19 June 2016

Blood is thicker than water



If you are in India, try this once. Travel in a crowded bus, train or metro.  You will find a lady hanging in there, without a seat, and struggling to balance herself. Give her your seat - out of kindness or just good, old manners.  She may thank you but most likely she willl plonk herself on that seat like she was its rightful owner. Like it belonged to her. Like you HAD to give it to her. The journey will continue. Hereon, you will hang in there and jostle for space. The minute the seat next to her is empty, she will turn around and call her brother, uncle, sister  or aunt. Not you! No. You, the seat sacrificer, will go unappreaciated.

Shouldn’t she have given the empty seat to you? Isn’t that fair? Isn’t that the right thing to do ? Apparently, social propriety is not a two-way street when family is involved.

Now, imagine you are the jury in a school competition. Your daughter or niece is one of the participants. Everyone can see she doesn’t stand a chance. They expect her to not even qualify.  But would it be possible for you to score her low or disqualify her? Wouldn’t the nature of your relationship with her cloud your judgment? Would you be fair in your assessment? Would it be asking too much of you to be impartial?

Family  over everything and everyone. Truly.  Dynastic rule in politics is a shining example.  Rahul Gandhi is incapable, incompetent, completely undeserving and  yet goes on to be leader of what was till recently the single largest political party of India and enjoys the privileges that come with political affiliation. Mulayam Singh & Family OWN the state of Uttar Pradesh. Deserving or undeserving is not asked. Not contested. One’s blood is the only criteria. And go on to commit crimes and atrocities that are brushed under the carpet. Nepotism in the extreme? You bet!

Fairness is a tricky word. Doesn’t apply to us when one of our own does something wrong. Blind loyalty to one’s family is a common scenario. I recollect the Hindi film “Damini” The maid of the house is raped by the protagonist’s brother-in-law and his friends. Everyone, including her husband, tells her to shut up and not implicate him. She doesn’t – shut up. She goes to the court. And then, her entire world comes crashing down.  Her family turns against her and plots her murder.
Why is it so hard for us to be objective when we are faced with a situation involving a family member? Why does our sense of right and wrong fly out of the window? Moral dilemmas are always settled in favor of the family member no matter  how in the wrong they were.  Why do we close our eyes to the transgressions of our near & dear ones?

21 comments:

  1. Very apt post..even i also wonder the samething and see it in my family too..people find me weird because I can find faults in my family. I say .I love everyone but i cant condone the wrong thing.but sadly because of that I have many strained relationships.

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    1. True relationships suffer because of it :(

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  2. It's the opposite here. People are kind and polite to strangers, but not always to family. It's weird. My own family has been divided (now in the process of restoration...only by God's hand, truly.)

    If I was on the bus I'd plop in the seat if I was exhausted, refuse to take it from you if I wasn't, and say thank you. But today I am having a conversation with my Mom about a very tense topic and must, must, must remember be humble and not prideful because that would be a disaster. Maybe I should imagine we are on a bus and we are strangers.

    Hope and peace to you, Sujatha.

    That movie, though....oh nooo...horrible. I will never watch that. Sad! I hope that is just fiction. God help us all.

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    1. Feel like I should add more detail about my Mom and I. I had to ask her to stop doing something that is both hurtful and harmful, to her and to me. But that is a difficult thing, talking to my Mother like that. Would an Indian woman ever have a conversation like that? I think, from what I know of Indian families, never.

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    2. That movie addresses real situations :( I am sure similar things happen

      The mom and daughter conversation....was almost never few years back....even now it is rare...but things are changing

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  3. That bus example was so relatable, I have experienced that a few times. But, in my family, we follow this principle: "When you're wrong, you're wrong." Same principle applies when we're right. That's what my parents have taught us. :)

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    1. That's a blessing ... that kind of upbringing

      Start writing Akshay

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  4. Mediocrity will continue to be rule where the judgement is clouded by blood relationships and nothing will change for better for a long time to come:(

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  5. Thats a lovely post after long time

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  6. Being Rational is something Individual's character.

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  7. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. I am a lady of 59 years and I often give my seat on the bus to an older or disabled person. Most of the time I receive a thank you but sometimes I don't. I know that I have no control over others, so I just let it go and try not to let it bother me. You have a very nice blog.

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  8. Food for thought!
    The pitfalls of being sanskaari! :)

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  9. Because we are taught to be there for/take care of family, maybe?

    I had to smile when I read that part about calling out to that relative or friend to come and sit in that vacant seat. :)
    (I swear I'd say Thank You if you gave me that seat ;))

    Welcome back Sujatha. It's been a really long break, hasn't it? :)

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    1. Maybe. In thick or thin. Wrong or right.

      Yes, been four years :(

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  10. Ha ha that is so true - call her brother, uncle, sister or aunt to occupy the next vacant seat. Some of them don't even thank you for the seat offered.

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