Saturday, October 23, 2010


Living in US for past ten yrs or may be more..As we all know Indians are addressed as "DESI's ...all over America...and we take it as pride to be Desi as INDIAN not phirangi even though we are US citizens ...but when it comes to our basic thinking we cannot run away from that....we think in terms of money ,saving and educating our kids to the professional level..which is always appreciated by other nationalities..Indian kids excel academically ,its a known fact if they don't..parents die of embarrassment cuz its a peer pressure!!!
Talking of Indians in might find in abundance ..every other kid goin to Med-school...they are prepared that way... the kid likes it or not..its actually surprising when I hear every other kid is goin to med -school..if you are wondering their parents are doctors or engineers ..nopes!! many of these parents are uneducated and had been doing odd jobs ..but the stupendous amount of money collected by couples and renting some properties is appreciable ..if you happen to see them ...they are in poor shape...their aim is to make the kid study and excel in life ..which is good ..but then why keep yourself deprived of all good things in spite of having everything....they will pool cars or buy from sale ..or even get stuff from India (hoarding) and keep using it forever and ever.till death apart them....
This is very common among many Indians...if one kid is going to Med-school ,the rest will get panicked ...and the kid is a scape goat..
getting a kid to Med -school is something very expensive ...but our Indians ... ...will try to pay from their resources and wont take any financial-Aid (which is available at low interest)and torture them-self to every extent....they don't believe in American theory or loans...but SAVINGS..every other way....they will use their overtimes to run the house and salaries in bank...or buying some land in India and selling it when kid is ready for med-school..
Now lets talk about kids...the kid whose parents are killing them-self to save money for med school all Americanized ..moving at American pace.... same life style all smarty pants.. girls and boys..same-thing...
they don't wanna mingle in Indian culture...they are termed as confused DESI's..
Now the Med-school theory...everybody cannot get best universities they will send their kids to some unknown med-schools but the clinical rotations will be in US and residency it works ,but the kid has to study for sure, no short when they are all set after residency.....then what happens.
The real life drama begins now...
The kid is now working in one the good hospitals John Hopkins may be...and dating a girl ...which is fine ,but parents are now big embarrassment for him ...the same parents who fed him,killed themselves for his med -school so that he doesn't have to pay the loan and is set to start his career ....doesn't want to show to his friends his uneducated the parents are forced and sent to India to enjoy their old age ..or parents are living alone with help of others.....
I would say the parents here should be more practical and save for old age let kids pay their debts and know the value of  hard earned money....they should only guide kids,rest is everyone has to pay for their own deeds...

The parents who think that by keeping the kids free of debts and giving them a carefree life is mistaken parents they spend all time in earning and saving without enjoying life looking at the kids that they would enjoy the perks in old age with their kids have mind of their own now...with no strings attached....they are Americanized in every way and need space and independence ....the parents are unwanted now!!!

This scene is very common here....its pathetic to see senior citizens (Indians) living in apartments alone...not out of personal choice but to keep kids happy.. till end of their life depriving them self from many worldly things....
One my uncles recently ..seeing all this scenario among Indian community decided to write his will (this uncle is very rich)that his property will be given to his kids only after they are professionals completing their studies after his death otherwise it will go to a charitable trust the kids were giving him hard time looking at their money ..both of his kids are going to med-school and they have taken financial -aid on the basis that kids are independent and not living with them,which is a wise decision .....
the kids looking at the will have stopped throwing tantrums now....much better now and more respectful toward parents...I was actually surprised to see the change in attitude of kids as to how smart they are!!!
to conclude I would say if kids are smart these days ,parents don't have to be emotional Fools!!!


The Beautifier said...

Great article! kids tend to adapt well to the culture they are most exposed to, the level of freedom and risks that comes with the western culture can be quite alarming for us 'desi's to cope up with, parents should well educate their kids of their culture and roots from a very early stage and be with them during their hard times, kids tend to relate more with the ppl of their age group so being friendly with them could make the relationships last longer, parents should have an active involvement in their kid's lives and guide them from the very beginning of whats right or wrong for them from an 'ethical' point.

AbhiLaSH RuHeLa said...

Wow !!!! Desi !!! Good topic .. Nice choice.. loved the blog..

Uma said...

good article on american and indian cultures..

dr.antony said...

Did you read The Namesake?
The medical school business is a genetic vice among Indians.All the nurses at our hospital,have sent at least one child to the medical school,with their lifetime earnings. This is partly out of some kind of complex.

I dont think native Americans would do such things.For that matter,I doubt if the children would allow their parents to make decisions for them.

Anil P said...

Heartfelt thoughts. I could identify with the nuances, the shift in dynamics and the like.

The Indian ethos that you mention is actually a tradition of sorts, and maybe in an alien place, the 'Americanised' kids cease to identify with it the moment they seek assimilation into the 'new' society.

Bikramjit said...

same here in uk harman, its become a trend these day .. basically kids think about parents when they need a baby sitter and that also FREE ... thats how i put it.
The problem is that kids they are growing up in the western way, so we cant also always say they are wrong, I guess its time that the parents realise this,
Maybe in a generation or two this will be ok, but i know what you are saying, and I think we brought this mentality of finding things cheap or bargains as we call them from India.

