Pyar = Hindi word for love; and for those wondering, the chick in the pic is not Pinkiji but the beautiful Madhubala (long gone though), one of Hindi cinema's most beautiful actresses.
Indian Culture Rule 3: Broad-minded parents send their children to co-ed schools but prefer if boys and girls don't talk to each other. Education is to make the children think but parents prefer to think for their children. Of course that’s a generalization and perhaps unfair too, but only if we were to restrict that generalization to that little percentage called ‘urban India’. For most of India, the decision of the parents is not just sacrosanct it’s also unthinkable to not listen to your parents and perhaps have an independent view. Is listening to your parents necessarily wrong? Not at all since given their experience parents can usually be counted upon to give the right advice, suggest the better of two paths and generally think for the benefit of their children. However, when children and parents grow in different directions – something that is commonly happening in a lot of Indian families – parental advise might not always be right or for the benefit of the parties involved. I have written much on the issue above when we discussed arranged marriage, child abuse and even the Rizwanur Rehman murder. Wont say much here except present to you the current situation in the Mishra household… not good I say and the wily old man is blaming it all on yours truly!
Mishraji’s Musings 2. Meet love’s Enermy No. 1
The mood in the Mishra household has been somber for the last two days. For those who missed the earlier post (Kamasutra, Krishna and cultural crisis), Mishraji's 19-year-old daughter - Pinki ji - declared she was in love with a 'Sam'. Now most would know that 'Sam' is a non-Hindu name unless you are US/UK-returned or are called 'Saminder'. Both those options don't appeal to Mishraji. Firstly, he would not expect his daughter to fall in love and if at all she were to entertain 'such' ideas, he would prefer her emotions to be inclined towards some 'Shyam', preferably Hindu and vegetarian.
So the mood in the Mishra household has been somber for the last two days... At least till Mishraji leaves for work. Once he steps out of the house and one can hear his scooter turn the colony gate – he refuses to get the silencer fixed – two distinct sounds can be heard from the Mishra home. If on one hand there are rebellious Hindi movie songs playing – the pyar kiya to darna kya (what's to fear, when your love's here!) variety – the other would be Mrs Mishraji frequently screaming out her daughter's name, trying to compete with the blaring love songs. If at all the songs stop, Pinkiji can be heard bawling with frequent "Oh Sams!"Each time Pinkiji says "Saaaam", Mrs Mishraji responds with, "Have some shame. If your father hears you taking THAT name, hell will break loose and you will still be locked up. Oh why did you do it Pinki?"
Mishraji is really angry. He doesn't care if Pinkiji does not complete her three years of college - she is in second year - but he will not have "some Sam" near his daughter. Pinkiji has been grounded and despite her being a rather spirited girl, one doesn't think she has tried to run away from home again. Since the last interaction with the patriarch - where Mishraji accused one of putting ideas into his daughter’s head - yours truly has been in hiding. This morning as one discussed increasing water problems in the colony with nosy Mrs Kohli who knows everything about everyone – she is retired Colonel Kohli's wife, more about them later – Mishraji came out of his house.
It was too late for one to duck behind the boundary wall. He glared, one smiled back politely. "Don't smile madam," he wagged an angry finger. One stopped immediately. "Because of you and your media and all these promoting-love and all that, my daughter is behaving like some love-crazed hippie. I will not allow it." One was thinking of a response to that when Mrs Kohli decided to speak up instead.
"Ajji Mishraji, in today's world, be broad minded. Children are very smart today, they know what they're doing," she said and was about to launch into a story – Mrs Kohli always has a story to support another story – Mishraji responded with more fervour than one thought him capable of. "Mrs Kohliji, I know all about broad minded. My daughter studies with boys, wears jeans, does not cook and listens to songs that say hips don't lie. My son listens to gangsters who talk bad poetry and call it music. I am broadminded. But if you think broadminded means allowing a 19-year-old girl to be fooled by some crook who comes from a background completely different from hers... I will not let it happen. You kindly keep your nose out, Media Madam here is enough for that."
One was stunned (one hadn’t done a thing!) while an offended Mrs Kohli responded, "But you are not allowing your daughter to go anywhere, that's broad-minded?"
Mishraji scowled a very scary scowl and said, "Mrs Kohliji. IF my daughter was in a state of mind to listen to sense, I would talk to her. Till such time she does not get that sense to discuss things with her father, she stays inside. I would also appreciate you minding your own business, thank you. I have seen what happened to other daughters who had broadminded parents." Mishraji started walking away.
An even-more stunned Mrs Kohli replied, "You will not talk about my daughter like that. You don't know her," she said gritting her teeth.
"Exactly. You don't know my daughter, me or my family either," replied Mishraji without looking back, "I don't know your daughter, but I know I don't what THAT future for mine." Mrs Kohli's oldest daughter was married to an NRI and is now a divorcee; and divorce in India is a taboo topic…(To be continued)