Live and Express

Live and Express

The Family Way


After three months of silence, my friend called back. I asked her how she is doing and whether she has taken up any consultant assignment, as she was trying the same. ‘Oh no Venkat. I have stopped looking. We are going the family way!’ I got confused for a moment. She is married, and has been living with her husband for the past many years. Family Way? So, is she and her husband not family so far? Has Indian method of married life changed? I didn’t see anything in Google or NDTV to that effect..What’s going on? For a moment I thought of calling my college buddy who is on top of all these things. Then, it dawned on me. She is pregnant.

‘Oh, that’s so sweet! Congratulations!’ I said. We chatted for a bit more, and concluded the chat. And since I am a good friend to her, I didn’t say anything about our population trouble, and how she could have helped by not adding one more. You got to put on your society mask sometimes for your family and friends…

Many like her are ignorant to the problems that we have already with our 1.2 billion heads
fighting for resources – jobs, land, water, food, electricity, oxygen, or they just don’t care.
They need that sweet tiny kid for them to play with for 5 years, and then want the kid to jump the school and college bandwagon to become economically super, and then support them during their old age. Nice model, but we have overdone that a lot. Even one kid per family has become too much for this land to support. We go on encroaching agricultural lands to plots, while the agricultural family move to cities to work in mobile and courier companies, and real estate related services in other states.

And then we complain when these laborers from other states commit crimes in cities against women. We roar like lions in Facebook. We hiss like snakes in Twitter. We don’t care for a moment to think where they come from, what forced them to leave their land, whether we took care of their education or local rural economy.

We complain when floods, earthquakes and tsunamis do their duty that they have been doing for ever. They have never stopped. But, we, the human beings started occupying mountains, foothills, river and ocean sides, and earthquake prone places. We have even built huge cities very well knowing that they are on heavy fault zones. And then, when the disaster happens, we curse the nature and Gods. I have seen umpteen number of posts, blogs questioning God’s intentions. What did God do? We occupied those susceptible places.

This attitude of ‘family’ has to change a bit. Can’t we for a moment think that we are
all one family ? Why do we get ourselves in tiny circles ? Why can’t we see the children
on the streets with no one to care for as our babies?

Some years back, I told my friend that I went to the movie. He asked me, ‘Did you go alone?
Your family was not with you. They were travelling.’ I said ‘Yes, I went alone’. He exclaimed,
‘How can you watch a movie alone?’ I was stunned! There were 200 people watching the movie with me, and I was with them whistling, clapping, and enjoying the movie, and this guy is saying I watched the movie alone!

So, ‘The family way’ has to broaden its perspectives. Otherwise, nature including the living
beings are going to get cruel for their survival. We have very limited resources and huge number of people, and we certainly cannot afford more and more babies just for the itch of it.

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3 thoughts on “The Family Way

  1. Nice post… you are right, we should broaden/extend the family (values) in a true “Basudheiva Kutumbakam”.

  2. Pingback: About me | Population and India stories by Venkat Ramakrishnan

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