Hurrah! We, as a nation, turn 73 this month and I for one am all geared up to see the sudden one-day-long patriotic surge that will explode all around me. It’s going to be everywhere — television, social media, radio and even within my close friend circle —we’re all going to be celebrating our so-called independence and like there’s some competition, we’re going to try to outdo one another too!
Relax. I am not some super deshbhakti-driven youngster. No, there’s nothing wrong in being one, but I’m more of the kind of guy who would rather stand back and smile as the eccentricities go on all around me. I, for one, am convinced that we’re not going to be very different even if we turn 100 this month. We say we’ve liberated ourselves from the imperialist British Raj, but what about the unquestionable Raj one witnesses at home every single day, Independence Day or otherwise.
I’m 21 now and while August 15 makes me swell with pride like most other Indians, I feel like I am mocking myself. I’m supposedly celebrating independence when I am anything but that. My lack of freedom comes from within my home. As a typical Indian boy, I am not allowed to venture beyond my four walls, unless I have prior permission. Now some of you will mock me for my parents disciplining me like a girl — but imagine what a typical girl in patriarchal India goes through when as a boy, I am complaining about being stifled.
Now you must be thinking to yourself: what a wuss or worse, what a complain box or you must be ready to dole out advice to me about manning up, or confronting my parents about the situation. Chill. I have thought of that and I have tried. Also, which child enjoys unnecessarily annoying or hurting their parents? We’re still Indian at heart. It’s all about loving your family!
Anyway, to give you an example of why I feel the right to crib, here’s what happened a few days ago. I was working late and I was still in office way past my shift. My mother suddenly calls me and I was given a sound scolding peppered with some blackmails and threats thrown in for good measure. What irritated me that night was: I was at work. I wasn’t hanging out with friends or romancing some girl somewhere. I was at work. Doing something that was good for my career. Something that I enjoyed doing! And then the discussion about this edition on ‘freedom’ came back to me. Was any young person in India, adult or otherwise, really enjoying freedom and independence in our country?
I still love my mother; I’d be an idiot not to. But I only wonder why parents do not understand my passion for something I love. Something that is not necessarily bad for me. I am not trying to insult their parenting methods, all I am trying to say is why not let us be? I’m sure I’m voicing out the opinion of millions of young Indians who are being stifled from achieving their dreams, simply because their parents do not know where to draw the line.
If you are a parent reading this and have a young adult living at home with you, then this is my plea to you: let us do what we want to do. We still love and appreciate you and love you for whatever you’ve done for us. But please, let us do what we love to do, especially when it isn’t something bad for us and is just a career we have chosen to follow! Rant over.
Happy Independence Day, I guess?
The irony is so defeating!
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