We are quite used to terms like ex-president, ex-mp, ex-prime minister, etc., but terms like ex-father or ex-mother are very surprising to us. But in modern times these terms have also come in vogue and are often used in western societies. No wonder these terms may gradually become part of the Indian society as well. I first came across this term in the year 2002 when I was in the USA. On a flight from New York to Denver, I was travelling alone sitting on an aisle seat. On my right, on the middle and window seats were two young boys who appeared to be twins. They were about 10 years old and were busy in their own conversation. There was no elderly person with them.
Though I had noticed their presence as soon as the plane took off, they drew my attention after about half an hour. Their conversation, though not very clear to me, made me curious to know about them. Therefore, I intervened in their conversation at an appropriate moment and enquired about them and about the purpose of their journey. Then they told me that they were twins and were going to meet their ex-father. Explaining further, they also told me that their mother had divorced their father to marry some other person and their father had also did the same. It also came out in conversation with them that it was not their first divorce and both their father as well as their mother had done so several times. At that time, they were living with their mother and new father and were going to meet their real father whom they referred to as ex-father.
This is how I came across this term and it set me thinking about the change in relationships in modern times. While I have no intention of sitting in judgement over such developments, I certainly feel that the subtle joy of relationships has been lost to a great extent in the modern times. That is why there is an increase in the loss of peace, tension, hatred and jealousy. If we are not able to feel joy with natural relationships, how can we find it with other relationships? While our ancient culture has talked of ‘Vasudhaiv-Kutumbkam’, the world is one family, the modern culture is finding it difficult to keep even one family intact.
Surely, there is a need of taking a re-look at our relationships and devising means to make them meaningful in a real sense. We had done so long back and perhaps for doing so once again, we have to learn from our past without shunning modern development so that we live in a win-win situation.