Friday, December 03, 2010

Vestiges of the Varnashrama System

It is sometimes surprising how deeply ingrained in the subcontinent some concepts of Hindu philosophy are. One such concept is the whole idea that when you’re young, the only thing you’re supposed to do is studies and only studies and anything and everything else is completely forbidden. And that once you’re done with that, the thing you’re immediately supposed to do is marry and that you’ll be able to switch between these two completely different lives at the snap of a finger. Totally successfully too.

How often have you heard things like – “college ye sab karne aye ho ki padhne aye ho”? (Have you come to college to study or do all this?) Or, “abhi apne career par dhyaan lagao, ye sab baad mein kar lena”. (Pay attention to your career right now, do all this later.)

Nothing could be more absurd. Life doesn’t come to a standstill just because you’re going to college. You will have other aspiration, feelings and desires. And it is not wrong to shape your life around them.

It seems ridiculous that all you’re supposed to do until college is study and then suddenly within a year or two you’re supposed to get married and take on the full-fledged responsibility of being married. They don’t even give you much time before you’ve got to have kids!


  1. couldnt have said better. And Might I add, the one thing I find particularly concerning, the kind of homogeneity that prevails in our so-called modern society. A mature society is aware and survives alongside all its plurality. Though the lack of plurality is rampant, I am saying particularly in reference to high degree of homogeneity in everyones career goals. The concept of best suited career is no longer there and had been replaced by best paying career.

  2. so true...and immediately after kids, their studies, their marriage,and by the time you're free of your responsibilities, you can spend the remaining time in a rocking chair....