Monday, 26 October 2009

A Bit of self-realization...

Today, I had a friend who happened to visit me in my office. We realized that we hadn’t seen each other for quite some time. We went to the nearby coffee-shop and over several coffees and snacks had a lengthy discussion on our private lives…

Over the discussion, I realized that we had so much in common. We both have same by-now irritating and forceful parents, who feel they are being grossly neglected since we got married. We both have parents who make the most of every opportunity to let their wards ( we) know that they (apparently) sacrificed their whole life so that they could bring us up.We both have parents who make us believe over-and-again that we still are small babies( who always commit mistakes) for them, no matter how big or grown we think we are. We have parents who think we are getting too influenced by our wives, and accuse her of alienating us from them.

He was telling me on how his father had a professional auditor-like database of all the chadies(underwear) he bought for his son, since he was born. I couldn’t help but laugh, at the same time wonder how our situations were so alike. I have often wondered why my father thinks its important to let me know that he spent Rs.100(in late 70s) every time I had a milk tooth.He still remembers how he took me in his arms and ran to the doctor when I had my first allergic reaction after eating peanuts. He would look at me pensively as if I was the most unappreciative and unthankful guy to walk the planet on two legs. Then my mother would take over and remind me that they were the ones who made me what I am today and I should never forget my roots, as if I had some acute Gajani-style amnesia.


I have now started wondering how families lived together as a one-huge-joint-family until few generations ago. It would surely lead to a world-war 3, if we were to live like that in today’s times. I have come to observe that so much of ego is rampant in our society, that brothers-sisters can’t see each other. I have seen in my own family that if one brother( dads brother) buys a Hyundai i20, the other one has to buy a verna, even if it means an exorbitantly high EMI.

There surely is a huge generation gap between my parents and me. At every step of a decision, the most significant factor is what-others-will-think. I know I care two-hoots about what others (mostly neighbours) will think when I make a decision. I don’t really understand why its so important to let my daughter know how I had to look after her(sleeplessly) when she was a toddler. Isnt why I am called her father? Isnt what I am supposed to do, having brought her to this world?

Having said that I must admit that its also a learning experience. I know that sure-shot way of spoiling the parent-children relationship is to constantly remind them how much they should be grateful to them. Giving price tag to a relationship is an easy way of ruining it, be it a father-son relationship.

P.S: Thanks for reading. Views expressed are mine and blogs are a medium to express ones thouhgts.... One persons RIGHT might be other persons WRONG.

24 comments:

ZB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neha said...

ZB, you wrote something that most of the people around never admit because of ego (I am saying this from my point of view)...all i can say here and about this generation gap thingi is that we can be more careful with our children and don't let them feel what we have gone thru ever...

this post reminds me of a one-liner i have heard:

"some people blame our generation...but have they ever stopped to think who raised us?"

anjugandhi said...

every one would identify with your ideas.but i think it is more because of the insecurity the parents feel.
i say this because i am on both the sides. we have elder parents and i have children who are branching out to their own life.
it is mainly the feeling of insecurity, of being not the integral part of their child's life ( earlier the child's life used to revolve around the parents)of loneliness which makes the parents behave in such a particular way.
and ZB you can't say how you will be like when you will sail in the same boat.
it is easy for us to say that we will not be like our parents at this stage when we are at prime of our age, when all our faculties are within our control, when we have the world at our feet, when we can do what ever we want
but how can we predict what our behaviour would be like when we suddenly realize that physically we are not very strong, when we realize that we are not that self sufficient, and the fear of old age and death sets in
and dear generation gap will always be there.a day will come when ur daughter will say the same to you," Dad there is generation gap between us

ZB said...

@Anju: See, generation gap is bound to be there....i am not worried about my daughter saying that. My effort was to learn from the mistakes of my parent and not to repeat the same on the next generation.I think its a mistake to expect too much from your children, that they would be taking care of you, how you took care of them when they were small...you have to find your solutions for the old age...If children respect you and take care of you, they its a BONUS and you are lucky...Thanks

@neha: Very rightly said. thanks

sujata said...

we think one way now, we will think differently when we are older, now loving our kids is a joy, because they turn to us for everything, when the day comes when our kids dont have time for us, we will be left to recollect what all we did to them when they were small. Its natural, no denying it.

Gymnast said...

I dont think what u describe is generation gap. Its plain misunderstanding.

