Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Indian Paradox - part I

Today, Mom and I visited our neighbour with some jack fruit. And the results of the XII grade are out. And her daughter hadn't done exactly well....It kinda sets me thinking... what does doing well in XII mean anyway? Does it mean getting a 90 plus in all subjects? Does that make a person a success story? And are all those students who score below 80% heading for failure in life? It just doesn't make sense... And I blurted it out to my Mom. That was all that was need for a good natured discussion between us.

According to Mom, the parents fear for their ward failing in life. And that is the only reason they're obsessed with their children's marks. Hmmm...I sense a trait of selfishness in that statement and I told her that. And being the good sport she was, she readily accepted. I've been given a fairly free reign in doing what I want. But unfortunately, that is not the case in many homes in India. There's all this talk about parents wanting what's good for the child and supporting their disappointments and downfalls. All this looks and sounds good and reassuring when the child performs well. But one misstep... one bad grade and all hell breaks loose. My mom was livid when my XII grade results came out. having secured 87% only, I did not qualify for admission in Pilani. And seeing me graduate from Pilani was her dream... one that I had been unable to realize (Okay! I feel a little bit of guilt here!). And I think it was a good thing I wasn't in town when my results came out, thanks to an accommodating aunt with whom I'd decided to spend the vacation! Mom sounded like an avenging Goth princess when she told me, through grit teeth that she wanted to kill me when she came to know of my marks and that the reason I still drew breath was because I hadn't been in the house.
Now I understand there is a slight amount of disappointment for the parents when their ward doesn't quite get the grades they dream of. But they should also remember that the child feels the same disappointment. There's this element of "What'll the world say?" involved in this problem and as a student, for once I wish parents didn't give a damn about the society. Because let's face it... society is a bitch(excuse the language). Society is one group of self-centered hypocrites who practice what they preach against! And in the microscopic level, don't individuals make up society? And for once, you parents who feel you know your child better.... a wake up call for you! There one person who knows your child and his/her capabilities better than you. And that person is... your child! I don't say "don't ever take part in shaping your child's future."! You have every right to do that. But it would be really helpful if you remembered that your child has just the same amount of right... they have a greated amount of right. It's their life afterall!

It's when I hear stories of such brutal control freaks and their poor offsprings that I wish India had a family system like that in the West. Yeah yeah! They have little moral values. But let's face the other equally truthful aspect... they respect their children more than we ever do. They treat their teenagers more like adults while we still seem to trap ourselves into believing they're children. For once, let them own up to their mistakes. We don't want to be told we made a mistake. We're not that stupid not to realize if we did. But the least the 'folks' can do is be supportive.
*sigh* As I think such thoughts in my head, my neighbour rants on about how they're trying to put their daughter into an Engineering course (You'll understand the logic behind this if you know how the Indian society works) while her daughter wants to take up Fashion Designing. And frankly, after having seen some of her sketches, I think she'll be way more comfortable designing a dress than she'll ever be designing some complex machinery! But then again... my thoughts hardly matter in their perspective. All I'd like to say is, I pity that girl... hope she gets through this ordeal in one piece!

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