The irony called family.

I belong to a nuclear family. And we are as nuclear as it gets- the only child of my parents, the three of us currently live in three separate geographical locations altogether. I meet my mother every possible weekend and my dad flies down (or vice versa) to meet us. And today, being Diwali, I had gone to visit a friend’s place. She is a Punjabi, with a joint family, occupying two apartments in one building. The grandparents live along with the two brothers of the family, their wives and each couple has two children. Essentially, their house is always open to all the kids of the colony an we actually have had meals after meals at their place and have never felt out of place. It is funny, how I, being from a nuclear family, yearn for that kind of noise and banter while they, the joint family party, cannot wait to be in peace. Even though this feeling is a fleeting and passing thought, it is a thought nonetheless.

Let’s analyse a sentence, one word at a time: Your parents scolded you.

Lets see, your parents scolded you for something, anything. Not your neighbours, not your friends’ parents but yours. They have the right and authority to do so. Besides, if they don’t boss over you, then who will they boss over? And most of the times (yes, mostly) it does turn out to be good for us. We do benefit from it. And OUR parents, specially Indian parents, are super protective about us. I’m a girl and I know the number of times I have to listen to the words ‘Reach home before it is dark’. When your parents scold you, thank god for the fact that they are there, doing just that, alive and breathing and beside you, in the same room. Thousands of children would give an arm and a leg to just get scolded by their long lost parents.

Who gave birth to you? Who paid for your first date? Who made you coffee while you studied for your finals? Who sat with you through your first nightmare? Parents, right? So when they do get a little mad and angsty about something you did- whether big or small- just let them scold you. The world wont break down if you heard them talk loudly and you are never to old to get scolded. Never. They care, probably more than that weed-smoking best friend of yours and their judgement is definitely better than the weed-smoking best friend. Trust them and let go.

Just cross your heart and promise, to yourself, that you will not abuse your parent come what may. Agreed, they scolded you for something petty and made you look silly in front of the girls of your class. Agreed, they have no sense of when and where. Just close your eyes and count to ten (like i’ve been told to do) and thank god for them being there and agreeing to bear with all the non-sense you think is cool. All they have done is discipline you. You deserved it, at least some of it, in the first place. They might be over-protective of you, they might even shelter you more than necessary but that is only because you are still that baby boy/girl to them and they love you, to bits. Stop analysing each of their words and understand the root cause of their so-called scolding.

They scolded you and shouted at you because they still have hope for you to improve. They still believe that them, investing their energy and time on you, is useful and helpful. They want you to be a better person and they want you to grow into someone larger than what you currently are. YOU- thier child, thier hope. The moment they stop believing in you, they will stop ‘harassing’ you. And there will be no sadder day in this life for you, than the day your parents stop keeping faith in your abilities.

Yes, the full-stop is as important as the words. It marks the end of something. It marks the end of the episode (of anger and possible bloodshed!) and marks the beginning of another chapter, a new chapter without the faults of the previous one. A better chapter. A happier chapter. And thus, with the punctuation called full-stop comes the end of my banter.

What I wanted to state was, that despite all the fights and problems, issues and heartaches, there is a very strong glue that binds every family together and it is unique to every family that is there. Every individual family have their own set of good and bad times an it takes a lifetime to understand the intricacies and dynamics of it. An outsider to a family will never fully understand or accept the mesh work of events that bind a family together, only those who are a part of it will hold on to it. Life actually does depend on it, so yes, they will hold on tight. One family will never fully understand another and thus, arises the irony of being a family. The irony is that despite being fragmented again and again, the family always rises as one strong unit in the very end and then, breaks up again only to unite in the time of crises.
It is very easy to stand at a distance and judge the dynamics of any group, be it a family or an Olympic team. Every unit has a way of functioning and it is not necessary to understand everything. SOme things are best left undisturbed if they function perfectly.

– Cheers to family and togetherness!


A family that travels together, stays together.


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