WE , well i certainly do too al lthe time look out for bargains maybe my kids or there kids will do what the americans or british do .. I dont think its a bad idea to go for bargains, yes killing urself and not enjoying is bad

I have seen well i myself the idea is to earn money and send home, buy land this and that or make KOTHI.. Well I have been lucky in that way my parents stopped me from doing that , plus i am agaisnt this land business relatives eat it all up these days ...

I remember when i first came and got a job, i would work normla work time 9 to 6 mon to fri, but then each day work 2 hours extra and do a whole day on sat tooo.. that would make about 20 hrs over time thats 3 days money at double the rate.. then do something on sunday too, but then i spent most of the time working , i was on rent no home nothing etc , after year and half i stopped now i work the normal hours thats it ...
got to enjoy too..

We need to bring our kids with Our cultural Values but WITH WESTERN way, if we can do that all will be happy its stopping from one or other whci his the problem ...
and we say that all this , but the western WAY is not that bad, it also has values there are a lot of families who have values and they respect each other, we keep looking at the bad part...
my neighbours are white british the family is more together then any indian family i tell you, and the respect for each other is so much , WE will ourself feel ashamed at it ..

and medical school is just a craze adn offcourse the money too :)

ooops i have written a lot :)

Zeenu said...

your blog is too good trust me on that,abt DESI's I start singing Mein desi girl,mein desi girl but seriously yaar its difficult to extract money frm parents...india mein I will call and Dad will say "I have no money"before even saying "Hi"
parents are smart too.
Bargain deals ,only if it fits I will buy no harm in buying but getting from india only if its trendy and not available here..
parents want to dictate kids which is not possible we not living in an Indian village and right of speech and freedom is there for everyone.
but I agree we should respect our parents and help them whenever they want us not just for money.they r precious.

Shahid Mukadam a.k.a Shady West Side said...

The world is a confused place one really knows what he or she want

Meera's World said...

Very true, the parents must make sure that their old age is well taken care of and dont give away all their hard earned money for the sake of their kids happiness.
I am glad that my son decided to pursue a career different from the engg field or medical field.When people heard this nobody liked the idea. Every given chance they will ask him to change his mind and go for medical school or be an engineer...

bollywoodstylediaries said...

I gues parents need to teach their values too:-) values and education go hand in hand..

Raj - Only name sake !! said...

Great Article Superb!!

A said...

Good one. :) Things are changing now.

You may want to check my article of that I wrote a few weeks back...7 Habits of NRI: Must Maintain.

Harman said...

@Beautifier...yes...I agree to that...since in western culture there are many temptations and wid peer pressure it helps the kids here to adapt them very well..I think parents and the friends play imp part they can relate to indian culture!



@DrAnthony..yes..Indians are very much into far kids are concerned they are prepared that way to choose a medical profession...and there are kids who dont listen and do what they like...and stay separately..jus like americans!!

@Anil p..yes..these kids actually identify themselves as indian Americans and not jus indians very much into American culture!!

@bikram..yes...the basic idea should be to enjoy life as well not jus money or jus kids!!

@zeenu.. crazy!!


@meera's world..yep..that is something I wud suggest parents not to do!!

@bollywood diaries..yes..Family values and education..but with the A.culture..the values come down and its more of a practical way!!


@A...yes I have read that article... I hope there is a change!!

Haddock said...

Ha ha , like that confused DESIs.
Enjoyed reading this.

Harman said...

@haddock..thanks..I am glaD u liked it!

STRANGER said...

You have described the condition of elderly ppl as pathetic……..true…….but is it everywhere, India, US, UK or Honololu.

Modern time experts have been honestly working to find out solution to this problem but so far not succeeded……unfortunately, their fate will also be the same in their old age.

The planning of life in four stages is clearly defined in ancient Indian tradition, they are:- (1) Brahmacharya Aashram, (2) Grahasta Aashram (3) Vanaprastha Aashram (4) Sanyasa Aashram

Detail about above three Aashrams is well known to all, I am writing in brief about fourth one:-


The elderly person now (say from the age 63) retreats from active involvement in all worldly goals, seeking only spiritual goals in this final phase. No longer having political, professional, or social engagements, there is a further shift towards being an elder teacher of spiritual knowledge.


Since the person after enjoying part 1, 2 and 3 fully, does not want to enter part 4 and therefore pushed forcibly to enter into “part 4” by other constituents (of part 3, 2 and 1) to vacate the place in order to enable them to move upwards (using means as reflected in your post).

What I feel :-

No further research in this area is needed anymore as our wise-ancestors (after their vast experience) have already devised the mechanism of above four stages which is to be followed rigidly by all without any hitch if life is to be enjoyed in old age otherwise, above mentioned problems would persist and there will be no way out.


STRANGER said...

The fate of elderly people is pathetic everywhere but lucky are the parents, who get proper treatment/respect from their children throughout their life.

Grown up children, don’t like interference of their parents every now and then……therefore Parents in their old age, should limit their indoor activities and concentrate more towards outdoor/social responsibilities and keep thus themselves busy.

Very Very Important Point :-

Property, bank balance should be with parents always.

We must make our children see how we behave, treat and respect our parents so that when they grow up, they also follow the same.

Regarding the West, I can only say “Jai Shri Krishna”.