May 26, 2009

The overgrown child

First up, I'd like to thank my regulars for checking in on me to see if I was still alive considering I hadn't posted anything in 6 whole days ( a shocking reality). I was out of town and will soon follow up with at least one stunning photograph from where I was. For now, though here's some food for thought -

It suddenly struck me how typical this phrase is in a household like mine - "Ennadhaan irundhalum nee innum enaku kozhandai dhaan" - roughly translated meaning - No matter what, you are still a child to me. In the grand scheme of things with the relative aging process of everyone remaining constant, that statement holds entirely true. And unlike some Western countries where kids start calling their parents by their first names once they reach a certain age, in India we always call them the way we did when we were kids (almost always the regional language terminology for "Mother" and "Father"). This doesn't change whether we're 10, 50 or even a 100 years old. So perhaps when the elders use that in some sentimental manner, it's unnoticeably natural. However when it's used against you, your true age strikes you and it's no longer acceptable as a valid argument on the elder's behalf. For instance, one of my friends recently told me that she'd been given the "Periyava vishayathila thalai idadhey" dialogue (Translated: Do not interfere in the elder's business). Sure, when we were 10 and trying to be oversmart it made a lot of sense. Not so much when we're fully grown, completely independent, married and perhaps with a family of one's own. So what if the relative age difference remained the same? The maturity levels had perhaps meshed and the "elders" were being unreasonable in not wanting our two pence that we had to put in if it was required. This isn't to say that we don't like being pampered just the way we were from when we were kids... but just that when it comes to sharing inputs and information, experiences and views our relatively younger age should be seen as a different perspective rather than an uninformed and precocious trait, past a certain age at least. Once again this is a rather presumptious argument. My parents for instance have trusted every single decision I've made and stood by me at every stage in my life. And I have always been encouraged to express my views and opinions even if they didn't matter from a very young age. But from the other relatives' view, I wonder when it is that they truly consider us to be grown-ups. Anyone venture a theory?


Sesh said...

never thought kids in western countries called their parents by their first names. Have you ever come across it?

Jaya said...

Sesh-> I donno if you are entirely familiar with all the episodes fo the sitcome, Friends. There's an eexample right there - In one of the Thanksgiving flashbacks, a college-going Ross tries to impress high school Rachel by pretending to be all grown up and calls his Mom by her name - Judy. Monica shoots back saying, "Call her mom, you loser!"

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