Thursday, May 15, 2008

The American life

In India many people abhor the western lifestyle mainly because they are scantily clad, are very frank with sex, have no sympathy for the parents etc. I differ on this.
The most beautiful thing about the American life is that the people are independent. They separate from their families at 18 and start their own life their own way. I have heard from the NRI's that the young life in America is fantastic, lively and full of adventure and challenge. The old age on the other hand is very dull and lonely. Of course there are some negative points of separating from family and one such is the loneliness in the old age. On that aspect, we Indians perform better. In my opinion the perfect lifestyle is a blend of the two. The young life should be like American and the old age like Indian.
The biggest perk you have on living an independent life is that you get to do things that you like. You get to choose the profession you want to be in. The life is adventurous, free from any family tensions and bondings. You are free to do anything, no strings attached. Few days back I read an article about an English guy promoting the 'Freeconomics' culture by undertaking an expedition on foot from London to Porbandar (India), the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi, his idol. The mere thought of the journey would excite you to the limits. Such people make history. Other similar examples include Che Guevara and his motorcycle trip throughout latin America, Robert Pirsig and his famous motorcycle trip set alive in 'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainence'.There's life has a meaning. Atleast when they die, they can say they did something that was completely extraordinary. The 'Freeconomics' guy did travelled for 3 months after which he faced numerous problems and had to abort it. The freeconomics culture assumes the absence of money from the world, the root cause of all problems. The guy would ask for some gardening or domestic tasks in return for food.
The main idea is that once you are independent you take on bold challenges. You do something thats totally different. In India, if you plan on an adventure like this, your parents (with whom you'd be living) would label you insane. They will discourage you. They will describe the horrible ramifications of the adventure, they will blackmail you emotionally. They'll never leave you alone for fear of you leaving secretely. They will instead lure you with countless other things and will try every bit to deter you. Although this may be an exaggeration but this is more or less the truth.
The same case applies to choosing profession also. In the spiderman movie when Peter is asked what he plans to do, he says he'll try photography. He then struggles to make ends meet but since he liked photography, he remained a photographer. The biggest thing is that he choosed something he liked. In India on the other hand the kid does everything as his/ her parents wants him/her to do. Someone who couldn't become an IAS officer dreams of making his kid one, the less said the better about the ordeal his kid is about to undergo. In other words, Indian children are merely the tools through which parents get their pleasure.The parents seems to fulfil their wishes and dreams through their kids and put little concern on their kid's choice. The children is put into a school or college as his parents choice. The kid is admitted into a course according to what his parents think is right for him. The teenegers are made so dependent by 18, they can't even think of living an independent life, doing something of their own choice. The kids are admitted to singing dancing class, musical class, sports coaching class only because his parents want him to become a singer, dancer, sportsperson in future. I have especially seen talented girls being admitted to BSc, BCom and other not so prosperous educational field just because of their parent's wish. Its killing. The teenagers are so much manipulated , they tend to opt for things that has little to do with their own interest and more concerned about their parent's wish and well being. People tend to take jobs just because it pays you more so that you'll be able to afford the rising doemstic bills, support family members and not because you like the job.
This is just my personal beliefs. I don't want to depress the Indians nor cheer the Americans. I personnaly believe the teenagers must be given ample freedom in choosing their own stream, profession and even life partners. They should come to the parents only when they feel the need and the parents must feel happy to guide them as to what is good and whats bad and completely detest from enforcing anything on them.

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