The reason behind today’s blog post is the movie ” English” Malayalam movie. There is a scene in the movie, where the father goes berserk and screams and threatens his teenage daughter with physical harm, if she doesn’t tell them where she is going and with whom.

If there is one word that could have saved me from making a lot of mistakes when I was a teenager, it would be “trust”. It was something my mother lacked totally and I found myself in difficult situations because the one person who should have trusted me, wouldn’t.

My mother’s dream was to see her daughters getting a professional degree. Her idea was that, she was the puppeteer and I was the puppet and she decided what I can or not do, while my job was to study and get the degree.

Party invitations were part of normal life in a professional colleges. Ideally, I would have liked to tell my mother that I was invited to a party, but then again why would I do it when I know  she wouldn’t  allow me to go? There was never any valid reasons why I shouldn’t go, it was Amma’s decision and it was final.

Often, party meant, few games of dumb charade, some dancing and if someone knew someone in Army or Air force, then a bottle or two of alcohol ( to be shared with 30 to 40 students!) and food. While my mother assumed that party was another name for orgies and drugs, things like that only happened in her imaginations. None of us had the money to buy drugs and imagine the chances of having physical acts of intimacy in front of the party giver’s family. ( You had dark corners in the campus for such things)

The lucky girls with smart parents were safe, for their parents or brothers came and picked them up after the party. I couldn’t go back to the hostel after the gate closes at 9 pm, so I bought a platform ticket and lied my way through ( Often used George’s name and title for extra power and protection) and spend the night in Railway stations. I would have been safe in my own home, but my mother didn’t get that. She thought, she was too smart and was in control and that her daughter was safe in the medical college hostel. If only she knew the truth. If anything had happened to me, everyone would have blamed me, for I disobeyed my mother and attended a party. Would anyone blame my mother that she was the reason why it all happened? All she had to do was to allow me to go and I could have got a ride home from one of my classmates and would have been home by 9.30 pm.

So the question of the day is this ” Why do Indian parents want to control every move their child makes?”

6 thoughts on “Control

  1. I’m currently 16, living in UK and my parents have and still do this! I’m not even a “party” person and often, friends only invite me to simple birthday meals but it’s seemed as “getting into wrong company” or “being too much of a ‘madama'” if i ask. I’m so sick of it and I’m in love with your thoughts and ideas and opinions on many topics! You’re a great mum! However, as you said, doing things w/o parents knowing also gives a little exhilaration and excitement; even with that constant nagging thought of getting caught! Love your blog btw! X

    • Teresa: More than getting caught, I think what bothers me now is how unsafe I was to have spend a whole night in the railway station. At that time, I only wanted to go to the party and beat amma in her game of control. I didn’t think of the consequences of what could have happened to me.. ( A lot actually)

  2. Dating is common and the West parents find nothing unusual about it. Can an Indian mother digest it? So customs and traditions in India made parents like that. Now the globalization started making changes and the Western culture invading the east.

    • Bipin: I do hate it when Indians talk about the invasion of western culture, while forgetting that we in India practiced polygamy ( Lord Krishna and his 16108 wives) Polyandry ( Panchali with her 5 husbands or even our Nair tharavadus where it was practiced). We had Kamasutra way before the west had any such texts.
      Finding a partner and mating is the basic part of growing up, be it in the west or east. What is happening in India is that the parents want to be in control of their childrens’ mating and when the children don’t follow their dictates, the parents blame the west.

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