The generation Y that calls itself ‘woke’, ignoring the grammatical incoherence and normalizing what they consider to be ‘cool’ form of vocabulary. There may have been drastic change in its system, but there has been no change in the our lifestyle. In India, it still is a new concept of moving out of parents’ homes right after teenage like it is in the western countries. However, it has formed a pattern in almost every family – of the child being so dependent on the parent that even littlest of things require mother’s assistance.
While most of us complain about toiling all day, being underpaid and overworked, it is difficult to understand that coming home and shooting orders at mothers is a sign of heavy dependency. Overprotective nature of our families have led to this day where kids, no matter how old, come home and need to be reminded to have dinner, brush teeth and have milk.
As family is valued above everything else, most men end up staying with their parents all their lives with both wives and mothers at their beck and call – regardless of whether they go to work.
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Even at this stage, fully grown men with children come home and are served thalis full of their favourite food. Not once do they have to go to the kitchen to even get a glass of water. It is like an unsaid bond that men will provide all the money required while women will handle the home expenses, and serve. This behavior is eventually observed and absorbed by the younger generation which eventually leads to the cycle of screaming ‘tauliya laao’, ‘chai chadhao’, ‘remote kahaan hai’ or ‘khaana lagao’ from the kids to their mothers and wives.
We have no shame in admitting that we are brats. Smaller chores like doing laundry or washing dishes when the bai is not home is something that usually mothers do. And when she channels her inner Drogon breathing fire out of fatigue and us playing on our phones, we help our of guilt.
Maa Ka Dil
There is another factor at play here. Mothers used to plan our days – from school to tuitions to dance class to drinking milk every single night before an early morning to school. They would decide what coloured attire we would wear for the day, or occasion and how much TV we could watch in a day. Mothers went through the pain of making a routine for us and after a few years it became a pattern that would not leave us.
In case we moved abroad or another city for job, education or any other reason, we use technology as a crutch to make sure that the bond is intact and as firm as an umbilical cord. Weekly calls have given way to several dozen messages a day, detailing every aspect of their lives, asking whether or not to buy something as trivial as a piece of clothing or simply figure out the recipe of dal fry. And of course, when things get tough, parents are always here to help us, give us food shelter and clothing, take us out if we are gloomy and pamper us like we were five year olds again.
As much as we scream ourselves hoarse about being independent, we inevitably involve parents in every aspect of our lives. The Indian millennial has discovered that a single room shared by friends where they can party or chill all they want because it looks glamorous on screen, However, it does not match our parents’ home where the food is free, laundry is done by someone else, and there is electricity you do not have to pay for!
Until The End
It’s why Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are a wasted concept in India. Who needs a day dedicated to a parent when the kids never let you forget that you are their mommy and daddy? Psychologists might label it an unhealthy symbiotic relationship that feeds on each other’s neediness, but who cares?
Like in the film 101 Not Out, or even Piku where Amitabh Bachchan is the father living with his child, the parent and child share a co dependent relationship regardless of how old they are. We may want to date through apps, fall in love and marry, but look around and see how many of our friends have actually fought their parents and married against their wishes!
It might be unhealthy, but at least this way I might never experience the empty nest syndrome because most probably, my kids will be needing me until they are 50.