Wednesday, October 14, 2009

History, Heritage and the Old

History, heritage and the old have one thing common – all reflect past. The young when energetic and thriving with warm blood seldom care for values, history, heritage of any kind. Nor are the interested in listening to what happened to who and why from their elders. Their concerns lie in the present and the future. They in fact want to live in future today. Any distracters spoil their mood and time.

But for us, the old, our treasure lies in our past – distant or far. Just like that old box stored somewhere in the junk which houses our yester memories in the form of coins, letters, stamps, souvenirs, photos or other similar objects. I still remember when I was a child, I had a black wooden box which housed my prize possessions – not of much consequence, but whenever there was a brotherly quarrel, my elder brothers used to threaten me that they would go and take over my black box. And that was enough to blackmail me to give in.

Our history and the heritage are just like my black box – storing in valuable information, relics of the past and values that shape our destinies, our present and the future. But one learns to regard the black box of history only when one has crossed over to an age when black hair turn grey and then white or else disappear altogether.

While it is understandable what is contained in the history, heritage has something more valuable, a derivative of our history, natural treasures, flora and fauna, the landscape, art and culture, customs and traditions and inherited practices of our old. Our kinship and relations with our own kind, near and dear ones, friends and foe, noble and the evil is also part of our heritage.

But there is something refreshing - while the young disregard the history and the heritage, they dump the old in the old homes so as to find a level playing ground for themselves. But when one or all these three relics of the past, stored in the black box, are threatened, they clean the dust off the box and put these on the mantle piece – only to put them back in the black box and when the threat is over or the clouds have cleared, and once again start to live in their future today – leaving the black box in the junk once again.


Anonymous said...

Will I land up in a place like the 'black box' when I grow old? I don't know why this idea keeps coming to my mind after reading this erudite piece. Shi

Jalal HB said...

Dont get serious about the black box - my intention was only to express an idea of three relics pertaining to the past - black box ix only symbolic. So you can relax

Asghar Javed said...

Ok if you say so ;-)