Watched Renuka Shahane’s ‘Tribhanga’ on Netflix. The story of the journey of three generations of women, strong in their own way. Well-written drama coupled with good cinematography. Otherwise, nothing much to take home.
Except for one specific sequence:
The part where Masha (played by Mithila Palkar), daughter of a proud single mother, and a successful woman, Anuradha “Anu” Apte (played by Kajol), musters the courage to talk to the latter about her childhood days.
She talks of the psychological trauma she underwent among friends and also in school, because of the ‘independent’ behaviour of her mother. And no, she did not bring it up earlier, because it would have only led to her mother approaching the authorities with all her ‘strength’ and made her lose whatever was left of her childhood.
What maturity from an adolescent child!!! She was already a grown-up at that age! But what happened to her childhood? A childhood that she will never cherish; a childhood that she cannot go back and fix.
How exactly do we classify a single parent?
Ineffective Intellectual, or Insufferable Escapist?
[In this piece, we shall be leaving out those who unfortunately lost their partner to death. Neither will we talk of those who have definite proof that their partnersare child abusers – physical, sexual or otherwise. Those who are adopting orphans in distress to provide them with a better life are doing a noble thing].
While as a single parent you might want to show the world how strong and independent you are, parenting is not about your crusade. Neither is parenting about using your child as a weapon of war between you and your partner.
Unfortunately, neither our society nor our legislations understand that as well, adding fuel to your fire.
Before we glorify single parenting, do we sit back and think about whether we are glorifying the parent or the parenting?
Are we missing the fact that when a child is suffering from the choice made by an adult, it is simply because he/she is not equipped to express their choice? This imposition is the ideal definition of child abuse.
Child Abuse: Any action that intentionally harms or injures the child; physically or mentally; exploiting the dependence that the child has on the adult.
When we appreciate the strength of a single parent, isn’t it also necessary to recall the role that your mother and father played in your upbringing? Were they distinct? Could you replace one with the other? Did you go for comfort to one when you were angry with the other? Maybe it was not a joint conference when you needed to disclose your love affair? Or even to get permission for that Goa trip with?
They say children can be manipulative. That is exactly the fun of childhood. Knowing which parent to approach for what purpose is an integral part of it!
And the fun of parenting is to turn a blind eye even when your partner has told you about your child’s deeds.
Just because your relationship with your partner is strained, you do not have the right to take away the fun from your child’s life as well.
Doing so is nothing but pure vengeance towards your partner, taken out on your child.
You have no right to keep away a child from the other parent just because you do not want to go through the discomfort (or even trauma) of having to deal with the person who you have started to hate. It is nothing but an escapist attitude. And a selfish one too.
The recent trend of becoming a parent through insemination or surrogacy, with no plans of parental partnership, takes this abuse up several notches, hence deserving another dedicated blog altogether. So shall get back to that later.
Yes, your children may come out of all this as a successful person. The sincere hope will always be that they prosper both materialistically and psychologically. But that does not discount the fact that you have been a selfish person who kept your priorities above those of your children.
Your partnership status should have no bearing on the right of the child to grow up under the love, care and guidance from both parents.