In life (real/reel), we come across interesting characters who give us a radical challenge. We may not be invited to imitate them, but something could be appropriated from their life to be practiced in our situations based on our circumstances. I mention a few such instances

1. As part of our Marathi course, we watched a Marathi play named Dear Aajo (aajo is how the character calls her grandfather). Although she was born and brought up abroad, she was asked to come to India after the death of her parents. Although she struggled to adjust with the grandfather initially (who was living a lonely life after the death of his wife), they became great friends. When they started thinking of her marriage, the possibility of grandfather staying alone arose in the mind. She proposed that she would marry a guy who wouldn’t let grandfather stay alone again. Surely a girl making a demand for her family (all the more for grandfather) is not so much seen in Indian society as we have believed that girl should leave her house post marriage. This play (Marathi language is understandable unlike many good plays) puts a challenge before the traditional society to prioritize relations more than the traditions. It subtly puts across the great challenge of loneliness faced in the overtly connected world.

2. I have a college mate from my engineering college days. I am not much in contact with her but social media informs me. Both husband and she are well settled abroad. Normally father’s name is added along with the name of the child. Some may only add the name of father’s clan or tribe. But this couple have included the name of both father and mother in the name of their son. I found it amazing. Such simple gestures would go a long way in getting rid of oppressive patriarchal influences present in the society.

3. There was a farmer’s rally in the month of March in Maharashtra, who were protesting against some of the policies of the government. Though more than 20,000 people travelled by foot from Nashik to Mumbai (more than 200kms), they walked at night in the city of Mumbai so that their protest rally wouldn’t bring inconvenience to the 10th Standard students who had exam on the same day. People who do genuine protest doesn’t bring inconveniences to the innocent citizens, they think beyond themselves.

When we look around, radical inspirational characters are in plenty. It is for us to appropriate something from them to follow my own radical path.

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