Soon I’ll be hitting the dreaded 30. The ‘When are you starting a family’ questions keep coming, and my reactions keep getting bitter by day. Sure, the biological clock is ticking. But I don’t give a damn.
The questions come from every single person who’s known me and even if I fail to acknowledge them, they’re still interested in politely inquiring if I ever do plan to have babies. One such question came from a colleague and just when I thought that every single person in the whole wide world was getting nosy – the question took a twist! It started with “So, when you plan to have kids…would you want to raise them in India?”
Truth is, I have given that question quite some thought myself. I would want to keep my kids away from the corruption, have them grow up in a safer environment and reduce the pressure they would have to put up with on a daily basis. On the other hand, I believe it’s a privilege to be born and raised in India, here’s why:
1. You’re continually pushing yourself to be your best.
Right from childhood, you’re taught to compete. While some may claim it’s not an environment to grow your kids in, I disagree. Yes, pushing your kids to do something beyond their limits is not cool. However, placing them in situations wherein there’s always healthy competition, which makes you try harder – great! You learn to realize your inner potential. And you’re constantly made aware, if it’s something you dearly love, that its not going to come easy.
2. You become resistant and resilient towards minor pitfalls.
Be it the pollution or the daily grind, each day is about new challenges.
- Choosing a niche for a career that you love
- Applying for a job that receives more than a 100 applications on average, each candidate equally suitable for the role
- Fighting for a place on the public transport system, that’s always somehow filled to capacity. The list goes on.
It’s a normal list. If it involves a personal chore that involves (God forbid) official work, you realize patience is the key (maybe sometimes with some bribe thrown in). You get resistant, accept the way things work and carry on with life.
3. You realize hard-work is the key.
Having to constantly struggle in life isn’t a great thing, but realizing things are not going to progress unless you give it a push, comes naturally. Be it college life or the workplace, your talent and your capability needs to stand out. It could be as simple as a presentation or as complex as a transfer to a country you’ve been eyeing.
That ‘edge’ is something you need, and you ensure you showcase it.
4. You’re kept grounded.
The struggles of daily life keep you grounded. The poverty you see when you step out of your house reminds you of your privileges, irrespective of whether you’re rich or not. Being educated, having a roof over your head, or even a simple snack – Privileges.
This realization helps in keeping you humble, being happy with all you have, and ensuring you do your part, no matter how small, to contribute in making a change.
5. You learn to be happy with the simple things in life.
In the end, it’s about finding joys in simple things. The smell of the earth after the first rain of the season, having tropical fruits in summer, a nice hot cup of tea in winter at a road-side stall. These and many other ‘small’ escapes bring a smile to your face. It’s a big smile when you find a seat in the bus, your passport gets processed without a second visit and you face minimal traffic on your way to work!
It’s been more than a year that I have been living in the UK. Although a lot of the locals I’ve met are amazing, it’s fun when I narrate incidents from daily life back home. The look of surprise and admiration I get every time, is definitely interesting. It’s then that they realize they’re truly blessed and I realize I’m grateful for my experiences.