Independence vs Disjunction
This thought came by during a conversation I had lately. I inadvertently said it in the context, a subconscious understanding. Only after a while did I realize what I said and mulled over it consciously. This is how it goes -
We hear people's stories from their experiences abroad, living with just unit currency left at the fag end of the month. And of course working part time to support their studies and their living. And finally they just start praising the system, as to how these amazing people just after they turn 16 live independently and such. The conversation creeps into the ears of the folks of the previous generations (our fathers and theirs) and you see a fit of revulsion - "What kind of society is that? No Bondings, and uncultured lifestyle, eyooo"
Well, I don't think so. In my opinion we Indians often misconstrue that which is not as yet accepted in out society. In this case Independence it is, which we associate with being Disconnected. There is a whole lot of difference between the two.
Just because in other countries the younger people live by themselves at a much earlier age and much of their families are nuclear does not imply a lack of bonding in them. They are tightly knit in their own way. Sometimes it appears that keeping some distance with people makes every experience with them much more pleasurable. Whilst in joint family frought society as ours with closely knits kins we tend to take people for granted. Of course it is given that absence of a contributing individual is very noticeable. Which is probably why more often than not, Indians value things only when they are bereft of it.
But just want you to be careful to distinguish between a person being Independent and one being Disjuncted. Contrary to common confounding there is quite a difference between the two. Surely people understand the lexical difference, but probably inadvertently end up using the imprecise word to describe that which we wish to.
This gets me to think about something else as well. Many a times I advocate that staying not all too close with people is good. Maybe because I am young blood and that I crave independence in my decisions, I believe in such. The problem with joint families as I see it is one having to mend their way to the imposing rulings of those with leverage. This invariably boils down to stolen Independence. But then again at times I'v been tired of complete independence. Times when I craved for someone who would just edify me. I guess that is a good sign, that I am still very Indian at heart. Probably when I get old, I'd start prefering our traditional systems.