Friday, March 5, 2010

A small thought.

I had been to a new playgroup with the BB today. This group was quite multicultural. There were Chinese, Greek, French and Indian people, besides the Australians ofcourse. There were two Indian mothers, and most of the time, I saw them closeted with each other, talking in Hindi. Once in a while I joined them, and at one of those instances, found one of them in tears talking about how she wants to go to her mother in India, who is ill, and her husband is not consenting. And what struck me was, that chuck the language issues, and everything else, would any of the other mothers even understand her heartbreak, if the lady chatted up about this with any of the others, I guess not, they would in probability be flabbergasted, and find the whole situation quite incomprehensible. Though many Indian women would disapprove of the situation, and find it sexist, unfair etc, but we would atleast understand teh context she comes from, and what it entails, whereas it would be simply so alien to a non-Indian person. And so in some ways, we are really away, no matter how far we geographically are from the country, isn't it?

10 comments:

Trish said...

so true..sometimes,such things make you feel like you belong..and at other times,they make u feel like you are sticking out.
Feel sorry for the poor woman though..tough situation to be in.

Pixie said...

Not too sure what to say because I really don't know what the poor lady was going thru...
But, personally, I would try to make friends so that I don't feel lonely before I resort to tears and mounting desperation to come back home...
Nothing against the lady in question or you Goofy... It is a tough position to be in for her...
I was just expressing my thoughts

Smitha said...

My heart goes out to the lady. It must be horrible on her.

As for non-Indians not understanding, well, I have come to the conclusion that relationship issues are quite similar. Of course, the percentage of women in this kind of a situation is not rare at all. I actually read of a woman's account in a mums forum about how her husband manipulated her into getting pregnant, and slowly, her MIL took over her life - and this was a working woman. She felt totally helpless and was forced to post her problem on the website anonymously. Another friend was telling me how her aunt was being beaten by her husband and was still refusing to accept that there was a problem - both these women are European.

So, they might really find it alien, to be honest, quite a lot of them have similar issues as us.

Piper .. said...

Completely Agree with Smitha. You`ll be very surprised Goof, to see how very similar their relationship troubles are - infact far worse at times. The stereotypical images we nurture about 'foreigners'(read Americans in my context) prevent us from seeing how human they really are. Goof, an excellent food for thought. I must do a post on this - in fact one is in my folders right now - about stereotyping people from another nationality.

thethoughtfultrain said...

I totally understand the lady's plight. Imagine her desperation if she had to confide to an almost total stranger!
A lot of women who have been settled abroad for several years take a dig at women who have freshly arrived for seeking out Indian friend/docs etc. I dislike such women's snottiness.

Passionate Goof said...


Trish - I know.

Pixie - I think they are friends, since they have their kids going to the same school and stuff, so they know each other well. Also when you are far away from all friends and family, sometimes one end up opening up to pretty much anyone they find.

Smitha - I know. I agree there is abuse and relationship issues in the West too, the human nature remains the same, as do its evils. But the thing is if I am really pissed with an in-law and need to vent, I will not be able to do so with someone who is non-Indian, simply because the context will need explanation, with an Indian that is not required. I think even Indian women are quite private with their important issues too, its the usual saas-bahu stuff n things which come out easily!

Piper - I get what both of you are saying, please just read my reply to her to get what I am meaning to say, its the context difference, esp socially that will need explaining if talking to someone not Indian.

T3 - i am so so happy to see you are back. I really hope things sort out for her too. About seeking Indian friends etc, I am OK with that, as long as they don't end up wanting ONLY Indians, and refuse to socialise/interact with anyone else. That I don't like either. :(

Reflections said...

My heart goes out to the lady and I sooo understand what u mean.

But honestly I agree with Smitha and Piper.....maybe they live in a more relaxed country but these issues are not so different in other parts of the world.

Mystic Margarita said...

Like Smitha and Piper said - yes, in general relationship issues are similar across continents - and people are alike in most ways, too. One's attachment to one's parents are, of course, subjective - some are closer to their parents than others and being away from them, specially when they are unwell, is likely to affect some people really bad. Hope this lady gets to go home to her mom.

Passionate Goof said...


Reflections - I agree that there are issues in relationships everywhere, but what I am talking about is, not being able to explain our social context.

Mystic Margarita - I hope so too. I was just thinking that it would be difficult sharing it with someone who does not know our social context. If you know what I mean!

Solilo said...

GM, I don't see it that way. What I see here is that this lady could share something with a close friend of hers. It doesn't matter if she was an Indian or not.

I have met so many women who go through similar problems here too. In fact there are many Non-Indian women with whom it is easy to share things. It is just the comfort level. I believe good friends are above all the barriers.