Breaking away from stereotypes…


“Do you cook A” ?? Do you cook a typical Indian meal ???at all??

“Indian marriages expect a certain degree of socializing”. I mean with sis-in-law,in-laws, etc …so how you managing”

“Don’t you want to have babies”

Boy !! I bombarded her with questions , carefully reading her expressions so as not to hurt her or let her feel I am probing too much.

Whatever be the kind of marriage you may have had, be it arranged or love, Indian women are expected to fulfill some basic requirements out of a marriage such as raising a child, interacting well with the extended family, visiting them
every once in a while .. With the above list, I have tried to remove the not-so-essential ones such as visiting temples, staying with in-laws,lighting a lamp etc . But with what I have experienced and seen around, whether you work or don’t, Indian women are expected to have a baby, manage a family to say the least.

So how can someone that is silent, quiet, non-engaging and into herself fit in?? I wondered

My friend from college is one such girl.Somehow who is extremely quiet, non-engaging, prefers to be on her own, engages in reading and listens to her choice of English music and has immense interest in studies and research and is generally happy being on her own. And knowing her as a roommate for a good 4 years, its only now I thought hard how some one like her would find it to fit in a typical Indian family or marriage.

But I am glad. Glad because she has chosen her own path , not every one takes often.She did her Masters, only to realize that all she wants to do in life is study and do research. So she went ahead to do a Phd from a US university.Now after 14 years of having passed out of college , she now teaches in a US university, continues her study and publishes papers .

She went ahead and had a court wedding that lasted 2 minutes, she says.Again something I admire, because standing among unknown relatives and friends , draping in 6 yards of silk and an equal amount of gold and glitter is so unlike her.She chose to marry the man she met in university. And she got married at 34 to some one who pursued studies in the same university and was a very good friend she says. Today they both teach and pursue research. They don’t plan to have babies. They have a cat for company that strayed into their home. Neither her parents, nor her M-I-L interfere in their daily affairs.

Boy !!am I glad for her. I know her well, I breathed the same air as her in that tiny hostel room .So I know her better than anybody else did at that point of time

I am glad that this country has a new generation that is breaking away from stereotypes and doing what suits them.

And I admire her parents and her mother-in-law all the more. How many parents and in-laws do you find that let their kids solve and manage their lives on their own.

…And that is why in many posts of mine I said new India is changing. Oh!wait.She ain’t staying in India.

Will India allow young Indians to pursue what they truly love.Will India allow young woman to pursue studies well into their 40’s?, to respect their choices on marriage and raising children

The answer is obvious. No wonder a lot of young Indians chose the West, for the liberty and the respect it offers for the choices they make.

..And some self praise, she said I made the best room mate.Seems 14 years after college, now , when she met her mom, she told her that no one else but me (ie V) would have adjusted with her !! that made me all the more glaaaaad!!

And I realize college friendship is not about breaking into peels of laughter for silly jokes, or talking about boys, or sharing dirty jokes or talking about crushes.It can also mean relationships such as these where the words spoken are very less , yet intense.

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