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I ponder over this muddling thought every time I come across a man struggling beyond his means to provide a decent living to his family. What he earns at the end of the month may just be sufficient enough to push his family at a comfortably secure spot above the poverty line, but still there are dreams and desires, wishes and wants that tantalize him; he chases them gasping and puffing but only catches those just significant to his survival, rest he allows to slip out of his tired hands.
Unless one is blessed with the proverbial Midas touch, which can be equivalent to extraordinary skills in making money, earning could be really a tough job. It requires one to make comprises at various levels, push oneself to extreme limits, develop certain level of diplomacy and sharpness to ensure survival in a world which allows limited or no growth for those lacking aforementioned attributes.
Marriage changes life not just for a woman but for man too as he accepts the responsibility to provide a comfortable living to his spouse as well. From that time onward, his fun loving interests in life like playing/watching cricket, trekking, painting etc. takes early retirement and he completely focuses on earning and investing enough to improve his financial strength.
But he seldom complains about the toil. Even after spending an exhausting day at work, which squeezes out the last ounce of energy from his strained body, he still manages to smile and find charm in life when he comes back to his abode. The carefree laughter of his children, the sight of a pleasant wife recharges his drained out body and prepares him to take on the drudgery, the hostility of work place, the next day with renewed energy and drive.
Our traditional society may put man on a pedestal, slightly higher than that of a woman, but along with this supposed supremacy it also thrusts an unflinching responsibility on him; that of a protector and provider. He is made to wear an invisible crown, a permanent label that declares him as the anytime ATM for the family. Unfortunately, there is nothing he can do to free himself from the chains that bound him to the weighty task to earn more than enough to the put the food on the table.
Although in present times women too share the financial responsibilities and beautifully balance the role of a homemaker and breadwinner, it is the men who face greater challenge to prove their role of a superior income generator. Our society brutally judges a man who lacks the competence to outshine others in a rat race with no finish line. He is subjected to severe criticism, from the inner circle majorly, if he fails to meet some blatantly materialistic expectations linked to posh living like a fancy car, a luxurious home, exhausting shopping sprees, exotic vacations etc.
In this scenario when things right from clothes, utensils to simple accessories have become branded and projected as a tool to enhance ones social stature and money talks louder than any other thing, is there any room for one believing in simple living? If a man is continued to be measured in terms of how much he earns, then where the ones born with no extraordinary skills to do exceedingly well in life will go. Is it fair by any means to term them failures, less competent or losers? Absolutely no!
Not every guy finds it easy to go beyond his natural capacity to carve a niche in this cut-throat competitive world, where only an impressive income of five figures or more can catapult people into an impressive position in society. It is totally unfair to judge every man for his earning potential, his absolute capacity to marvel in financial matters. Not every educated, degree holder along with an impressive academic profile may be blessed with the smartness to do extremely well financially. It is perfectly fine for a man to be excellent in some particular field, skill or talent and care little if he falls short of a few more zeroes to swell his income.
Here, men, who are born with laziness slithering in their blood, minds clogged due to inactivity, and self- esteem deeply buried under tons of false impression of masculinity, can surely be pushed aside, away from the limelight as this essay certainly does not intend to glorify their ineffectual existence. My thoughts eulogize men who take the responsibility to eke out a living for their family with dignity and grace for whom hard work, honesty and dedication are the only choices.