All these lives are sealed. At the cost of not bothering, not caring, not interfering in the Apne aap syndrome.

Apne aap karte hain. One more euphemism to learn and understand. A rustic but mature concept of letting things be. At the cost of not bothering, not caring, not interfering. For whatever reason. Does Apne aap karte hain = It’s his/her/their problem? It is familiarly used to close the argument for any further discussion or solution.
Naveen was really smart and a good public speaker. He studied well and spoke about what goes into keeping a good study routine and gaining high marks. He was determined to be a doctor and come back and set up practice in service of the local community.
He had another streak. Of arrogance and believing he can get away with anything. Remarks, brattish behaviour, the works. An ugly altercation occurred. When he was pulled up, he eased himself out of that group. Even though it was the space that was helping with future preparations for a medical entrance exam.
Word was sent out to placate him, pursue the steps for entrances, etc. No show. The effort was closed with a senior community member saying: “Apne aap karta hai.” A couple of years down the line, the boy is by the lakeside, rowing a boat.
Ridhima was unable to clear an entrance that she had spent a lot of time preparing for. It did not depress her…or deter her. She decided to take up a professional course. It entailed joining a C-grade institution at a steep price.
Ridhima’s economic background is not sound. The idea that she would take a huge education loan for a dubious training sounded like a very bad idea. It was confirmed that she would not get even the basic ground training. Undoubtedly, she would have to learn on the job after passing out four years down the line.
Why not put the parents and a senior professional from the field together for a sound counselling? This request was made to a senior community person living in the same village. The answer was direct and clear. “Sorry, I will not do that.” “Why?” To which the answer was, “The moment I bring up this matter with the family their reaction will be: Oh, this woman does not like the idea of our daughter progressing. You know, jealousy kind of thing. No, I won’t say a word. In any case, her father has mental problems because of his economic situation. Let it be. Apne aap karti hai.” Matter closed.
Dikshita is a dusky beauty with huge expressive eyes and a lot of talent. Shy at first, group exposure opened her up. You could hear her speak, participate in various activities, including highly creative ones. She even won accolades.
One day, after school and her visit to a group centre, she was standing with some friends, chatting. There were boys too. Unfortunately, an elder cousin saw her chatting and laughing. He immediately told the family that all extra-curricular activities of the girl should be stopped. School and home, that’s it.
An effort to sort it out was met with pleasant noises. Later, the mother spoke to a senior community member and said, “Oh, it’s ok to say why put curbs on her. In future, if something happens, if she gets spoilt, what will I say to the family? There is no need for her to go anywhere or learn anything.”
I was firmly advised to stay out of the matter. “It is an internal matter. Apne aap karte hain. If they want to deprive her of opportunities, what can we do?” Matter closed.
The stories of Pranjal, Mahesh, Maitri all fall in this Apne Aap category.
All efforts to help Pranjal pursue a career of excellence in information technology came to naught. He had the knack and was highly intelligent. Immediate family and pressures charted his path. One fine day, his mother just got him inducted as a Man Friday at a local B&B. It must be a back-breaking job with long hours because his charming face and twinkling are nowhere to be seen now. Some say, he just goes home after “duty” and stays indoors. Apne aap kartaa hai…
Mahesh was unable to clear his tenth boards twice over. Several people tried to engage with him, to get through via Open School and rejoin the regular system to complete his education. In the interim period, the tourist locale offered opportunities to earn.
It became a high. First came a cycle, then a phone, then a mobike, then a bigger phone. A lot of his time is spent buying stuff for himself online—his latest “craze”, as his mother says. In a tantrum, he joins and leaves his job at the drop of a hat. The kind employer has taken him back each time.
This time round, it is still hanging in the air. Mahesh is touting at the popular spot to “catch” tourists for adventure sports. Money is coming in. There is not even a “tenth pass” certificate in his pocket. He is just 19 and blissfully unaware how he is stamping his future. Apne aap kartaa hai.
In spite of endless counselling, Maitri was not sent for higher studies and married off at the tender age of 18. She is already a mother of a two-year old now. Apne aap karti hai.
All these lives are sealed. At the cost of not bothering, not caring, not interfering in the Apne aap syndrome. It’s their problem…