Ma’am my father does not live with us …. I live with my mother and dada…
He is my stepson. He doesn’t know that I am not his biological father and neither do I want him to find out.
Hello and welcome to Musings of a MasterNi, I am Minal Desai and here I share with you a medley of my unique experiences shaped by students teachers and life in general.
Diwali has just passed by and I am sure all of us had an amazing time with family. Now as soon as I say, family, what comes to your mind? A set of parents, male and female, with their two kids, mostly a girl and a boy. This is the standard image that most of us carry. Some may even see an extended family with grandparents and cousins. But this is the general image that comes to our mind when we think of families.
But let me tell you that this idea of families is undergoing a radical shift. The format we are so used to and feel so protected with is changing at such a rapid pace that it makes us uncomfortable. And as a school, we come across families of so many types, it is hard to define a family in the standard terms. Single-parent families are on the rise. And if the idea of a single parent child draws up sympathy and bichara baccha emotions in your mind, I suggest you take a pause. I have seen FAAAR happier kids with single parents than with two warring parents. When there is utter discord and visible or invisible violence, the kids in the family suffer the most. They would rather live with two separate but peaceful parents.
Besides single parents, there are also families where the support system is formed with grand-parents or extended families or friends. Here also the family need not be blood related but at times i have seen in-laws being more helpful than spouse! And then of course there is the ‘father is traveling on work’ family. Here the father is rarely seen and mostly someone else steps in as the father figure. Now, the society may see a father figure as a shady character but I have seen many many positives shades of it and I refuse to believe the single narrative that our soap operas or bollywood dish out.
So why am I talking about families here? Because we as a society need to be more welcoming of different people and perspectives. The idea of “Indian Family Values” is under a flux. But honestly, society and culture are always under a flux. They are constantly evolving. If you look deeper into Indian history, a lot of values that we see as Indian or from vedic period are essentially Victorian or Islamic in nature. There is no single narrative of what India is. And there never has been one. The one that we so want to get back to, was also always extremely diverse. And it had its own flaws.
Now this diversity that we see today can be the biggest bug in our society or the strongest feature of our society. And that solely depends on us. How we look at things is how we will shape it.
So what has been your experience of coming across a family of different kinds? What was your first response to it? And if you have NEVER come across one, then maybe you need to expand your worldview a tad bit more?!
Do share your views with me and don’t forget to follow me on Musings of a MasterNi.