Very well written, anupam.... even i believe in standing by your family, especially parents, through thick and thin... I've done work for disadvantaged old people, and it saddens me to see how some of them are rejected in their old age by their own children... Similarly, one thing that saddens me greatly is how married women in our society are looked upon with disapproval if they 'pay any extra attention' to their own parents... This needs to change drastically.
Thanks for reading Ash. I'm delighted that you have the same views as mine on this issue. It's good to know that you're involved in such philanthropic activities. And I completely agree with the point that you've made about married being disliked when they tend to be concerned about their parents. That's really sad, and such an attitude must change. After all marriage may make a lady go to a different home, but how can we expect her to ignore her parents just because she is the daughter in law or the wife of someone else now.
Glad you agree on this too, Anupam :) ... btw, do check out my latest post here
Hi AnupamA very thought provoking post.Five decades ago, no sons in the family could see the father eye-to-eye and express any opinion. They had to blindly obey whatever was told. The same was the case with wives.We have evolved over the years and now healthy relationships are being targetted in families where an individuals rights, choices etc are being respected.But unfortunately this is being taken advantage of. We have divorces at the drop of a hat and a huge number of people in old age homes.There is a certain joy in making adjustments towards your family that people fail to realize. Taking care of ones parents is a duty and also something that can give you ever lasting contentment.
Thank You Jayashree for generously reiterating whatever I've tried to convey. I'm glad to know that you adjust / sacrifice for your family and believe in being there for your parents. For you Jayashree - Respect !!!
On this matter I am completely agree with you Anupamji,but there is a question in my mind that when a mother gave birth to a child, she never consider her child as a responsibility or look him/her on the point of "duty",she just love the child more than anything.... then why this generation after became well-established,take their parents as a "duty" on them !!is there no "love & affection relation" left? or that relation turns into a "duty" only and there are parents who are no doubt living with their children but their children are much involved in their life that they forget their parents at home also..... but your post is a lesson for them surely..... really a good one......
That's exactly I want to ask too RohanThanks for reading and providing your valuable opinion
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You've said it all.. left me speechless :)With freedom comes responsibility of cooperating as well. Marvelous post!
Thanks Rehya for your kind appreciation of my efforts. I'm glad that we are on the same side.
Excellent post Anupam..
What a thoughtful post, Anupam! I also do very disagree with your dear friends who said that people in the west who have freedom and be dependent from family had greater rate of success. What success are we talking about? I think people in the east like us are happy, content and respectful... aren't those the quality any human being supposed have :)Teshttp://tesathome.com
I'm glad we are on the same side Tes. Thanks for reading and providing your valuable opinion
Families are not made of individuals but out of the relationships between individuals. There is a fine line between concern and intrusive behavior. There is also the automatic restriction on individual liberty placed by living in the same house (Do I not have the liberty to sleep at 10PM instead of staying up till 11PM to open the door for you?). There are the liberties that we willingly forsake out of love (A crying child at night is NOT taking away your liberty to have an unbroken sleep, is it?). Show me the man who says that his individual liberty is paramount and shall brook no restriction and I will show you the most selfish b****** in all Creation!Very thought-provoking post Anupam!
Your words have even emphatically reverberated what I probably fell short of conveying. Thanks for your resounding response.Glad you read this piece Suresh ji.
Very well written Anupam. A number of things you have mentioned have been nagging at me too.We see it all around us, we do alot of those things subconsciously too but are we aware that this is what is destroying the family.One rule that I try and live by 'My rights end where his/her nose begins'. I really believe that if people REALLY live by this rule, then families would be happier.
Well said Megha. If all were as sensible as you. Thanks for reading and providing this valuable suggestion.
Well written,But i am in favour of your friend's statement, "because of absolute individual freedom and lack of interference by family members especially by parents or other elders, everyone lives their life to full contentment and this in turn leads to a higher rate of advancement in western societies." I have seen many friends of mine and myself choosing the nature of job and deciding not to study furthur for the sake of the family.Reasons are many.Your views are correct but i do not support it all.
