By Charlene Tran
On the 25th February morning in Delhi, I accidentally saw a father and a son sitting on the balcony of a small dilapidated apartment preparing a frugal meal together. Their meager shabby clothes were washed and hung on a thin rope between two old poles. The sad peevish face of the father illustrated his life has been harsh and stressful due to his poor economic condition. However, the fact that the father had washed the clothes and was making food for his child demonstrated he tried as hard as he could to be a caring and responsible dad. Unfortunately, there seemed to be a distance between the two people when his child turned his back against him and played alone. Perhaps, the burden of being a man of the family in such difficult circumstances had prevented him from getting along with his son from being his son’s best friend.
On March 1st, I had a chance to associate with another Indian family on Havelock Island. Although there are massive differences in people’s lifestyles between Delhi and Havelock, the care and love from parents to their kids are still the same. When we came to Kalapather Village, a woman seemed to be waiting for us in a lovely with colorful patterns. She was wearing jewelry including golden earrings, a simple nose ring, a plain black necklace and a twisted bracelet. Perhaps, the parents understood that this was a marvelous opportunity to wide. Her knowledge about other cultures and wanted her to get the best out of it. We were invited into their home to cook and eat our lunch. Throughout the conversation before lunch, her parents always encouraged her to talk with us and protected her from behind.
When I first came to Havelock island. I thought this was a secluded island because of the antiquated rickshaws, ramshackle houses and unprocessed waste along the reef at the Port Blair port that I witnessed. As a result, I assumed that trite gender discrimination would still exist. Wives would stay home doing housewifery and would only be able to go out with the approval of the husbands. In addition, girls’ needs for education would be neglected and they would have to marry at an early age. Nevertheless, in reality, there is evidence of gender equality on this island when women can go to work and girls can go to school. When we visited the school in the village many girls said that they would choose to be doctors and lawyers, which was extremely surprising for me. Not only have inequalities in gender reduced but women and girls have given them a leg up in a bright future.
I have realized the way of presenting love from parents to their children may be different, they always strive in life to provide their children’s needs with all their hearts. Unfortunately, life does not flow the way we want. Many parents cannot win the battle and their children are not catered essential supplies. Therefore, the advanced education that I am receiving, the comfortable clothes I am wearing, the splendid people I have met, the immigration stamps from various different countries that have been created greatly by my parents’ effort. I should have not taken it for granted and appreciate even the simplest components of my life.