We, the joke

I love what Russell Peters does. I hope that you’re the kind that loves it, too. If not, you’re probably taking life too seriously to laugh about it. Don’t.

The guy loves to talk about Indians, and though his comedy is quite harsh, it is almost never untrue. Last night was one of those nights when I needed a good laugh, so after I was home from work, I picked a couple of Russell videos to watch (no one can watch just one!) In one of the videos, he was talking about arranged marriage, a very common and complex Indian tradition, wherein he narrates that his mom once told him: I will pick you some nice girls, then you choose which one you want.

And Russell said: This is crazy! My mom wants to pick a girl for me? I don’t even let her pick my clothes!

Interesting thought. How many of us can say that about ourselves?

Mom, I’ve to rush. Would you please put my clothes to wash?

Most Indian moms are so dutiful, they’ll do stuff for you without you telling them. Think of all the times you’ve left a messy room before heading out, and have walked back into a meticulously tidied room. Or when you left your plate on the table after a meal, and by the time you wash your hands, it has landed in the kitchen.

Same goes with Dads, especially in case of daughters. Drop me here, drop me there, buy this on your way home. So many things we ought to have done, we conveniently shove onto their shoulders. And they bear the tasks without protest because they feel needed and important, and that they have a major share in our lives’ equity.

And then one fine day we want to become independent,think for ourselves, and have no one’s say involved. We want to run away from home, get rid of our relatives, we want to get married to the guy/ girl we choose, and not want our parents to interfere. We secretly think that this is none of their business. Well, if this is the background of upbringing, then sure as hell they would want to interfere. You can’t just cut them off. They’ll remind you why not. Of all those done dishes and tidied rooms and last minute running-abouts. Why shouldn’t they?

And then you feel like that heavy-duty dangling thing that oscillates inside grandfather clocks. You’re ‘stuck’ to your roots, because you don’t want to hurt them, and you’re oscillating between love and hate, independence and dependence.

Until you are married, and your kids are old enough to feel your need. And then you repeat the very history you hated so much.

Well, what can I say? The joke’s on us.


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