|At Edinburgh, Scotland. You can see the Edinburgh castle behind me|
How are you today? I think my yesterday's post sent everyone who was calling me M'am, in a tizzy. If you want to call me M'am, please do 😃. I realised after reading all the comments, how uncomfortable I made many of you. I think everyone is still stuck on 'age'.
(If you have't read yesterday's post, I have linked it; Highlighted word is a link)
Most people in India have been taught to respect age. So if someone is older, it feels very disrespectful to call them by their name. I get it.
I had lived in India for over 30 years, post which I moved to UK. It was in UK, that I was immersed in a completely alien world. I was so used to my children's friends calling me aunty. I still like it when my children's friends call me aunty. In UK, they would address me by name. There were kids who were anywhere between 5 and 18 ! It was amusing to be addressed by name that way, as I wasn't used to it. Then I realised how much it bridges the gap between two people. Your age truly doesn't matter. Why should age define a connection between two people? Why can't a 70 year old be friends with a 5 year old? I had a paradigm shift in my thinking.
In UK, I was just Preeti to everyone. I wasn't anyone's mother. I wasn't anyone's wife. I wasn't anyone's sister/daughter. I mean, of course, I was all of those things, but what was most important was the society didn't define me by those roles. It was very liberating for me. I was 'just me'. I also realised Indian women are completely brainwashed by a very patriarchal society. We're also cast into strict gender roles. In India if a man makes a cup of tea, that is enough for other women to say "Oh my god. Your husband makes tea? You are so lucky." I used to feel irked about this even before moving to UK. In my home, my dad used to cook as much as my mom did. Cooking was not exclusively a woman's domain.
|At the ITV network studio in Birmingham when I was interviewed|
Living in UK , however, did change my perspective on a lot of things. I fell in love with UK. I also made some lifelong friends who are British.
Kindly note--I am not in anyway comparing the Indian culture to the UK culture and saying that is better or this is better. They are two different worlds. So please don't come at me with your metaphorical cultural knives.
Also, before leaving a comment on this post, please read the last post as this is part-2 of that.
Many of my books have UK as a setting. In fact my latest book (which was ready to be shipped out when the lockdown was announced) too has a boy whose parents migrated to UK, when they were very young. The boy has ben raised in Britain. The only thing Indian about him is his name. He travels to India fro the first time, as sees India from a completely Western perspective as that was how he was raised. It is a gripping book. Do read it when the lockdown ends. (You can't order it now.)
As always, thoughts and comments welcome. If you are reading this on mail or an aggregator feed, head over to my blog please.
That's all from me for today.
Lots of love