*NEW* Recent blog entries

June 4, 2008

Meet Love's Enemy No. 1 OR Papa versus Pyar

Pyar = Hindi word for love; and for those wondering, the chick in the pic is not Pinkiji but the beautiful Madhubala (long gone though), one of Hindi cinema's most beautiful actresses.

Indian Culture Rule 3: Broad-minded parents send their children to co-ed schools but prefer if boys and girls don't talk to each other. Education is to make the children think but parents prefer to think for their children. Of course that’s a generalization and perhaps unfair too, but only if we were to restrict that generalization to that little percentage called ‘urban India’. For most of India, the decision of the parents is not just sacrosanct it’s also unthinkable to not listen to your parents and perhaps have an independent view. Is listening to your parents necessarily wrong? Not at all since given their experience parents can usually be counted upon to give the right advice, suggest the better of two paths and generally think for the benefit of their children. However, when children and parents grow in different directions – something that is commonly happening in a lot of Indian families – parental advise might not always be right or for the benefit of the parties involved. I have written much on the issue above when we discussed arranged marriage, child abuse and even the Rizwanur Rehman murder. Wont say much here except present to you the current situation in the Mishra household… not good I say and the wily old man is blaming it all on yours truly!

Mishraji’s Musings 2. Meet love’s Enermy No. 1

The mood in the Mishra household has been somber for the last two days. For those who missed the earlier post (Kamasutra, Krishna and cultural crisis), Mishraji's 19-year-old daughter - Pinki ji - declared she was in love with a 'Sam'. Now most would know that 'Sam' is a non-Hindu name unless you are US/UK-returned or are called 'Saminder'. Both those options don't appeal to Mishraji. Firstly, he would not expect his daughter to fall in love and if at all she were to entertain 'such' ideas, he would prefer her emotions to be inclined towards some 'Shyam', preferably Hindu and vegetarian.

So the mood in the Mishra household has been somber for the last two days... At least till Mishraji leaves for work. Once he steps out of the house and one can hear his scooter turn the colony gate – he refuses to get the silencer fixed – two distinct sounds can be heard from the Mishra home. If on one hand there are rebellious Hindi movie songs playing – the pyar kiya to darna kya (what's to fear, when your love's here!) variety – the other would be Mrs Mishraji frequently screaming out her daughter's name, trying to compete with the blaring love songs. If at all the songs stop, Pinkiji can be heard bawling with frequent "Oh Sams!"Each time Pinkiji says "Saaaam", Mrs Mishraji responds with, "Have some shame. If your father hears you taking THAT name, hell will break loose and you will still be locked up. Oh why did you do it Pinki?"

Mishraji is really angry. He doesn't care if Pinkiji does not complete her three years of college - she is in second year - but he will not have "some Sam" near his daughter. Pinkiji has been grounded and despite her being a rather spirited girl, one doesn't think she has tried to run away from home again. Since the last interaction with the patriarch - where Mishraji accused one of putting ideas into his daughter’s head - yours truly has been in hiding. This morning as one discussed increasing water problems in the colony with nosy Mrs Kohli who knows everything about everyone – she is retired Colonel Kohli's wife, more about them later – Mishraji came out of his house.

It was too late for one to duck behind the boundary wall. He glared, one smiled back politely. "Don't smile madam," he wagged an angry finger. One stopped immediately. "Because of you and your media and all these promoting-love and all that, my daughter is behaving like some love-crazed hippie. I will not allow it." One was thinking of a response to that when Mrs Kohli decided to speak up instead.

"Ajji Mishraji, in today's world, be broad minded. Children are very smart today, they know what they're doing," she said and was about to launch into a story – Mrs Kohli always has a story to support another story – Mishraji responded with more fervour than one thought him capable of. "Mrs Kohliji, I know all about broad minded. My daughter studies with boys, wears jeans, does not cook and listens to songs that say hips don't lie. My son listens to gangsters who talk bad poetry and call it music. I am broadminded. But if you think broadminded means allowing a 19-year-old girl to be fooled by some crook who comes from a background completely different from hers... I will not let it happen. You kindly keep your nose out, Media Madam here is enough for that."

One was stunned (one hadn’t done a thing!) while an offended Mrs Kohli responded, "But you are not allowing your daughter to go anywhere, that's broad-minded?"
Mishraji scowled a very scary scowl and said, "Mrs Kohliji. IF my daughter was in a state of mind to listen to sense, I would talk to her. Till such time she does not get that sense to discuss things with her father, she stays inside. I would also appreciate you minding your own business, thank you. I have seen what happened to other daughters who had broadminded parents." Mishraji started walking away.

