Self Made

I always say, one has a man’s ego trapped in a woman’s body. But even someone such as myself, isn’t egoistic enough to believe, in the term ‘self made!’. There are many things one doesn’t understand about society, this happens to be one. Somebody was saying something about being self made to me today and I said, ‘everything I am is because of my mum!’

So what is this terminology and how are people audacious enough to use it? First of all, if you were self made, you would have been floating around with your father only, you wouldn’t have been made at all. Don’t imagine what I said, let it go. Your genetic makeup, your mother’s milk and care, the school that you went to, the places you were sent to play ( exposed you to your friends, teachers and mentors) the nutrition you were given, the childhood that you had, that’s what has made you, directly or indirectly, that’s what formed your body, mind, psyche and has made you the glorious mess that you are!

This coming from us Indians, seems even more hypocritical, where at each instance, I am so and so’s daughter or son, is thrown around casually, to get the minutest things done. Ninety five percent of the people I know, lived with their parents till they got married. If we talk about the women-the parents supported them through college, paid for their big, gigantic Indian weddings, gave them humungous dowries worth the size of a plot of land and even after the wedding continue to shower them with gifts, every month, as is the custom in our society. Most of their husbands too belong to business class families. The ones who work, the parents baby sit their kids, as both husband and wife aren’t home and let’s not even pretend nepotism doesn’t exist everywhere. That seems like another irrelevant debate to me. Musicians, dancers, carpenters, plumbers, everyone who is in the arts, pass on their knowledge to their offsprings. That’s why we care about gharanas and gotras. Of course there are but a few women I know, who live away from their parents, run their own homes but every time they need someone, still look for their mum and dad.

Now, let’s talk about the men. Most of the one’s I know, come from business class families, meaning everything is inherited. Even if from ten, they’ve made it to a hundred, I’m amazed at their claim, of being ‘self made’. The inheritance should have then been donated and they should have gotten jobs, according to their qualification and had weddings according to their own means, then. The one’s who do have jobs, the siblings, take care of their parents and of course the wives, take care of everything else.

This Westernised version of independence doesn’t even work in the Western world, forget about working in India. Look at their model. They leave their homes by eighteen, then start living in or get married soon after, as they aren’t ready to grow up just about, yet. After a few years they get divorced. Remarry at some point, leave their kids to grow up any which way, drop their parents into old age homes, grow old and get fleeced by strangers. The aping of a system that takes care, neither of the youth or the aged seems, quite non sensical to one. The more and more people become ‘independent’ and ‘self made’ the parents and their contributions become an after thought.

So no, one will never be self made. One will be, made of all the women who came before me, my grandmothers and mother, who were unabashedly themselves. My Dad, with his tongue and his attitude. When I was younger he told me, ‘don’t ever let anyone blackmail you into anything. If you do something, come and tell us.’ That made one forthright with them and like people accuse me, brutally honest. Though one always did tell the parents everything, the one thing I hid from them, I told my Dad today. I thought the KM part would scandalise him but he has changed a lot in the past eight years. Instead of being mad he reassured me, ‘how does it matter who you hooked up with eight years ago? For all I care, you could have hooked up with eight men in the past eight years but if you get married, you take it seriously, don’t split! Don’t ever let anyone, put you down, tu meri beti he, khatarnak he, kissi ko kuch bhi bol sakti he!’ I’m not self made, I’m made of wonderful people.