Being brought up in a desi household means you have to bear with a lot of unsaid additional pressure, unlike the kids in the West. Whether it’s the pressure to choose science in 11th standard or gulp everything your toxic relatives say, you’re supposed to smile through it all because questioning is not an option. And mind you, these pressures stay for a lifetime.
Here is a list of 10 extraordinary pressures every desi kid has to deal with because what else can they do.
1. Pressure to score better in exams because ‘Sharma Ji ke beta toh class topper hai.‘
Academic pressure in desi households is already so extra that unnecessary comparison with other children makes the situation all the more worse. Like isn’t it counterproductive? It’s so not a dose of dopamine. It’s not motivating. If anything at all, it makes them feel inadequate.
2. Pressure to dance in front of relatives. Like, WTF is that?
Ahh, tell me about it! Why does every family get-together become a talent hunt contest for desi parents? Like, I get it, you love your kids and want to show off, but why put them in a spot? Especially, when they’re not willing to dance and feel awkward AF about it.
3. Pressure to gulp whatever the toxic society uncle says.
Every society has this one toxic uncle who makes regressive rules that all society members are supposed to abide by. This uncle is also very intrusive. He pretends to care about you and makes a show of these ‘supposedly’ insightful opinions about what you should be doing in life that are full of sh*t in-reality.
4. Pressure of living life under the constant surveillance of society wali aunty who has CCTV cameras over your life.
Heavens forbid you ever liked someone! Navigating our first relationship amidst constant patrolling of that one society aunty with a CCTV camera was the real Khatron Ke Khiladi. You know, privacy is not a thing for nosy neighbours.
5. Pressure to find a better job because Sharma Ji ki beti has a better package than you.
Apparently, Sharma Ji ke bacche will haunt you for life in desi households. You’ll always be less in comparison to them. But, parents don’t know that we already have LinkedIn to feel inadequate about ourselves. We don’t need Sharma Ji ke bacche for that.
6. Pressure to take science. Commerce is also tolerable at times. But Arts?? LOL.
Desi parents want what’s the best for you, they just don’t want what you want. Apparently, Engineers, Doctors & CAs are the only acceptable and respectable professionals out there. Also, you’ll end up jobless if you follow your passion, so suck up and do what the majority does. ‘Sabka passion kill hua hai, tumhara bhi karenge…’
7. Pressure of not being allowed to wear what you want because it’s not sanskari enough.
In many Indian households, what the daughter wears is a very sensitive affair. Desi parents’ idea of revealing can be anything – shorts, dresses, mini skirts, capris, alter necks, no sleeve tops, literally anything at all. Clothes should pass that ‘lajja‘ and ‘sanskar‘ test before daughters can even think of buying them.
8. Pressure to sacrifice your co-curricular interests for the sake of academics.
Because academic success is equivalent to a successful life. Right? Many kids end up sacrificing their extra-curricular desires because they’re made to play the number game of Indian schools. More marks means a successful future. Dancing, Cricket, Football, Singing gaye tel lene… it’s only your academic grades that matter.
9. Pressure to be ready with an answer for ‘Beta, kya kar rahe ho aj kal?‘
Desi padosis and rishtedars have a thing to ask this one particular question every time you run into them. Sometimes, they don’t even care to ask ‘How are you?’ It’s because they don’t give two cents about your life. They just want to know what you’re doing in life so that they can form an opinion of you basis your material success.
10. Pressure to marry because random rishtedars want to click pictures and dance at your wedding.
Surviving childhood pressures isn’t enough because you have a new one in your mid-20s. People now want you to get married. And it’s not like they care about your love life or anything, they just want to dance and look pretty, and they are also very open about this. Sometimes, humein rishtedaaron ko jawab dena hai also becomes parents’ rationale in forcing you to marry a stranger.
If your parents or extended family are putting emotional or verbal pressure on you and making the age 30 some kind of goalpost, they are being patriarchal, and wrong. I have so many friends who got married in their twenties and are divorced now. Coz so much has changed— kaybee (@kovalbhatia) July 18, 2020