Are you an Indian with unconventional choices? Are your choices different from most people around you? Is your family unable to understand where you come from? Does that make you sad or angry? Do you love your family? If yes, let me tell you that – more or less I have been there and done that. I hope this post might give some answers to those 21st century radical Indians who are juggling between family obligations and passions.
“You can take an Indian out of the family,
But you cannot take the family out of an Indian.”
How things work in India?
As most of you know, things work differently in India. Here family and traditions go hand-in-hand with day-to-day life. One of such prevailing tradition is – parents, children, the children’s spouses and their off-springs living together under one roof.
As Children, one is conditioned by their parents to believe that the academic excellence is the only factor that determines the rest of their adult lives. Any other interests are usually deemed as a hobby, and rarely nurtured.
As Adults, the family expects you to be risk averse. Most families prefer their children to be one of the millions of people, instead of one in a million people. A 9×5 Job, monthly income, a modest car, owning a house or an apartment, and getting married before turning 30 is the social definition of financially-stable and well-settled middle class life.
As Grown-ups, you will have to face your parents, relatives, and even neighbors deciding whom you should marry, when to make babies, and which school you should choose for your kid. Even today, the concept of arranged marriage remains a favorite among Indians.
Are you An Indian with Unconventional Choices ?
When your ideologies are different from the norms of society, non-acceptance is a common issue in India. There will be 101 people who will be trying to talk you out of everything you hold dear. It might make you sad, angry, frustrated, and sometimes might make you to give-up or run-away.
Understand this – ours is one of the oldest cultures in the world and family is our biggest strength. When elders have lived certain morale and values over generations, it becomes difficult for them understand a young minds desire to progressively move out of ancient traditions.
Never be angry at your family or look down at their way of life as primitive and culturally inferior. Instead take a step back. Figure out a way to make them understand your dreams and passions. It wouldn’t happen overnight, you need to take baby steps.
What to Do –
- TELL THEM why you love what you love.
- TELL THEM how much happiness it brings.
- TELL THEM how you can make it work.
- TELL THEM why it is not a risk.
Make your near ones realize that you love them, understand them and respect their view point. Also make them understand your perspective.
Though your way of life is different from the paths your elders have walked and though it is different from the paths people of your age have chosen, it is still a good way of life.
What NOT to Do –
- DO NOT walk out on them.
- DO NOT look at them as if they are the villains of your life.
- DO NOT give up on what you love assuming that no one will understand.
- DO NOT settle for things that are not good enough for you.
- DO NOT give-up on people and things you love and end up with regrets.
If you really love something, figure out a way.
Be it People or Passions, it never goes away.
It’s not easy being an Indian with unconventional choices in a traditional environment. If you are one such radical mind, find a right way to strike a perfect balance between traditional family values and radical passions.
And yes, share your experiences in comments.