Ignorance is bliss – Question mark or Apostrophe!?

Posted: February 11, 2012

Guest Blogger Lavanya Sampath is a young working mum, an Indian living abroad, a budding entrepreneur and a singer. Music, arts and photography are her passion. In her own words, “I jot down my personal & professional experiences to reach out to women in similar situations.”

Scene from an old Tamil movie: Heroine of the film happens to meet the girl her boyfriend has gotten married to. In an attempt to put her down, she asks the girl, “So what do you think of women’s liberation?”

The girl looks puzzled and whispers something in her husband’s ears and post receiving a nod to tell it aloud says with a bit of smile and shyness, “I am sorry, I do not know anything about it!” The heroine pauses briefly and says, “Probably that’s why you are so happy”!




Courtesy: A tamil movie ‘Aval Appadi thaan’ directed by C.Rudhraiya starring Kamal Hassan, Sripriya and Rajnikanth.In this scene the director silently shows two characters – one of them is overloaded with information, views, thoughts and has an innate desire to know more and seek more, while the other is completely ignorant of the world around her, managing to surf through life in her own right.

Gone are the days when people led similar lives.
– Went to one of the few companies around the neighborhood to earn a living either as an engineer, doctor, banker or a lawyer
– Deposited and withdrew money from one bank
– Had NO credit card (yes, such a period existed)
– One in 5 houses had a telephone (landline)
– Got married to the girl / boy their parents chose
– Had children mostly within the first year of marriage
– Bought groceries from the one vendor down the street
– Had one radio at home
– Purchased either a Solidaire / Onida TV
– Watched Doordarshan channel on the same!

Fast forward the above paragraph to this day:
1. Management, Media Engineering, Biotechnology, Photography are just a few options apart from the above mentioned areas of work
2. Newly mushroomed banks with their different areas of operation say Retail, Small Business, Corporate and Credit Card sections lure you with their ‘plans’ and ‘offers’
3. An average working man/woman today holds a minimum of 2 credit cards per person
4. I do not have to mention the statistics on telecommunications and the reach of their devices today. Other than infants, every other member of a family has a minimum of 1 mobile phone
5. Arranged marriages today give the boy and the girl enough ‘choice’ before they decide to choose their life partner – parents themselves choose to do this for their children
6. Exposure that a man or woman receives before marriage has called in for a lot of openness in marriages today, although this can be debated. An average couple chooses to take time to understand each other, spend quality time with each other, do things of interest – like travelling, start a business, achieve a personal goal – before starting a family together. Again, in each of the instances, we have choices galore!
7. Retail boom has replaced the grocer and local vegetable vendor into departmental stores, organic shops, supermarkets, boutique shops, beauty parlors, take out joints, fast food outlets, etc. to give the common man more on a platter
8. Radio has become a thing of the past. IPODS, docking stations, radio stations on mobile phones, YouTube, online radio sites are just a few of the many, many technological possibilities of media available at ones door step
9. Plasmas, LCDs, LEDs, surface TVs, blue ray devices now come in various brands, models, makes, to suit the buyers’ pockets
10. Last but not the least, we have paid TV, unpaid TV, cable TV and wireless TV. Although any normal human being can watch only 1 channel at a given time, technology today offers a flamboyant 200+ channels for each person’s viewing (dis)pleasure!

This is ‘evolution’ in its simplest form and its akin to how the creation of a simple wheel led to building monorails, fast tracking civilizations. However, at some point, these choices have turned from being a tie around our necks to a rope strangling the veins.

Are you happy with being given more choices? Or do you feel dizzy like me and want nature bestowing you with just one option? Does choice confuse you?

I would love to hear your view on this.

Pic credit: Paul de Bruin

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  1. I am fifty, and when my daughters were very small, I was hard pressed to explain to them what a radio or a transistor looked like. They could not understand why TV meant only Doordarshan, and that too in black and white. They could not contemplate a life without computers, internet and whatever else they took for granted. And mind you, this was in days when the Choice Revolution was just beginning! To me those days of life without too much choice were happy days, and my daughters still cannot understand why!

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