>A Bit Too Grown-Up… A Bit Too Early?

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Note from the blogger: Please, please, please try not being judgemental about me and anything about me from what you read here. It’s purely a result of my numerous thoughts.

It’s always been something I have wondered about… When’s the time when you can finally call someone a grown up? When you can finally say that someone is mature enough to take care of himself and how his life is lead? When’s that independence, that freedom conferred to him? When can he realize for himself that he can? That he will?

Sometimes… The whole concept of English education too, bewilders me. More so because, it uproots the so-called hard-core Indian culture, its tradition and values from the minds of students like me who give themselves the freedom to have contrary views or be cynics to it. May be that’s how we are or the way the double-standard of education has left us with… Either ways, it’s the way it is…

I know most of our parents haven’t studied in English medium schools, but, they wanted all of us to. Why? Some kinda competition, was it? Or the desire to give us the high level of education? The latter, they would suggest. The prior, that seems apparent to me. And, thus, I don’t think I’m to be blamed if I consider a formal handshake and respect in my behaviour is more expressive of the respect I have for someone than me bowing down and touching their feet. The concept of education of the Westerners, has brought their way of life to us. Something that’s probably not easy to accept for our parents and that causes the rift between us. The pub culture, the late night parties, the inter-caste marriages, the “in a relationship” tag, the reaction when you see a boy and a girl alone together, the food we eat, the way we hang out, the way we make friends, the kind of friends, the late night phone calls, these seem completely wrong in their opinion. Pretty much, most of them. Is it them to blame, I wonder…

We feel it is the close-mindedness of theirs, or just stuff that they don’t understand… They think it’s too much independence and freedom that we assume for ourselves… Reality? I think it’s the whole concept of education that has changed, which is to blame.

Predominantly, and basically, English is a language of England. The country where getting divorced has never been a bane, where a guy kissing a girl in public is no offense, where children move out of their parents’ soon after they are in their later teens to set themselves up on their own, where who you are matters more than whose son or daughter you are and the connections you have, where whom you idolize isn’t of as much importance as what you do… Is any of this a part of the so-called close-minded and narrow ideology of our country? Yes, I use those two words on purpose. I, in the process of being educated, have been inculcated with more western values. Not because my parents didn’t want me to learn about India. But, because they, like most others wanted me to get ‘good’ education in an English mediumed school. And then if you expect my views to be different, that means you expect me to be someone I am not. That’s just the way I see it.

Basic difference. Contrary to the points I talked about above, in India, you are in big trouble if you even think about a divorce, and you’re in for a jail term ranging from 1-3 years if you’re seen kissing someone in public, for crying out loud!! It matters more about who your parents are and where you come from than who you are and can and will be… If you want to move out at a decent age, all everyone is concerned about is how will you live over them trusting you with your abilities… All this in a country which is many more times than safe than those which we idolize! USA, UK among other western countries fall high above India in criminal and crime related cases. And even then, their teenagers can lead their life on their terms so much sooner. Here, if you move out of your ‘family home’ even after you marry, you’re bound to have raised eyebrows… If you end up an atheist or agnostic and deny going the religuous establishments and talking against their wrong-doings, you’re not faithful.

It’s confusing and compelling what is asked of me… Is it what I have learnt in the formative years of my life, from the kind of education I have got, or the tradition that holds me shackled? Pretty big a thing to ask for, eh? Doesn’t seem so to me. It’s simple. You want me to be what you wanted me to learn or you want me to be what you want me to be, because both are contradictory. Both are just saying against each other. That they, you wish, wouldn’t or didn’t think it would.

I turn 18 in a few months from now. And like every teenager (I hope!) I do have discords with my parents regarding stuff. Many things, in fact. Many of my friends share with me their experiences with their parents, too. And all such times lead me to thinking and assessing myself and the situations… I ended up writing a previous post, ‘G For Generation, G For Gap.‘ in such a thought, and here I am back to it…

While being a teen, expecting some freedom over what I do, to make my choices of where I hang out, with whom I hang out, the friends I make (even if they are not of the same score or in the same study group as mine) doesn’t bother me, it seems to be a concern for most parents. Mostly dominated by the feeling that friendships, cell phones, relationships, friends who are not pursuing same or similar courses, all deter their children. Some of which may also be a result of the education system that promotes competition. Sometimes I feel it gets too compulsive. Some others, it seems just too much of a concern. Either they think we’re unable to form decisions for ourselves, or it is that they think we’re immature and they need to control our lives.