They say senility is second childhood. And the parents who indulged u in your childhood deserve to be indulged. In my opinion , there's absoltely nothing wrong in expecting things from your kids.

And if they crib and dig up old stories of sacrifice, it just shows how lonely they are. .They r not really saying accounts but just seeking ur attention.indulge them

Dont we, as kids owe it to them?

its not a bonus , its a right, in my perspective.

Mustaf said...

ZB,

When we try to explain such behaviors of our parents, we must try to find out the background. They had seen their grand parents being taken care by their parents and then they taking care their parents,so the natural expectation grew up that they would be taken care by us.Also, in those days, people hardly stayed away from their own house, so it was all family members living together.Now both these aspects are changing rapidly today (not that today people don't care for their parents even staying away) and that our parents are failing to catch up.They are under the impression that probably we don't realize how much care they had for us and so we don't mind staying away from them.That's why they always remind us what they had done for us, the insecurity of loosing us.

Also, we shd remember life is 360 degree.We were young and immatured, then we grew up and then when we become old, we again become like those tiny young ones. So, when our parents took care of us, tolerating everything we did rational/irrational, why don't we do the same to our parents, even if they are illogical, irrational, demanding and etc.

ZB said...

I agree, parents deserve a lot more, they made us what we are today. But what i meant by generation gap is the way Parents try to control their children even after he/she is way past middle age, and how they become over possessive and touchy. They blame their Daughetr-in-law responsible for taking their son away from them, in fact they themselves are responsible. i feel it happens more to sons than daughters....

All parents need not be the same. Unless you face such a situation, i am sure you will never understand what i am talking about. Thanks

Rahul Anand said...

Very well written, and I can relate to most of the situations you mentioned. Different people have differnet experiences and I believe most people have positive experiences.

Probably the aspect which stands out and I find most irritating is the concept of 'society'. 'What will the society think if I do this' kind of questions are somthing parents are used to thinking, and they expect children to be the same. They want the best for thier children but they sometimes tend to forget that thier child has opinions of his/her own.

Part of the problem stems from generation gap, that leads to lack of communication and misunderstandings. Don't know how to deal with it; just ignore it I guess....

Mustaf said...

*** DON'T PUBLISH THIS COMMENT if you find it offensive/uncomfortable.I had thought several times before asking this, but asking just because I had same doubts on the same thing ***

Now coming to the point, I believe this is one of your personal experience and a not so pleasant one, and we all have the same experience at one time or the other, children need not agree with parents all the time. And i also agree that blogging is a media to share your thoughts. But having said so, do you think your parents would feel sorry to see this post? are they right in feeling sorry or their ego comes in between? If you needed to clarify anything, you could have done it with your close ones. and finally wouldn't you feel bad if any of your colleague/friends mention your name in their blog posts about some of ur faults according to them?

I personally feel when it comes to share something related something very close to us, rather take an indirect path, mention like my close relative or something. I was not sure what is the right thing do, so is my comment, if you can answer me personally, that would be also be fine :)

ZB said...

@Mustaf: Thanks for commenting....I understand your concern. I wasnt blaming my parents the way you think i was. I feel a human(a man )has stages of development....At your age, ie in twenties or before, my parents were my world. When i was a child, my dad was my hero. But when you grow up, and have your own family, your parents should understand your needs and priorities...they should understand that your wife and baby is as much important in your life.I feel hurt when my parents feel i should not go out of the house or, i should stay with them on vacation, name the baby as per their wish(as parents we would like to name them), do this do that....As a husband, i belong also to my wife and daughter.

Its not that i dont love my parents or i fight with them always...I will never speak to them the things which i mentioned in this post...I cannot hurt them...Blogs are OK, i need a consensus on this topic. I am anonymous and i dont reveal my identity....I dont care if any of my colleagues write or think bad about me...One cannot please all the people around you. Thanks

Nona said...

This is an interesting post! After marriage, I guess most of us have to go through these accusations! But, when we grow up, will we feel possessive like our parents? Will we feel alienated too? How would we react in say 20 years?

HaRy!! said...

Hmm quite a candid post ZB,cud only say that it differs from each one of us, but like some one has mentioned its because of the genration gap and the way their time was, grand parents had to look after then even after their marriage and independence of yur voice was very minimal, so i'd say just adjust with them and take all their words at patience but make the decision on yur own , they wont understand for sure...i agree on that...! upto yu to make it look better both sides!...sincere wishes

Neha said...

