Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The glass is half-full, and so is my patience

Family setups in the East are generally more well-knit than the West, or at least, that is the impression. There are a few places like Spain, Italy and Greece, which seem to still have a lasting fabric of familial ties, but I personally see those as exceptions, rather than the rule. Movies like 'Failure to Launch' are reflective of patterns of living in the West. If you're old enough to earn, you're out. If you're living in the same house as your parents, your market value falls sharply.

On this end of the spectrum, the opposite holds sway. If you're old enough to earn, you're supposed to tell your parents to relax and enjoy a retired life. You're not only supposed to provide for them, but to live with them as well. We, as a people, look down upon the concept of old people's homes. Not because the old should be left to rot, but because they deserve better. Of those who digress from their duty as obedient and caring children, it is often lamented, "One mother can wean and nurture 10 kids, but those 10 kids find it hard to care for that same woman, 30 years down the road."

I agree. Whether it is my conscience itself, or what it has been taught, I agree. Family is very important to me. It remains the fabric of my life. I would extend these feelings of belonging and responsibility to so many relatives. But...it gets tricky.

It becomes hard for most people to draw the line. At what point do they start interfering and stop caring? Should Mehek's aunt keep pressing her to get married? And if she does, should her grandmother be constantly nagging her to plan a baby? When little Amir is a year old, should Mehek's mother-in-law pressurize her to seize the day, and bring Amir's little sister into the world?

We, in the East, are proud of our family systems, but we, in the East, are also too tired of the utter lack of privacy. If you like to see the glass half-full always, then maybe, we are all superstars, because we just can't be!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Simpleton...and Lovin' It!

A couple of months ago, we tried a new restaurant in the city. Well, not so much new as new-to-us. My husband and I loved it. He loved what he ordered, and I loved the stuff on my plate. A couple of other people had highly rated the food there too. So, on my sister's birthday last week, I recommended that we all dine there. And we did. She didn't like the entrée I had so fondly recommended. Why? Because she is a cooking-show addict, which means that she can pretty much disect the ingredients of anything cooked, baked, boiled, poached...it just has to be edible. Her biopsy revealed to unwitted food-lovers such as myself, that the chicken was merely grilled in ordinary condiments; no special culinary skills backed it up, and there certainly were no signs of marination. The sauce was a simple mixture of this, that and those. Hence, not special. Bottom-line: the recipe has to be special for the restauranting experience to be fulfilling. Shucks! I didn't have the guts to say 'yummy' after that.

Are connoisseurs of this, that or those ever able to enjoy this, that and those? Just something that I've been thinking about.

Do film critics ever really enjoy a film, just for the heck of it? Doesn't it always become a matter of study for them? Is it well-directed? Is the cinematography technically correct? How can he realistically do that? Isn't her reaction too frothy for the story? Is it weird that most Oscar-winner movies aren't as entertaining as they are different? When will a movie like The Dark Knight get the accolades it deserves? Why can't such a movie ever be nominated for the Oscars?

Copyright (c) 2008 Saadia Malik
Image credits: passingstorm.com