Desi Fathers: Super, Lesser and Some in Between

2 Oct

Yes, DG is still alive. Yes, it’s been a long time to be exact 3 months and 20 days since she last posted on GGTS. What did she do all these days? Not that busy readers are interested in her not so happening life. Her basement apartment flooded and she literally survived electrocution. One Saturday morning in early September while she was still drifting in and out of sleep she thought she was dreaming until her hand hit the floor in six inches of water. She jumped out of bed to find she was still alive because in her sleep she pulled the plug to heat pad and fan. She blessed her stars for she is not a parent. She salutes you all parents out there, kudos for how you do that. Now you have another one for your arsenal, “be happy DG is not your parent, or else you would have been… surviving on raw food, green smoothies, steamed veggies, sitting in 6 inches of water… (You can add whatever to the list). DG is definitely not parent material she is just as good as Gabbar Singh to scare kids in the neighborhood though she is a good auntie to spoil your kids and talk to them about everything under the sun. Her friends tell her she gives very good parenting advice that is possible only because she is not a parent. :P

Her social life might be nil but her Karma life is pretty interesting… Now everything is almost under control, all suitcases are wet and have gone bad, mission impossible to find a new place is on… Hope readers had a good time while she was away. In continuation to the previous post, though it was DG’s assumption that it will be in two parts but it appears it will be in few more parts.

By definition the super father, did not have to struggle to establish his hegemony it just came by virtue of his birth order. There after he had to maintain it by asserting his might and right at all the important life events in the family such as, birth of children, birth rites, finding matches or spending on wedding and sickness in the family and so on. To have power and absolute power is no big deal the skill lies in maintaining that power over a life time for this a person has to learn to execute power in a balance so as to not alienate the menials or push them into rebellion. Constant stiff upper lip is one way to do this but it is pretty threatening and alienating thus a super father has to occasionally shower affection at distant quarters so as not to destroy his in-control image. For example, a father who is known as terror incarnate to his children is often viewed as kind person by his nieces, nephews and neighbors. He’ll be readily available to guide and support his siblings and their children at the cost of his own progeny; rather he is obsessed with them. According to him his children by default should excel in career and social life and take his baton further. His filial loyalty is secondary to his filial piety (sharing his parents’ duty of raising their progeny, his siblings). Though his children often grow with emotionally absent father and resentful of their aunts, uncles and cousins but he makes sure he gives tips on parenting to his siblings. Often these kids rebel and super father loses grip on them.

With such a super father in picture all other fathers in the family become lesser fathers and they have to establish their own pecking order. There is a natural unspoken competition between siblings for parental attention and approval; all their lives they do tango and once they have children this burden to provide them with identity falls on them. Thus children become poster child of “My dog is smarter than…” So each father not only minds his children to save face but also pokes nose in the upbringing of those of his siblings’ (if possible then neighbors too) to maintain pecking order. In this double and confused parenting their own children rebel and move away from them thus to feel in-control they take it up to themselves to discipline other people’s children. The only way to deflect attention from their errant (rather resentful and disrespectful) children they interfere in other people’s disciplining regimes; they find faults in other people’s children to an extent where not only the children but their parents too resent them. Although the generational reverence and gender hierarchy prevents any direct confrontation with such nosey pseudo fathers but after a point a mother will stand up for son(s). This double edged sword often falls on male children and thus their mother emerge as their saviors.

It is mommy’s job to protect her sons’ from daddy’s unreasonable wrath and that of other fathers in the family. Thus mother son dyad is further cemented as her emotionally absent husband further drifts away. Her rising to protect her son(s) immediately brands her as family breaker and an outside (her association to family is through marriage and she’ll remain outsider until her death, she’ll be inducted into the clan only after sharad, a death feast is organized in her name).

These are not set in cement rules of desi parenting they are just prototypes there are numerous variations and combinations depending upon where they stand in social pecking order. It is true that it takes a village to raise a child but it is also true that too many chefs will only spoil the broth…

PS: These fathers are not bad people they are good providers and law abiding citizens they are just confused and they do not know any other way to behave. It is time we created new parenting role models. The world of desi parenting is evolving and some young men are stepping up to be “Dads.”

