“A satirical essay based on the dream of two Indian girls with a dream of getting into the Harvard university”
Two girls sat there transfixed staring into their MacBook, making moon-eyes, like quintessential adolescents, their eyes brimming with desperation and cheeks flushed with excitement. “Holy cow !”, they couldn’t help but exclaim.
No, they weren’t fangirling over “Henry Cavill”, they were gawking at the campus of their dream university– Harvard University. Filled with desperation because they wanted to get there as soon as possible and excited because they could envisage themselves there, daily pedestrians at the enthralling campus.
As per their routine, after several hours with their nose in the books, they would start collecting tidbits about their dream school. Because they needed a constant reminder of what they were studying so hard for, and rightly so, after all, to be successful, one needs a motivation.
Harvard was their- motivation and dream, both rolled into one.
Finally, they decided to call it a day, with the promise of meeting the next day.
After waving off her friend- Rhea, Tia walked down the hallway, towards her mother’s room. However, as soon as she heard the familiar feigned giggles from inside her mother’s room, she skidded to a halt and darted back to her room as if possessed by the Satan himself.
Phew! It was a close call. Actually, Tia didn’t want an encounter with her aunt, who by the way is quite notorious for her prying ways.
She suddenly frowned as she recalled her aunt’s last conversation with her parents.
“Why are you sending your daughter abroad, do you want her to settle down there only ?”, her aunt jeered.
“What if she crosses her ‘marriageable age’?”, she added.
Tia’s mother began hoping to make her aunt see some reason.
However, she was rudely interrupted…
“Don’t you know about westernised ‘immoral culture’, your daughter will fall to vices as well, then who will marry her?”.
( It always comes down to marriage, doesn’t it? Ostensibly, the sole purpose of an Indian woman is to marry and beget children. )
Despite numerous attempts on Tia’s parent’s part, to veer the conversation in a different direction, she continued to rave.
She wasn’t the only one. Several other nosy relatives, who think that it is their birthright to meddle, left no stone unturned in their quest to convince Tia’s parents of the pitfalls of sending their “girl” to a faraway land. One bigot uncle even tried to justify the demerits of sending a girl abroad.
Propriety, be damned, Tia was fed up wanted to give each one of them a piece of her mind.
Nonetheless, all the snarky comments fell on deaf ears. Tia was adamant. It wasn’t their business either way. She wanted to attain a formal masters degree in “Regional Studies–Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia Faculty”, a degree that none of the Indian Universities offered.
An escape from quixotic expectations of Indian “society” was like a cherry on top.
Before long, Rhea and she submitted a beast of an application. An essay that they poured their heart and soul into. Letters of recommendation that they networked so hard for. Stand out among the others- grades that they spent many late nights working on.”
Two months later, after much anticipation, they got an email.
“Congratulations…? Oh, wait, oh, what the!”
Yes! They were selected. After hyperventilating for five good minutes, it finally sank in.
Alas! Rhea was in for a very rude awakening. While Tia ended up living her dream, Rhea ended up staying in India. Why? Because her parents wouldn’t allow her to study abroad. Despite numerous pleas, she failed to assuage her parent’s fear. According to them she probably would get caught up with boys and possibly drugs. Or she might abandon them altogether. And of course, she might cross her “marriageable age”. Obnoxious relatives stemmed their belief further.
A pall of gloom had cast over Rhea’s otherwise chirpy demeanour.
It’s natural for a parent to feel apprehensive. But at what expense? By imposing something on their children which otherwise should’ve been their own choice?
It rankles for the lifetime when one’s dreams are so callously dismissed due to asinine and unwarranted demands of the society.
Even though it’s not an easy transition for a parent, supporting their child as they make their way into the world, without smothering them, it is one of the most important gifts they can give them – much more important than throwing extravagant weddings.