Thursday, June 5, 2014

Drawing a THIN LINE

There has always been a debate in my mind whether Globalisation has been a boon or a curse! To be more specific for India. I don’t have neither any values in percentage or nor any proof about it but I do feel that it has changed the way the society thinks now. The more harmful is the influence of ‘west over east’. India is blessed with diversity and has still is the oldest civilization. A secular nation with different religions and I believe it happens happily. The very strong base of our culture be it any religion has always been a ‘family’. We are emotionally charged and seldom practical, I am no exception. I always put my family first and I am proud about this. So coming to the point, in this era of globalisation where we explore that anything and everything can be a ‘career’ which has played a crucial role in the upliftment of Indian Women. Any art or skill from Cooking, Sewing, mehndi art, knitting art, making Rangoli, Dancing can be a profession now. I have many friends who give lessons based on their expertise and are independent. Not everyone has a perfect qualification to go in a job and more than this the Indian Woman sacrifices her career to be with kids and family. She compromises on this front by maintaining her own identity in any small way that could also support the family economically. These Women are often neglected under the limelight of other successful Women – who make it big. An Ode to this Woman in the background who does everything in the favour of the family should be given. 

Recently, I had lunch with my Indian colleague’s wife SM, a very attractive, smart and talkative (just like me) female. This was our second meeting and very soon we were talking about everything under the sun. She told me how she left her job after they had a baby to look after him and enjoy motherhood dutifully. Now as their son is grown enough and about to join a school she desperately wants to get back to work. I absolutely know how it feels when you were working and busy once upon a time bubbling with confidence that could win the world for you. A maternity break for every woman is very difficult to overcome and I have gone through this. One has to overcome mental, physical, unknown inhibitions, fears, jitters of going back to work. Going back to work is primarily for a burning desire to doing something for yourself as you know you are worth it and secondly but most importantly financial independence! Rather I would say these days it is more of financial independence. SM and I agreed on this aspect. However loving and caring husband one has why does every woman/wife feels the need to be independent financially? We both laughed out when we unarguably agreed on one thing – Happiness is when I buy/shop for my stuff and pay through my debit card! I guess that you too are smiling now…hold it…isn’t that true? There were times when KS (my husband) would lend me his debit card (during my PhD) but I never felt like spending or shopping using his card. Was I egoistic unnecessarily? Probably it was an immature streak in me which has completely changed now.

I still remember as a child when I used to see my Papa withdrawing his salary from the bank when there were no ATM’s or these debit cards and one had to wait in a queue with the token until being called. He very religiously use hand over the salary to my Aai (mother). She would keep the bundle in the ‘pooja ghar’ for a while and then lock it in the cupboard. That bundle used to be my Aai’s responsibility. She would manage the monthly expense in that certain amount. Like every middle class family we too had a budget and a bill book where she recorded every single paisa spent. I never saw any awkwardness on her face while she used Papa’s salary for any expense. The money belonged to all of us, we were so happy and there were no terms like ‘my money’ or ‘your money’. Everything was OURS. I think when Aai could manage that why can’t I? Is there any harm in being ‘ambitious’, ‘independent’? Actually most of us forget that being ambitious is a thin line between being ‘ambitious’ and ‘over-ambitious’ or ‘independent and overly-independent’. A family is closely knit only because each of the members is dependent on the other for some or the other reason. If every member is over ambitious, overly independent then is there any need to live as a family? Why would one come home for? This could be one of the reasons for disturbed marriages. 

Is it not very important to draw a thin line between certain issues in order to maintain a family life? Having such unimportant thoughts, false assumptions reflect badly on your personal life. We should preserve our tradition of living in joint families but with a change. Every member should respect each other, no discrimination on any basis. There is no harm to say sorry and amend matter instead of stretching which is just like chewing a tasteless chewing-gum. Human beings are social animals and we should stress more on living together as we can preserve our culture and pass on the good to the next generation. I don't say everything from the 'West' is rubbish but only absorb 'GOOD'. Don't allow it to take you over.

I don’t want to sound like an old-fashioned, over preachy Aunt but I am old-fashioned who hopelessly believes that Old is Gold!

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