Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Family First

There is one thing you should know about me. I have an uncritical, child like love for Indian cricket. Whenever some gentleman speaks against Indian cricket, Indian cricketers, the game of cricket, or Sachin Tendulkar, I get very offended and take it rather personally. So, you can imagine how much I adore Greg Chappell.

I liked you man. You ruined it.

And regarding his recent statements, which I deem were only a part of publicity campaign for his new book that I shall not name, I seriously considered catching a flight to Australia and well, until I read him say something that goes like this: Indians do not take decisions on their own, it’s not in their culture. 

I was impressed. This man is brilliant, well at least when he is not talking about cricket.

I asked around, and surprisingly many people agree. Here’s the journey of a typical Indian kid into adulthood and beyond. Yes, I'm talking about most of you:
(Now you'll feel cheated, as this article is not about cricket.)

It starts with what school you should go. Granted, parents would know better in some cases, but shouldn’t they treat your vote better than irrelevant. What kind of kids you should hang out with, what clothes you should or should not wear, they decide everything. Which stream you should pick in your Higher secondary (PCM), what should you do for graduation (Engineering) which stream should you chose in college (the one your dad/ uncle took), what should you do after college, what type of company should you work for, what you should do, what you should not do (drugs, alcohol, business, love marriage).
Hell, they even decide the person you should marry. Pundits, stars and planets also have a say here, but not YOU.  

Apparently, it’s in your palms, but not in your hands.

The point is that there is always a someone who would make decisions for you. Most of the time, it is a family member- one of the parents, an elder brother, an uncle etc and pundits and zillions of Gods otherwise. We all brave that nihilistic It’s-all-written sentiment almost every day.

But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining, and this is no exception. In fact we are highly familiar with another aspect of Family first phenomenon called nepotism. The kids today often confuse this term with Indian culture.

How many young actors can you name who do not belong to some Bollywood family. And how about politicians and their sons and nephews. How about one of the oldest parties in the nation and their pipedream of having that 42 year old youth ambassador as the next Prime Minister. Emperor’s son becomes an emperor. Beggar’s son remains a beggar. That was India 1500 years ago. And so it is  today.

I am not advocating whether it is right or wrong. What I am trying to tell you is this is prevalent, whether you like it or not. It affects our lives to a great extent. Okay, allow me to correct myself, I am saying this is wrong and has to be changed.

My advice is that we should start with ourselves. Take responsibility, make decisions, bite the bullet. Let’s not vote for people just because they share their DNA with some politician. Avoid movies of actors that are produced by their actor daddies, they are pathetic anyway.

I'll leave you with wisdom from an LSD-fuelled band [citation needed] :

“Don’t be told what you want, don’t be told what you need” 
(God save the Queen, Sex pistols)

ps 1:  If you follow Sex Pistol’s advice, you’ll be contradicting yourself. A Paradox?
ps 2:  Come to think of it, maybe the title is not appropriate. Perhaps ‘Be a Man’ or 'Take the charge' or some other clich├ęd one would go better. Let me ask around and see if they have a better one in mind.