Hiral's Blog

November 24, 2012

Socialising

From a one friend, I have received this story in an email.

Liked it very much and tears in my eyes for mistakes I have done in my past especially in teenage.😦

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An old man, staying in a small south Indian town came to visit his son in Mumbai recently. The son in his early thirties is a successful businessman living with his wife and son. The father, having spent most of his life at his birthplace, hardly understands a splatter of Hindi or English, forget Marathi. But he doesn’t care. ‘I have come here to spend a few days with my son and his family.’ I don’t have to go out and socialize with the city people,’ he thought.
The son is also very excited about his father’s rare visit to Mumbai. He wants to make the best of it. He and his wife want to show him around the city and yes – the son enjoys those evening hours too, when he and his father go out and sit in a good bar, sipping their favourite drink.

Last week the son was in very good mood. ‘Let’s go to a five star hotel’s bar tonight,’ he told his father. It was a beautiful evening. Talking about everything under the sun they had few drinks. As usual they were offered some salad, peanuts, and wafers as accompaniments with their drinks. The old man being almost toothless was not much interested in eating. However that day when they got up to leave, he simply took a handful of chana (roasted grams) and stuffed it in the fold of his dhoti. He might have thought about munching on them, sitting in the car, or whatever. Unfortunately whilst walking in the lobby, he missed a step and stumbled; down he went, scattering the chana on the plush carpet.

No problem – now try to visualize that scenario. Someone else in his son’s place would have been mortified, embarrassed to death. He might have cursed not his father but his own self for causing this awkward situation. ‘Never again will I take my old man to such hotels’, he would have vowed.
No sir, not this son. Gently, with a smile, he helped his father get back on his feet. Instead of feeling irritated or angry, he was amused. He found the whole incident very funny. Laughing, they both went home and on the way they decided to return to the same place the following Sunday.

The old man liked the place and liked the chana too.

Few days back, at a friend’s place they both described this event and made everybody laugh.
Weren’t you embarrassed? Somebody asked the son. ‘Oh, come on now’ replied the son. ‘He is my father. He talks in his native language, prefers to wear a dhoti even to a posh city hotel, takes chana from the bar to eat later, does whatever he feels like…. So what?
Why should I feel embarrassed with his nature and habits? Nobody has a right to stop him from doing whatever he feels comfortable with, as long as it is not harmful to others.’
The son doesn’t care what the staff in the hotel thought about that incident. He says ‘they should be concerned only with their bills and tips. I am concerned about my father’s happiness.’ The wife too totally agrees with the husband on this issue. She feels there are enough other qualities in her father- in- law to feel proud of. Accept those qualities and respect him. The above incident is not mentioned just to show the love and devotion of a son for his father. More than love it is a matter of understanding and healthy respect for the other person’s lifestyle.

A seventy plus old man doesn’t want to change his lifestyle now. He likes the way he eats or dresses or talks. In his eyes there is nothing wrong with the old ways of living. And the son is totally content and happy with that. Everybody has a right to live as per his/her wish. Now at his age, why should he be forced to learn to eat with a fork and knife, if he doesn’t want to? I will feel bad if he is doing something morally wrong or indulging in some harmful activities. But otherwise it is fine. I am not going to try to change him at this stage. He is my father. I love him, respect him.

Hey folks, can you think this way? So many times we see people getting embarrassed by the so called unsophisticated behaviour of their family members. They keep on apologizing about their lack of class and manners or about their drawbacks to outsiders. My wife can’t speak proper English; she doesn’t know what’s happening in the world, so I avoid taking her out or introducing her to my friends and business associates… My parents can’t eat with a spoon and fork, so I don’t take them to restaurants. My husband is working as an ordinary clerk, so I feel awkward when I introduce him to my rich friends. My brother is mentally challenged, so I don’t feel like going out with him…

Are you plagued with such thoughts or do you meet such people who think alike? If you do, please think again. Why do others or I feel this way? What is there to be really ashamed of? Most of the people always have this fear of other peoples’ opinions and comments. What would others say?

Nothing … You are what you are …

2 Comments »

  1. A thought-provoking article, indeed……… I guess an old saying applies over here – “One should love you for what you are; not for what you should be”.

    Many of the in-laws need to understand this. I agree that people feel ashamed to introduce their relatives to others because they do not have a proper class or are not well-read; but I have also seen a class of unsophisticated people who constantly belittle their daughters-in-law in spite of they being humble to them. In-laws expect their daughters-in-law to adjust to their norms in one go. They never do self-introspection. They just keep on giving false sermons; despite not even having an air of what the daughters-in-law go through.

    A girl who has spent around 20-25 years of her life at her parents’ place is all of a sudden told to forget everything about her ‘maayka’ and unquestionably told to dance to the tunes of each and every member of her sasural; even if that member is wrong on n number of occasions😦

    These people never take their sons and wives to any tourist places; but when they come to stay at their sons’ places, they want to roam around freely😦 They don’t think twice before ruining their daughters-in-laws’ professional life; which gets adversely affected by their constant taunts and harassment😦

    Hiral, I guess the biggest thing that is acting as a termite to our society is ‘hypocrisy’. Rules are never the same across the board.😦 In rural India, the most unfortunate thing is the secondary status accorded to females😦

    In Kaun Banega Crorepati Season 5, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan had rightly said, “माँ को मराठी में ‘आई ‘ कहा गया है । इस सब्द का मतलब बहुत ही सुन्दर है ‘आ – आत्मा ‘ और ‘ई – ईश्वर ‘। परन्तु जब यह माँ सास बन जाती है तो उसकी आत्मा क्यों मर जाती है और ईश्वर कहा लुप्त हो जाता है?”

    Comment by nitu — December 3, 2012 @ 10:56 am | Reply

    • What you have quoted here, can’t deny that too.
      But it’s true that we all are bound with time, money, location.

      Comment by hirals — December 13, 2012 @ 11:42 am | Reply


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