About these ads

9 Responses to “Desi Fathers: Super, Lesser and Some in Between”

  1. desibahu December 6, 2011 at p12 #

    the return of the mother in law….part 3…coming this april

    Like this

  2. Sheila October 7, 2011 at p10 #

    Great post about confused, super fathers. I know one such father – my FIL. It is refreshing to see how his son (my husband) completely deviated from this parenting style…

    Glad you are doing well. Keep writing!

    @Sheila,
    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    People do break the generational cycle of abuse but they carry the residue in different forms. Just a query, if he abstain from perpetuating his father’s parenting style did he also change is way of relating to his wife? DG asks this coz’ she is reseaching for a post. Usually people variate their parenting styles from those of their parents but they either follow their parents’ spousal interaction pattern or become passive aggresive in spousal interactions.
    Please let DG know it will help with her work.

    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/desi-mothers-in-law/

    Like this

  3. Smitha October 3, 2011 at p10 #

    Thank god you are safe! That must have been such a scary experience!

    As for dads, ‘they are just confused and they do not know any other way to behave’ – That sounds very true. And as you said, they need better role models, although lots of young people today are consciously steering away from the kind of parenting their dads did, which I feel is a wonderful thing!

    @Smitha,

    Welcome back to GGTS.
    It is hard for DG to say if it was scary coz’ she doesn’t remember much all she can recall is another tenant told her she was ice cold and very assertive about how to get the situation under control. She was not always like this but since her near fatal accident she is a different DG.
    She believes,

    If you are alive you can do thousand theings about anything, if you are dead nothing matters.

    Yes, about fathers and dads DG was discussing with her dad how it serves families to keep the father child bond wrapped in confusion and distant. It is a blessing the new generation is stepping up.
    http://ravilobo.blogspot.com/2011/09/summer-with-daughter.html

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

  4. Indian Homemaker October 3, 2011 at p10 #

    Good to see you back and glad you pulled that plug in your sleep!

    Someone has my back. Feel very blessed.
    DG

    Like this

  5. Indian Homemaker October 3, 2011 at p10 #

    Thank god for ‘dads’. I agree with the description. Sad. Does a lot of harm to individuals and families and the entire community.

    Like this

  6. Vikram Karve October 3, 2011 at p10 #

    Hi DG:
    An apt “prototype” of a typical Desi Father. But believe me, it works!
    Looking forward to some more of your views on relationships.
    Regards
    Vikram

    @Vikram Karve,
    Welcome back to GGTS, a safe space.
    Sure will try to be more regular in posting.
    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

  7. desibahu October 2, 2011 at p10 #

    That’s pretty scary waking up in a flood like that.
    I know a desi girl who complains her father did everything for his brother’s kids but nothing for them when they were growing up. She says what’s the point of doing anything now that they are grown up.
    The famous fathers who find fault with all kids, the brother’s kids, the grand kids…………
    Only they know how to father I guess! And you are right that there are variations in desi fathering style.

    The famous father you are referring to has low self esteem and anger issues thus the only way he can feel better about himself is by belittling other people.
    DG

    Like this

    • desibahu October 10, 2011 at p10 #

      anger issues….a lot of anger issues!

      Like this

  8. Roona October 2, 2011 at p10 #

    DG…Good writing…read some of your blog posts and you are sharp on Desi “culture” related to gender and family! Looking forward to reading more…
    Roona

    @Roona,

    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    Thank you for the compliment.
    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

My life and everything that touches it....

Kafila

media | politics | dissent

"कुरुक्षेत्र"

मेरे विचारो का

समाजवादी जनपरिषद

वैश्वीकरण विरोध हेतु

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

A Desi Girl's Guide to Relationship Survival

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

W.S.S.A @ UWindsor

Women's Studies Student Association @ University of Windsor, Ontario

संजीव तिवारी . . Sanjeeva Tiwari .. Chhattisgarh

हमको मालूम है जन्नत की हकीक़त लेकिन, दिल को खुश रखने को ग़ालिब ये ख़याल अच्छा है

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Beyond The Second Sex (स्त्रीविमर्श)

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

नारी , NAARI

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Sparsh

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Zerqa Abid

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Sex And The Indian Cities

love, friendship and life in the Indian cities

THE PCOS DIVA

FINALLY FEELING FIT, FERTILE AND FABULOUS

NightLife

Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm

आराधना का ब्लॉग

'अहमस्मि'- अपनी खोज में

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 310 other followers

%d bloggers like this: