Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Do Parents know stuff?

Note1: Redux experiment.
Note: This has little to do with the comments on the previous blog on Campus Interviewing. Although some later parts of this blog addresses the arguments there. I wanted to write about this topic for a long time and so here it is. Note this is a rather longish blog and I didn't wanna put it it out in two installments

So... So... do parents know everything? Well..mm...Err..the answer is..hmmm.. NO! SOME TIMES PARENTS DON'T KNOW STUFF.I know .. I know.. I have seen all the fifty thousand Tamil/Bollywood movies where "Maa" and "amma" are deified and volumes written about their greatness. I have listened to all the boring Ilayaraja's amma songs (Frankly! I don't like any of those songs now.. mainly because they have been played to death in TV's). "But hawkeye" cried one of the people I spoke to regarding this blog. "don't write a blog mocking parents, that too especially in India, people will judge you". And the person wisely said "they will even think your parents graduated straight out of hogwarts school". I agree this is one of those "risky" blogs to write. Atta Girl tried it here and later said that it didn't get a very good response. Even if some of her readers were immature enough to think she was expressing her own personal experiences (it really wasn't the point of that blog) in a humorous blog, I thought what she said was mostly true and quite funny too. The only problem was it was more emotional which made her unintentionally appear to be in the anti-mom camp and so made her part of "them" in the "us" Vs "them" war. I think most people only just restate the obvious nowadays. For example in this blog I am going to say "don't ask for advice from people who do not have the requisite knowledge about the subject in hand". But controversy comes when obvious things refer non-obvious targets. For example if I replace "people" with "parents". Then its a controversy. People immediately feel desperate to express love to their parents. "oh! my parents know everything. Parents are supreme. How dare you say stuff about parents whom you owe everything." The usual ballyhoo follows that occupies 70 episodes in mega TV series.

I think people get very personal when such radical views are expressed. I do think parents are good and they play an important role in the society. I own a set of a parents (had them since I was a kid) and I think they are good people to have around you. But I can't stand the urban legends that are being created in our own times about parents. I think blog's such as Atta Girl's and the patriotism blogs do not criticize the concept of parents or the concept of patriotism itself. But the extreme fanatical usage of these concepts to unrelated fields of life. It is the extremity that is an issue. During my college most of the people I moved with took their own decisions. Most of our parents realized that they weren't qualified to counsel us on many career issues and so they stayed away. There are a lot of parents like that. This is a sign of good times. But as some social workers are trying hard to put it across to many people, there are bad parents too. And mostly its up to the kid to realize that. What makes things difficult is nobody except the kid can say anything about it and the kid thinks his parents are demi-gods. These parents who send kids to match factories are working at an extreme level. But there are these middle-class bad parents who also work at a softer level. Oh! No I am not comparing the two ..before we get into that boring topic of "are you saying these two are the same". Off-late I have been hearing these "virtuous stories" about how some people sacrificed personal ambitions ( even if they were logical) just so that they could fall in line with parents. This whole concept of " I will jump out of a building terrace if my mom says so" is now being considered a virtue. And I think this is BS. I wouldn't change T.V channels unless my mom made me a 5-course meal. Most people I know would con their moms into making a 5-course meal and then not change channels (mmmm... that would be me again).

I agree saying "stop this parents hype" is also kind of a taboo in our society. People tend to miss the point that we are only talking about some specific things here and not really trashing everything that parents do. The problem with people in our ethnic group is that we take a lot of old proverbs too seriously. The "Matha.. Pitha.. Guru.. Deivam" was meant to indicate that if you have only 1 pint of beer left in your cellar and your mom, dad, Math Teacher and God were at the poker table. If all four thumped the table for more beer at the same time ,who would you offer the pint of beer first? The proverb says that we gotta let momma have her chance first. If she don't want it, then pappa gets a chance, if he passes out before he drinks the beer, then Math teacher gets beer. If Math teacher croaks before he can get to the beer then God can have it. But! thats just about it. You don't take the proverb seriously and go down the same attendance roll if you want to decide whether to go to Indian taailet or western taailet. The problem with most of us middle-class Indians especially men is that we feel compelled to ask our parents permissions for about... just about anything. I think somewhere along the line being a tinyballs wimp has been confused with some sort of a good virtue.

