I’ve been watching mostly Bollywood movies lately and by accident saw the Abhishek-Aishwarya interview on Oprah. Some viewers of the YouTube video voiced out their opinions about Oprah’s lack of research regarding the extended family environment in most Asian cultures. Aishwarya admitted in the interview that marriage entailed her moving in with Abhishek and his family under the same roof. Oprah appeared surprised that this was the case for the said couple. For a second, I admit, I kind of looked surprised that Oprah didn’t appear to know that this was a normal thing in Asia.

My younger sister (I’m the eldest of three) and her partner haven’t formally tied the knot but they already have a six-year-old daughter. It’s not that they don’t ever want to, rather it’s because the wedding expenses go beyond what they can afford. While family ties are very much given importance in our culture, I also feel at other times it can be a bane to forsake one’s independence for the sake of the family. I spent long years in the past away from my family and that period was followed by less travel and more time being in my hometown that I could seriously implode from being so distressed by my family’s problems.

I do believe the articles I’ve read before about the middle sibling being so needy and an attention-seeker and how the couple’s latent psychological issues or differences they cannot accept find their manifestations in the middle child. My younger sister is the only sibling who repeated my mother’s history (had a child “unexpectedly” and not financially capable to raise a family), something which they may not openly acknowledge.

I sense and observe this like I’m the unluckiest stranger in the world, if it were to  be believed that we don’t choose our parents and siblings before we agreed to reincarnate in the present lifetime. This is why every single day, every single year I grow ever more grateful that I did not walk the same path they have. Without self-examination, we don’t get out of the group karma or family karma and evolve. Independence is a big deal for a 7 like me.

However, I also believe that time binds us in one situation until we’re ready to take on another challenge. My only complaint is that I may also have had a hand on this time drag. And I’ve been itching to plant my feet somewhere else other than my hometown. I was very young when I was aware my greater chances of evolving would not happen here. I just need to CHOOSE.