Published: 13th November 2017
I live in the same city as my parents but I moved out anyway. And it's the best decision I ever made
Societal expectations, innumerous limitations and family feuds that end up imposing sacrifices, these three individuals said enough and moved out
My freedom. My independence. My space. My vibe. Isn't GenY hooked onto these feelings? It's quite obvious that they do not want to compromise on their way of life, even if it means living in another house despite being in the same city as their parents. This western norm has, of late, been knocking and more youngsters in our country are answering the door. So, here we are, mapping the flow with the crusaders of a trend that could very well become popular within a decade or so.
Once a wanderer, always a wanderer: Sneha Marappa was only 15 when the light bulb went off in her head to move out of her house. She brushed it off calling it a ‘teenage thing’, but when the same thought recurred at 29, she decided not to ignore it. She gave it a thought and so did her relatives, who bombed her with their first question, "Why would you not stay with your father and take care of him?"
Though a genuine question, it also stinks a bit of hypocrisy. "They don't have a problem if I leave the house to get married, but have an issue when I am doing this to lead an independent life," Sneha says, backing her point. And why was it so necessary for her to get out and live on her own when her father lived in the same city? "There were a lot of restrictions, from what they wanted me to wear to how they wanted me to sit, walk and talk. I didn't see any point in abiding by the rules that were at least a generation old," she said, and moved out just before her 29th birthday.
Her decision came with a set of challenges, especially financially. "When you move out, you are waving goodbye to the comforts you're accustomed to, but that's just the price you pay for your identity and I think it's worth it," she says.
To free or not to free: Living independently and away from the family has reportedly been the best decision these individuals have taken
Combating confidence issues with independence: While the 29-year-old is loving every bit of the freedom she got after stepping out of her comfort zone, this 20-year-old up north, Delhi to be precise, is taking it as a challenge to gain confidence. Jasnain Khurana moved out in July 2016. She lives barely 7 km from her parental home, but refuses to go back every time her family asks her to move back in. And why would she? Over this past year, she has gained one of the most precious things in her life and that has been her self-confidence.
"Speaking to people or even looking at people, into their eyes in public, was very hard for me. Even if I could step out of the house, I could not walk up to the gate alone. That was the kind of confinement I lived in," she confessed. But, believe it or not, things began to change drastically a few months after she moved out of her parents’ house. "I do not mind walking alone now. I feel free to go wherever I want to, wear whatever I want and speak to whomever I want. I could never even imagine doing all this," she says.
Free Me: The freedom, however, is not that simple for many who have to battle parents, the joint family and age-old stereotypes to break away (representative image)
Whenever Jasnain brought up the topic at home, it would usually turn into a scene from a ‘melodramatic serial’. "It was extremely tough to make them understand why I wanted to do this in the same city. They were okay with me staying in a different city," she says, as she begins to narrate the war she waged against the mentality. "It took two to three months to convince my mother. I gave her the dynamics of my living conditions, my work schedule and commute. I told them that it was necessary and that if I didn’t do it then I wouldn't be going anywhere in life. Plus, moving to another city was not a smart option as the best colleges are in Delhi," she says.
Jasnain is now studying in an open school in Delhi and pursuing her dream to become a musician. She is also working part-time to get industry exposure. She openly and confidently attributes all these changes to living on her own.
Why should girls have all the fun?: If you think that it is only tough for girls to convince their parents to let them stay out and not boys, then you are sadly mistaken. Take, for instance, Vinay Pratap Singh, who had to wipe the tears off his mother's face when he told her that he wanted to move out. Battling emotions and family pressure, he stood his ground and moved out just after his graduation.
I quit: Vinay says breaking away was very important to him, and has helped him become an independent man, something impossible had he still lived with family (representative image)
It's been a year now and he is proud of himself for having taken the call. "After graduation, it was needed. It was a joint family in Rajasthan and it called for a lot of compromises. Plus, it was easy to get dominated by the ideas and ideologies that the elders expected you to carry even if you didn't want to. Asking for small things like permission to go out was something I didn't feel like doing.”
Going from someone who couldn’t even fetch himself a glass of water to a man ready to pay the bills and do everything that comes with running your own home, Vinay says that it’s all worth it. After all, these years that can mould your personality won't come back and we agree. Do you?