Lets take an example for instance...A good looking lady Ms.ThalaThalaShri(T.T.Shri) marries Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome (TDH) and a month after marriage they visit a shop like Pothys just for the heck of it. The guy for the past 1 month has boasted about how he danced in front of the movie screen on a first day Rajinikanth movie, on how he and his friends secretly saw porn movies in cheap theatres near Pazhavanthangal after telling his mom that they went to some Volley Ball match competition in Chengalpet. He boasts about how much fun they had drinking and makin-out in Mahabalipuram etc. Inside Pothys when Mrs ThalaThala asks him if she can buy a 3000 Rs Mysore silk saree, our Greek God, Mr.Take Charge guy becomes a wuz and says "hmm.. wait I'll check with my mom first". He then adds as an after thought "she might feel bad that we bought it without asking her! It is all common family budget now ... you know and I don't know if its okay". While she must be thinking "you sick sycophant! you bloody well know how much money you've stashed in your savings account, so you bloody well decide here if you can buy me one or not. Why bring mommy into this here", she doesn't speak her mind because TDH believes mommy doesn't need to be consulted before seeing porn but needs to be consulted before buying a saree. He is being a good son now.

I have seen people consulting their parents before switching jobs, making career decisions, buying diapers for their children etc. This is not good virtue. Parents don't know stuff and even if they know they sometimes should not be consulted. (Don't confuse this with the art of laziness. That's a separate world. I don't move a spoon an inch in my house. Laziness is a good virtue :-)...always ). Very rarely do we have parents who know what's the most current thing in Software Industry or other newer job functions. I am not talking about those minority parents here. So seriously none of the "parents know more than you think they do! don't underestimate them" comments please. Most Parents are Bankers, Retired Govt folks or Maligai Kadai owners. There is a good chance that they do not know anything about your work or the kind of lifestyle your work dictates. So how does being a parent make one special enough litter advise on his/her children. One person told me(or rather complained to me) that if he had continued his long working hours for 2 more years he would have made it big in his company by now. But since his parents didn't like his long working hours (not for health or other good reasons), he had to make the "sacrifice" and slow the pace of his career. While he thought he was like mythological character who had made a big sacrifice, I thought he was a sissy diaper boy. Some times parents don't know shit about your job. Don't bother them with gory job details. Where is your sense of independence? Why the hell do you have to ask some non-specialist person about a very important decision just because they were closely related. This doesn't stop with career related things also. I have also seen people who have grown up for 20 years seeing the world through their parents eyes. Their parents perspective becomes their perspective, people who are bad in the eyes of the parent become bad people in their eyes too. I think nobody stops to evaluate their past perceptions when they are old enough to evaluate them. They just ride on the inherited biases. Our society is still male centric. Imagine if the guy of the house just blindly executes whatever "elders" say. If the elders turn out to be perfect jackasses, the dependents (wife/kids) of that guy are positively screwed for life.

This "ask the Senior Family Member" also makes me laugh always. In those days 1 set of parents gave birth to 72 children (okay... I know this is an exaggeration.. the point is they had lot of children..but its more fun exaggerating this way :-) so play along with me). Digression: Why so many children you may ask? Consulting parents is the problem again. In those days parents not only married their children in early teens but also gave their children sound advise on when to have the first child. oh! are you asking Why they said that. I have a theory for that too :-). "End user functionality testing" is the technical term. You buy a product, say a cell phone, and then buy a SIM card. You put the SIM inside the Mobile phone, charge it for a while and see if they work well together. While the first call is a functionality issue, the other gzillion calls are service and mileage issues. I'll stop the innuendo here as it has conveyed the point :-). So in those days the children, since they blindly obeyed elders, furiously mated until they filled up an entire village. I surely think they would have mated even before they became familiar with each other's face or voice. It is true to some degree (thought not that drastic) even now. That is because the first chance a couple get to know each other is when they are sent into a room to mate. The difference now is that the parents tell children when to stop, which was something they didn't do previously. "I told my son two is enough in this economic climate" beams a father proudly because his son stopped mating after 2 children. The father considers his son an obedient boy because of this act. End Digression. This is why in the days of the 72 children, where mothers, daughters and daughter-in-laws were pregnant at the same time, decision making was such a hassle. If "child" #71, had his own grandson and wanted to buy an underwear for the baby. He can't decide whether it should be blue color or red color, there is NOT a huge confusion on which color is right? But there is a huge commotion on whether it is "appropriate" to make a decision without consulting the elders. Given that it is a large family, there are many people dying and some constantly fighting(everytime they fight they vow that the blood-relationship has been terminated), so its difficult to find out who is the senior most member that should be consulted. A quick look at the census report shows that children from #1 to #17 have croaked and #18 is the senior most person alive. But upon going to Mr.#18's house Mr.#71 finds that # 11 is alive after all. But since the first son of #1 is elder than # 11 there is a huge debate on who is actually the senior most. Finally it is decided that since "sthanam" (position) is more important than age, # 11 should decide the underwear color. Now Mr.11 has lived in an era where underwear did not exist and only komanams were in vogue. So he is confused. But the sudden feeling of being **senior most** makes him feel very self-important and he imagines he can do stuff beyond his capabilities. He suggests a wooden underwear. So Mr.Munna, the new born kid, develops rashes in his thigh region because some old man didn't know what an underwear was. However, child # 71 is now a satisfied man (and wont get the "kirumi bhojanam" punishment) because he has done the virtuous thing in consulting elders.

