'Log Kya Kahenge?' so ingrained is this phrase in the minds of Indian parents, that every decision they take in their lives, and that of their children, is guided by it. Being a girl, it brings dress-policing and evening curfews in your life, because "log kya kahenge" if you are seen roaming around after dark or wearing short skirts? If you are a college-going girl in India, there's a rulebook that you have to adhere to. Policing of parents only gets worse as you enter your college, because this exposure to the outside world makes them more concerned about your well-being. Although our parents have the best intentions at heart when they try to police us, many of us often feel entrapped, when all of our activities are being closely monitored and we are constantly getting reprimanded for our decisions.
As we step into adulthood or even during our late teenage years, almost all of us fight with our parents on petty issues. The reason for this lack of understanding on both sides is the generation gap and the varying ideologies that come with it. Our parents have kept us in a cocoon since birth and they wish for us to stay the same for the rest of our lives. But won't it leave us unprepared to navigate in the world that lies outside of our homes? Also, why cannot our parents trust us and back our decisions as grown-ups? Isn't being independent in every aspect of life also a part of adulting?
To further explore this generation gap SheThePeople.TV asked a few college girls about things they want their parents to understand. Here's what they have to say.
We're mature enough
Apoorva Pant, a student at Maitreyi College, University of Delhi says, "I need my parents to understand that putting time restrictions on me, invading my personal space, and privacy is not the solution to their insecurities about my safety. They should make peace with the fact that I am old and mature enough to take care of myself and should learn to handle any situation on my own. I know that their intention is noble but each one of us has to fight our own battles, at the end of the day."
I need my parents to understand that putting time restrictions on me, invading my personal space, and privacy is not the solution to their insecurities about my safety. - Apoorva Pant.
Let us experience
Simran Jolly is a student at Gargi College, University of Delhi. She opines, "There's nothing we're hiding when we ask for our personal space. Being humans, it is one of the most basic requirements. I want my parents to let me lead my journey, so that I create a perspective based on my own experiences, even if it involves failures, because that, ultimately would teach me how to value success. Also, instead of pestering us to have only female friends, they should rather teach us how to be safe around boys."
We do care about our future
Anshika Taneja, a first-year student wants her parents to understand that she knows her limits and will not cross them. She adds, "I know the difference between good and bad company. I would never jeopardize my security because I get how important it is. I know what kind of people to befriend. They need to trust me. Also, I want them to realise that I'm just as concerned about my career as they are."
Our clothes don't equal our values
A student of Shri Ram College of Commerce, Saloni Chhabra wishes her parents did not rebuke her from wearing dresses of her choice as she firmly believes that the clothes we wear are not a symbol of how 'sanskaari' we are. She says, "The guys in my college are not called every few hours to get updates about where they are. When we are the same age, why do I have to abide by all the regulations?"
I know the difference between good and bad company. I would never jeopardize my security because I get how important it is. I know what kind of people to befriend. - Anshika Taneja
It's okay to have fun
Tanishka Bisht, a student of Gargi College says that she'd be having much fewer arguments with her parents if they understand that it is okay for her to have fun, and is as important as academics. In the long run, it's not these textbooks that would teach us life skills. She would learn so from going out and meeting new people. She wants her parents to understand her incessant desire to try new things and expose herself to the avenues that are coming up in this new phase of life.
While teaching us how to ride a cycle, our parents stopped supporting it after a certain point. They knew that unless they withdrew their support, we would never learn to ride it on our own. Similarly, in life too, there comes a time, when we need to be given a chance to ride on our own. The worst that could happen is that we would trip, but isn't that what living is all about? Bouncing back up on our feet after a fall, and getting back on the ride that is life again?
Image Credit: Pixabay
Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author's own.