An even-more stunned Mrs Kohli replied, "You will not talk about my daughter like that. You don't know her," she said gritting her teeth.
"Exactly. You don't know my daughter, me or my family either," replied Mishraji without looking back, "I don't know your daughter, but I know I don't what THAT future for mine." Mrs Kohli's oldest daughter was married to an NRI and is now a divorcee; and divorce in India is a taboo topic…(To be continued)

20 comments:

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

great post!!!

Eve* aka JB said...

Vibhash---> BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You are so bloody cheeky. *big grin* Nahi, nahi, please don't say that, let's debate. :) LOL (cracks up laughing and can't write further)

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

well i appreciate ur ability to express ideas and cook up stories...though i dnt agree with most of ur ideas... this wasnt sarcastic as u may be thinking/suggesting...i liked the story writing part...disagree with wht i think u want to convey...

Steve said...

Huh? We hippies were never love crazed we simply recognized the power of love.Can I sue this guy for defamation?

You know this is what happens when you don't take a few drops of LSD in your youth and don't go to an ashram seeking spiritual enlightenment.

What I simply fail to understand is that how does anyone have the right to decide who you're going to spend the rest of your life with. It just escapes me, isn't the decision who you are going to spend the rest of your life with an extremely personal one? It's okay if parents have some advice to offer but who gave them the right to make the decision?

Eve* aka JB said...

Steve --> Hello there, where are you from mate? Mishraji on LSD would be rather scary, me reckon he will start seeing Sam everywhere. :P By the way, 'arranged marriages' as the system is called has one of the highest success rates in India. Apparently Japan too has a deeply-rooted arranged marriage system. What be your take on that?

Steve said...

Well I am from India; I was born and brought up here and I pretty much discovered counter culture on my own. A persons LSD hallucination can tell a lot about that person, it's really like a mirror into your soul.

It has a high success rate are you kidding me? I guess that may be due to the fact those who do go into such arrangements don't have any freedom whatsoever in the first place and hence dissent is unlikely from them. The few who do have the courage to do so are usually marginalized; a foolish thing will remain a foolish thing even if 50 million people say it.

All those cases domestic violence should point to something, you know the statistics pretty well, what do you think causes all those rapes, eve teasing and those other heinous crimes? It's double standards leading to loss of respect of an individual.

Those who don't know the value of I are as good as dead, because they have no original thinking to speak of. Do you think that can you talk ethics with these scum bags?

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

NOM...bt eve, you got ur wish, now please debate [;)]
steve, btw domestic voilence can happen in the kind of marriages which are not arrange. btw how do u connect to rapes, eve teasing and those other heinous crimes to arrange marriages??

Steve said...

I guess it's my fault that I didn't elaborate, let me correct that. You see Vibhash you're confusing the symptom with the disease, the thing with arranged marriages is that they point to something; a society with no respect for an individuals identity. If they did understand and respected it, then they wouldn't be violating the choice of an individual by using the will of the majority. What standards allow this? Isn’t this after all a form of bullying?

My point is that when two individuals love each other, they aren't going to violate each other in anyway, emotional or physical. After all the words "I love you" are meant for those who understand the concept of I.

I wish the same could be said for those who have been forced to live for the rest of their lives with a complete stranger, would they respect each other in the same manner? Don't those crimes, in fact any crime, happen due to the failure to respect the sovereignty an individual? If you connect the dots then you will see that these collectivists are the reason why you find the moral fabric of this society rupturing; they have no ethics to speak of because ethics require a standard against which you measure the world, what standard do they have? How can they, the people who apply double standards in life, have any standard at all?

Do you understand what I am trying to say?

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

as per ur logic societies whr culture of arrange marriages is not so prevelant shud have lesser of crimes because they give respect to individuals choice more than we do? am i correct?

blythe said...

"culture of arranged marriages" is not prevelant doesnt imply that everything is hunky dory.
its just that society, ANY society, has to respect the "individual".
And in doing so respect themeselves. that, in any case, is what steve said. its very important to have a certain amt of integrity, and self-respect. which ppl seem to lack here. like mr mishra, who didnt get his silencer repaired.

nice post eve. i'll read more of this. :)

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

"its very important to have a certain amt of integrity, and self-respect. which ppl seem to lack here."....tell me whr ppl have it more?? and tell me abt tht society also...btw who said tht ""culture of arranged marriages" is not prevelant doesnt imply that everything is hunky dory."

Eve* aka JB said...

Steve ---> Physical violence against another, particularly in a romantic relationship (arranged or otherwise) is more to do with dominance than love. Respect for another human being and respecting their boundaries is not so much about loving them as it's about knowing that hitting another person -- in love or otherwise -- is simply not acceptable. With regards to rape, any research will show you how majority rape cases are usually perpetuated by those closest or perceived to be close to the victim --- What happened to love there?

