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The Great Indian dilemma
One of my friend who lived abroad since years suddenly rang me up one day, she wanted to meet me...I was awestruck to see her number with the Indian code, yes she was back. Hesitant I was to ask her but she poured out her reason for her comeback.
The kids were growing up; life was more on to a slower pace now. The return, the logic behind was to just make the kids acquainted with Indian family conduct; she emphasized the fact that “understanding love in a different shade would be fun; love had its own definition in this oriental land still.” The intricate family ties, diversity in its splendid ways, the colours and undoubtedly the joy of being in the same race, she somehow had her own logic ...may be.
There was a sense of holding on to the roots, the culture, the ethics of her own identity tucked so neatly in those corners of her heart still, the essence of her original self, her own skin, her own language and her ethnicity much kept alive. Holding on to so many values, she was still breathing them somehow after so many years. Somewhere deep inside they desired to be passed on, passed on to her off spring, she took pride, and every time she spoke she chanted “My kids may have been born and bred in a different land but are Indian at heart.”
The relatively strong dilemma of Indian parents staying abroad ...A sandwiched behavioural pattern, the basic human tendency to grab the best of everything.
The Indian scenario had another story, the growing up kid had enough of those merit, the basic greed of Indian parents to settle down their kids abroad in the best of universities. Parents had their very rational logic. Settling their kids abroad meant a better life quality, social security, social status, better lifestyle, brighter opportunities....culture, traditional values, preservation of family ties or festivities, food, flavour..."oh that’s ok!”
The line stood steady, the dilemma of being Indian, aspiring for a better lifestyle, overtly ambitious in their own way. But nevertheless the basic core nature of clinging on to the roots that’s humane too, that’s instinctive, that’s comforting in every way.
The very traditional approach of parenting in a better way, in an austere setting all doused in ethnic colours were an integral part of Indian parenting. The uncomfortable patches of a dubious mind set could be visible. A forlorn culture with an upstart life style still could not blend flawlessly into the immigrant’s life. The tiny bits of possessive spots glowed from here and there no matter how much it was camouflaged with ideologies of liberal thoughts. May be that’s natural, a typical social behavioural pattern, the line of assimilation between two did not merge anywhere.
The two set of thoughts, genuine in its own way, true in their own limitations, ambition and aspirations. The struggles of parenting in the 'desi' style, the conflicts of preserving the bits of roots and simultaneously clinging on to the dreams of a better life pattern.
What exactly are we trying to seek, the very conflicts inbred, innate in our mind, the ambiguity of clinging on to our own values yet seeking that extra dose for a better future, a brighter life –style, a glossier pay package and a status...the dilemma continues for us, immigrants cherishing and longing about the country they left and aspirants dreaming about the country they fantasize...
The breach remains amongst Indians but my friend came back... and then there is another story of a couple who makes a move overseas just for their offspring’s...hmm!
(The title is inspired by Jhumpa Lahiri's Book)