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Parents want the best for their children, but are their decisions always right? Leave career choices to the kids, and let them follow their passions, says the author.
Parents want the best for their children, but are their decisions always right? Leave career choices to the kids, and let them follow their passions, says this thoughtful piece.
My neighbour’s daughter came to me happily, with a box of sweets. She had cleared her board (HSC) exams with 93%. I asked her about plans for the future, and pat came the obvious reply – Engineering. She had always told me she was keen in pursuing Arts, but then this sudden change?
She is very good with paintings and murals, and also has an exhibition to her credit. I was not surprised, though. I was already expecting it. She had tremendous pressure from her parents and so-called ‘well wishers’ who wished for her to pursue an engineering degree or to become a doctor.
It reminded me of a dialogue from the movie 3 Idiots “Abba, main engineer nahi banna chahta, aur agar ban bhi gaya to bahot kharab engineer banunga” (Dad, I do not wish to become an engineer and even if I become one, I will be a very bad one). It got me thinking about the pressure Indian youth are facing today from all spheres of life.
With good intentions to see a bright future for the kids – that directly translate to own house in a great locality, bank balance, and a six-figure income – parents are left with little choice when it comes to deciding their child’s future; while the kid is programmed to accept the choice.
Indian youth have tremendous imagination and talent that is raw and needs to be harvested. Imagine if every one was either an engineer or a doctor, we would not have been blessed with a legendary singer like Lata Mangeshkar or a legendary cricketer like Sachin Tendulkar.
I have a few friends who have left well-paying jobs in multinationals to pursue their field of interest later in life.
I have a few friends who have left well-paying jobs in multinationals to pursue their field of interest later in life. However, today, dozens of burnt-out professionals are working in fields that they are not even remotely interested in, and are earning their bread and butter.
It is too late for them – as most are married and have an additional responsibility of their family. Some of them manage to keep their passion alive in the form of a part-time hobby while others have completely given up.
Statistics suggest that 75-80% of the people wish to leave their jobs in their mid-thirties to pursue their passion; call it mid-life crises or late realization but the fact is most of them drag themselves to work daily and what keeps them motivated is the smile on their kid’s face, well-meaning colleagues, or challenges at work which they eventually start enjoying.
Future writers, painters, sculptors, movie directors, actors, statisticians, lawyers or gardeners – they are all around us. I am not insisting that there should be no engineers of doctors, but it is high time we realize the potential of other professions and realize that if we work in a field of our passion, it hardly feels like work and life becomes more meaningful.
Pic Credit: NeoNihil (Used under a CC license)
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).