Monday, June 6, 2011


In response to my last post I got quite different views and I thought that instead of giving long answers, I will write a different post, as I am not sure home many people check the answers to their comment.

everyone should have their time and space to live and grow as they want.
Complete freedom is never conducive to a civilised society, and one can never do what one wants all the time, certain amount of decorum is always required to be a good human beings,Total individual freedom is bound to bring unhappiness.

most of the successful guys and girls are from conservative Indian families where parents are not defied. And most attribute their success to the discipline that their parents instilled in them.

I totally agree with the above statement, as I see many youngsters who are very intelligent, but since there was no push or guidance from their parents and they were given freedom, they got into a mediocre education only..I know a family where children were very intelligent, but their parents never gave them any aim to fulfil or any targets, and today they are just an average employed person, whereas they could have reached much higher, if they had that discipline in their life.

Nice thoughts, but was that little Utopian thought?
Why does everyone think that it is a Utopian thought..its possible with a little adjustment.

I guess whats important is that we are happy
But not everybody is happy, one generation is suffering.....

whatever it is, as long as there is some harmony in place, its a good deal.
why do we want to settle for some harmony, why not strive for complete happiness?

Daughters or sons,it is their duty to take care of parents.
completely agree.

Please tell me which typically patriarchal family would encourage their DILs to have a prolonged stay at her maternal home, even for taking care of parents? II do not think it is possible to take serious responsibility of parents for girls staying in patriarchal set up, its an evil skewed against women on most counts.
I think the need for longer stays is not a common need, its only at rare times, and today when inlaws tolerate everything, they will be happier if in other ways they find their DILs all depends on the girls , if they are genuinely caring and look after their inlaws well, they get lot love and freedom too...and in anything we must not look at any thing from the point of woman or man, but family as a unit, and for a family to work cohesively, it has to be either matriarchal patriarchal...wh6 do the girls feel the need to strictly look after their parents, their brother and his wife will look after them, and occasionally they can do so....because if they want to change the equation, then boys may complain the same thing,so ultimately we are back to square one

with one set of In-laws staying with couples the other set is generally not comfortable visiting often and for longer durations. Why should the girl and her family be devoid of each others company?
It is not a question of devoiding anybody of is our culture..if you want to change it then....
in the marriage girls parents shouldnt do Kanyaadan, that time they do it and feel great, why complain later on..or we do everything without understanding the meaning?
There shouldnt be any concept of Baraat or anything else,,it should be registered marriage, because in a traditional marriage, a girl always goes to inlaws and boys take the dulhan to their home.

When we want to shun everything Indian, just because it suits us fine, we  are veering towards west and following them blindly, we have many good things like....
A family who looks after our interests before themselves.
Our children respect elders and take care of them with love.
Our children get the loving care of grand parents, not the clinical environment of creche.
Our youth thinks twice before going astray as he has the pressure of family , and he thinks about them before himself.
Our children dont have to live with changing fathers and mothers and with siblings all from different parents.
And in face of contingencies, whole family stays around us and helps us.
Whenever i have any problem, all my family is there to help me, they never think, how it will disturb their routine or how much will be spent, I never get into loneliness, though my children are abroad, only because of my family and to maintain that one has to adjust and compromise somewhere.I look after my MIl ande my parents are looked after by my sister in law and brother..and suppose my SIL is not good(hypothetically), then it also may may be that tomorrow daughter's husbands may not be so good,and may not like to live with their wives's parents..... these things can be same...then it is everybody's Karma.

last but not the least, I always believe that happiness that comes from self gratification is temporary, to find long lasting happiness, one has to do something for others..and what better way of doing it than looking after your own family young people think of doing lot of charity, but make their own hubby;s parent pariah:(..sad indeed.

Today whatever the west does is the golden mantra to every one, but they have materialistic culture whereas ours is a spiritual one and you can yourself decide which would be better in the long run. Earlier if my mother told me to do something for tradtion, I never questioned her, whereas today my children question me like a quiz master.But whatever their friends do or westerners, it is accepted without a quiver. MY mil gave me khichdi with ginger..nothing else  for one whole month after delivery and i never protested, or questioned her as I thought it was only for my health and my welfare only,That was the trust we had in our elders, today for everything everybody has hundred querries, but whatever the west does, it is acceptable without any questions..Nobody even bothers to search, wheather they are really very happy and healthy with their choices and even if they are, why should we copy them?..if they do it, we will also do it defying our elders and everything, but their families are many things we follow because that way we make a tradition, we shall leave some cultural inheritance for our children, otherwise they will have nothing, only borrowed ideas , culture and history.

One more thing, please dont think that I am myself a dependant parent or something like that, no given a choice, I would never like to live with the children permanently,I prefer my independence and self respect  too much, but yes I would love them to want me to stay with them....I always write what I feel is right and should be done .


dr.antony said...

There is no single recipe for a successful family life.

Times are changing,and so are values.People move across the world and the world has become smaller.Cultures are getting integrated in to concoctions of life styles and habits.

There is a place for traditional upbringing.The important thing is not to forget the roads you have traveled.