While I am not against the concept of arranged marriages -- it's a good way of making two people meet given that not everyone "falls in love" and not everybody is capable (shy, introverted, lacking in how-to-get-someone tactics) of finding a life partner. In a scenario where parents/relatives/advertisements might help two like-minded and compatible people get together and take it from there, arranged marriage as a concept rocks. Also, when it is arranged -- with mutual concept of marrying parties -- both are aware that they WANT that relationship and will work at it. HOWEVER, what bothers me about the AM concept is that it is abused by a majority as a way of forcing individuals to marry, based on cast, religious or monetary aspects.

Blythe ---> Agree with respecting the individual, but don't agree at all at the integrity etc lacking in the society. There are no absolutes when you speak of the Indian society, everything has to been as a matter of ratios. The ratio of those who respect individuality and the ratio of individuals with integrity might unfortunately be skewed towards the negative and thereby the non-existent because as Vibhash had rightly pointed out in the first comment, it's always or mostly the negatives that are dwelt upon.

Vibhash --> A suggestion, why don't you give some examples of the Indian culture DOES have integrity and self-respect, would make your point clear as well.

Eve* aka JB said...

Blythe --> Thank you too! Hope to see more of you and hear/read more from you as well.

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

example is the same old one...bt still works....its one of the oldest but has managed to survive even after several outsider's attacks....it wudnt have done if it had not got its basic values right...

Steve said...

"With regards to rape, any research will show you how majority rape cases are usually perpetuated by those closest or perceived to be close to the victim --- What happened to love there?"

Blood relation or closeness doesn't equal love it's common mistake people make. If the rapist truly loved the woman then he wouldn't have even dreamed of doing something like this, can you physically abuse your child if you truly love him/her? Most parents who do so don't value their children at all they fail to truly love them.

Respect for an individual is an intrinsic component of love, for love means taking value in the other persons happiness and overstepping those boundaries, surely, doesn't help.

You know when you put an adjective before love then it stops being love, arranged love can't truly work. There may be few exceptions but that's due to an entirely different set of reasons i.e. they would have loved each other in any case.

"HOWEVER, what bothers me about the AM concept is that it is abused by a majority as a way of forcing individuals to marry, based on cast, religious or monetary aspects."

Why does it bother you? Your interpretation of the facts has left the door open to such things; you might as well close it or stop complaining about it. I am sorry for being so rude but it really troubles me to see how narrow your concept of it is. I thought you were different but I guess I was slightly off the mark.

@Vibhash: You know stop saying things are right because they're right, get some facts, furnish some details and construct a logical model. In short stop being a hypocrite.

PS: I have one question for you vibhash; dude are you a virgin, no disrespect is intended, but seriously are you a virgin? Take my advice take some LSD and get laid with the women/man (I am not homophobic) you are in love with; it clears the mind.

And by the way make sure that they love you too...

Eve* aka jb said...

Steve---> Hmmm...another question: Does arranged marriage HAVE to equal to "love"? And by that extension, is a marriage a marriage only when it is love? Don't know what you were expecting wrt "thought you were different" etc, but you are free to have your thoughts/perceptions. Except that while you do write well and string words together well to put across your point of view -- because you wish others would consider a different perspective? -- yet you too are closd towards any other point of view.

While love does/might make a lot of marriages work; it is not the only ingredient of a marriage. To say a marriage without love ALSO does not have respect, integrity, thought of well being of another etc is also to straight-lace what a marriage is supposed to be. Also to assume that love alone can guarantee respect for another is again livin in a fool's paradise.

Dude, where are the definite answers to anything, and perhaps even there are none? Make sense, no, what do you have to say?

Eve* aka jb said...

And oi, Steve, get off insulting others -- whatever Vibhash's view and whether you and I agree to it or not, it's none of your business if he is a virgin or not.

Espèra said...

LoL.
No, seriously, LoL.

Yep, you're right, Eve. Marriage is not equivalent to love. Which is why the whole concept of live-in relations came up. There are people who use that as a softer option than marriage. And there are those who look at it like it's marriage without the legal hassles.
It's an arrangement, where, you stay an individual. You share what you want to share. You don't what you don't want to.

You know, marriage is a deeper relation than, say being friends, because you're living your life together. But, while you may not "love" a lot of your acquaintances, I can surely hope you're not going to rape them either. What I mean is, respect for the individual has to come with/without love. Love might be one way. But that doesn't mean that if you don't love your wife, you are allowed to beat her up!

garam beni said...

He addresses Mrs Kohli as Mrs Kohliji. Would Mrs Banerjee be called Mrs Banerjeejee?