It starts from the very beginning. When we don’t even understand what it’s all about. Our own parents, unknowingly, of course, start it. Giving us the so-called values that will stick with us throughout our lives. When we join first grade, no..when we first join playschool these so-called values keeps compounding – from teachers who’ve grown up with the same values along with the kids who are getting the same at home. And where does it all lead us? An entire world that follows a well-structured, sophisticated system to keep us all in check.
We’re slaves…and it doesn’t matter whether we want to accept it or not. We’re slaves to the corporates, to the government, to the insecurities and the ‘perfect life’ we’re all aiming to have one day. And no, I am not some enlightened soul who can see through it. You feel it too. You sitting there with your phone in hand, scrolling through your social feeds, you feel it too, don’t you? Car, job, home…this definition of ideal life. 6-digit bank account, maintaining your social profiles, clubbing, wrapped in pretty packaging, that everybody just keeps selling to us on every level of our being.
Take an average Indian guy’s life as an example. Everybody tells him to go for engineering, then for an MBA, then for a job, then getting married, then kids, then repeat. And no one, during the entire process, NO ONE asks even once to think of ourselves. And being the gullible sheep we are, we just keep following, copying, mimicking…hoping to get some sort of ultimate happiness which we never do.
Corporate life is just the perfect example. You go, you work, you give gaali to your bosses during sutta breaks, you come home tired, watch TV, check Facebook, sleep and repeat this shitshow for 5 more days (sometimes even 6). On weekends, either you’re too tired to actually do anything productive, or you go to some place to click pictures and upload them to social just to look cool. I am not saying that all of them do it, but most people do. You do this on a regular basis for 40 years and Voila, you have a life.
Our society plays its part thoroughly too. There are just too many expectations from everywhere. Your parents first. Not that anyone can blame them for wanting their child to do good in their life, but their ‘definition’ of good is…well, for the most part, is according to them and what their society taught them. Some parents do want to support their kids in going for the kind of life they want, but most, don’t. And who can blame them? They too are a part of this system. Maybe they thought that having a child will make their lives better or save their marriage but it doesn’t work like that.
Then comes your extended family. Your chacha, mama, bua, mausa…basically all your relatives. And to all the rishtedaars out there – STAY OUT OF OUR FUCKING BUSINESS. I don’t know what is their obsession with our lives, but it makes me uncomfortable that there are people who are more concerned about my life than me. I don’t even think that often about my future than they. And I don’t even know why! Maybe they just can’t help measuring my success to their kids or something. “Listen Maami, I don’t care if your son is in ‘abroad’ or how much he earns, leave me be…and stop filling my parents’ head with your crap.” I read somewhere that it’s not that people don’t want you to succeed, it’s just that people don’t want you to succeed more than them (or in this case, their children).
So, why do we keep doing this? Because we have to. Because there are people who depend on us. Who want us to have the ‘good’ life. Who want us to be safe, secure and wealthy. And these people…they love us, and we love them and that is why we have to keep doing what we do and we have to keep peddling this awful and vicious cycle till we’re too old to chase our dreams. Till then, writing these stupid articles to let some of that anger out is the only thing we can do.
Image Sources: publicdomainpictures, pxhere, pixabay, wikimedia commons, memecenter, twitter