A few years ago, when we chose to settle in the newer part of Kolkata, located in the eastern part of India, little did we know about the adjacent semi-urban setting.
A deeper look revealed quaint, colorful buildings with vertical gardens festooned with coral jasmines and semblances of lilac — as if it were the sole purpose of the region to cheer its vivacity. A beguiling mixture of muddy architectures, green patches, and confined lakes made for a captivating rustic experience.
The population mostly comprised laborers who went to the main city for their daily earnings and skilled technicians who were readily available for quotidian fixes at luxury abodes.
But they still lacked regular income, quality education for their children, access to proper healthcare, and even freedom to choose a personal recreation.
Today, the prosaic life has changed for them. A sprawling 100-acre gated society, posh communities, and sophisticated tech parks have catapulted incomes for many. An average household has transitioned to a concrete two-story building and is well connected to nearby educational institutions, modern-day hospitals, clean water, proper sanitation, and smoother roads.
And these changes are happening for the better over time. But seemingly slow and steady transformations don’t feature in our daily news feeds. For the same reason, we fail to acknowledge how much progress humanity has made over the years. We also fail to recognize the methods of progress.
Of course, certain things are bad, and we can’t relax until we have sent all our girls to schools, or avoid preventable child deaths. But at least we need to acknowledge that all developments are not pernicious. We don’t want to lose sight of hope when we know the methods of progress have already worked for us.
In an agitated world, sometimes the best thing to do is look for good news. Because focus on the bad leads to fear…and (to quote master Yoda) fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…and hate leads to suffering.
All images are under copyright © Unsplash – sauvik bose, rahul chakraborty, and subhadip kanjilal