Metamorphosing our life choices due to the fear of disagreement from individuals of the society who have zero relation with us is a usual scenario in most households. Log kya kahenge has given birth and nurtured the devil of dilemma that murders our conscience very often.
A few days back, I had the privilege of watching ‘What will people say’ released in 2017 and directed by Norwegian-Pakistani director Iram Haq. It left me baffled as I began to ponder on the trepidations entangled with unrealistic horrors beheld by the disease of ‘log kya kahenge’ which translates to ‘what will people say’ in English. A tormenting phrase in nature itself, it has turned into a horrendous nightmare for many as they longingly wait for these ‘people’ to vanish into thin air for their dreams and life choices to catch the flight of success.
However, neither these imaginary dictators vanish from our lives nor our aspirations get the opportunity of flying high up in the sky to reach the clouds of happiness and freedom. Even Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak cannot make us disappear from the whispers and torments of the phrase. We are so accustomed to these devilish wordings and their usage that we didn’t even realise when this simple four-word phrase began to take away the most precious possession that comes as a gift with our birth, freedom. The freedom to think of our own, the freedom to live life on our own terms, the freedom to be our own selves; all disappeared in the ceasing waves as we move further and further into the ocean of society.
It’s funny how this combination of words has managed to act as an intruder in every section of life just like certain individuals in a housing society that derive happiness in indulging themselves and throwing opinions in matters of every household except their own. Ranging from the field of education to the sea of careers, from dictating one’s sexual preferences to asserting other’s life choices, no domain of life has been unaffected by this phrase. Even a child’s birth is questioned if s/he/they are born with deformities of any sort. Such is the level of danger embedded with this locution which is no less than a weed growing in the minds of individuals.
While the world teaches us to follow our conscience and choose the correct path for ourselves, this phrase has been a destroyer of the above as well. The Cambridge Dictionary defines conscience as ‘the part of you that judges how moral your own actions are and makes you feel guilty about bad things that you have done or things you feel responsible for.’ In respect to the expression that I have been referring to since eternity, there have been circumstances when actions were refrained from being done on our part just in the process of imagining the aftermath consequences of how people are going to perceive and form an opinion about it.
A classmate of yours who happens to possess different ideologies as compared to your group of friends seeks your help in an assignment. You proceed to help him/her/them only to take a step back and think about the opinion of your friends on the same. ‘What will my friends say?’ haunts you day and night only to kill the conscience that begged you to help that particular classmate in their times of distress in some cases. This is just one example. We often neglect our conscience to cater our attention to other people’s likes and dislikes.
‘Manuhe ki kobo?’ which is the Assamese version of my most hated phrase in existence which is quite evident by now has been my best friend since the day I wanted to pursue humanities after 10th. The decision of choosing my honours course after 12th was completely my own but only after receiving a thumbs up from the people of the society. I murdered (metaphorically) these people, went on with my own choice and currently, I am happy.
If log kya kahenge is acting as a dementor in your life by sucking out all the freedom and happiness in your life, make sure to use your will power as your patronus. LKK doesn’t thrill and only kills; your dreams, your conscience and you.
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