By Vered Amit, Noel Dyck
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Extra resources for Claiming Individuality: The Cultural Politics of Distinction
It is a lot of hard work, to learn a new profession, to be good at it. It takes a lot of effort … I want to be the best. [H]ere there are, you know, stereotypes, “this is how you should behave, this is what you should be, this is the only thing that is right for you, this is the only way your children should be brought up”, you know. So I feel … if it were possible to move to a more open society [I would] because I feel at times that I am being dragged back by people here … strong types, who are holding you back and though you may be convinced of what you are going to do, it is not that I am going to do something rash or sensational or, what do you say, scandalous, but … just maybe going out or maybe driving a car, maybe just wearing your bindi, or … just looking smart, may raise a lot of eyebrows.
It all has to do with Narayan, Nalani explains. Everyone has been unbalanced by his death. “Kalyani”, she tells me, was a brilliant student and doesn’t blame her mother for her [unhappy] marriage. Now kids would blame their parents. Once the kids [Nalani’s sons] got angry at Krishnan. They wrote him, “Give us credit for some intelligence and honesty. At 22 [years] you did this, you did that …” [that letter] left a mark on my memory. They blame. It angers me. I don’t blame … Varsha [Nalani’s eldest] has now asked us to find a girl.
When he came from court, we’d look out and move to another part of the house. 30 [AM]. It was never a problem. It would be impossible today. The younger accepted the authority of elders. Now we’re more casual with kids, and kids give less respect. I never had any conversation with grandfather. We kids stayed up on the first floor. Parents and Grandfather never went up. Parents would only come up to sleep. Now you can’t tell kids what to do. ” and kids don’t obey. We were not allowed to play with others.