By-Two Kaapi in an oilfield

The weblog of Abhilash Ravishankar, India.

Here I blog about my personal experiences [posting rarely]

At my tumblelog Intoxicated by possibility I blog about my opinions/likes/dislikes [posting heavily]

The paradox of being Indian

I am an Indian and proud to be one. Hold it! This isn't one of those stereotypic posts bragging about the rich culture and heritage that is India; about how much potential India has..blah blah blah. I have been pondering recently over the family system here in India. Undoubtedly, the Indian family system is very complex and a very tight-knit (probably too tight-knit) system. Why have I been thinking over a family now? ;-) Not anything special. I was considering, what is termed as a foolish hasty decision by millions of people around me - "Starting up right after college". And then, went on to realize that it is totally improbable in a family institution like ours (or atleast mine!).

So, what is it about the characteristic Indian family? Well, to sum it all up, I would say it is damn possessive. There can as usual be a counter-argument for this. Being possessive is all about showing 'care'. Yeah right! To a certain extent, being possessive is about saying 'I care', and then its all about 'I dont give a damn as to what you want to do, do as I say'. And mark my words, this is how the characteristic Indian family is. Based on the enriching experiences here at BITS-Pilani, I have learnt that it is experience that matters the most than anything else - passion, enthu, determination. And sticking to this line, it is perfectly normal for the elders in the family to advise (or command) the younger ones to do something. In the long run, it is all for one's good to listen to all of them. I would say, it is the 'safest' path. No risks. Cool life.

But what about people who dont fall under the category 'normal'. Like me. Check this sign on the entrance door to my room.

I have blogged earlier about people who love chaos, love challenges, think "No risks. No pleasure". Here, the care of the family members metamorphises into a glaring autocratic devil. Its the biggest stifler of creativity and freedom. My family isnt even close to being autocratic. But then, most families are. Now, if I think of starting up right after I graduate out of BITS, everyone around me will think that I have gone nuts. The Indian family expects their son to go to a good college, burn the midnight oil everynight, toil, toil and toil to make the best grades possible, get into a brilliant company thorugh campus placements, work for a couple of years, marry a girl of their choice, and lead a normal life for years to come. Is this all what life is meant for !? Give me a break !

Life is bigger than this. ('It is bigger than you ' said REM in 'Losing my religion')
Every point I said above is screwed.
Life is not about making it to the best college, you dont have to toil all night (look at things around you and enjoy!), making good grades is useless, getting into a good company is pointless, marrying the girl of their choice (reserved for a coming-soon post), and life is NO WAY about leading a cool life for the rest of your life. It is about being someone that no one has been before. It is about making a difference in people around you.

I just hope that the Indian family system gets the best of what the American system has - 'freedom' and retains its core value of 'bonding and care'.
Then, my country shall wake up in Utopia.


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