Do I exaggerate? What do you mean? Ofcourse I do. But the point I am trying to communicate is that advice on important issues must be sought from people whom you can trust, people who have goodwill towards you. Parents have all these attributes. But the most important criteria is that the people must have knowledge on the topic you seek advise on. All the other things have no value when knowledge is absent. The reason why I wanted to write something on this (the reason I did not write then was because of stuff mentioned in para 1) is that a couple of years before a person known to me wanted to do an MBA. His father was 59 years old and about to retire in 1 year. His father disallowed the MBA purely because of his own idiosyncratic principle that "I don't want my son to be studying after I retire. I want him to be working when I retire". Money was not the criteria here ( economic considerations is certainly a genuine reason and logical too), the son was working and had enough stashed up, the father had enough moolah. But some stupid childhood stand-alone principle dominated the father's decision and therefore his son's fate. Plus this person's parents wanted to see a grandchild before they died. And so this guy was virtually forced to mate. To this day that fellow regrets the window of opportunity that is now permanently gone. I think such stupid sons deserve this fate for consulting parents on the first place.

The crux of this blog is, parents have an important role to play in anybody's lives. But their role has its limitations too. Too much of nectar is also poison. The first mistake would be to consult them on issues, which they have no knowledge about or issues which aren't relevant to them. If the parents are good people they'll just say "I dunno stuff... you do whats right". The second mistake will happen if parents fall in the category of "I am elder so I know everything under the sun. So I'll give a load of bad advise". This will lead to either them giving bad advise (or) people who they think as "senior and elder" will give you load of crappy advise.

Regarding "economic conditions" factor. I wouldn't again immediately say, " oh! if money is a factor then do whatever your parents say". Where is a Logic Ramani when you need one, I say!? People who should really be writing blogs are not doing so. I think screwing up a work life (by taking whatever comes first) because your current economic situation is below-par is not a good solution. One half of your life is already sad and now you want to make the other half pathetic also. The case is presented as if there is no intersection between (a job that you like) + (a job that will satisfy your immediate economic needs). Believe me when I say such a non-trivial category of jobs that can be/should be aimed for...exists. If you attribute bad career decisions to family problems, unless the situation is pretty bad, many people will tend to think you are a whinging coward. But yes! A lot of risk needs to be taken to maximize chances of success if your life is in this space. Nothing worth achieving will come without risk.. There are a lot of people, a really lot, who have had meager financial resources, horrendous family problems and have taken the risk and become successfully. When they say "Its possible", it is not as if they are talking about something they don't know. None of us were washed ashore with floatsam and jetsam that was loaded with money and gold. If you want something badly, then convincing your parents that you are waiting for the right thing shouldn't be a difficult thing to do. Not even trying to convince your parents and settling for "a job" shows that you are an ambitionless and a big waste of space. Saying such things are not even possible/practical is insulting the ones who have done it successfully with a lot of hardships.

Sri Rama was a loyal son to his father. He went to forest because that was Dasarathan's wish. Agreed! But Dasarathan didn't pretend he knew everything under the sun. Otherwise he wouldn't have sent Sri Rama to Vaishwamitrar for training. I think our people have read too much into our ancient texts and made mindless worship of parents a virtue. Everybody loves their parents. Its taking it to the extreme that nauseating. Before flooding the superlatives on ALL parents, people must also remember that there was a person called HiranyaKashaboo who pained his son Prahaladan so much that Prahaladan decided to rub him off. So parent's aren't always right.

