DISCLAIMER: This article is entirely a work of understanding , any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental and unintended. I am sorry if in this article I have hurt anyone's sentiments, and its completey fine if anyone agrees to disagree. :)
I regard parents as a universal God, the only difference is that this God is closer home, is touchable and quite given to unfavourable outbursts. They are no less in divinity than Jesus and Shiva but what I feel is that this model of Indian parenting needs an overhauling, it needs a twist and a toss. Parenting and its influence is very subjective and varies widely from the Doting Dad Millionaire to the All Time Caviling Mother from Father Pamper At all times to Father Scorn and Frown and from the social butterfly Mrs.Rai to the social rights activist Mrs.Sen.
this article is basically about the mindset of Indian parents, their theories with respect to life, their attitudes towards their children, their prejudices and biases and their viewpoints(which at times can be severely outmoded, and require the last bit of your “sanskaar”in order to not react)
The quintessential Indian parent(mother or father) is a strong headed, multitalented, hardworking, idealist whose world revolves around their children .Awwww, you would say, but before becoming overtly sentimental and teary eyed here is the eye opener this very fact that their children are the focus of their undiluted attention automatically makes their children the follower and achiever of their unfulfilled dreams. Topping the list is the line:
meri beti/beta engineer/doctor banega
jo hum nahi kar paaye vo ye karega/karegi
ye beta hamaare din badlega, khandaan ka naam roshan karega
Even for a toddler of 3 years Indian parents and the bandwagon of Indian relatives can be quite a handful, if a child in his stuttering tongue utters that he will become Tata Birla when he or she grows up, that poor child is asked to repeat his future desire to all and sundry from the neighbours to every other relative in a cousin’s wedding. The truckload of expectations that is placed on an Indian child’s frail and often incapable shoulders is immense and God forbid if you have a sibling (elder or younger)who is Einstein plus Tendulkar personified, trust me, even stones pity your miniscule existence. You are served dal, rice and chapatti with pickle and a dash of “taana”(comments),humiliation and sarcasm.My sympathies are with every Indian child who has experienced all of this firsthand.
If somehow you have achieved a balance between your expectation and the more important expectation of your parent’s expectation of your career(wink) then welcome to the second, level of the game “Mission get married”.
If you thought you have had enough till the age of 22-23, the next level will shock u completely, once you have completed graduation, and are pursuing or not pursuing any other course, suddenly overnight your parents will transform from the doting,compliant parents to the bloodthirsty, desperate future wife or future husband scavengers.(more true for the girls, the sense of urgency they display is similar to a person asking for a bottle of O-ive bloodgroup for a dying lover).If you are not married by the age of 26 (for an Indian female) still living in her father’s house, life = hell.
Yaaayyy, level 2 cleared, you are married off to a nice natured guy/girl, and are leading a happy and a sort of peaceful life, then again the erstwhile trauma starts, when are you starting a family?
The mothers and mother in laws (who have a license to a personal sitting with God through their well trusted babajis) will get a gamut of powders, fruits and amulets blessed by Kamdev himself to give you a cherubin.
And then, from your baby being born till his baby is born, the dadi and nani, nana and babaji will govern by way of suggestion plus a frown and scorn if the so called suggestion (i.e. decision), is not followed. I am not against any of this, all I want to say is, we are blessed to have been born as the children of such awesome parents, who do everything for us, who give us everything at our behest but all I want to say is:
All our life we have lived while dying little by little each day,
Let us live, for once, happy and free.
(saari umr hum mar mar ke jee liye,
Ek pal to ab humein jeene do jeene do)