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Fitting into the Wave!!!

by Supriti Haloi
(Guwahati, India)

The other day I got to meet (read got the opportunity to meet) a so called established self-made businessman. My meeting was scheduled in a coffee shop on a Saturday morning. Out of mere excitement, I reached the site 10 minutes early.


As I was waiting for this person, one of his ‘followers’ came to me and started giving me an insight about this person, his determination, his skill, how good he is as a person. This man is a self-made business man no less than a Birla or a Ambani. I kept listening and started imagining how privileged I am for getting the opportunity to meet such a figure personally.

Suddenly everyone stood up and I got the hint that probably 'He' has arrived. Some got coffee, some got water and few even tripped out of nervousness. I found it somewhat funny and disgusting at the same time. I was like Dude, slavery was a thing of the past. We got over it few ages back so just chill!!!

And then we were introduced to each other and the very first thing he said was “why do you look so scared?”. I was like “duhh…am I?”. Then he started the conversation with what is my aim and what do I want to achieve in my life. I gave him a bright smile and started opening up about my plans. “I want to get a Government job since I want to stay close to my parents in the long run. My current job doesn’t give me that opportunity. I also…”. Then he cut my sentence in between and questioned me “What if you could not get a government job then what will you do?”

I very politely replied that I want to do a start-up business, open a bakery or something and if that goes well I will think about extending it. He gave me a snort of disgust and kept staring at me as if I told him that I am going to buy a rocket and ride it to the moon. He told me that I am a very confused person and if I want to do a business then why am I trying for a government job. To which I replied being very frank and honest,
“My parents have faith in me and they want me to try for it at least for once for their sake”.

He started laughing and some more laughter followed from his followers too. Then he paused and so did everyone giving me that blank look with some sort of disbelief and started “I thought people from north-east are very open minded, I have got a few friends from there. But talking to you make me feel that I am talking to someone straight from the 18th century”.

And I went numb. These words coming from a so called modern businessman left me in utter shock. I stood up from my chair, packed my stuffs and stormed out of there. After reaching the exit I felt something heavy, like a load in my heart, something which is not letting me walk away. I decided to go back and give him a piece of my mind because at that moment it didn’t matter to me to whom I was talking to. For me he was an ignorant little creature trying to fit into the wave of modernization.

I started, “Excuse me Sir, I have a question here. How is that caring about my parents’ feelings makes me a narrow minded person? My parents have raised me, educated me with so much of hardship and I believe that I have a certain responsibility towards them. I cannot think of only my happiness for the sake of following the modern day ideologies of yours. And tell me one thing what is your idea about being “modern”. Modernization does not means disrespecting your parents, and shove their emotions down your ass. Being modern does not allow me to go against my parents’ will. It does not allow me to keep my parents’ happiness at stake. Modernization means having an independent thought process, welcoming new ideas but that does not mean ignoring my parents’ emotion and scattering their dreams. I am modern and I am independent but I am sorry I will never go against my parents. And if that makes me a less ‘open-minded’ then I am proud to agree that I am a narrow-minded person. He didn’t utter a word and I quietly left hoping he does some research on his petty thought process”.
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