35 comments:

Anand said...

Among all your digressions and exaggerations, you have made a fairly clear point.

It would be sensible on the part of children to stop for a moment and evaluate the kind of criteria that parents use to judge a situation. They are under loads of pressure and are subject to both fair and unfair criticism and comparisons about the lives of their children and that plays a major part in their decision making process. This more likely than otherwise screws up their rational cognition and makes them take short sighted wrong decisions that their children swear by in the present but regret later.

What is more dangerous is that these children in their turn will do the same to their children and will help maintain the screwed up state of affairs.

Atta Girl said...

Thanks for the mention & endorsement of my post! :-) I only hope that people who go against their wishes to make such sacrifices (which they later repent) for their parents, don't demand the same from their own children in future.

I think you've said it all!

PS: Just noticed a small typo in first para, shouldn't the word be deified rather than defied? (The usage just alters the meaning)

Anupadmaja said...

Yeah thats true!

And yes its time to find out the root cause of the problem. Is it the parents or is it the children or is it something else. Commonly you do not see mothers demanding for amma songs! Or fathers who will commit suicide if the son acted with disregard! Infact in the so well hyped teenage, every parent is disrespected by their children!

In most cases, parents' expectations are centered around one thing - do i go unnoticed when i die! And many times a parent sticks strongly to his/her opinion because his/her experiences in the past (not his/her knowledge), guides his/her decision. But isnt that the way the sons/daughters too are with their peers and elders and younger people!

The problem is not because a child is obedient or the parent wants to be deified. The problem is, and i can speak for India, that nobody cares for actual analysis of a problem (be it small or large). How do i decide is different from how do i manage to decide! Coz if you wanted to take a real decision, you would have first collected the data (knowledge), considered atleast two sides of the problem (analysis) and then derived a solution (results).

We exaggerate on the importance of obedience to parents - yes thats because of the same root problem. We listen to a pazha mozhi - wihtout trying to understand what they mean by that we just blindly remember that the pazhamozhi said okay listen to your parents. Yes i am a good soul and so will follow all pazha mozhis as is! Thats stupid. Anything religious is followed as is - nobody takes time to understand the religion, we all only want to know a few god names and their stories! Not even the morals of their stories.

And of course Bharath has clearly illustrated the problem with the other side. And yes ... a father knows that the son will follow the pazha mozhi as is coz he is stupid (coz the father was stupid as a son and other peer fathers and sons act in the same stupid way). So the father uses the emotional social pressure on a son to lead a satisfying dictator's life. All pazha mozhi's relevant to good fatherhood/good soul go unnoticed ... ummm ... wonder why! Rama was not a stupid son when he listened to his father ... why coz dasharatha was following the duties of a father. If dasharatha was duryodhana then rama was a stupid son! (hope i did not confuse people). And hence prahalladhan was not called a pei-kuzhandai but a soul worthy of an avataram for his protection!

Basically we all have to learn the process of critical analysis before accepting/rejecting anything ... small or big! We have spoken about the alter egos living within every person in previous blogs. The only way to unite these guys during a decision making process is by coherently thinking about what you believe are right and wrong! Pazha mozhis are just easy tools to help remember the teachings of our ancestors. We have to critically think before following these. Pazha mozhis and their implications should be propagated in such a way that the current generations can relate to what the pazha mozhi's implications are.

Science is a religion that is maintained - no wonder its irrefutable! Okay so what if we thought the earth was flat all these days, we now have proof that its round - lets believe that till its proven otherwise with good proof! Social religions fail to realize the importance of maintenance. Hence they sound stupid at a later time. That leads to misinterpretations of pazha mozhis causing nasty damages :)

Anupadmaja said...

I forgot to mention in my long comment that we all ought to remember that when we are sons and daughters, we all still individuals and husbands and fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers and friends and starngers and enemies. So while taking a decision as a son, we should not forget our perspectives in these others forms that maybe relevant to the situation. If the wife asked for a saree why is your judgement made as a son and not at all as a husband? Be smart and learn to merge the two perspective and take a better decision!

Barath said...

Well.... Good one!

Partial agreement!

Try this...

http://barathrao.blogspot.com/2005/05/parental-thoughts.html

Anonymous said...

boo

Anupadmaja said...

Happy Birthday Bharath :)

Pensive said...

