Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Those Shining Pearls - Undercurrents of Independent India

"Middle class" are that section of a society who are known for its routined and secure life style. They have rules and they try not to change them.
Has middle class remained unchanged in India?

I also belong to the middle class of India. Today while celebrating 60th Republic day, I would like to take you on a walk into the lives of women of five generations of my family. Reading about these characters from each generation might also reflect an image in your mind from your family.

Madhavi: Age 70-80, mostly wear white or cream coloured sarees, her hairs are all white and she don't care to dye them, she has seen India fighting for independence, she has heard Gandhi, Bose or Tagore live in radios, she was married in their teens (love marriage? are you kidding!), she gave birth to 6 children, lived in big joint family, took care of all of her family members and several pets like cows, she has faced many famines, epidemics and proverty, travelling by train was her dream, she mostly lived in villages, she has seen India changing its gear from being agricultural to tech savvy, hardly went to school, she struggled hard for proper education of her children as she almost had no voice in the family, but she never gave up.
You can see her lying in her bed, her face is full of wrinkles but her wobbly stature is all smiling and blessing.

Mridula: Age 50-60, dress code saree or salwar kameez, better education, she was married in early twenties (love marriages-very few friends of her had), she is a house wife but some of her friends opted for jobs but stayed in family friendly options like teaching, they had 2-3 children, concept of family planning, children's immunisation and equal education for girls were brought into force by this generation, many of her friends were still living in joint families but she started her own family where her husband was working, they grew up listening radio and are getting old seeing T.V., watching movie was a feast in their youth, money they had was not plenty but not scarce too.
She perform the glamorous "in-law" role in the society and her generation is very much present in almost all levels of todays India from national to family politics, her husband has retired but she is busy advising her kids (distant) either on phone or online.

Manavi: Age 30-40, is confident with saree, salwar and jeans, education was compulsary for her, many of her friends have never seen any village, nuclear family was her only choice, having a profession is an essential criteria in her life, she and many of her friends strongly believed in choosing their own life partners, They all have only one or two children, they are the first T.V (/ cable T.V) generation of India, most of them use computer at work or home, they travel a lot, they had a strict childhood but now they have enough money to indulge a little.
She and all her friends are juggling frantically between being family oriented and professional, they are very competitive, life is not concealed for them and is full of choices, this brings both happiness and little confusion in their daily lives.

Manya: Age 20-30, Mainly college goers or are entry level professionals, wear mostly jeans, feels uncomfortable in saree, career is a must for them and don't want to leave it at any cost, they believe in late or no marriages, don't know how to cook and don't bother about that, life has been quite tough in getting admissions to educational institutes from the very beginning and then to remain in the rat race of academics or which ever path they have chosen, money was quite easily accessible and most of their material needs are taken care of, they are not addicted to T.V anymore, they have more to play with like mobiles, computers, ipods, nintendo DS, wii etc etc, they listen mostly band music and remixes.
They face strong peer - pressure and therefore get more confused about love, career and life as a whole. They have accepted ladies compartments in trains but they fight against glass ceilings in their jobs.

Milli: Age 5-20, their childhood is very different from any of the predecessors, many of them stayed 8-9 hour in day care/creche/play school from as early as 6 months of their age, their family strictly consists of parents with occasional visits from grand parents or other relatives, they are more friendly with cartoons than their cousins, world has become very small for them as they often travel abroad with their parents, they are on the verge of changing education system of India, they are also on the verge of immense pressure from peers and parents, they are the most busy and rich kids of India in last 60 years.
They are very strong headed, material loaded generation, India expects a lot from them.

So lives of the middle class women of India has changed dramatically in last 60 years, the only thing that has not changed is their busy schedule!

Disclaimer: The views are based on a particular family of India and by no means calls for any generalisation. Names are fictional.

1 comment:

  1. so true..........u just loved the letter M and all the names associated with ways it is so true in the present scenario.