Like a lot of other people, I come from a small town in India. I have spent 22 years of my life in this city called Nagpur where growing up meant being careful of a lot of things. The one thing I am supremely proud of in my life are my parents. I know I can’t have enough of that pride and have probably mentioned that in almost all the posts, but it is true. Why I come back to it again today you ask? Well, it’s a part of being grateful for certain things in life.
I have been brought up in a typical middle class family. My parents are the most humble people I have come across and the first ones I met in my life. I don’t know what changed when or rather I wonder whether the upbringing we have had was normal for that time. My parents were so normal about certain things which I did not see in a lot of my peers. Especially the way some parents would treat their daughters. If I look back now, I realise my parents never spoke of discriminating against daughters and sons. I didn’t come across this discrimination till quite later in life, and that too not from my parents’ side. I and my sister were their daughters, and it ended there. They never once mentioned a wish to have a son, or the fact that we were any less than having one. Our duties, our responsibilities were never thought over by the fact that we were girls; those were just that – duties. My mom never invited us into the kitchen to ‘learn’ the art of cooking. Both of us got interested when we felt like it and we just observed our mother in doing so. If you ask me, I don’t remember when exactly I learnt how to cook. It just came from observing my mother.
When my sister wanted to move out of the city to pursue a career, like any other mother, she was anxious. But she never stopped her; yes she expressed her anxiety but never stood up against my sister’s biggest wish. And then, which mother isn’t anxious for her child? What I find intimidating today is the behaviour of certain parents who don’t want to let go of their daughters to fulfil their dreams. I have seen so many! And trust me, such examples make me thank my parents for making us so independent. In today’s time as well, I look at girls who are scared to take a step towards their life because of their parents and sacrifice on life itself! You know, I remember an incident when we were in college and some relative visited us with his family. The way he forced certain rules on his daughter (well into teens by the way) just in terms of having meals, completely left us flustered! When we brought it up to our mother, after they left, our mother was so confident that we would run away if she had done anything like that to us! We laughed then, and now I realise how confident she was in our independence, our freedom – in us.
I see parents today, and I look at mine. I wonder what made them bring us up this way…. In the end, what makes all of this worthwhile, is the life we have and the way we lead it – with love and freedom – lessons learnt from two most amazing people in my life.