In my school days, we had just three ‘days’. Independence Day, Republic Day and then Gandhi Jayanthi, which was another day without a ‘Day’ to suffix it.
All these made a difference for us because these were the ‘holidays’ when we could go to school without books and pencils and we were treated with sweets. Then on Children’s Day, we didn’t have any holiday at all. What an irony!
Now we have ‘days’ upon days — a day for every other occasion. For mother, father, daughter, for earth, environment and books, and what else! You name it, and there is a day for it. Sometimes you realize that with a Google doodle, and on other occasions a social media status or a message that reaches your cellphone.
Yesterday, when the world celebrated Father’s Day, I was wondering why we should have all these days at all! Whose interests these days cater to? I have no idea. Messages, social media posts and a few offers by the market players who covert every day in the monitory terms for their gain. That’s it, and the day is gone. We are back to our mundane affairs.
The traditional notion of parenthood has changed considerably over the years. It’s almost like equal responsibility for most of the working couple and such a day, be it for the father or the mother, does not make any difference.
A father is supposed to work on that day as well and everything is a routine affair for him. It is more or less the same for the mother who sweats it out in the kitchen and the workspace. Beyond a message from his kids or a greeting card for that matter, what qualitative change that such a day makes in the life of an average father or mother?
Was there any mother who got a day off from the kitchen in the name of Mother’s Day? How many saplings that we planted on the Environment Day survived to see the sunrise on the next Environment Day?
Sorry, I am not going overtly negative, I was sharing the truth. It is just a tokenism that does not bring any change in our life. Ignoring something for the whole of the year and compensating it for a day may benefit retailers and other such establishments who may have a Field Day!
Single parents have always been around. Many widows raised children after their husbands were killed. Young men would die in many ways ranging from war to work accidents or crime. Women, however, had one other obstacle: surviving childbirth. Death rates in childbirth have dropped dramatically since the 1900s, but now women are prone to die in war and workplace accidents too.
While all these hypes are on, what will be the feeling of a kid who has lost their father or the one whose parents got separated? What about the orphans who live a life devoid of light? To whom that kid would give the message or send a greeting card on that day?
I am baffled as to how an orphan or a kid who lost their father would be feeling on this day, and how a kid could cope with the hype of Mother’s Day when their mother is no longer there? Is there a day for the orphaned kids? There are thousands of orphaned kids who have no idea about their parents.
Then, there are thousands of couples who do not have children. While some prefer not to have kids, others are not lucky to be parents owing to medical reasons or otherwise. In either case, they have the image of a ‘disqualified’ couple and what is their space in the celebration?
Further, single parenting is quite commonplace today. There are young widows who live only for these kids. There are women who got separated from their husbands who make a work-life balance to rear their kids. Even some men are there who live alone with kids after losing their wives or separating from them.
But none of them makes their children feel they are alone and dons the dual role of mother and father! Which day should they celebrate? Single Parent’s Day? Hey, such a day has no space in the present-day economy and society driven by the market dynamics.
That’s why I feel such days are a bit too shallow, serving nothing other than a transient hype. Let’s live every day, and let’s be ourselves without the hype built on the days with a tag! Life is beyond the tags!