In India after few years into the marriage, if you do not squeeze one out, questions may be raised along with fat eyebrows. Doubts on manhood and fading hopes of achieving complete womanhood go hand in hand. A married couple in India is treated like a toaster. If the toast doesn’t pop out within first two three years, people think, “Short circuit ho gaya hoga!!!” (There must be a short circuit i.e. some problem with the couple). Letting other people take important decisions like these is kind of our thing. So, when you choose your life partner, without prior approval from your cousin aunt’s step mother-in-law, you may be treated like a dirty laundry. Still, when it comes to bringing a brand new asshole in this stinking shit pot of a world, the decision should be completely yours. Irrespective of the fact whether it is voluntary or not, why do Indian parents need kids in the first place.
1. To come first in the class
Indian parents are obsessed with kids coming first in the class.
So much so that they forget only one among 60-70 kids can come first in the class. If the kid does not come first, father thinks that he belongs to his wife’s ex-boyfriend and mother thinks it’s the mechanic. He is threatened to be thrown into a boarding school, but that threat never materializes as they fear that the kid may turn into a homosexual. This pressure of coming first finally pays off, only for men, unfortunately after marriage in the bed. You can deal with this pressure by watching the following video…
2. To buy ice-cream on a Sunday afternoon
Remember how on Sunday after that heavy meal your mom had cooked, your father usually sent you out to get ice-cream. This was one time you were useful to your family as a kid. What’s better than an ice-cream after a quickie? More importantly they had to see less of you for 5 minutes.
3. Same reason why Europeans needed slaves
So daddy is fixing a lamp, but is too lazy to go to the kitchen and get the wooden stool. The fact is that he is afraid and wants to avoid confrontation with mom. He suddenly starts feeling like a roman king and sends his gladiator to go get it for him. You run like a dog behind a ball and get the stool or whatever he wants. At times I think, the kids provide the only chance for our parents to live the life of a Roman emperor. They can just make 4-5 kids, throw the bread and let them fight for it.4. Learn a new musical instrument, dance or entertain the guests
I learnt Tabla, my cousin sister learnt harmonium and my blind cousin knows singing. Now we may sound like one of those musical groups in the Mumbai local, “Pardesi…Pardesi” or “Dil diwana bin sajna ke maane na and all that”, but trust me we are not. We are more of the “Hum ko mann ki Shakti dena” and all that type. Once you learn an art form, you become the official courtesan of your family. Be ready to demonstrate your art in front of the guests, with a smile on your face. After all, it is because of them that you are getting to eat in the new ‘mehmanowali’ (for guests) plates.
5. Answer the door and phone calls for your father
You are not a true daughter or son, if you are not the first one to run for the door.
Every time the bell rang, it meant hope. Someone is here to rescue you, but they all turned out to be nothing but politicians with empty promises, who became boring within first 5 minutes. Be first to answer the phone, as you are the one who screens the calls. Of course these were the days of landline, in the days of mobile, your only job is to help your mother find out whether your dad is making out with the secretary or drinking with his friends.
6. Fulfill their unfulfilled dreams
If your parents’ dreams are X, on an average .3X dreams are fulfilled. Now it’s your job to fulfil 1.3X of the dreams. This unfortunately leaves very little space for your own dreams to be fulfilled. A lot of kids in this country spend decades figuring out what the fuck their dreams are, other than those which make them wet their pants in childhood, puberty and youth. Irrespective of how poor or how rich you are, your parents expect you to fulfil their dreams, just like your parents fulfilled your grandparents’. It is a vicious cycle of the glorious Indian society, where we are not allowed to dream, but told to dream. Our parents would rather want us to be Wasim Jaffer and fulfil their Ranji dreams, than become Sachin Tendulkar and shine like a real star. Some say that there are different levels of dreams. If that is true, we are still struggling to enter the first one.
When you bring a new creature in this world, you bring a mind that can think and act on its own. The more you want him/her to be an impression of your own, the more he/she limits the ability to think. The less you control, the happier they will be, a bit like the helium balloon. Stop treating your kids like a glorified puppy. Let them think. Let them question everything around them, including your actions.
Be brave and let them be brave.