Introduction 

Neera Kashyap tackles a critical issue in the chapter “A Question of Space.” The author addresses the issue of parental pressure on kids and demonstrates how parents make decisions based on what they believe is best for their child. It is acceptable for parents to worry about and shape their children’s lives. However, it is unacceptable if parents do so without patiently listening to what the kids have to say. Parents frequently base their decisions regarding their children’s education and employment on widely held opinions rather than giving much thought to what their children enjoy. This causes a great deal of conflict between parents and their kids. This lesson shows how self-observation results in attitude adjustment and improvement.

Consequences Of Parental Pressure

Vikrant is the only son of a prosperous doctor couple who want him to pursue a career in medicine as well. Vikrant, a student in the XI standard, spends his days studying more and more. His parents are always pushing him to perform well in class so that he could enrol in a reputable medical school.

One day, towards the end of a 3.2 km jog, he was absolutely out of breath. His head was pounding from the exertion and from the pressure his parents were imposing on him to study for the medical entrance exams, which weren’t due for another year and a half! At this moment in his life, Vikrant meets a photojournalist, Anuj. He runs into Vikrant on the jogging lanes, and they both instantly became friends.  Vikrant knew that his parents had been watching his sudden interest with rising concern as he experimented with Anuj’s old Kodak camera and read a book that Anuj had given him. His class grades had declined, and he had started skipping group lessons and even the weekend extracurricular activities. 

The Path To Self-Discovery

Vikrant asks Anuj whether his parents compelled him to choose this career path. Anuj responds that he decided to pursue it on his own. However, Anuj notices that something is off with Vikrant’s life and inquires of him about whether or not his parents put any pressure on him and how he handles it. Vikrant responds that he fights with his parents and sometimes even leaves in fury. Anuj, upon hearing this, advises him to observe how his body responds when he is distressed.Following Anuj’s instruction, Vikrant discovers that his body begins to cramp, his mouth becomes dry, and his head goes stiff at the temples whenever he is agitated. Vikrant admits that he has experienced it when his parents pushed him to enrol in classes for medical entrance. He leaves his parents every time they make one of these remarks because he can’t handle the strain. 

The next day, Vikrant informs Anuj that keeping track of his bodily responses and feelings was not helping him in finding a solution. Anuj then offers him the most crucial advice. He challenges him to portray an emotion that is the exact opposite of his feelings. He continues by advising Vikrant to communicate his agitation in a calm manner. When Vikrant follows Anuj’s instructions, he discovers that he can handle the pressure much better. He also observes that his parents are more open to hearing his perspective and are eager to support him. Surprisingly, Vikrant also comes to the realization that he is open to considering his parents’ idea. As a result, a hopeless dilemma changes into a win-win circumstance.

Therefore, with the use of self-observation, Vikrant manages his feelings and moods. He enrols in coaching sessions for the medical entrance test at the end of class XI, knowing that he is doing it responsibly. The chapter, therefore demonstrates how to minimize gap between parents and children. It demonstrates that parents are ready to go the extra mile if kids are willing to take a step forward in resolving conflicts.