A said...

I missed reading your earlier article for some reason but read it just now and the comments that you posted in this article.

My take is:- There is no perfect solution. Every family is different. In middle and upper middle class families the difference between females and males has disappeared and depending on devotion to the parents on of the children is taking responsibility - could be daughter or son. If someone has just daughters or just sons, there is no choice. Taking care of parents is more to do with who is more attached and more sensible...girls tend to be more attached to parents

In poor families or under developed world, society is the still the same....

All my opinions.

Pratibha said...

freedom is either complete or not freedom at all..

and pray why is there a need for families to be either patriarchal or matriarchal,,why can they not be just a family with their own set of values?

Why should a girl not feel the need to look after her parents? Did they not bring her up and loved her equally? so how can we expect for her to let go of all the attachment just because she got married? and what do you suggest for the parents who only have daughters? They should be left to fend for themselves is it?

I think it is this very thought process which germinates the idea of female foeticide & infanticide and makes people want male offsprings. Why is the onus of 'taking good care of in-laws' on the DIL? I am not saying that she should not..but unless the in-laws are incapacitated due to health reason should they not take care of themselves or atleast set these expctations for their own son and not the DIL?

Also, do you mean to say that the DIL has to pawn her 'genuine love and unfailing dedication' to the marital family to gain 'A LOT OF FREEDOM', which by the way is her right?

The concept of 'kanyadaan' is also wierd- is the daughter some property or livestock, which you give away as daan?
As for marriage, it is an institution where a man and woman come together to start a life together, and this concept has been exploited to the advantage to the boys family over the years and now we accept this exploitative system as a part of our culture just like dowry system.

All these ideas are not evils of westernisation but reflections of an evolving society. Just because we ask questions about traditions and customs does not mean we disrespect them, it just shows that we are thinking individuals and would like to be well informed.
Just like we dont follow child marriages and sati pratha blindly anymore, which was a part of our culture years back, because we have evolved, today we would like to make some more changes in the existing systems. Only the ones that we do not agree with, at that.

sm said...

guidance is important for success.

Renu said...

Dr. Antony:The important thing is not to forget the roads you have traveled......this is exacxtly what I want to say.

A:..I love my daughter as much as my son, but I dont forget my traditions also..

Pratibha: But you know that freedom brings lot of responsibilities too..otherwise it leads to unhappiness.

We need some elders in the family too...that way children get lot of good culture..they learn caring and sharing and discipline and good values.

Why should a girl not feel the need to look after her parents? Did they not bring her up and loved her equally? so ....
I am not saying that girls need not to love their parents, i also loved and love my parents and my father was very proud of me..but for that I didnt need to alienate my inlaws or bewith my parents all the time..dont indentify love and care with permanent presence...I always say that girls also need to take care of the parents if the need arises and even support financially, but for that they dont need to leave the other family. .None of the married women would like to leave her husband and child to fend for themselves and go to parents to look after them...everything has its own time and place, ...I always believe that...


think it is this very thought process which germinates the idea of female foeticide & infanticide and makes people want male offsprings.
Again this thought process is progressive and doesnt bring female infanticide as you think, you know my daughter is the most wanted and pampered child in the whole family...

Why is the onus of 'taking good care of in-laws' on the DIL? ..its not the onus, but her good values that should make her look after her new family..since she is all the time present, she has to do the most things, but otherwise daughters also put in their parts.

unless the in-laws are incapacitated due to health reason should they not take care of themselves or atleast set these expctations for their own son and not the DIL?
The same thing applies to girl's parent also, till they are incapacitated they need not to be looked after?.......andwhen inlaws love and pamper DILs, they dont say that love your son only not us, so why for the duties..but more importantly for me DIL is not an outsider, she is a part of my family, and so she has her own share of rights and responsibilities both.

do you mean to say that the DIL has to pawn her 'genuine love and unfailing dedication' to the marital family to gain 'A LOT OF FREEDOM', which by the way is her right?
Only those who do their duties have the right to talk about their rights..and there is no question of having to pawn..those who think on those lines are only faking in the family.....I am talking about genuinely loving your spouse's parents and respecticng is always reciprocated in multiplication.

The concept of 'kanyadaan' is also wierd...if you didnt believe in all these problem all girls who believe like this must clear all their views before marriage only, so that only those boys will marry them who think like them, but dont be vocal aft6er marriage...secondly did you say that you wouldnt want Kanyaadan? did you stop your parents from doing that?..I dont think so.

Thinking individuals....very modern term to defy everything...why dont youngsters think about...increasing promiscuity....indisciplined chioldren.....breaking families..increasing much to think about, but ...

SM: true

Bikram:times have changed, but we still eat food, sleep and wear clothes..we havent stopped that.

up↑take said...

There are not many conservative voices in Indian blogosphere. Most of the so-called liberals are just repeating each other, day in and day out -- Yes Men and Yes Women. Whether one agrees with you or not, there is no denying that this blog is unique. It takes courage to be different.

Rachna said...

