Of Prejudices

Dear Diary,

I have always believed in omens, signs. Subtle things said by people, or incidents happening in your life, normally totally unrelated, but actually pointing you to a message from your God, inner God. If there’s ever a problem lurking in my mind, which is disturbing me and I’ve not been able to get rid of it, then I normally receive some kind of sign from God which will tell me His will. It’s not always the solution which I wanted, but it definitely tells me something. And that normally does ease me of the pain/worry/tension.

These past days I’ve been irritated. Call it monotony, call it MIL-issues, call it rigidness on my part, but again my mind keeps going back to the old solution – I want to live separate. The mind keeps focusing on the ‘problems’ I have living together. It just doesn’t want to look and be happy with the things it is ‘getting’ from the joint setup. I get angry, sometimes at others around me, sometimes just at myself. Mostly at myself. I pray to the God within and the God idols to just give me peace. ‘Santosh’. But, it evades me.

When I look at the omens, almost all point me or tell me that this is all to teach me Patience and Tolerance. I can clearly see that He tells me to learn to keep patience and not run behind mirages. He wants me to learn to appreciate what I have, to be content in what I have.

I ask myself if I’m unhappy with where I am, as in, do I feel as an under-achiever in the world’s eyes? The answer is clear – No.
So, that means that is not the problem. Then I ask myself – ‘What is it that you want?’ and the answer is a clear, low, silent one – ‘I want my own space.’

I don’t even want to get into that infinite loop anymore where I talk about what hurts and what needs. But, I now know, very clearly inside me, that just living in separate quarters will not solve my problem. The society, or the kind of utopia I dream of is impossible in India. Living here and to not be in touch with the relatives, the social norms, the ties, is impossible. So, getting a house is not equal to getting your own space. And, of course, it won’t happen just like that. A lot of pain and a lot of cajoling will go into executing it. And, perhaps, and most likely, my life will become ‘more’ about them than myself. I want my life to concentrate on myself and my spouse and kid, than on ‘them’. If I spend 1 hour a day on them then living separately, I’ll be spending 3 hours on them. Not with them, but thinking on how to keep them happy and make peace. So, that is NOT the solution. My mind needs to understand. It does understand. And, then comes the solution of living out of the country. This is a solution which is not acceptable to my husband. He’s a family-man. He likes to be around his parents, his relatives, his roots. He’s not discontent with his position or himself, like me. But, just because of my discomfort, he’ll make the move, if ever. He tries to explain it to me but he knows it doesn’t soothe me. And, thus, he keeps trying to find some way.

If, and if ever, we move abroad, it will not be permanent. It will be a temporary solution. And, do I want a temporary solution? No. But, just to get out of this myriad of problems, I’ll acquiesce.

I ask you God, this – ‘What is Tolerance?’ Changing yourself to let others be happy is not tolerance. There are times when I accept things just to evade answering or explaining them the point. But, is it right? I want to give my child a house where I grow him, up and above to what I received in my childhood. And, here I am, concentrating on upgrading the mindset of my in-laws, relatives and whom not. I should have been fighting/arguing with my husband on issues he or I cannot accept because of our personal prejudices, but here I am, doing all that to understand/explain how/why to make MIL-FIL understand our decisions/points. There are exactly these cases where parents have not been able to groom their kids because they were stuck up in the mundane activities of the joint family. They are unable to be strict with them and the kids grow up nasty, blaming the parents later for the final outcome.
Yes, you may scoff me off by saying ‘You think too much’ or you go to extremes in your thought-process. But, then that’s what I am. That’s what you have taught me so far. And that’s the only way I want to grow. So, please. Explain!
I don’t want to raise my child with their prejudices. Rather, I want to bring him up in the most prejudice-free way. If that means challenging my own prejudices in the process, I am up for that. And that is the choice I make for my life.

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2 thoughts on “Of Prejudices

  1. There is one simple way to ensure that a child does not inherit the prejudices of his/her grandparents, paternal and maternal: the child’s parents must teach him by example. Children don’t need explanations. They need examples.

    1. I agree that the best way to teach your child is by living it. But, many times, it is not obviously visible to the child. You may not have any qualms about people eating chicken or alcohol, but your parents do. They openly ridicule people doing so, and you, to not disrespect your parents, say nothing. And, the only thing the child sees is the open display, not the one that is your personal opinion! I don’t want my child to have any discrimination to people, in any form. Whether by religion, caste, eating choices, whatever. I don’t practice them myself, but I can’t force the other people of the family to follow my choice. I respect them to have their own choices, but what’s the cost I pay to allow them the liberty!?

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