LIVING SEPARATELY AND HAPPY TOGETHER One recent report has suggested that the average family size is shrinking. As compared to the average size of a family of seven members some decades ago, the current size is below four. This has given a new term to the family –a nuclear family consisting of husband, wife and one or two children. Joint families are giving way in favor of nuclear families willingly or otherwise. There have been many reasons for this, migration being the principal one. This is understandable because people have been migrating for better opportunities for centuries and as such, this is not a recent phenomenon. While daughters went to other families after marriage, sons migrated to other towns and countries. There was always the feeling of family. There was always ‘our family’ and not ‘my family’. The parental home was the home of all irrespective of where the sons/daughters lived. Now there is my home, my parents’ home, my brother’s home and so on. Another reason is the need for personal space. Not only children, but parents also need a little bit of independence. They no more like to be security guards or baby sitters at home. They willingly agree to allow, encourage and assist their children to live separately. This is happening more frequently not only in service class families but in business class families. There can be any number of reasons for it but the most important is financial freedom. Salaries have gone up. Families have double incomes-both husband and wife working. This freedom has given rise to the desire for personal freedom called space. In business also there are n numbers of business opportunities and there is no need to stick to the traditional family business. Members of a traditional clothing house have shifted to fast food, electronics or any other profitable business. There no need to stay in the parental house also. It has given rise to a new family system. The parents live in parental homes if any or in some old age homes. The children live in their own homes sometimes in the same city. They meet occasionally mostly on festivals. They keep in touch with phones or the internet. The arrangements suits to all. They live separately, yet they come together on occasions and are happy. Poor parents survive on Government old-age pensions, the middle-class parents on their retirement funds and the rich have many options. In a way, this is good except when the parents grow too old to look after themselves or cannot afford to hire help. But the question is not is it good or bad. This is the only option. Take it or leave it. Parents of the world do not grumble. You did the same when you were young, maybe a little differently.