Monday, 16 June 2008

Relocations - Good and Bad

Birds migrate to avoid winter, fishes shoal in search of food, locusts swamp the fertile lands, human community started migration millions of years ago from Africa. It could be called as migration, movement, relocation or in modern terms immigration, emigration etc etc. Movement from one place to another has always been the norm of life for all the living beings (that could walk). I recently moved along with my family from India to UK and it made me think of these relocations dearly.

Movement has always been in quest of something , lets say Gold, Silver, Spices, Horses, knowledge, spreading religion etc. There has been voluntary migrations like people settling down in US , Australia etc from the European countries and there been forced migrations of African people all across the world(who were sold as commodities in the slave market those days).
The inquisitiveness in the man to understand things that existed beyond his vision and the stories told to him by other travelers from far off places must have really kindled the fire in him to explore. And obviously the first traveler must have been somebody from Africa where the mankind originated and spread across the world-, but the travelers like Huien-Tsang, Marco Polo, Vasco da gama etc made some real marks and increased human thirst to explore further and Silk Road greatly helped in bridging the diverse cultures of the west and east together(Silk route is a great book to read about it).

Somebody said 'Struggle in a battle is more interesting than the victory of it', On the similar lines life becomes dull as soon we achieve what we desired and its only the quest to achieve urges and motivates to do more. Those who escape this vicious cycle become either saints or losers. So travelers unlike tourists who have a determined path an schedule are the ones who are out there in the wild to enjoy the struggle to go to a place and they just keep moving. The greatest of the great warriors have all been only travelers and a glorious victory or insurmountable wealth have never been able to confine them in that place.

There is another sad side of the coin as well,there have been many mass exodus in the history where people had to migrate from one place to another to escape tyrant king, famine , wrath of lost wars etc and etc. The very earliest sighting of this can be traced to jews from earliest bible days to world war days , and the wandering had really made the jews very intelligent by etching adaptability to the difficult situations into their genetic make ups. We can keep quoting tribes after tribe at various times in history for varied reasons.

These sad travels, after having lost their homeland, assets, relatives with only hope as an investment and trying to begin a life in a new place where they dont exactly belong, to live as a refugee (or something equivalent) compromising the dignity must really wreck the minds. The fights that these individual alien groups launch have given rise to great leaders like Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther king to name a few.

Those who have traveled to Gulf countries and places like Singapore would have noticed the workers who have brought in to do the hard labor in harsh conditions, this is another mass exodus from developing countries to developed countries and has tons to sad stories in it(I cant forget two laborers cutting the grass in heavy rain opposite to my home in Singapore in 2002). Leaving families back home, pledging their assets for the visa and travel, living under hostile conditions of the agents who brought them , it is very hard to put their pains in the words(the national geography did a better job with the afghan girl - shown in the left-).

We just keep traveling in quest of fulfilling our desires and all of those travels are not always sweet for everybody.