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The Culture Shock – Part 2

“My daughter is a serious concern; I need guidance on how to deal with her” Paula said, while Harry nodded.

“Zoe is twenty-five years old, and since last seven years, I am insisting she moves out. Still, she continues to stay at home. It’s such a disgrace. I mean, she could live with her boyfriend, but she doesn’t care about my social standing. How difficult it is for me to explain this to my friends.” Paula was now sobbing, and Harry simply affirmed.

I don’t generally snoop on others’ matters, but this one happened so fast, and I was shocked because a few months ago I had heard something different at the Hanging gardens, in Mumbai. After my walk, I’d sit on my favorite bench while Shantaben and Lakshmiben- two pious Gujarati women, sat behind me. One of them lamented to the other that her daughter comes home late at night, and she is now worried about her future; she wished her daughter stayed indoors more.

Now back at Amsterdam, I looked up at the vast sky and smiled at myself- the contrasting cultural moorings was unmistakably evident; Shantaben, on that evening, had also expressed worry about her son’s internet habits and wondered how she could check his bad habits of drinking and web addiction.

Meanwhile, here, after a few moments of silence, Paula smiled. She saw hope in her son.

“You know, I am happy for Jesse, I saw him watch pornography last night, and I am relieved he is straight,” said Paula. “I was worried since he hadn’t talked to women and is also not going out lately. But now I am assured he’s got his passions at the right place.”

Later that evening, Srinivas, my host showed me a local news item where Indian Gay Prince, Manvendra Singh Gohil, encouraged the locals amidst big welcome and cheers for India. At a nearby Church, two women got married to each other amidst pomp and music.

To be continued….

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