Thanks for reading and providing your valuable opinion. Like I said my words are a statement of just my opinions & my beliefs. I respect your opinion and belief. I'm also one like you and your friends who chose to give up my wishes for my family. I don't claim that I could have succeeded in what I wanted to do. But atleast I could have tried. At the end of the day, when I see my family content. I for some moments forget my pain. I don't say that I don't feel pain after that. But I guess that's life. I chose this consciously. I chose to live with my pain and the joy of my family.My best wishes are with you Gunjan. May the Lord reward you with His blessings for the sacrifice that you made for the wish of your family.
I agree, I might not have agreed five years back. My point being as we grow old, we grow up too. *maybe*:)
I understand Ghazala. We all have our moments of truth. Thanks for reading
You've said it all Anupam and that's a great attempt to open the closed doors..Someone is Special
Thanks for reading bro !!
Indians are very hospitable people and in the course they have lost identity. Making ones replica in western form is predicted as entity of pride or status.
Indeed. Thanks for reading Sushma
Excellent views all must give a sober thought to what you say.
Thanks Indu ji
won my heart dear fren ..... at least i have some like minded people around ! what we are , are a seed of the parents we try to differentiate from....the first heroic character is ur dad , the first loveliest lady is ur mum and thats what we forget , once no more a toddler ! very nice post Anupam .... its worth distributing it to those sons and daughters of the date who feel poked by the existence of their parents - most of them !
Thanks for your kind appreciation my friend. I'm glad that you reiterate my views on this issue.
True, Anupam! It does us no good to ape someone; the factors are often misleading and they can be a nuisance to everyone including us, in the long run. Strong views nicely expressed. Thank you!
Thanks Vaishali !!!
After living in India for a long time and in the West for a short while, I feel there is good to be taken from the West. Just that, Indians often don't stop at taking away the culture from West. There is nothing wrong in western upbringing. But i feel, indian roots can come into play while raising your kids the western style as well. Like westerners dont shower their whole life on kids and leave nothing for themselves. they plan their old age well, while in India it is the opposite and kids are blamed for not looking after parents. If people planned well, they would be happy for their grown kids and the kids would shower affection in return rather than feeling some kind of burden to care for parents. Just my opinion
I respect whatever your opinion is. However, it's not about east or west, or even taking something from some civilization. Humans feel the same everywhere. They ought to. I don't know why you say "there's nothing wrong in western upbringing" in this context. I'm not discussing that at all. All I've said is that when a particular way of living causes misery and inflicts pain that too in later stages of life, I think that way of living ought to be shunned. I'm sorry. I don't agree when you say ".."westerners don't shower their while life on kids and leave nothing for themselves." I think you have misconstrued the whole point of my write up. I'M NOT talking about "FINANCIAL DEPENDENCE" as much as "SOLITUDE". I may save a million bucks for my post retirement life but who's going to give me company, the joy of family life ? . Please understand the difference. I'm shocked at your apathy when you say "...in India kids are blamed for not looking after parents. If people planned well, they would be happy for their grown kids and the kids would shower affection in return rather than feeling some kind of burden to care for parents..."Dear Sneo, is everything just about money ? Are parents not burdens only when we don't have to spend on them ? Is this the kind of "western upbringing" of children that you meant ?Good Lord !!! Sneo, please take stock of your priorities or discard my request just as my opinion.
I think it is a transitional phase that is causing so much of a bother. My/my generation parents were raised up in an environment where the individual space that they enjoyed was much lesser than what we(our generation) expect today. They have grown up with the idea that 'too much freedom spoils a kid'. I am in absolute sync with that. But the real problem is that there is a gross mismatch between their 'too much' and our 'too little'. Its like a discontinuity. When I say transitional, what i mean is that our generation, through constant contact with the other cultures, has developed a level of tolerance that is many notches higher than our parents. It is like the (1985-1999) generation is bearing the burden of this transition. The social fabric is evolving and we are getting tossed around. All for the greater good, i presume. :)Although I agree to what you said about respecting our parents and taking their case into consideration before calling their concern an encroachment, I would like also like to point out that at times they do get overbearing with their love and concern. These stretch marks are probably a result of the evolution of our society. :-)
Dear Piphi / Prateek, Thank you for reading this post and sharing your valuable opinions concerning the same. If transition is causing such problems then we've seious problems to worry about in future as the societies that we seem to be transitioning into have equal number of vices as they have virtues and those vices are mostly, atleast for now, seen among youngsters. I mean violence, drug abuse, foul mouthing, psychological fall out, chronic depression etc. These things were unheard of in the past. It's always easy, especially for the youth to mimic vices than virtues. So that could be cause of the worry. The mismatch between our "too little" and their (parents) "too much" is supposed to exist. That's how things are supposed to be. Being overbearing with love and concern comes naturally with being a parent. It's like a perpetual reflex of being a father / mother. But the most important thing is that it's unfair to judge parental resonses, behaviour etc., without being in their shoes in the same situation (s) and under the same circumstance (s).Plus, if we claim that our generation is far more tolerant than that of our parents then why be conveniently tolerant concerning handpicked issues only ? Tolerance envisages accomodation of dissent and differences. So ,let's please also focus some of our abundant tolerance towards our familes, especially our parents.
