On Prejudices

I saw a tamil movie yesterday - Vinnai Thandi Varuvayaa... The actors were nothing great and even the music by A.R.Rahman was a disappointment (probably because of the hyped up expectations), but what made me really like the movie was the story line. It wasn't refreshingly
different or anything, but it set me thinking...Of prejudices and how they change our life - often we make major decisions in life partly because of the prejudices we hold and our life changes forever!

I read a review of the movie which stated that today's youth are not chained down by prejudices and will often marry the person they love. Not really true. I know of enough Mallu Christian families where the threat of "we will not be cremated in the church" from parents work successfully and the girl meekly decides to get married to whomever the parents choose. And that brings me to the question, why are parents who claim to want the best for their kids very vehement when it comes to a marriage that does not meet muster when pitted against their prejudices? In my rebellious teenage years, I thought every love story should be given a chance to succeed. But age has made me wiser.

I have seen liberal parents rue the fact that they allowed their offspring to marry their own choice even when their judgement (which they doubted were prejudices and hence decided to not force them) was dead against the union. There are others who force their prejudices on their kids and despite 'deep and everlasting love', the kids successfully move on and live 'happily ever after' with their new spouse. My own family has examples of both cases. Among my first cousins, I have 3 pairs of divorcees. The first one married a Bengali, with the reluctant blessings of the parents, only to divorce soon after. The second one had a love affair, which the parents did not approve of. She agreed to the match found by her parents, only to say good bye soon afterwards! It would be interesting to see if she would get back to marrying her lover after all. And the third one, well, she too had an arranged marriage. She did not have any previous relationships. But still she could not continue with the guy with whom she was very happy with during her extended courtship years! And then I have yet another cousin who had a love affair with a Goan, then decided to give it up for the sake of her parents and finally decided to marry a Mallu and is very happy with her life.

It is very difficult to make the right choices for your kids -and very difficult to separate out prejudices from experience. In fact often it is experience that shapes prejudices and although every situation should be viewed in its own merit, we often rely on past experience to be a guiding force for decision making, so the line is actually very thin.

The movie also made me think of how the choices that our siblings make affect our lives very deeply. Often, it is said that elder siblings are loving and protective, while the younger ones are bashful and take advantage of the loving kindness of the elder siblings. Which is very true
in any strong sibling bond! But alas, there is another lesser talked about aspect to a very strong relationship with siblings. Often, when one of them disappoints the parents with their choices, (often the elder, because of the time lines) be it in education, career or choice of partner, the other feels the pressure to live up to the expectations of the parents even more. Thus, in a way the younger sibling often ends up carrying the reluctant burden of the parents' prejudices. If anyone could not understand the character of Jessy in the movie and the choices she made, ask me. I know. I know it too well.

I was also personally disappointed with the way the movie ended. I at least know of one couple who are happily married despite the girl being older than the guy although by just a couple of weeks! And no matter how old and practical I become, I guess there will always be a part of me which believes that love should be given the first chance!


Tinkerbells said…
Thnks...and welcome to my blog :)
Anonymous said…
I feel parents should talk to their kids more during their teen years on where they stand on these issues and there should be more of an open discussion about their beliefs, expectations & everything in between. Once the kids have found someone of their choice, it is not right to impose your will on them. I have seen many 'liberal' parents take an about turn when faced with their kid wanting to marry someone from another religion/caste and it irks me no end...
-Meena chechi
Tinkerbells said…
@meena chechi: yea, communication is the key. But even then, we should be ready to accept it if kids decide not to honour our wishes or expectations. The only thing true love can do, is to guide and not enforce. And ofcourse have open arms to break the falls, which eventually will come one way or the other.
Tinkerbells said…
@meena chechi: btw, the cpgp family is gettin together next saturday. wish ppl like u were in tvm so that i'd have some company at least :)
Technolect said…
I liked ur point abt sibling pressure... Knowing it or taking it into account gives a whole ne view at jessy's characterisation...

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