Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Trickling Thoughts - To be or not to be

I've always felt that people who have lived abroad for a decent number of years and having come back to India fall under two types - those who are overtly critical of Indian lifestyles and look out for chances to catch the next flight out and those who bring in their experience of living outside and try to simulate the same friendly environment on their home country.

When i was talking with my friend, he said, Indian women in general, find it easier to live outside India. The reason being, they dont have the pressure of the tedious norms of our culture that even on its best days are predominantly male chauvinistic. They feel they've more freedom to lead the way they want to live more at abroad than in India. Sila chinna chinna intrusions on their personal space like, what time they get up, what do they wear, what do they eat and cook and how they address or interact with their spouse and friends, in general avanga pesonal life, even after marriage or even while studying, they feel is secure if not in India.

Ithu evlo true or evlo false nu me the no debating. But oru chinna example. My friend went to India last month from here. Like "Kuruvi" Vijay she agreed to take a parcel for me back home. Appovay thelivaa she told. I am not sure how much time i will get for myself to reach out to my mom or sister to deliver. To be honest, it felt lighta scene puttings. But when i realised that, within a span of 4 weeks, she has to spend time with her side of the family, fill in the gap of 4 years of separation and then appease with her in laws, meet the unseen relatives from both sides of her family and also allocate some time for her friends. Yosichi paakavay thala suthidichi. And that's not just it. Enna mathiri innum ethana per courier charge sikkanam pannarathukaga ipdi aduthuvanga thalaila mootai katti anuppi irupanga!! To top it all, she had to travel alone with her 2 kids, both under 4 years of age and had 2 transits to cover, over a 20 plus hour travel !! No wonder she was scared out of her wits about the visit. Luckily for her, the kids didnt create much scene and she pinged that the eagle had landed safely, with a long sigh of relief. Guess within matter of days, all the points mentioned on para 2 came to haunt her and last when i spoke to her, she wasnt much enthused about going back to India.

Having spent the better part of their life being accustomed to such customs and constraints, people still find it difficult to cope back, once they taste the sweetness of relishing their individuality i guess. May be its like, going back to the era of no mobiles and internet. Oops, i had absently termed such customs as being backward :)  When some elder tries to dictates terms to your living style, they also bring with it their personality. Its the way they would've been groomed and almost every one would've their own story of suffering the same fate at the hands of their seniors and would go on to add how liberal they are compared to their own.

But these same gumbal of makkal when it comes to their own kid, most of them dont want them to be raised here!! Inga culture sari illayaam and they want them to be brought up in India!! Ithukkena solrathu?? Hypocrisy? or sheer fear that their kids wouldnt respect them if given too much independence?? Thanakkunu varapo independence inikkuthu..thannoda pasangannu varappo en idikuthu?? Enna koduma saar ithu.


RS said...

Very thoughtful post, Gils! Coherently written.

I suppose parents are wary of their children's 'independence' at an young age. At this age, kids are lured to try their hands at anything different, and they can easily be tempted. Maybe that is the reason parents want to restrict their children in their formative years. Once the values have been firmly instilled, you might change in appearance, you might change in the 'expression', but the core of you remains intact. Like one of my friend mentions, 'Your form changes, but your content remains!' That could be one reason why parents want to safeguard their 'young' children. I wouldn't call this hypocrisy.

Asha said...

Aaha....I superlike this post.

Enna vecchu ezhidina madiri irukku. But most of us go through this.

when it comes to me i don't want to follow certain restrictions and rules laid by my elders and at times find it stifling. At the same time i would'nt raise my kids especially teenage kids in such alien culture/ environment. Because andha age..la avalukku nalladu edhu kettadha edhunu theriyadu.

Put in similar situations, I am a grown up and would know what is right and wrong and defend myself from any situation. My child would'nt know a vice from a virtue he/she could buckle to peer pressure. I strongly believe, Indha agela absorb panra values daan life long it will stand by them and help them maintain sanity. And if they do change later in life as adults it will be only after they have weighed their pros and cons.

Yes, most of us parents are like that only at least my peer group is like that.

Ramesh said...

Superb thoughtful post Gils. Yes; this is a major challenge for anybody who moves to live in a different culture - the right balance between assimilating the host culture, with your own native born. Its a very personal balance that has to be struck and there is never a right and a wrong.

I shall await the day when Gils abandons Kollywood and becomes a total Hollywood convert :):)

lakshmi said...

"Indian women in general, find it easier to live outside India. The reason being, they dont have the pressure of the tedious norms of our culture that even on its best days are predominantly male chauvinistic"

Double likes :((

gils said...


:) u she be having more stories like this i guess :)) posta podunga :)


:)) aaha ithu pakka thaaikulam posta irukum polarukkay :) didnt realise when i posted :D

gils said...


uhummm..no abandoning..namakku ellam language moviesum venum :)


hey..welgum...and thanks for sharing ur views :)