Dysfunctional Family #Kapoor&Sons

We have all seen them, maybe even have been a part of them. Of course there are extreme forms of dysfunctional families and am not talking about the extreme ones. We have seen it in Dekh Bhai Dekh, or American Tv series Modern Family or for that matter Arrested development.

A family is not complete without some of its members been a “little” over the top. I was inspired to write this post when I remembered about Kapoor and Sons movie. By now you must have understood how much a movie influences my thoughts. Am a huge movie buff but its not just entertainment I take it with me once its done. It’s an experience and good movies have a way to make you feel you were a part of that movie.

With Kapoor and Sons it was like actually been there and silently watching all these characters go through their performances.  It was too good.

kapoor-and-sons-rkThere can be no doubt about the fact that my favourite character remains the grandpa played by Rishi Kapoor – the masterstroke actor.

It was engaging yet felt like we have lived this. We have all had that fight or that talk. The sibling rivalry, parental fights and amid all the chaos finding our calm to enjoy that perfect moment when it does show up.


Growing up in such a family has its share of impacts, and whats more is that  we even take it along with us for the rest of our lives. I would say my family does qualify the kind of families I have mentioned above, sans the laughter tracks, Ha!

There are worser kinds where it leaves the kids with traumatic effects such as those depicted in August: Osage County; what a wonderful performance by Meryl Streep and the whole cast! The relationship between Benedict Cumberbatch and his mother is just heart wrenching. The ones Meryl has with her daughters is both disturbing and a bit funny. But its so real and it happens.

So what is family and do we need family? Apparently this institution of family was started because the males wanted to pass on their wealth and intangibles to someone down their line and as a slave prospect started this ‘Familia’ which is nothing like what todays family represent and included household servants.

How many horror stories do we read in the news about how family members kill each other or abuse each other or sabotage each other for wealth or power? In fact every day I read about either a son killing his whole family out of vengeance or a father abusing his daughter. Don’t even start with Domestic Abuse cases. So is this what family is meant for? To control each other so much that you destroy the very thing you have in life?

I don’t think family has a longterm value considering every person starts his own family and the previous ones become obsolete and its an ongoing pattern. I guess its just the way of nature is.

For me, Family is support but I have seen families where they pull each other down, like crabs. Especially Indian families, I think they are afraid and insecure. Don’t go up the ladder cause we didn’t. Family is supposed to encourage everyone part of it to reach their potential but I feel sometimes it is the very family that holds you back.

Am a single child but yet I have been pitched against other kids to compete with for no reason. It always effects you cause you are constantly comparing yourself to others no matter what you have achieved. I think that should be stopped cause everyone is unique and nobody can replace the other. Maybe Family had a disturbing origin but I think its up to us to give it the proper rendition it deserves.

So what are your family quirks? Share your (‘funny’) family experiences!




The Great Indian Parents

The other day I was watching an old interview of the ensemble cast of Dil Dhadkane Do (DDD), one of the better movies to come in the last couple of years.

Honestly, I was prejudiced towards the trailer once I saw it cause I didn’t think these rich people and their problem was any of my concern and so the whole movie was just candy floss.

I, in fact, watched the movie last year but at that time I didn’t have a blog to write down my thoughts but after watching their interview I was reminded of the fact that I loved the movie. It was everything beyond expectation.

Reema Kagti makes wonderful movies, including Talaash and Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, two movies I thoroughly enjoyed and Zoya has a meaningful and different approach to movie making. But this isn’t about the movie that I want to talk about but about what the movie represents. Family.

I think Indian Parents are a different species altogether. I have always wondered why they can’t let their grown up kids just be. I always question these kids who grow up under controlling parents – like do they want to be like their parents or does it happen naturally through years of conditioning?

I can’t imagine being a parent like that and am always dreading if I will be (Only time will say). I mean I get the protection and responsibility they imbibe but once your kids turn a particular age, do you really need to spoon feed everything?

In this movie, there is two particular scene that really stung me:

  1. Where Anil Kapoor’s Character tells Ranbir’s “what have you done in your whole life? You are because of me and without us, you are nothing”, (loosely translated)
  2. Where Shefali Shah’s Character tells Priyanka’s to stop focusing on career and to start a family and also Anil telling her she is not welcome back to the family if she wants a divorce.

I mean why would parents do this to their kids? Why do you expect everything to be about you and not the kids? Aren’t they individuals? Do parents not look at their kids as separate beings? Or do they think kids have to be dependent on them no matter what?

I get the part about our parents sacrificing a lot for us. Every parent does that and that’s what makes you one. But expecting your kids to applaud you and be forever grateful to you is just plain wrong. And so is expecting them to toe along your lines cause you have done such great things for them.

Another part I don’t understand is why do kids still live with their parents! Unlike the old Joint family get up today there are more nuclear families. Yet parents are always there right behind you. Especially for girls who get married and move into their husband’s house, it’s just plain weird having to make such adjustments that the boy never even fathoms.

Why create such uncomfortable scenarios? Why can’t two adults live by themselves? Unless you have a single parent, there is, in my opinion, no need for adult kids to live with their parents. It only prolongs dependency, especially the emotional ones which is what’s dangerous.

Just imagine the benefits of living on your own:

  • You make the decisions
  • there is no conflict of who is the head of the house
  • the value we place on boys cause they “take care” of parents will lessen
  • More time can be taken out for actual bonding with family members instead of having to secretly hate them and create pain for everyone concerned.
  • Emotional maturity – especially for boys who take washing, cooking and such mundane activities for granted since someone else is always there to do it (their mom or sis)
  • Independence!
  • Privacy – No questions on where you are going or to whom you are speaking to or such questions, which only kids need to answer not adults.

I mean the lists are endless. Can you imagine how the whole Indian society would turn out to be if we actually followed this?

I have to agree there is No competition when it comes to their love. They win hands down but sometimes a gift can turn into a curse and we need to make sure it remains a gift. I believe a parents duty is to provide for their children and teach them to survive on their own. My husband and I both believe in this school of thought –  to let the kids just be.

As parents we worry about so much already, isn’t something left best to the kids? They need to discover themselves through their own eyes and not through others. If you watch kids carefully you will know they are hardly scared or insecure or worried about anything. But we force our views on them and by a certain age, they start believing it too. Their outlook on life is smudged by their parent’s views.

Every parenting style is different. No two parents are the same and believe me no parents want to hear that what they are doing is wrong nor do they want to hear parenting advice. Besides parenting comes naturally, no one can be prepared for it till it happens to them.

But certain qualities only Indian parents share and I constantly read on Quora what today’s youth want and believe. They are far much mature than the previous generation. Being exposed to so much in today’s world, they are I think even born ready to take on the world. They talk about stuff that a generation above them wouldn’t have or actually take risks. But still, they have the age old Indian parents who instead of encouraging them, hinder their progress.

I can go on and on about Indian parents but it’s time for a change and I am not going to shy away from it cause change begins with you. Hopefully, I can be one of the parents that I write about but there is still time for that.

What do you think about Indian parenting style? Are you one? Share your experience!