Friday, December 15, 2006

The value of being Ancient!

Normally, the things we value the most are all things old.
Starting from the mountains (in fact, himalayas are supposed to be the youngest of the mountain ranges), the sea, our culture, our religions, The vedas, our epics, the buildings, Atal behari Vajpayee, Amitabh Bachchan etc etc.
However, our fascination remains with the new and the chic.
If we go to visit Delhi, we want to see India Gate, Rashtrapathi bhavan, Parliament building, Chandni Chowk, Connaught place and Raj Ghat, but in a Swanky new Ford Fiesta!! In fact, after coming back to our city, we rave more about the Fiesta than about the monuments, right?
Nothing wrong in that, but one thing i don't understand is the dualism in us regarding new and old. When i bought my new mobile phone, i tried convincing the shop owner that my older Nokia 5100 was an antique and that he should take it in exchange to my new Nokia 6681 and he should give me some money back. But see, dualism, he did not agree and he gave me a cell phone pouch in return for my ancient mobile :(
Same thing with our car. Long ago, before our Santro, we had a Maruti Omni 1986 model. When buying Santro, same thing. 1986 is pretty ancient, right? 60000 we got! (and today if i tell people that, they'll say you're lucky!)
When a old cinema poster of 1950's went on auction at Christies, it fetched over 40 Lakhs!! After 50 yrs, i will sell off this blog for an amount like that!!
However, as i think deeper into this, the value of an item, with age, first reduces and then again increases.
Probably that's why so many of our earlier generations still hold on to the first day covers they used to collect long long ago ( i still don't know the actual use of those covers!!).
Last week, in Bangalore, a vintage car of 1930's was sold off in an auction for about 25 lakhs. With that kind of money, a new Merc-E can be parked outside your house. So, as age goes on, the value increases in a lot of objects and even in trees. The older the tree, the more difficult the permission to cut it down.
This holds true for lots of things, but not for human beings. The older we are, in most circumstances, the lesser our value to the society. In fact, our society has not been taught handling the elderly. With over 60% of our nation under 35 yrs, what else do we expect, if the kids today are not educated on the art of respecting age?
This will strike back at us only. Especially because 66 crore of us are going to grow old together and no doubt about it, from being the youngest country India is going to become the oldest country in the world. What we do to the old people today, will be done to us too in the coming years and with the growing life span, most of us are going to live beyond 80 or 90 and a pretty frustrating time it's gonna be!
Probably that's why these insurance companies are selling so many pension policies nowadays! We're smart, are'nt we??
But i still kick myself for having sold off my Nokia 5100. Probably if i would have sold it off 50 yrs later, i might have got ..............

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