Let’s face it. I don’t think I’m wrong when I want to have friends who are not from my educational field. I don’t think I’m wrong when I talk to someone late in the night when I want to talk and both of us are awake, and we don’t have to wake up early the next morning. I don’t think I’m wrong to be in a relationship and spend time with alone my girlfriend/boyfriend, even if it’s in a public place. I don’t think it’s wrong to want to want to talk to someone I like for endless hours. I don’t think it’s wrong when I want to go over to a friend’s place when we have a fight, to sort it out, even if she’s a girl or vice versa. I don’t think it’s wrong to spend a lot of time on the internet doing mindless stuff that may not make any sense to my parents. I don’t think it’s wrong for someone to do something they want to, from their heart, even if that won’t fetch them a very high income. I don’t think it’s wrong if a person finds his soulmate in someone who is of a different caste or religion or follows a certain different food habit, if they want to marry each other and spend the rest of their lives together, even if they’re of the same gender. I don’t think it’s wrong to date. I don’t think it’s wrong to want freedom to be out of home late in the night. I don’t think it’s wrong to skip or delay a meal just because you are in a bad mood because of a fight or a misunderstanding you’ve had with someone who matters. I don’t think it’s wrong when I spend more time with my friends who understand me, than my family which would raise questions about every act of mine. I don’t think it’s wrong to… And I can go on and on and on…

There’s a hell of a list! Because, it’s the choices I make for myself that count, in the end.

In the end, it’s about me. My life. And how responsible I can be, for myself. I can have emotional breakdowns, relationship break-ups, fights, misunderstandings. But, I want to sort them, move on and learn from them myself. I don’t want to be told to do something or be advised. That, just stops me from growing as a person, as an individual. That doesn’t teach me from my mistakes, that makes me dependent on you every time I am in trouble. That’s not what I want to be. And I’m sure, that’s not what you meant to be, either… You want to help, but, you don’t realize you’re restricting my growth, you’re not letting me think of the possibilities I can put forth for myself… I’m not saying you don’t advise me or ‘suggest’ me. I’m just saying I hope it doesn’t get compelling on me of the fact that it’s my ‘parents’ who have suggested me a way out. And the fact of the matter, the whole, Parents-have-more-experience-and-have-seen-more-life discussion doesn’t apply here. For reasons I mentioned above. The ideology, the chaning environment and the education which has shaped us is much different than what was for them.

As a teen, right now, I just want to be able to do what I think is right… Contrary to what anyone else thinks… And, yes. I am sure this is the voice of every teen out there. Everyone who has crossed 16 and is nearing adulthood at 18. I know many who won’t speak up even though they think what they’re doing for someone else, probably their parents, is wrong. Fear, anxiety and the anger of their parents that holds them back from doing what they wish to do… But, I just want to tell them now, why not stand up for how you feel and regret later in life about having kept quiet? Though, I won’t say anything else. I don’t want to be blamed for provoking anti-parents actions!!

So, it may seem pretty weird as to how the whole post flows… From educational drawbacks to the restrictions to what I want as a teen growing up in a changing India… Give it a thought and I guess the dots will connect…

Still the same question hovering in my mind… Have we grown-up a bit too much… A bit too soon?

Feel free to comment or e-mail me or tell me, in any form what you feel…

Until the next post…

Adios!

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About Setu Shah

Hello there. I am Setu Shah. I began blogging to put my opinions and my views in front of the world. Do comment if you find it interesting or request a change! Happy Reading! View all posts by Setu Shah

19 responses to “>A Bit Too Grown-Up… A Bit Too Early?

