It is generally assumed that child is the father of man. Whatever we do in our childhood, whether it is the behaviour towards others or fascination or repulsion towards something, actually hold a mirror to our future prospective. But if it is really so, then don’t our thought processes go under a change with the passage of time? Don’t we sometimes contradict our childhood likings with the later developed disliking or vice-versa? Don’t we encounter a wide transformation from an innocent, puerile cherub into a smart, independent and much mature a person?
For me, the answer to all these questions is my own entire life which has caused me to ponder that childhood can affect our lives in a certain way but can’t determine our future. Miseries and discomforts experienced in earlier stages can transform our lives in either way—whether by providing sanguinary attitude for better future ahead or leading us towards utter melancholy regretting over what we have lost, everything in the end depending upon our own selves.
I still remember and perhaps won’t ever forget my childhood or even teenage days when I was not allowed to go outside except school or college, to hang out with the friends as my other classmates used to do or go to market even- because of being the product of orthodox family. But to a surprise I never expressed a single remorse or regret over it in front of my parents. And may be my resistance was becoming the cause of increase in such restrictions making my heydays gloomy ones. When my friends used to go on school or college trips I could do nothing except keeping my words unsaid or unheard. And the worst part was that my parents weren’t able to listen to my silence. There is no denying the fact that my parents have always loved me like anything as other parents do but somewhere or somehow their love was overshadowed by their possessive, dominating and over-careful attitude towards me which converted my ever carefree days into most depressing ones, that never allowed my sweet and innocent dreams to be turned into reality. I just hope they could realise this.
Parents generally fall into two categories; those who claiming to be their children’s friends leave them free in this unfriendly world to deal with it their own irrespective of the fact that they are going to encounter numerous absurdities of this irrational world. On the other hand there are parents who always want to be a protective wall around their children with the fear in their mind that they may become victims of someone’s false pretensions. But the fact is; in both the cases they do love us.
I think, by now, you all might have understood that my parents belong to second type of parents. In the race of protecting me from the world, they actually left me and my feelings behind being unnoticed. But I won’t blame them. Since our actions and behaviour are most of the time culturally determined, they too have been the victim of this. Therefore, who and what should be blamed? Our parents – who always want to protect us making it the sole purpose of their lives or the society that has forced them to think and behave in a particular way?
In Indian societies, intentionally or unintentionally there is a wide and never-ending and most importantly constructed difference between boys and girls. Even variation can be clearly seen in the attitude and treatment towards siblings in the same house. Initially I was not allowed to do things my brother used to do. I was not allowed to go even in the neighbourhood alone. If I was sitting or standing on the threshold of the house, I had to encounter a large number of questions: “Why are you standing here? What are you doing here? Just go inside.” And to my surprise, in case of my brother it was entirely opposite. I couldn’t ever understand the cause behind it but I had realized one single fact with the passage of time: “I have to accept it as it is.”
In school, I was deeply loved and admired by everyone since I was the monitor of the class. Teachers loved to teach me and my classmates wanted me to sit with them. Some of them had become my fast friends. They used to come to me for the solution of their problems sometimes academic and sometimes personal. And I loved to find solution to their problems and make them feel happy. Once one of my dearest friends invited me to her home. I also wished to go. With the excitement, after school, I rushed to home ; I had never ridden my bicycle on such a high speed; I was actually flying in the sky since, for the first time someone had given me an invitation and I was eagerly waiting for the moment to come. The foremost thing I did after reaching at home, “Mumma! My friend has invited me to her home—can I——can I g—-????? My conscious smile suddenly disappeared when mumma said, “ Dear! No need to go anywhere; you don’t know how cruel this world is; and you can’t imagine what can be in the guise of your friend; just avoid them.”
As always I was not able to understand what she had said but like an innocent child I nodded. Although It could be an excuse exercised by her to convince me of the notion that it is much better to stay at home, but having firm faith in my mother I had also started feeling and thinking in the same way and after that I never asked for such permissions.
At the age of 18, I joined college- a phase which is considered to be that of independence and various kinds of joys and excitements. But here too I was overruled by strict orders. My father, even being single-earning had done his level best to provide us the best of education. But he never wanted me to get much familiar with boys of my college because he used to believe that they could spoil me. I think, being a father it was natural—maybe. So being an obedient daughter, I never preferred to talk to boys due to which they had started calling me arrogant. At that time my family was going through serious problems which used to disturb me during my college days. I never asked for permission to go on college tours since I knew the answer. I know as an ordinary human being, I might have missed numerous happy and lively moments but how can I overlook the sacrifices that my parents had made for me? How can I forget whenever I had a fever, It was they who used to sit by me till I slept? So what if I couldn’t get chances as others did, so what if they didn’t allow me complete freedom, yet they were always there in my time of utter crisis. We should not regret over what we have lost rather we should be thankful to the Almighty for what we have achieved and acquired.
With the passage of time, things changed. Slight changes occurred in the behaviour of my parents too. By now, they had become a bit liberal, don’t forget—a bit. It was my last semester when my friends asked me to accompany them on a college one day trip and forced me to have permission from my father. Without any hope, just because of my friends I hesitatingly asked my father. This time again I was speechless when my father said, “ Ok dear, go and enjoy and tell me how much money you need?” Those words made me forget all my past and haunting memories.
Moreover, every cloud has a silver lining. Nothing is good or bad but our attitude makes it so. I made my past moments my strength. It is said that when you go through hardships either you become feeble day by day or emerge as a stronger person within. I chose to be the latter one. I converted control or dominance of my parents over my life into my own self-control which has lead me towards self-realization.
The saint of saints Guru Nanak Dev Ji had preached, “ Self- realization is the sole aim of being educated.” In words of a renowned scholar Plato, being educated means to know the difference between what is right or wrong. That’s what I have gained out of my experiences. Lord Krishna very well propagated in Bhagwad Gita that wrong is wrong; no matters exercised by strangers or your loved ones and we are supposed to stand against it. Such realization has given me the strength to appreciate the right and react against the wrong. My silence in the earlier days has taught me to speak for the welfare for others and society as well. And that’s what I have achieved. I haven’t lost anything. Today I react whenever I see something wrong being happened either with me or anyone else. I prefer to do what my heart asks me to do; no matters who tries to stop or forbid me.