To me hypocrisy means play acting and doing something which you actually don’t want to do but you do for some or the other reasons and then we all say we hate hypocrisy and hypocrites too. Don’t we?
A small incidence which happened with me
1. A couple of days back we lost a not so distant relative because of cancer. Early in the morning we rushed to their house. Although me and my husband were bit reluctant to go, as both of us thought that when the deceased was alive and suffering we never bothered to visit him or even call him and enquire about his health and now when he is no more what purpose will our going there serve? But then we had invasions of thought like what the people will say? Or it will not look good etc and succumbing to silent yet powerful societal pressures we went.
2 As expected the whole family was grieving. We couldn’t bear the pain of the wife who had lost her life partner after being with him for almost 60 years or the dazed look on the faces of children and grandchildren. My father in law being the eldest in the family consoled every one and the immediate family stopped crying and we all sat down to pay our respects to the departed soul. As soon as a new group of relatives entered the room ,much to my surprise the seemingly calmed down family again started howling at the top of their voices and again the same cycle of consoling and supporting each other continued.
3. There was some delay in the funeral procession to start. So all the people gathered there were busy chitchatting, discussing all the possible topics on the earth, share market, marriage, swine flu, movies. As the time progressed people became impatient, “getting late for office, my maid servant will go, why are they taking so long”? And similar sentences floated in the air.
4. Came the day of mourning service or prayers for the deceased. Relatives from different cities started pouring in, so the family of the deceased got busy in making arrangements for the stay, food and other facilities of all the relatives who were coming for the final rites. While the final rites were being carried out, some of the members were busy (hiding from all peeping eyes) on their cell phones and discussing about their business meetings or calling other relatives and fixing up appointments for next meetings ( after all they had spent so much in terms of money and time to come to Bombay then why not meet other relatives too or do a little of business )
5. Not only that, each and every person who came made sure that the family members of the deceased saw them. And their presence was registered in their memories.
Formalities over and everyone went back to their routines without even glancing back at the grieving family.
Now some thoughts which erupted like a volcano in my mind and played havoc
1. Why were we all so much concerned about society? Why everyone including me did go there when actually we were not so much aggrieved as the immediate family? I know to pay our respects, for family relations, to lend our support. But why at that moment only?
2. When he was alive we never enquired about his health then why did we go now. Just to show the society or the relatives and to be called very considerate?
3. The pain of family members is understandable but then why there was a public exhibition of their grief. Why show off to everyone coming there that they were grieving. Is howling the only way of showing to the world that they have lost some one? Does that means a person who can’t cry is immune to the dreaded demon, death? There are people who are not able to express their pain, does it mean that they are immune to harsh realities of life or they were not attached to the deceased?
4. We all attend the funeral services and then afterwards forget about the family. How many bother to take care of the family after everything is over? Do we ever go back to the family and ask them how they are coping up with the loss or do they need anything? Is the wife able to shoulder the financial responsibilities of the family? whether the children have become emotionally stable? No, I don’t think so. Once the formal visit is over we are also done with the family. Let them live as they want.
5. Instead of crowding in large groups immediately after death, why can’t we visit them in turns and spend some time with them and help them overcome their loss?
6. The family has already lost some close one and then on top of it they have to make staying and food arrangements for all the relatives who are coming from other cities. The family has not only lost a life and now why do they have to spend huge amounts for the comforts of the people who will come to attend the prayer service. Why?
Doesn’t all this fall in the category of being hypocrites or having double standards?
I think all humans are hypocrites; the biggest hypocrite of all is the one who claims to detest HYPOCRISY. And though I hate to admit but then even I am also one.
Because I may like so many others raise my voice against all these double standards or show offs ,will do my official duties as a member of society, a member of family and then like so many others then turn my back and forget about it and go back to my worldly chores. Rightly said by some one “Whatever you condemn, you have done yourself”
After all this is the way of life. Life goes on. People crib, comment, criticizes, pass value judgment on other’s behavior as they are very inclined to set moral standards for others and then they themselves fall prey to all that.