I don't agree with everything that you wrote, Renu. And like many others, I believe, that there is no single recipe to the success of family life. Each person is different has a different upbringing and different values. It is not true that every traditional thing is good. Not questioning what your elders do is not trust but mindless following. I respect my parents too, but we are all adults and we all have our say. Just because someone is older, it does not mean that they are always right. One has to have an open mind to hear and be open to suggestions irrespective of who gives them. Those of us living in cities will never be happy in joint families. There are too many ego clashes. I do agree that having inlaws around when kids are growing up can be a good influence only if there are no ego clashes. And, things are changing and must change. Men and women deserve equal rights and responsibilities. There is nothing western about this. This is about understanding that we are equal and then build harmony in mutual respect and understanding for each other and our families.

Pratibha said...

Yes Renu I did..I was wedded in the Arya Samaj paddati and I did ask my Chachu, who was supposed to do the Kanyadaan, to not do it as I would still be their daughter and not someone else's property after marriage. And guess what they understood what I meant :)

Renu said...

uptake: there are not many traditional voices because blogging is mainly done by young girls and they write what they want, not what is right, boys mostly dont write on personal relationship or anything like, even otherwise either they dont have strong views or dont follow them or whatever:)..secondly before marriage every girl tries to show only the traditional face, the radical views find voice only once they have got married.

Pratibha: and then did your chachu did or not:)?

Pratibha said...

As I said, my family understood my point and have decided to let go of this tradition for good.So the answer is no he did not.

Harman said...

..very nice topic you have picked up..I live in US but we follow indian culture and family values instilled in my kids doesn't matter the place but environment home kids have freedom to do whatever they like but they know what we dont like ,same with my in-laws we live together but have complete freedom to move around and bring inn our friends,,
personally I feel when I went to india they(people) try to be ultra modern unlike we living in that place,they not only copy west but wanna shun parents too like them which is sad and fake.
its all family values to me!

Renu said...

Rachna: not questioning is not mindless is all about deciding and choosing your battles....argueing your elders for small small things and making them unhappy is nothing but the arrogance of children...for any big things which make a difference to your life, its worth standing.

Harman:Indians are blindly following west, and they are bound to fall in the well ahead:)

Madhu said...

Renu, I partly agree with what you have written. Thing is, complete happiness is just an illusion, just like any other state of mind. So, living together or staying apart, complete happiness is just not possible. I think so.

having said this, with all my heart I would be there for my parents as well as my inlaws in good times and bad alike.

Amrita said...

Well Renu, I TOTALLY disagree with each and every point you have stated. I am somehow in fact angered by this post. It is very skewed and very very stereotypical.
There is no quick fix recipe. Family is not instant noodles. Generations cannot be type-casted.
I could go on, I could write a post. But seriously there are so many loopholes in all the arguments that I donot think I have the will to do so.
Renu, I am just being brutally frank. Please do not take any offense.

deeps said...

I wonder if everything depends on our happiness bcoz I guess we wont be happy if those we like are unhappy or in miserable situation…it s a collective effort of give n take…there are times when we got to let and go n times when we got to cling on…give n take respect .. at the end, each individual is different…

Renu said...

Madhu:agree or not.hardly matters..I always write so that i could encourage people to be good,

AMrita: no offense taken:)...what youa re saying is the the very common response of girls, I feel surprised when I hear otherwise:)

deeps:yes each is different but our values remain the same..we must respect the elders and love the youngers...we cant be happy if our children are unhappy, but we can be happy if our parents are unhappy..thats life.

Rachna said...

Renu I really think that you are falling into the stereotype mode yourself by saying that girls will say this and by thinking that by questioning what adults say it is argument. It is not. Adults and kids beyond a certain age within the limits of respect must have open conversations.

Happy Kitten said...

Everyone loves to be in a happy family and happy families bring out responsible individuals who would contribute positively to the society. I believe that is what you mean when you say that you like the Indian culture and traditions... but at the same time, it gives me a pain in my heart when this same Indian culture gives much woe to the fairer gender. If there are daughters fighting it out, it is because they have realized it is not fair at all.
How can it be fair when this culture continue to lean ever so dangerously towards the male child even in this age of equality and freedom? One could have ignored it if this love for the male child was not at the cost of the girl child. And do you know that many Indians have taken this same culture even out of the Indian shores?
Aborted, in the USA
BOSTON, 24 MAY: Under family pressure to bear a male child, Indian immigrant women in the USA are opting for sex-selective abortion which, unlike in India, is legal in the country, a recent study has revealed. Researchers at the University of California interviewing immigrant Indian women who opted for foetal sex-selection between September 2004 and December 2009, found that of the women who discovered they were pregnant with a girl, 89 per cent underwent an abortion.
The latest lancet report has already told us that the ratio of the girl child in the 1-6 age group has declined.

Where have all those girls gone and why?

In my opinion bearing every injustice in the name of tradition is suicidal. A married girl may love/care her in-laws and her own parents but she should be taught to put her foot down when much is demanded from her alone.

Dreams of parents

Now a days counselling and admissions are going on for colleges, so I see parents fretting around and always talking about reservations and...