“People in general living together in communities is called a society”
Well it’s not a civics chapter I’m about to teach but a simple definition I read in one of the social science textbooks. Now you must be wondering why ? Well let me tell you why??. I have been meaning to write this for a sufficiently long time. I wasn’t sure how to start. So the help just came in the form of a social science textbook.
I was going through some WhatsApp status and came across a status which baffled me. A child was upset and crying as his maternal uncle wouldn’t talk to him. The reason the child’s mother left an abusive marriage and started building her own life with her two children. Whereas the abusive husband is still welcomed into their homes with all the grandeur and respect on the other hand their own flesh and blood is frowned upon and not so welcome in her own childhood home. She took a stand for herself. She decided that she didn’t want her children to be brought up in a hostile environment. Her decision no matter how appropriate is shunned because “log kya kahenge” what will society say?
Is your child’s happiness and well being of no importance.? Only what society says matters.?Why is their opinion of any importance anyways? What is this society? Who are they? Isn’t society made up of us??
I as a student of this woman take extreme pride in the fact she had the courage to break the shackles of patriarchal society and carve her own niche.
Her child who was upset really reminded me of me and my brother and how our own extended families were discriminating towards us. My parents had a love marriage, my father a malayali and my mother a maharashtrian. Their story was nothing less than a movie. Their parents didn’t agree to their relationship but they stood against all odds and got married anyway. But their journey after that was a tough one and most of the burden was mainly borne by my mom and after her it was us, me and my brother. My mother was a survivor of honour killing. A killing which was initiated by her own mother. My mom lost her second child which again was a plan executed by her own mother. Her mother also used the most medieval way of getting her daughter back by falling for tactics of black magic. Yes, all these things were done in the name of society and to basically separate her from my father. She always thought that her daughter had let her down by marrying someone she loves. Even after all these years me and my brother were always called “malbari ke bache” by her and not her grandchildren. Our physical attributes to the way we talk or eat or sit every little thing was scrutinized. To be very honest I really don’t know what fun it is to be with grandparents or how loving cousins can be. My only idea of such love is either by books or movies. My father on the other hand was very respected but the behavior meted out to us in his absence was entirely different. He must have faced some discrimination too but nothing that we know of.
My paternal side was ok not that discriminating through but for them we were “ghatti k bache” see the irony. Although my parents were well respected in my father’s house. Not everyone found me and my brother affection worthy. Until and unless my parents didn’t shell out some money.
Yes, these things did hurt me back then but not anymore. I have come a long way . But these things make me wonder if the society that we think too much about is even worth it.? Why can’t families just forget about society and support their children irrespective of their choices? When did the happiness of your children whom you brought into this world become secondary to the needs of the so called “society”. ? As families don’t you think it’s important to stand by your children as it’s only your support they thrive on. Their challenges become much easier if they know that you have their back.
I would like to end this article with the lines from the song of the movie Amar Prem
“Hum ko jo taane dete hain, ham khoye hain in rang-raliyon mein
Hum ne un ko bhi chhup chhup ke aate dekhaa in galiyon mein
Ye sach hai jhoothi baat nahi tum bolo ye sach hai na
Kuchh to log kahenge logon kaa kaam hai kehna…
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