  • Poulomi

    >This is just sheer awesomeness. I couldnt agree more!Awesome you write. :Dxx

  • Dipanjan

    >I have to agree with this too! Brilliant portrayal of a teenager living in India presently! I hope our generation is not like this when we become parents. 🙂

  • ankit

    >Superb post dude… i bet 90% of the teens out dere wud agree wid u…. keep bloggin….

  • Mom

    >Setu, Rethink your own thoughts – "USA, UK among other western countries fall high above India in criminal and crime related cases. And even then, their teenagers can lead their life on their terms so much sooner." Just try to put 2nd sentence 1st and 1st sentence 2nd…Think over…can so much of crime be bec of losing shelter of parents at early age… No emotions, no sympathy, no care, no concern and above all NO LOVE for anybody else other than one's own self???

  • Mom

    >Setu, 'GROWING UP' is never related with age..It is possible that an aged person can be immature and not wise and a young person can have better maturity and more wiser…And one's wiseness, maturity and stability can also vary as per time and circumstance… It's never a rule that a person who has behaved immaturely today will behave immaturely everyday…He may surprise you with some different behaviour next day… but when one persists and repeats same or similar thoughts/ feelings/ behaviour/action, that forms that person's pattern….Thus, we need to be alert about the pattern we are forming for ourselves…The circumstance and situations are NEVER in our hand but whether to react to it WISELY/MATURELY or unwisely/immaturely is in our hand(Age NO bar)…It all depends on how anybody learns from their own experiences…I am happy that you are very clear about your thoughts… but now try to understand the different thought processes of many more on the same… It will help you understand POSSIBILITIES…This can give us better flexibility and we can move and flow and not get stuck up… Experiment and experience for your own self …

  • Anonymous

    >No doubt setu u have clearly described a current youth experience but fr instance will we become less smarter or stuid in bowing and touching the feets rather than a formal handshake?similiarly we should no doubt live a lifestyle of our own but also keep a balance with our parents.

  • Pratik Mehta

    >Dats a masterpiece setu…And I happen to believe that by voicing the dilemma of almost every teen, you have hav definitely brought sum much needed clarity…Although a few decisions are best taken with help from elders, all in all, I agree wid u! :)Except that, I completely agree wid u…specially "You want me to be what you wanted me to learn or you want me to be what you want me to be, because both are contradictory." Couldnt have been better! :DMay 22, 2011 3:51 AM on BloggerPratik Mehta If ever theres something Id call a must-read, it would be this!May 17, 2011 at 4:30 am on Facebook

  • Nishant Dalvi

    >I will make my mum read this. :DMay 17, 2011 at 4:44 am on Facebook

  • Sujaan Choksi

    >extremely well written!!but parent's are so regressive like u point out…at least in cities….i mean inter-caste marriage,dating,divorce and stuff isn't really a issue for them….May 17, 2011 at 6:19 am on Facebook

  • Suhani Janak Mehta

    >awesome dude!!!!!!!!!May 17, 2011 at 9:14 am on Facebook

  • Makarand Praful

    >well written setu………..\May 17, 2011 at 9:57 am on Facebook

  • Shruti Mehta

    >nice one setu..! wen u r 20 or 21 read dis very blog 1ce again n post ur thots..m sure dey'l change..May 17, 2011 at 10:46 am on Facebook

  • Pranay Ritam Patt

    >beautifull written, it truely displays the conflicts in the minds of us teenagers!! Great work dude!!1 3 cheers!!May 17, 2011 at 11:38 am on Facebook

  • Kunal Dhaimade

    >this has to make its way into the newspaper!May 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm on Facebook

  • Rasila Shah

    >awesome… Voice to almost every teenager out there…May 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm on Facebook

  • Samruddhi Patil

    >wow yaar….so true..May 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm on Facebook

  • Pragati Chitodkar

    >it is superb………..!!!!!May 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm on Facebook

  • Raj S Khot

    >and u voice our thoughts again….May 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm on Facebook

  • Shreenath 'Giggs' Pillai

    >once again an awesome blog…….:Pi so agree with you……!!!!!!May 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm on Facebook

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