I kinda agree with your post…. Yours and atta girl’s blog seems to be centered over the fact as to how boys love to sacrifice for the sake of their parents and proudly proclaim that their sacrifice was worth making! But there are cases otherwise… like with girls,
When boys prefer to listen to their mums, girls most of the time, really don’t have a choice… when boys seek advice…girls actually have to ask for permission…(there sure is a difference) the first one is volitional and the later pressure. Girls have to listen to stuff like

Being a girl, how could you even think of saying/doing such a thing?
What? You want to study further? You’ll get married when you are 60?
Can you even imagine what our relatives will think of you if you do such a thing?

And believe me as you had mentioned in your blog it isn’t actually easy to convince them you have to put up a struggle and most of the time its worth it even though you end up getting down to a rift with your parents which hurts badly bcoz even if you are against what they think you still love them no matter what! But hopefully the medicine of time will cure it all.

Hope I dint sound like a crazy feminist…. But I can only talk from a girls point of view….

great going anywayz!

Zero said...

Nice post!
First of all, the intensity of the post left me puzzled!
May be, I never met as much parent-believers as u did.
Among the morons (including me, that is) I met till now, mostly his/her parents knew petty details like his name, where he studies/works (mind you, not "what he studies/works") etc.. thats about it :)).

.. furiously mated..
Fricking funny!!

Suresh Ramani said...

lol .. I was "sleep reading" thru the blog, thinking I will just post a "nice blog" comment, but was rudely awakened by the reference to me .. :-) .. or were u just appealing to the genre of people??

I think what you say is true not only to parents but to everyone in general .. including friends, relatives, and even teachers .. cos what is a good solution to one person is not necessarily a good solution to the other .. but, at the same time, one should always take the knowledgeable people's advice, but when it comes to a decision, it should be their own.

Suresh

Hawkeye said...

Anand,

you have excellently summarized what I wanted to say. thanks for bringing in this perspective.

Hawkeye said...

Atta Girl,

Thanks for pointing out the typo. i put it as deified. You can try this also. the spell check in blogger said error for that word and showed defied as the alternative option. i think i clicked it as an oversight.

Hawkeye said...

Anu,

just got the time to go over your comment in peace. Wonderful! is the word. I am not sure if anybody else read your comment. but i think it is very well written. the advantage of this thing called blog is that you get many opinions on some of the thoughts you have been churning in your mind. this is good.

Hawkeye said...

barath,

read your blog. good one dude. left a comment.

Hawkeye said...

anonymous,

boo to you too ashwin/nithin

Hawkeye said...

anu,

thanks again :-)

Hawkeye said...

/*girls actually have to ask for permission…(there sure is a difference)/

i agree! this is certainly true. And sometimes its not this way only in in-laws house but also in parents house.

/And believe me as you had mentioned in your blog it isn’t actually easy to convince them you have to put up a struggle and most of the time its worth it even though you end up getting down to a rift with your parents */

again excellent point. the thing is..sometimnes you fight worthy battles and sometimes like karnan you are on the wrong side. but you dont know it. as a digression think of successful love marriages. the fight looks worthy. think of 1-year-divorced-wth-a-child kinda love marriages (and there are a lot like that too). you dont come out looking very smart at all.

this varying results is what makes saying" your parents aren't always right" so difficult.

but as your pointed out (and what Atta girl does point out too) is that with regards to education women find it difficult to find people who are "more" or "at least" equally qualified grroms available. it is already difficult to find grroms whpo pass thro the arranged marriage filter and then u pile onthis problem too.

while studying after marriage is a good idea.. it again depends on the hubby who may change his priorities later.

Hawkeye said...

zero,

i grew up like you. parents didnt trouble me at all. in fact they sort of heaved a sigh of relief after i left :-)

but last 2 years has been quite interesting. i am seieng numerous cases where sons defy logic and sanity in an effort to become obedient.

Hema said...

Hi,

I dont think you will even read this comment after so many days of having written this blog. I regret not knowing your blogs existed sometime back when i landed up into so many problems convincing my better half just what you said in this blog. Well, even now i think i dont have enuf courage to ask him to read this blog as he would consider it was written by a person who didnt "respect what elders have preached him". I hope to persuade him to read this sometime when he is in a good mood. Have been trying for the last 4 years now, but havent given up all together.

Thanks for ur views. Makes me feel accepted with my "Not so grateful" thoughts for taking decisions that mattered to me.

