21 December, 2012

Plight of the young (Five members in your family to avoid)

Who all remember Asian paints advert, ‘Nahin Bhaiya, aisa nahin hai’. The elder brother feels offended when the younger brother gives him tips on choosing the right paint for his house through the handy paint-guide. Advertisements mirror our society and our culture. In India, elders are given due respect. Especially in joint families, the elders take decision and the young follow. But how healthy is this structure for an individual? Taking advice from someone who is more experienced than you is prudent. But is this norm beneficial in the long run? Many elders forget that an individual needs space to grow and they fail to provide a favorable environment for a younger member to flourish into a full-fledged adult. Be it siblings, child-parent, in-laws, husband-wife or co-sister relationships, elders take it to their heart if the young member expresses a desire for independent existence. Authority figure feel intimidated with a young member’s growing identity.

The people who are detested in a young member’s world are listed below:

1. Encyclopedia: He has taken oath to correct all your written and verbal communication. Be it spellings, pronunciation, punctuation or sentences, the elder one will guide you to choose the right English/Hindi/ any other language he is proficient in. He ensures that he rebukes you publicly, corrects your grammatical mistakes in front of your girlfriend, and reframes your sentences to make them sound intelligent. He will quiz you on history, geography and current affairs, to make you feel that you are born demented.

2. Stylist and Health guru: He admonishes your taste of clothes, shoes, accessories among your guy friends, tells you how strange you look in those pair of jeans, publicly announces that your hair-cut looks like a hay stack and your frame looks like a scare crow. His sole aim in life is to make you look better as if you are an ugly sore on the face of the family. He will cry aloud if you haven’t hit the gym already and nitpick on your eating habits.

3. Finance and career planner: He keeps tab on your spending. Forces you to share your income and expense details and then decides where you should invest and what should be your retirement plan. He is the one who has taken you under his wing so that you can learn to survive the corporate life. He will instruct you where to apply, which courses to enroll and what to do with your degree.

4. Order please: He is someone who loves delegating work and giving orders. His conversation is usually single sentences giving out instructions – like switch off the fan, bring a glass of water, put off the TV, etc. He considers himself a boon to the family and feels that you are born to run his errands. His conversation will never include words like sorry, please and thank you. He thinks you are answerable to him for everything that goes wrong. If his instructions are not followed, or decisions are not valued, he finds it his ego basher and can react in an extreme way.

5. Agree to disagree: If you say heads - I win, he will disagree. If you say, tails - you win, he will still disagree. His only agenda in life is to disagree to whatever you say irrespective of the consequences. His agenda is to criticize whatever you do, make the world privy to the fact that your approach towards life is immature and selfish. He will try to gain sympathy from others making you look like the villain of the story.

Parimita Chakravorty

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