Ripples of my Reflections

I think, therefore I write

Tag: Family (page 1 of 2)

Cornucopia of social awkwardness

The social aspects and manners that a family typically tries to inculcate in a kid has always astonished me. Welcome a guest by explicitly welcoming them and making a huge fuss about their arrival. Wish each other a good morning. Wish each other on occasions. Make it known that you are delighted at their son making it to the elite university in the US. Make it your business to know what each and every one in your immediate, extended, and even 2 circles beyond extended family does. While I agree some of these are basic manners, I was amused by the artificial charade of it all. I was the kid who would mumble an inaudible welcome and run off to my toys. I was the kid who didn’t understand why one should wish her brother a good morning when clearly they were going to make their mornings miserable for each other by fighting over who gets the bigger share of the omelette. I still am the kid who does not understand why I should make it my business to know what everyone is up to and tell everyone what I am up to.

Don’t mistake me, I am not against socialising and spending family time. But I’d rather it came naturally. Like sitting down with an uncle and talking about how I ditched a class in college to sleep. Like just patting a brother on the back and reminding him that he is getting older than wishing him a very artificial yet happy birthday. Like discovering that cousin is moving to a different country, just by chance. I like that spontaneity. This might be the case in some families, but not mine. So having been deprived of the spontaneity in the relationships that I so crave, I have become the cornucopia of social awkwardness (to quote Sheldon Cooper) when it comes to interacting with relatives.

Continue reading

That one line

Click on the image to enlarge

An advertisement for SBI life insurance greeted me through the pages of The Hindu on a sombre morning. I read through the poem and smiled at the brevity that gets through to the emotional side of readers. But there was one line that glowed red in spite of its inconspicuousness.

But you don’t give in, for your wife too, is part of the journey.

Although that was just one line in the poem, it reminded me of how often I see advertisements that show only male protagonists thinking about insurance for their family. It is as if they are obligated with the task of being the provider even after their unfortunate deaths or other mishaps.

It’s just plain unfair to men. Protecting and providing for a child is a parent’s responsibility, no matter their gender.  Protecting  and making sure your partner is fine when you are no longer around is an emotion anyone can express, no matter their gender. In today’s world, care giving is taken up equally by sons and daughters, wives and husbands. Yet that subconscious conditioning of a male provider and a female care-giver is far from being faded. Such subtle reminders exist everywhere, knowingly and unknowingly, reiterating something that is no longer meaningful. There are gender neutral words – spouse, partner to use but still this ad chose to be gender specific, even if only for a line.

This just shows how far we are to go if we need to break the shackles of conditioning and how much work we have to do if we want to be truly independent of biases. May we all step towards the light at the end of the very long tunnel.

Until later 🙂

The answer to my questions

Every time you smile, I realize how blessed I am.

Every time I hug you, I realize how gifted I am.

Every time I inhale your baby smell, I realize how happy I am.

Every time I crib about being tired, I realize there are a lot of people who would give anything to be this tired for this reason.

Every time you rub your face against mine, I realize heaven is not impossible.

I asked myself a hundred times, why do I want to have a baby? I never knew the answer before but now I do.

You are the answer to my questions. I might have a million of them but you answer them in a million ways. Ways that I could never comprehend until you show me. Ways that would seem highly impossible until you show me.

I have always considered providing and taking care of a family to be the biggest challenge and yet, the biggest achievement of my life. And I had thought I had done it even before you came along to show me that there’s more. You showed me I can do more when I thought I couldn’t. Just like your dad. You both push me to greater heights when I myself have given up and settled. And I don’t often remember how blessed I am to have that. To have help to realize your purpose in life. But when I do remember, it overwhelms me so much that I am at a loss of words. So here’s a thank you. Thank you for everything.

I hope that someday you read this and realize how much I love you and how grateful I am to have you.

Until later 🙂

Having it all

Is there anything wrong in aspiring to have it all?

Is there anything wrong in trying to do it all?

Until later 🙂

Love vs Ego

One particular episode of the debate show “Neeya Naana” in Star Vijay TV is the reason behind this post. The debate was between a section of parents and daughters who disagreed over love marriage. The reasons of the disagreement were many, but there were some shocking revelations to me.

There was one parent who was of the opinion that honor killing is the right punishment for those who marry into another caste. I never thought a parent can honestly believe that his/her daughter would be better dead than marry into another caste. There was another parent whose arguments were torn apart by her daughter, but still wouldn’t agree that marrying for love could be a right thing. The daughter asked her mom – “If I commit suicide because I couldn’t marry the guy I love, is that fine with you?” And her mom’s reply was – “I would rather have you dead or remain a spinster and stay with me, than accept someone you choose.” Much ego? Shocking!

The debate had all the usual arguments from both sides and it was pretty much predictable that the parents’ ego and how the society will treat them if they accept love marriages, especially cross-caste ones, was the main problem. But the most shocking revelation for me was from the daughters who were arguing for their right to love and marry the guy they loved. At the end of the show, Gopinath, the host, asked them this – “All this said, will your parents be able to change your mind to abandon the one you love and marry you off to someone they choose?”

I expected the girls to say a big NO. However, except one, everyone answered YES, albeit hesitantly. So that’s how strong you are in your belief of love and love marriages? I agree there is an emotional blackmail quotient, there is respect for your parents, you don’t want to hurt your family etc. But what about that decision you took to be with someone for the rest of your life? If your decision is this weak, there is no mistake on your parents’ part to suspect that this is a passing cloud and think that love doesn’t last. You have no right to blame your parents for not trusting you and your choice when you cannot defend your choice even for an hour.

To be clear, I am not asking anyone to elope. I am not asking anyone to resort to absurd decisions like suicide. Can’t we stand our ground and fight for something we believe is our life, soul and breath? I agree there are some cases where eloping is the only option or else you will get killed. I agree there are some situations when you are forced to move out and marry on your own. Exceptions are always there but giving up before even trying? That was something that disturbed me after watching that show.

Having known love and faced all the usual drama that comes with a love marriage, I tell this from my personal experience – There is no excuse for abandoning a true love just because you were too cowardly to defend it. Also, there is no excuse to abandon your parents when there exists even a remote chance that you can stand there and fight for your choice of life, that someday they might understand. Do not give up of either of them so easily. They both are priceless and precious. We might not know the value now, but when you look back at your life, you better have the right regrets than the wrong ones that make you feel like you cannot live with yourself.

And parents, caste? ego? Please, we have argued enough on this. Let’s rise above these petty things, that’s all I can request for. If there is a reason for you opposing your child’s choice of love and spouse, it better be something real to do with the welfare of your child.

Until later 🙂

« Older posts