“Ghar ki murgi dal barabar..” — we often come across this saying that sums up all the tangible desires in our minds. The meaning is simple — once you have the taste of the outside world (in this metaphor, an OOH chicken prep), you would treat the one at home to be Plain Jane. Vanilla — a bland blend, that’s akin to a faded wallpaper.
This attitude is everywhere — pervasive and infinitely all-consuming as we end up chasing the “new” given the materialistic driver. Temptation is a strong evil that beckons forth — while we progress to the Pied Piper’s tune of “change.” We term this change as evolution / upgradation of life — in sum, an excuse for not being happy with what we have.
Linking it back to culture, this concept of evolution / upgradation has been implanted in us by the erstwhile generation — roots of which still catch fire over the frequent WhatsApp texts / video calls / social ceremonies that democratizes a physical display of wealth as a measure of ‘health.’ Our parents always had taught us a linear narrative of success — the more you grow up higher in your corporate ladder, the more you acquire. You keep buying new things, filling up your house with more and more — till there is no storage space. The house feels small and you upgrade to a new bigger house. If your car becomes too small or 3+ years in your life, change and upgrade to a new launch — the marker for staying abreast the current trends. Value was always measured in monetary terms.
This attitude also was seen in full force in our relationships — the ones we form with humans as also the ones we form with dogs. Moving onto better is also un-challenged : if you are unhappy in your relationship, look outside for “more.” The outside world is always more beautiful — aesthetically pleasing and sensorially more disarming. If you want a furry friend, ‘buy’ the expensive breed dogs — who suit this definition of the ‘successful’ life of the ‘have-mores.’
The change in this attitude is slow and gradual — but there now. Humans have realized that goodness as a value, is self-created and far superior as a measure of a good life than the tangential markers of aspiration. Slowly, we see the codes of luxury evolving — new definition and new language replacing the blingy display the luxury PDA. Slowly, we see the rise of ‘community’ and ‘communal way of life’ — where collectivism trumps individualism. Good begets good as the arrogant face of materialism or consumerism, see a crack in their façade. Humans look within, to find the goodness that has always resided than the price tags that connote an ephemeral sense of happiness.
Looking within the ‘good’ led to positive shifts —
- Spreading the goodness : self-awareness and realization that the best was always within my reach and in my own space / self led to an empathetic heart that always sought to share the knowledge.
2. Adopting more of Made in India : global brands soon faced a tough competition by the emerging / established local players with values that speak to the heart than the mind. Consumers today, sought brands to augment identity than signify aspiration — thereby, shedding the skin of superficiality that had so far cloaked the decision making process.
3. Adoption over Purchase (of dogs and cats) : buying expensive / international breeds saw a hit with more consumers opting for adoption of Indies / abandoned dogs. Humans have finally realized that it is animal they are bringing in-home rather than the label — similar to the realization that it is a good product to bring home rather than the expensive price tag / brand. As the spirit of ‘giving back’ gathers more steam, the humans today, do not shy away from giving second chances — whether its the refurbished phone sold on Amazon or the Labrador who got abandoned after his “use” was over.
There could be more trends within but these were some of the top-of-the-mind highlights. Today, the slow change is the spirit of cocooning or finding joy in your own nest. Home, as a concept, has seen a marked evolution — full of the intangibles and the softer dimensions of life — that also influence who should stay or go. The generation today, compared to the parents’ generation, have a clarity of purpose and the north star of living a good life — and not a materialistically flamboyant life — as a marker of success and to please others. In fact the whole idea of appeasement has taken a backseat as both the forces of individualism and collectivism exist in harmony, in order to create a balance in life and lifestyle. This sense of harmony and equanimity, enables one to look within to find all that s/he needs — rather than be scattered and distracted by the greener grass all around — as far as eye can see. Adoption of dogs too find an organic fit into this new sense of a goodness led lifestyle.