Today I have gone through an Islamic book, whereby the Prophet SAW advising one of his companions Oh! Abu Zar (RA) while you are preparing curry (سالن) you should increase water in it & care you neighbours” which divulges that you should share your meal with your neighbours. This Hadees-e-Pak recalled my memories to the early age of my childhood. That was perhaps a golden era. Fortunately, I have been born in the era where I witnessed the behaviors of two-generation; the generation of love, sympathy, sharing, and caring where relations were based on love, genuineness & sincerity; and also practical people of this age where relations are interest-based. Though I was too young but still observed many things that we had misdirected with the passage of time and the advent of so-called development in information technologies. You will find it hard to believe that in my village selling milk was assumed unscrupulous. At that time people used to gift milk & other dairy products to their neighbours for free. Each day my mother used to send me to give some bread & dishes to neighbours and the neighbour too sent dishes in turn. The priorities of that time were different from that of today. Most of the people were living in mud & clay houses with extra-ordinary cleanliness; whitewashed for special occasions. The majority of houses had no doors, people of that time were certain that their life, prosperity, and dignity are safe. If we compare this aspect with the current life of developed society, every house has its main door, additionally, there are foolproof room doors and besides lockers in rooms, yet we felt uncertainty. We can’t even trust our loved ones. What happened? Why uncertainty? The answer is obvious the struggle for self-denial.
One of the most momentous aspects of our village was the advent of agriculture. It didn’t all happen at the same time or to the same extent across societies, but the switch in quest of food to growing it changed everything. Farming allowed villagers to actually store extra food, leaving more time for activities that weren’t always about eating, like the establishment of complex societies. At that time people had had more free time to live their life. The free time was mainly spent in worshiping and Hujra; Hujra was the common place where people share ideas and gathered for general gossip. I still remembered that my elders were eating meals in Hujra. If a guest happened to visit, it was very easy to host, as the neighbor came up with their dishes, and all along with the guests were to eat the food.
Forming was usually happening in coordination rather than for wages, especially at the time of sowing & reaping of the Crops, people from the neighborhood were gathered to sow or reap the Crops for free. This practice was called (Aashaar) meaning: a group of people working for free. At the time of reaping children of Mohalla were come and ask for their share in wheat or maze. The owner would happily give them the wheat and they were selling that wheat to local shopkeepers. That was the beauty of village life. I myself took part in such activities, to help my neighbors and family men. Once I helped my uncle in sowing cucumbers, while cucumbers borne fruit he took me to Peshawar and we spent the whole night at Peshawar Sabze-Mandi in 1991, I was 10 years old. We also went to the Cinema it was my first visit to the Cinema, we watched a Pushto horror movie “Adam Khor” released in the same year 1991. In the morning we breakfast with Halwa, Parata, and Tea. I still remember the happiness I gathered that night. Perhaps that was the golden era of my life I have spent in the era, heavily rich in culture & traditions.
As & when people became practical, life became more complex and uncertain, people at this age have no time to spend with friends & family. People became virtual zombies, entangled in the age of information technologies where the young generation especially students ruin their life and future prospects. Games like PUBG and other negative aspects of information technologies adversely affected both private & family life. A few days back I was told by one of my relive that her grandson became the prey to mental health by playing PUBG the whole night long. We can’t negate the importance of information technologies but the majority are using it otherwise. We have been badly transformed into a state of self-denial. I wish those days of rich traditions were returned.
The writer is a Research Scholar / Political Scientist