aye ! Tolerance does incorporate acceptance of dissent and differences. But then, tolerance takes time to grow too. It is natural order to be aggressively opposed to progenitors, as they seem to be the only people who naturally wield power over us !Yes, our society is going that way. It is a natural course I presume. In 4-5 years time I expect to hear a tragedy similar to the theater-shootout taking place in India. It is coming i guess. We simply need to brace ourselves. :)
Very nice essay, Anupam.I am not one to judge so I'll say to each his own. The western concept of individual freedom has been achieved at the cost of realigning the meaning of 'family' - it now is limited to husband, wife and child - parents have been taken off that definition. No harm in that because over the past decades, the parents and their kids have become clear on their rights and responsibilities - the kids are on their own after 17, and the parents are on their own after retirement. The western family system works well for the most part, I have seen it myself. There is no sense of guilt involved.The dilemma with the "Asian" family system (Indian, Chinese and Koreans are very similar) is that it is still in a state of flux. We are holding on to our old values and drawn to the glitter of new ones. I think, unfortunately, the western concept of family will win eventually. Not because we don't love our parents but because we will always love our children more. The push to the new system will be purely economic. When income is limited, expenses keep increasing, and there are many to take care of, the earner will dispense with those he/she can't afford to sustain. One will most likely buy a new cycle for their craving child than a walker for an elderly dad.
Thanks for reading Rickie. Unfortunately on the economic aspect of the issue, I have nothing much to say as its dynamics are more often than not, beyond our control. Though I'd expect one thing. Before buying a bicycle for my kid, I'd offer my father a walker, and it's highly likely that every grandfather would turn down that offer for buying a bicycle for his grandchild. That's the ideal circumstance we'd have to nurture and work towards. It isn't going to be easy but it'd be definitely make for a worthy life.
Anupam, first of all, commendable job in putting those thoughts in which only a few delve in. We tend not to talk about such issues with our friends, in our circle and as a matter of fact very few are frank in matters with their parents. Generation gap plays a role and is inevitable, but probably there is more to it. Both we and our parents, esp. in our country behave like unmoldable plastics. There is no questioning of mutual love, understanding and respect in Indian families. Few westerners regard mother before God as is infused in our blood. So, why the "parting" increases linearly after you turn 18? Love remains. Emotions remains. Engagement doesn't. This engagement calls for a two-way learning about the "newer you". It calls for you learning a bit of cooking while your mom learns a few nuances of your blog, or how you outperformed your colleague. It calls for your father to make a move to talk about why you upset about this relationship and you asking about his future thoughts about business. You talked about Western families. They do just that. They have their bag-full of disadvantages like being outright disrespectful at times. But they are more engaged. They have more family extra-curriculars than we do. They have less of pro-Ekta-Kapoor-bullshit-daily-soaps to waste the highly-unutilized-female-time like we have in India.Our social outlook itself has to take a paradigm lift(against shift) if the core of what you called for changing has to change.
Dear Aman,I'm glad that you read this post and even shared your thoughts about it.I loved the fact that you've approached this situation with a solution. What you've suggested would be a wonderful recourse, an idealistic one. I'm pretty confident that if both sides move forward and embrace each other there'd be cohesion in families. But, what I've depicted above is a situation where such an ideal situation does not exist. I guess that's when the real test of being caring about families and parents is faced by us. Virtues like, sacrifice, tolerance, respect for certain well placed ideals and family values and putting families before self will matter hugely then.