I listen to many TED Talks and interviews. Almost every day, I watch one on the youtube.
I have always been fascinated by the way the human mind works. I love to read about different kinds of cultures, traditions and relationships.
There is something I started noticing in the stories they tell and that is, most kids in the West hate the idea of staying with their parents after they become old enough to take decisions.
Many movies showed parents telling kids that it’s time to move out of their house and explore the world and experience life.
In some TED talks, people explain the hardships they faced during the struggling period and in between they explain how shameful it was to go back and ask their parents for a room to stay or borrow some money from them.
This is one thing that many Indians don’t teach their kids. So the kids think that their dad’s money is their money. They think that their dad’s house is their house.
The tactful control by parents and the dependence on them by their older kids, by encouraging them to stay at their home, are the root causes of many problems Indian kids and their spouses face, I guess.
I can never understand the right of a parent to take decisions for an 18-year old girl or a 21-year old boy. It’s weird. Just not correct.
Most fights and in-law problems in a family are caused due to this staying together rule.
I started hating Aishwarya Rai the day she told David Letterman that Indian kids don’t need to take an appointment to meet their parents.
His question was, “you live with your parents. Is it true? Is it common in India for older children to live with their parents?”
And she replied, “it’s fine to live with the parents and it is also common in India because we don’t have to take an appointment to meet out parents for dinner.”
I don’t agree with her. Just because they are their kids, does not give them the license to waste their parents’ time, when and where they like.
“Hello, where are you? Are you busy? Can we talk?” these were the things my dad and mom used to ask me first, whenever they called me.
I have never gone to their house without calling and checking if they were there. They never came to my apartment without checking if I was free.
Well, I started staying alone since I was 19. That was the best thing or ‘gift’, my parents gave me.
So, literally, after I turned 19, they have never interfered in my life and I have never bothered them with anything till date.
Yes, I‘ve had my fair share of failures, mistakes, heartbreaks and days without money to even buy food.
So what? I had something that no one else I knew had. That was, ‘freedom’.
Freedom to live life the way I want to, freedom to fall in and out of love, freedom to experience life and choose my life partner, freedom to change jobs and careers, freedom to go places and stay there without being answerable to anyone, freedom to choose which church I wanted to get married in, freedom to renew my marital vows after cheating, freedom to cook whatever I felt like without worrying what my parents liked or disliked or not to cook at all when I didn’t feel like it… The list is endless.
Only positive things have happened since I left home. I should have actually gone away from home when I was 18. I don’t know why I waited till 19!
I have never faced any in-law problems, my wife never had an in-law problems or faced any kind of pressure to please my parents. My parents and I never had an argument regarding any decision I took in life. I’ve always tried to work hard because I know that if I fail, there is no place I could go and ask for help.
Moreover, considering the amount of experiences I’ve had in life, I can easily write four to five self-help books for Indians. 🙂
Encouraging our kids to move out of our houses as soon as they become mature or as soon as they turn 18 (whichever is earlier 😉 ) is the best gift we can give our kids.
Most of the issues which typical Indian families face would vanish then.