I read ur comment on panorama's post...and agree with you on this point...there you mentioned about friendly parents...you a a friend's friend, his dad was way too friendly with him to the extent that he offered his son the first ever cigarette and liquor...he used to smoke with him, and the son didn't like that a bit...this led to the son hating cigarette and liquor...u know na how things work with guys when in group...this guy was always made fun of and underestimated for not having these things with friends...and he ended up hating his dad so much...

so, I feel a balance is required everywhere...if ur children do not like u behave certain manner, then no matter what u do, they will nvr like it at any cost...and u can't blame either of them..

R. Ramesh said...

honestly buddy..most of us, inc me, r victims of such a system..only u openly talked abt it..i also feel bad and miserable when our close relatives dont understand us..and our feelings...but then it has become such a common story..so lets live with it..take care dear friend..best wishes always

ZB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZB said...

@Ramesh: Thanks buddy. :)

The Panorama said...

ZB, you post really made me think. That is why I wrote my post. I think the bottom line is that we forget the fact that parents are also ordinary human beings, with their shortcomings. My nine year old son often argues with me and when I tell him no son it isn't like that I get to hear what a annoying mom I am coz I always want to be in the right!! Then I get to hear a lot of stuff of all the times I forgot this or that so I end up reminding him" remember the wonderful birthday party I threw for you?...

Somehow that seems to annoy him even more.
Recently I told him, listen am not perfect, ok?
He smiled happily and said " Finally!! You admit you are not perfect"
Does that make sense? I guess am finally understanding my parents:)

numerounity said...

ZB, It was quite a well written post.

I must say that the generation gap will always be between a father and son/daughter but what is more important is how we bridge that gap so that we can make most of these relationships.

I am sure you can bridge that gap by not avoiding but facing n addressing them in ur own thought provoking/mischievious way :)

Pins N Ashes said...

Hi ZB,

I was waiting for the mother's blackmail liner (bollywood films, esp)..."I'm the one who carried you 9 months"...

My MJ always says, we are all part of a river, we always flow downwards. No river flows upstream to its source to make sure their well being!! such is the bond between parents and children. High time our parents get that logic and all of us for that matter -- the in-parents n parents-to-be..

And what is this generation gap -- lack of communication and understanding both ways? this word often confuses me....

Apart from the possessiveness n insecurities and everything that stems from them, there are so many experiences (positive) the parents have gone thru, which at our age (as their children, no matter in whichever age) we fail to recognise until we reach theirs. it's true, however we try to hide the truth. But there is a way to communicate this to us in which many parents fail miserably. There starts the trouble I feel...

First time here n I loved the thought flow

kavita said...

ZB...I don't have much gyan to offer you here,because only you know how the things are .If you were my best friend what would i do ?You know what i will tell you to.. Pick up your phone, call your family and when they ask why you called just say...aise he ,aapke yaad aa rahi hai.Take care dear friend.

Aparna said...

After reading your post thrice and having read all the comments, I do not have much to add.
I have always had a love hate relationship with my father but my mother has been my strength. May be it is different for daughters as they are more connected to the parents.
My husband on the other hand never had much of a relationship with either of his parents.
All I can say is may be some parents become domineering as they feel threatened by the daughter in law. Perhaps they feel that their son will not love them any more. Perhaps they are insecure.
Life is too precious and short to harbour bitter feelings towards anybody, especially your own parents. Just let go and forgive.

R. Ramesh said...

it's a common thing buddy. my wife quit a gr8 job last yr in dubai and went to stay with my elderly parents..and also take care of my daughters..now she has to stay in a rented house in chennai..quite funny r the ways of life..no end to blame game..let's just enjoy the short time of life v have..no point in joining their war..what say!! becz no one wins arguments..:)

Kaddu said...

So true! And there's not only ego, but I guess a lot of insecurity involved too. I think the last 10 years have seen a major generation gap... the kind which earlier used to happen in maybe like 50 years! Kids want independence. They want change. But our parents are still too used to the old ways. They gave up their dreams for their parents' dreams. Rather, I doubt if they ever wove any dreams of their own. But they don't see us doing the same thing. And they are at a complete loss as to how they ought to behave in the given situation. It's too strong a cultural conditioning. And more important, what else would they do now if they don't try to run our lives! They've never really invested in themselves. It's not really their fault. It's just that times have changed so suddenly.