming clear. I believe in progress but when presented like this, it seems like such a difficult choice that it feels that either the parents lose or the children lose. Yet somewhere deep down my hope is that it’s more complicated than this and that both things can somehow live in harmony.
Here’s the sample of Rail ki Seeti. Click the arrows on the image to scroll and read more from the book. It also includes the first chapter from which this line has been quoted.