PS: I was one such victims of falling prey to my parents decisions of not letting their "Daughter" to go to ahmedabad for her IIMA as they feared she will not be able to manage on her own. I cleared my CAT and Group discussion in vain to do my MBA in MOP Vaishanv instead. A decision i regret till date (after about 7 yrs now). So please guys wake up and see sense. :)

tilotamma said...

For some reasons sons try harder to be extra obedient at one point in time. Just don't get that.

Parents - who arrange their kids' marriages I don't know on what basis they do stuff like that in this day and age.

Hawkeye said...

tilo,

/*Parents - who arrange their kids' marriages I don't know on what basis they do stuff like that in this day and age.*/

why? I think arranged marriage is a good idea.

tilotamma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anush said...

Anupadmaja wrote:
"The problem is not because a child is obedient or the parent wants to be deified. The problem is, and i can speak for India, that nobody cares for actual analysis of a problem (be it small or large). How do i decide is different from how do i manage to decide! Coz if you wanted to take a real decision, you would have first collected the data (knowledge), considered atleast two sides of the problem (analysis) and then derived a solution (results)."

Problems will vanish only when desires and attachment vanish....otherwise they ain't going anywhere. Taking responsibilities for the decision, regardless of how you make the decision will go a long way in reducing tension. It still won't eliminate problems.

"We exaggerate on the importance of obedience to parents - yes thats because of the same root problem. We listen to a pazha mozhi - wihtout trying to understand what they mean by that we just blindly remember that the pazhamozhi said okay listen to your parents. Yes i am a good soul and so will follow all pazha mozhis as is! Thats stupid. Anything religious is followed as is - nobody takes time to understand the religion, we all only want to know a few god names and their stories! Not even the morals of their stories."

Following ALL the pazhamozhis is not stupid if only somebody does that. Following only select few while ignoring others, depending on your convenience, is. And that is proof enough that nobody bases their decisions solely on pazhamozhis. Rather they take it out of context and use that to cover up their inherently faulty decisions, for want of social acceptance. Pazhamozhis have been propagated in a nice manner...it is us who choose to ignore them and not follow them properly or take them in the right context.

Anand & Atta girl wrote:
"a) What is more dangerous is that these children in their turn will do the same to their children and will help maintain the screwed up state of affairs.
b) I only hope that people who go against their wishes to make such sacrifices (which they later repent) for their parents, don't demand the same from their own children in future."

Agreed overall, but then on deeper thought: who defines what "screwed up state of affairs" is and what are they? Each (sane) parent, whether they are knowledgeable or not, would want a better life for their kids than what they had - they try their best and reasonably succeed. Whether that kind of a life is enough for the kid of not, unfortunately becomes the kid's call. So for all we know, we might think that we're giving the next generation kids a great life and all that, but chances are that they'll also be dissatisfied.

Bharath wrote:
I think somewhere along the line being a tinyballs wimp has been confused with some sort of a good virtue.

May be the wimp is trying to cover his decision in the name of obedience so that he'll have something to blame later for a potentially bad decision. Bear in mind, on the whole, I am in agreement.

"So how does being a parent make one special enough litter advise on his/her children.
Where is your sense of independence? Why the hell do you have to ask some non-specialist person about a very important decision just because they were closely related."

'cause the other knowledgeable person doesn't know you as a person. At a superficial level, for the skill needed for your next job, your parents may not know much, even if they vaguely know about the field. At a much deeper level, when you're trying to make a major decision and going thru a lot of confusion, your parents' knowledge about 'you' may come in handy to tell you that you are a writer or an artist at heart, and not so much of an engineer or a business person. Only they know how we have evolved thru our childhood and what our natural talents are. I recently read an article where an entrepreneur mentioned that his family knew what his passions were 20 years before he himself realised them. So, it may not be a bad idea after all to actually ask the parents for their opinion, precisely because they don't know much about your professional life and can give you some insights from a unique dimension. You could evaluate their opinion objectively and make the decision. Ultimately, if the person claims if he/she is emotionally independent, he/she should take all the blame for the miseries that follow 'cause of a bad decision.

"I think nobody stops to evaluate their past perceptions when they are old enough to evaluate them. They just ride on the inherited biases."

