His basic question is, whether nuclear family is better or joint family is better. And in case joint family, there used to be a compatibility in a family, and there is no more that compatibility within the family. I think we’ll all have to understand one challenge that is going to be there in compatibility as far as a joint family is concerned is, man in his very nature is becoming more and more individualistic in his thinking. See, earlier, this entire concept of compatibility was, there’ll be one head of the family and he frames the vision for the whole family. Nobody ever questions, it’s like leadership.
Nobody ever questions the vision of the head of the family and somehow the belief is, the rest of the family exists to service the vision and the desires and the expectations of the head of the family. But right now, it’s not like this. Concept of leadership itself is very, very, very different. See, we all come from a generation where one among our classmate will be class leader.
And he says, “Keep quiet!”, we all used to keep quiet. And he was only one amongst us. Today, it’s not possible. Today, if the class leader tells you, “Keep quiet!”, they’ll ridicule him when he comes out, okay? Today because everybody has that individualistic thinking, today, we’re not talking in terms of where the entire family will enter that family business. Today, we’re talking in terms of a thought process where what the husband believes is actualization of potential is different from what the wife believes is actualization of potential. So today, husband wants to go to the gym, wife wants to go to yoga and children want to do something completely different.
I don’t think three of us can sit together as a family right now and agree to watch the same TV channel. Everybody wants to watch a different TV channel. While you keep asking, “All the time what mega serial?”, she keeps asking, “All the time what IPL?”. Everybody wants to watch. And she has a point. Because there was a time, sometimes cricket used to be in TV. Now full time! And some of you, I don’t know how you manage. You watch the match, then you watch the highlights, then you watch the repeat. And you start from the time Mandira Bedi comes, not even when the match starts! From that time, you kept…
Today, I don’t think as a family, we can… Once every three months, a movie will come. We will go as a family. It’s not like that. From the time you leave the house, you reach the theater, in between one movie is released. You go to the theater, you’re confusing. Thirty-two movies in a theater and it is going to be individualistic. I still remember a time when we used to go to a restaurant and one person in the family will order for everybody. Whatever is coming, you have to eat. Four idlis and sambar. Today, the bearer on his own does not take the order from that one individual.
He looks at everybody. The same idlis only! But family of four. With idli sambar, one person is asking to pour the sambar on top. One person is asking for sambar served separately. One person is asking for chutney along with it. One person is asking for mini idli, variety even in idli. In the end, it’s all idli, rice pudding! But we are individualistic today. One coffee used to be made in the house. Today, there is coffee, there is strong coffee, there is tea, there is Bourn Vita, there is Ovaltine, there is decoction. We are individualistic. There’s no question about it. The world is getting individualistic.
Now, the only way you can have a happy joint family if you want to continue to have is, you should learn to celebrate the differences. Forget about creating compatibility. The only compatibility that’ll exist in a joint family in the future is, nothing will be compatible. And you have to celebrate the differences. If you cannot celebrate the differences, sometimes it’s better to have a nuclear family, because it might as well let us… Listen in the context what I’m saying.
Don’t go and tell the world. There was a father like that who angrily worded a letter to me asking, “It seems you have asked everyone to live separately!”, okay? Understand the context in what I’m explaining. I’m only telling you, rather than viewing life through the spectacles of love and saying sentimentally, “We’ll always be together.” and keep fighting, I think sometimes it’s better to look at life through the spectacles of happiness and say, instead of staying together in one roof where nobody is happy with each other, might as well let’s stay under independent roofs, happy with each other. How staying under independent roof will bring happiness to everybody?
Staying under an independent roof creates the context where we all have to be with each other part-time and all of us are very good part-time. Full-time only problem. Because twice a week, once a week, when you go for half an hour, you see everybody. Everybody is in their best spirits. It’s only full-time, then all this issue comes, whether my work is there, your work is there, who has to do which work, why I have to do this work, I do all the work, she gets all the credit and all these issues come, and half the time goes off in a family doing panchayat. When we should be celebrating emotions as a family, we are all the time fighting with emotions.
And it doesn’t make sense, like organizations have realized. Decentralize responsibilities, create as many divisions as possible. Let each one be accountable to their own results. Somewhere, probably small pockets, absolutely happy with each other, is going to be a far easier option than holding… I’m not saying we cannot have a joint family. I still believe you can, provided the family has the maturity to celebrate differences. But if you want everybody to be one of those mouldable commodities where everybody is moulded same way, then it’s not going to, absolutely it’s not going to happen.
You can see some great teams in IPL is not performing great because they are not a team. Eleven outstanding individuals does not constitute a good team. In fact, eleven average individuals who can be together actually becomes a far better team than eleven outstanding individuals, but they just do not know how to function as a team. And it does not become a team. And you can see some when you look at the names of people in some of the teams, legendary names. But performing at very ordinary levels, because they just don’t know how to come as a team.
They are not able to celebrate those differences. I’m only telling you this. Sometimes it’s better we view life through the spectacles of happiness. Because one thing is guaranteed. Where there is happiness, there will be love, but there’s no guarantee where there is love, there will be happiness. Sometimes where there is love, there will be pain. But where there is happiness… It’s much easier to teach a happy person to love than to teach a loving person to be happy. So somehow, wear the spectacles of happiness and take certain decisions in life and you’ll find that sometimes where the families are not able to celebrate these differences, might as well create pocket units where everything still remains intact. You’ll still get enough context to love.
But overall, there is an enormous amount of happiness that exists. Given a choice between staying under the same roof and fighting and staying under individual roof, happy with each other, I think it’s a very obvious choice for anyone of you to execute. Sometimes, when you are not able to make a decision, ask yourself, “Am I trying to make a decision through the spectacles of love?”, which is making you and others sentimentally weak and in the entire process, not creating the context for which you can make the decisions.
Sometimes just living as neighbors and you cooking something which is very tasty and passing it on to your brother’s house and they cooking something very tasty and hence they call you for you to eat, sometimes celebrating. Sometimes, the child comes here to learn from uncle, and sometimes the nephew from here goes there to learn from the aunt. I think we can still have enough proximity. We are close enough, but there’s no fight over the roof. And I think a lot, lot can be accomplished.
Exponentially I have seen. It’s easier to teach love to a happy person than to teach happiness to a loving person. Life is best lived through the spectacles of happiness and the by-product is, love will automatically come and embrace you. Than the other way around, that you live your life through the spectacles of love and struggle with happiness in life.