Starting A New Business? 7 Key Points To Keep In Mind.
Indian parents often decide everything for their children, including what they should wear, their job, and their partner, since they "know better”. This is toxic parenting and must stop.
Why are toxic relationships glamorized in films and, hence, in our real lives? On the occasion of ‘Children’s Day 2022’ in India, I want to speak of one recent film of this kind.
A Tamil film Don was released in May2022, when I watched it in theatres. While the plot, especially the second half, was moving and made me feel emotional, it left me with several questions. Let me explain why.
The plot is mainly about university life and a boy (Chakravarthy, whose older version is played by Sivakarthikeyan) who does not know about his ambitions, like every other college student. His father forces him to join an engineering college. He, however, has no interest and attends classes just for the sake of it. His father is stone-hearted, focused on Chakravarthy’s mark sheet, and even shaves his head once because he failed exams. The father publicly shames and slaps his son because he loves a girl in his school.
Chakravarthy fakes his university marks and ends up a happy-go-lucky person at university while acting nerdy in front of his father. He finds his passion in movies and wants to be a director. After he shoots a short film to enter a competition, his father burns his laptop, not ‘allowing’ him to do so.
In the second half, the father dies without seeing his son become an engineer. At this point, the storyline tells us how much the father had “cared” for his son, and how he “suppressed” his love for the child not to end up spoilt.
His mother explains, or should I say, ’emotionally manipulates’ the son by telling him how sad the father was after he scolds his son. And how he has been concerned but expressed it in a different (toxic!) way.
The story shows the son ‘understanding’ this and trying to complete his arrears and pass the engineering course like his father wanted to. This story about his father was what the hero submitted to the short film competition, where he ultimately won.
The takeaway from this movie is ‘cherish your parents’. It is how they show a ‘happy ending’.
In my mind, all that has been going on is, why are we promoting and excusing toxic behavior? If you are a parent, are you allowed to do anything and everything you want? Just because you are ‘worried’? How much ‘parental love’ is too much? And why aren’t boundaries taught and enforced from childhood in Indian families?
A parent’s shortcomings, such as manipulating or verbally abusing their kids, may leave a lasting impression on them. Even if a parent does destructive and traumatic things out of ‘love’, they still impact the child’s life. It is no excuse to treat a kid poorly.
Parents should stop dumping their expectations on their kids. They have lived most of their lives, and they should let youngsters live their lives.
The children experience trauma and grief from their parents’ acts, words, and attitudes as they grow up, leaving them with emotional scars. The affected people won’t enjoy their childhood as much since meaningful elements are missing. And this will eventually have a negative impact that continues into their adult lives.
Experts would classify the ‘parenting’ that Indian parents and elders do as oppressive and controlling. In our culture, we expect that teens and youngsters must respect older people and refrain from challenging their beliefs, especially when they are against their expectations.
And this then extends to expectations from women. Even when it means returning to toxic spouses and families, we force women to put their lives on hold to provide endless support. Love marriage? Divorce because he is a narcissist? Don’t want to have kids? What will people and society say?
Indian parents decide everything, including what their children should wear, their job, and their partner. Since they “know better” and they are family. If all you have ever learnt is being used as a pawn and degraded for ‘your own benefit’, it may be overwhelming to imagine a setting that is not typical in a relationship.
But aren’t our families meant to cherish us, be there for us, and support us at all times?
Children have an innate understanding of what it feels like to burst with life and vigor. And to appreciate everything that life has to offer. Children learn from what they observe and listen to, so let them know that we value them and consider them our treasures!
Author’s note: My intention is not to point fingers to all parents – there certainly are many caring and supporting Indian parents.
Image source: IMDb / a still from the Tamil film Don
Megna is an aspiring writer trying to make it in this world.
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Ms. Kulkarni, please don’t apologise ‘IF’ you think you hurt women. Apologise because you got your facts wrong. Apologise for making sexual harassment a casual joke.
If Sonali Kulkarni’s speech on most modern Indian women being lazy left me shocked and enraged, her apology post left me deeply saddened.
I’d shared my thoughts on her problematic speech in an earlier article. So, I’ll share why I felt Kulkarni’s apology post was more damaging than her speech.
If her speech made her an overnight hero among MRAs, sexists, and people who were awed by her dramatic words, then her apology post made her a legendary saint.
There are many mountains I need to climb just to be, just to live my life, just to have my say... because they are mountains you've built to oppress women.
Trigger Warning: This deals with various kinds of violence against women including rape, and may be triggering for survivors.
I haven’t climbed a literal mountain yet
Was busy with the metaphorical ones – born a woman
Fighting for the air that should have come free
And I am one of the privileged ones, I realize that
Yet, if I get passionate, just like you do
I will pay for it – with burden, shame, – and possibly a life to carry
So, my mountains are the laws you overturn
My mountains are the empty shelves where there should have been pills
Please enter your email address