"Old enough" is kind of subjective here. After all, we have somehow had decent education and exposure - enough to at least think in these lines. We've had the opportunity to discover ourselves without the influence of our parents (though we ourselves may have created the opportunity). How many people get this opportunity/right atmosphere to grow up? Otherwise, inheriting the bias seems like a natural and normal choice...difficult to solely blame the individual. People have always tried to teach youngsters not to take the bad paths they've, but then who really listens? "thirudanai parthu thirundhavittal thiruttai ozhikka mudiyaadhu" :) (pazhamozhi, :-p)


"If you want something badly, then convincing your parents that you are waiting for the right thing shouldn't be a difficult thing to do. Not even trying to convince your parents and settling for "a job" shows that you are an ambitionless and a big waste of space"

Yeah, ultimately everything boils down to "how badly" you want it. If you're so desperate for a woman or a job and if you finally decide to follow your parents' (different) suggestion, a big part of you actually feels that you don't need the thing so desperately after all. If not getting it will kill you, you'll go after it, no matter what.

I have indeed taken quite some time to read the blog and write my comments - mostly because I was somehow looking for/expecting a blog on parents and our attitude towards them. Yours followed pretty fast after my thoughts! (Synchronicity, eh?).

Good one.

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

"So in those days the children, since they blindly obeyed elders, furiously mated until they filled up an entire village"... oh my God! "End user functionality testing" ... Mu ha haaha ha ah... I am still to stop grinning and the office folks here are beginning to wonder if I have just been working too hard! ;)

By the way, very nice post... I admire the clarity of your thoughts and also the way you kind-of present what I have thought about but never expressed so well.

Hawkeye said...

Anush,

I am happy that you have left an exhaustive comment but angry that you did not read this blog before now (I posted this in june). So I will 'gavanichu'fy you at the appropriate time :-)

But on the whole you made very good points (i have more or less come to expect that from you).

1) I think even growing up with your parents - you can challenge their views. It all comes down to telling them in a right fashion. I am sure both you and I have done that many times. You can come up with an argument that not all parents might be similarly liberal. I think liberal is another subjective word. Even to the most conservative parent, I feel if your argument is valid and you are passionate - you can put it across and they will take your views.


2) I agree that parents can give a unique perspective about "you". But that need not be the "correct assesment" always. I've noticed that when people get a -ve critisism from their parents they mentally go down big time and use that as an excuse to make bad career decisions. (the sons who dont move out of chennai for work/higher studies because their parents want them there)
In general ur analysis is good but I wanted to let you my assumptions while writing this.

Docs Dope said...

each one of u is a loser. such long comments..jeez...dont u have anything better to do

Hawkeye said...

DOCS,

imagine ur plight. commenting about people who have nothing to do.. ur life must be something!

Chitra said...

A fair view.. I feel the same post already appeared in the month of jun/jul.

Anonymous said...

polish this and send it to Hindu. will be a worthwhile read

viji

Anush said...

to hawkeye: sorry boss, I didn't get to read the article earlier. I read some articles from your archives, but not everything..I guess this one slipped somehow. One more thing I realized I'm late at :)

Noted your points, assumptions and agree with the same. thx for the compliments too.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the quality of tamil movies made these days and the way the audience's taste is evolving. May be also contrast it with bollywood movies. When you get a chance of course.

Anonymous said...

i never got what all this hoo haa about parental sacrifice

i never wanted to be born
i was put in a good school coz then they could say" oh my kid goes to so and so school"

i dressed read married the way wanted
so where the hell is the sacrifice

do they mean the bit about struggling to put in a better school or married to a 'nalla varan'

they did all this coz they had a dream and they wanted to mould me into that dream

i love my parents and would do things even today blindly due to that (maybe its a love thats arisen with familiarity etc: but lets not get into that)

but the moment if either of my parents ever talk about the sacrifices they have made
"en vaayilerndhu asinga asingama varum"

Zero said...

Bharath,
a repeat post? does it work just by changing the time stamp?
and yeah, I ve hardly seen this whole parental guidance thing in my life, as I already mused in my prev comment! So, no further comments ;).

These parents who send kids to match factories are working at an extreme level.
I may not have read the whole stuff last time. But isn't this a tad too biased against those parents? eh?

Valli Doll said...

Advice can be given by anybody, its upto you to take it or not :) Our own free will. Nothing needs to be followed, just bcos it was said by so and so.

Anonymous said...

What about emotional blackmail?

yv said...

hi, i enjoyed reading ur post. it was a refreshing point of view conveyed in a manner that is often the hardest to master - humour