Random Thoughts

Evolution of Home

Home is an environment which encompasses the enclosed space of privacy and sharing.

Primitive man did not have home; He was savage, bereft of concept of privacy as well as sharing. And then agriculture happened. Sharing became imperative. Symbiotic relationship between men and women was established. Men worked in the fields while women stayed back taking care of the children. Institutions of bread winner and home maker evolved. Dwelling evolved into home.

As tribes evolved into communities, concept of privacy between families and sharing among and within families appeared and became sacrosanct gradually. Man learnt to think of others’ needs in addition to his own.

There used to be a courtyard in a house. It provided privacy to the family from neighbors. It also served as the space for sharing among individuals of the family, particularly female members. Respect for privacy of individual is a comparatively modern idea. Now it overrides every other rights of an individual besides the right to life. In earlier times members of a family were just components of the family. Even husband and wife would have to struggle to find private space for intimate moments.

As for sharing, it was intense between members of a family as well as between families in a community. There was a well defined code of conduct for the members of a family and community. Authority was centralized in the eldest member of the family. The family was akin to an organic being, the individuals being its various organs. Relationships defined behavior of individuals. Then home was centered on children. Sharing was absolute and indispensible. There was bonding, love as well as conflict.

Far-reaching changes now define the dimensions of home. Privacy occupies center stage and sharing has declined. Unimaginable technological advances have caused revolutionary changes in the structure and function of a home. With individuality becoming the dominant theme the progeny are no longer in the center of a family, they are just incidental; staying of old parents in the home is embarrassing.

Emphasis is on the development of individual so as to realize its full potential.

Now homes do not have courtyards. Sharing is restricted to dining space in the house.

The modern woman is no longer confined within the walls of the house The institution of housewife or home maker is on the verge of extinction. Earlier the identity of a woman was defined by reference to her father, brother, husband or son. She had no individual identity. Now she is individual in her own might. The conflict between the two identities has sharpened. Naturally she has less priority and leisure for the management of home. The contention, that women are forced by the increasing cost of living to work outside for adding to the family’s income is no longer valid in the present upward mobile society. A more valid observation would be that commitment to individuality inhibits any compromise with personal advances and ambitions. As parenting interferes with it, there is craze for DISK (Double income single child) and DINK (Double income no child) families. Is this not a clear indication that children are no longer in the focus? Parents and other adults are giving in to proclivity for self -aggrandizement and self- fulfillment.
Complementary relation between man and wife no longer holds. Each of them has the same niche. Sharing is at nadir and privacy at zenith. 
 Then homes got crowded with passage of time.  Every body used to be interested in every other member of the household. Now as the children attain adulthood they move out.   Ultimately only old couple live in the house, which was formerly a home.

Now homes have more baggage and less people. Crèches and old age homes have evolved to take care of children and old persons. Home, as a space which encompassed a lot of sorrow, failures and conflict along with a little happiness, success and harmony, needs to be redefined.
Evolution is progressive as well as retrogessive


More by :  Ganganand Jha

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Views: 3343      Comments: 4

Comment Mahajan jee
Thanks for sharing my observations I present te following lines in Hindi for your kind attention---
bachpan ke ghar ko ek din hoba hee hai itnaa
baraa, jahaan samaa saken hamaare saare dukh, thode se sukh ke saath

28-Aug-2015 10:22 AM

Comment Rama rao jee
Your observation reminds the wise saying,"God and nature have been indifferent to the survival of species and institutions."

28-Aug-2015 10:13 AM

Comment jha ji
good ideas
but times have changed
let's grin and bear it
we remember the days when households kept their door open for abhyagatis at midday meal time and have pyols before their homes

rama rao
27-Aug-2015 10:22 AM

Comment The Indian society is traditionally dominated by Male members.But due to awareness,increased education level,financial independence of women in India and the changing concept of joint family system the home surely needs to be redefined.Presently,the new generation is losing the basic social and moral values and and engaged in the rat race of acquiring physical posession of materialistic things which ,as per their thinking,provide happiness and social security. The woman of the day is very ambitious and has succeeded to compete with the male folk,They are serving society in one way or the other.They have occupied high positions and give tough competition to others.But the personal attention required towards husband, childern and partiulaly elders is not given.This success is acheived at what cost? Today the parents are totally isolated and have become irrlevant in the family.The childern have bocome self-centered and ignore the elders.Even they are not considered fit to share their personal experiences and guide the family members.

S K Mahajan
27-Aug-2015 09:14 AM

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