Daddy’s day behind us, numerous wishes or rather public display of conformance later, the day does signal a change in the way fatherhood has changed across decades.
Movies have always resonated with the change in time and changes in the minds of a given society. I did have a jolly good laugh comparing this movie to real life in the recent past. Mouna Ragam, I’m not even going to attempt translating the title here. It’s one of Manirathnam’s master pieces. It talks about a girl’s push into arranged marriage and how that relationship of cactus blossoms. Of course, we are not going to talk about marriages for a while now. The movie also depicted the quintessential stereotyped relationship status quo between a father and his daughter.
We find ourselves swaying away from the age old tradition of Man of the house, father being the bread winner of the family, The father figure who espouses authority and generally makes all the decisions. The counsel of the wife plays a role, but seldom pivotal to the central functioning of the family. The household is demarked to functionalities and the father figure holds the reigns to everything that spans outside the boundaries of the house and the mother is usually the queen of the way a household runs.
That status quo was not bad. My sisters and dad had that relationship decades ago. There was a lot of give, if I can rake my memories right. Ours has never been the traditional power driven house of sorts. All of us did have a certain say in things.
The father figure, the established bread winner, also was a stereotyped beast of financial burden. This meant time getting invested a lot more into work than having the time to spend with the family. That was the way families operated in the 80’s. Another starling myth was along the lines of parents in the western world weren’t as caring and as protective as the way Indian families operated. These assumptions still do run rampant in the current day and age.
The sun was out and it meant only one thing. I loitered the streets on the given Sunday. The sights and sounds were impressive. The moments could melt one’s heart. Myths were waiting to be shattered .
There is a change among us. Of course, I can only speak about the people I’ve either personally known or have had the opportunity to watch and observe. I could note a change. Fatherhood has changed for the better. There is inclusivity in the overall decision making process. I’ve seen ample samples of dads being supportive of their kid’s ambitions and dreams. There is a considerable amount of effort , time and money invested into the big dreams of little children. Kids are relatively free to make their own lives rather than wait to fulfil the incomplete dreams of their parents. The way parents these days view careers and future prospects is slowly taking a little detour from the ancient one of dogma.
I saw fathers discuss math problems with their tiny tots yesterday. Geographies aside, the care and love shown could be generalized to being the same in the common world. Fathers seem to have made changes to their priorities. Money is good, but family seems to be better to them. They do manage to balance the odds to juggle time between being a workhorse and an active participant of a family. The decisions probably are decentralised. Families are slowly moving away from Money being the locus to power and decision making. With women now more than capable of meeting the numbers even steven, the equation does change.
It sure is a good sign. We have families that are working hard in restoring the spirit of what a family represents. We have both parents who now have the time and skills to contribute into their families in a holistic fashion. We as a society are rejecting the malice of the yester-era and doing our delta best in cleaning up the house, one day and one decision at a time.
Yesterday, when I ran my thoughts towards this notable changes to the way families worked, It left me both excited and scared. There is excitement around the whole exercise of building a family and there is a lot of anxious fears in managing to getting all of them wrong. As the society slowly inches towards being open and communicative, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to slip into the dogma.
So far , so good and yeah, it’s nice to acknowledge that we’ve come a long way from where we once started.