Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pay for Choices

My uncle did his graduation from one of the best colleges then gave TOEFL and received scholarship from London. My grandfather did not want him to go alone, so he made him marry a same caste girl and then my uncle and aunty went to London for their aspirations. They were excited and so was everyone because the son of their family was going abroad for higher studies. The scholarship gave opportunities and proudness both at the same time. My parents were simple, middle class and hard working people. Uncle went to London and then one by one he finished his degrees and then shifted to USA and settled there. They still come for yearly trips to India with their two kids and claim themselves to be Indians and talk about the culture and liberalization. But they don't want to come back and settle down here because now it is too late for them to come here and start a new life. They are used to the clean roads and big malls of USA and proudly introduce themselves as NRIs. They love India but can't stay here. Kids, although have Indian name  and Indian look, are foreigners only by their accent and lifestyle. 

I guess, this is not the case with only one person. Better jobs and lifestyle, salary in dollars have compelled many such people or rather Indian people, stayback in USA. But deepdown in their hearts they still miss the Indian touch. 

When my uncle went, they were very happy and once they settled there and visited us yearly, they would show off their money and NRI tag over and over again. They are born and brought up here in India but their kids are born there only so their attitude is entirely different. They lead a very much free life. What we consider as discipline, they consider it to be obstruction. What we feel to be unnatural, is very much natural and acceptable to them. Those kids just wait for being adults of 18 years and once they are 18, they don't care for anyone. If the parents don't allow them for certain things, they can go to any extent, sometimes even complaining to the police.

Here comes the irony, "An Indian man/woman will settle abroad, preferring to be NRIs but they never want their kids(who are born and brought up there) to marry foreigners, they want the kids to marry Indian man/woman." How can this be possible? A kid who has seen and adopted the foreign culture, by birth who has lived and is friends with the foreigners marry someone Indian and follow the Indian culture and customs. 

The kids over there, don't give that much importance to marital bonds, there make up and break ups are much faster than in India, they definitely will have boy friend and girl friend at quiet an early stage. When these kids grow up, they follow the same culture and not the Indian culture. There comes the unacceptibility by the NRI parents. They can't see their kids following the foreign culture. 

Whose mistake is that? Who is wrong and who is right? Is any culture wrong? 

It is definitely not the kid's mistake. He is following what he was asked to follow from his childhood. What he has seen since he was one month old, he is used to and adapted to that culture only and it is absolutely wrong if one day he is asked to follow some other culture. It is not the problem of culture also because each culture is distinct and has it's own grace. What is acceptable to one is not necessarily acceptable to all others.

Till some extent, it is the parent's fault. You made the choice of being NRIs at your younger age, ignoring everyone and you lead that lifestyle, then you should know that your kid will not be a NRI, he will be citizen(foreigner) or whatever you say. Your father made you marry an Indian girl before you went out of India but you can't make your kid marry an Indian forcefully because neither they are coming to India nor leaving foreign.

At this point the NRI feels that he had to pay heavily for the choice he made early at his life. Now my uncle tells my mom that you are so lucky, both your daughters have married same caste guys and are doing good and my daughter is in a live-in relationship with a foreigner and is going to settle in Canada with him without marriage.

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