Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Complicated Indian

One of the recent PostSecret postcards ( read, “Being Indian makes life complicated.” At the time I felt related to it and shared it with friends on Facebook; Never did a status message receive so many ??? marks. My first impression on reading the line was that it was written by a person trying to make everyone happy. Compelled to explore it further, I felt like categorizing the current youth/generation of India.

The Defiant – The most common youth seems to be growing up with the concept that they have life figured out. Anybody, including parents, who tell them different, needs to be defied. Defiance not only comes in terms of disobeying but blatantly hiding their actions for convenience. I am sure plenty of us can relate to the story of asking a friend to lie on our behalf about our whereabouts. (Surely happy him/herself but I am not sure about the surroundings)

The Follower – Depending on the upbringing background, a small part of the youth acts like a trained machine. For all practical purposes they have never cultivated the ability to make a decision. Their life, their choices and direction of life is purely based on their background and not their current exposure. After a certain age, they stop reviewing their definitions of right and wrong and persistently stick to some not so evolving ideas. (Family/surroundings very happy, but loss of meaning towards self happiness)

The Culmination – Currently attempting to incorporate both in self, I feel there is sweet equilibrium between the defiant and the follower. It is also the birth of the complicated Indian. Cultures around the world are split broadly into these categories. Americans for instance are usually defiant (but accepted so, by their parents). Stricter cultures in Asia and others tend to be followers and consider their parents lifestyle to be the only correct lifestyle. (The anonymous postcard sender, constantly keeping everyone happy :) )

The complicated Indian decides to evolve with exposure instead of background alone. World is smaller than ever before and has offered exposure to the current generation unparallel to the one that was available to our parents. Constant exposure of a different culture and the personal choice of willing to question personal philosophies; this is what allows one to make changes not always acceptable in their culture. Growing via exposure alone though can very easily make you defiant. Thus the complication, with this ever changing life direction, in keeping their culture/past involved and perhaps parents on the same page takes effort, time and persistence. At the same time, the follower needs to become more open minded and let the worldly exposures positively affect them. For me, this has been the key to feeling absolutely sound about my long term satisfaction/happiness.

Comments, feedback, personal take requested.

Love, Mo