The Father-Son Duo


Father loves his son. He wants him to grow up into a no-limit person in every single aspect of his life, and enjoy life without developing a sour attitude or a defeatist posture. He would like him to feel successful in every respect and be positive about his life rather than a grumbler. The very role of the father is indicative of his (parental) intentions/instincts. The son too admires his father for the love and affection he has for him. But when the brat grows blind to arguments, (on the basis of inadequate knowledge) he digs heels not to take denials from his papa. The latter obviously has more knowledge/experience and better comprehension than his son.

In the quest for dreams to come true, the interaction of the father and the son with polar different ideologies may steer towards a point when the line (drawn) between ‘respect’ and ‘fear’ seems to get obliterated.

Father: ‘If you ever come home late again, you are never going to get to use the car again.’
Son: ‘Ok. Ok.’
Father: ‘Don’t talk to me like that!’

Father wants his son not to come late. But then he notices that his orders are simply flouted. In a fit of pique, he agitates over the uncalled for remarks passed by his son. He retorts, “don’t talk to me like that!’ Threatening someone does not earn respect. A threat creates fear and not respect. Perhaps because of the silly notion, that his father is threatening him, the son feels disrespected. As the father reprimands the son not to talk to him like that, he in fact tries to encourage emotional falseness. He wants the son to talk to him with all the respect on earth, but the latter does not carry a feeling of respect for his father at that moment. The upshot of this is the vicious circle in which the father feels hurt and the son threatened.

We care for both whom we fear & love; though the line between the two is thin and in different directionsÂ….for feared one, with hatred and disliking and for respected one, with awe and respect (for their feelings). In order to protect himself when a person ‘fears’ his abuser/blackmailer, he is concerned about what the latter says, though with all the loathing and vials of hate on earth. When we ‘respect’ a person, we care about him & watch ourselves not to hurt him. On the whole for some people fear & respect carry the same meaning.

As if she were to machinate, the mother seems to have all along been rearing a hidden desire that her son grows closer to her than to his father. In effect she gets to working subconsciously on devising the strategy of drifting her son away from his father. In the course of her day to day interaction with her son she seems to scare him out of telling his father, ‘listen! I will tell your papa that you lied’; ‘do not ever try to hurt your papa’, and ‘keep quiet! Papa is coming; you will get a bashing,’

It is not many days before the boy gets to understand that he does not have any problem in handling mama. However when papa is around, he feels forced, threatened, and intruded upon. He soon builds the opinion that papa doesn’t care for his feelings/preferences and does not even acknowledge his ideas, dreams and needs. To top it of papa makes decisions for him without bothering about his opinion & won’t even ask what his son believes is the best for him. His perception of his privacy being invaded/ denied naturally leads to the feeling of being betrayed and controlled.

Despite mama’s insistence on her son to hold his father in high regard there is a palpable feeling that papa is the eyesore. The son grows chummy with the mama but stands in awe of his father. While the son does not stand the sight of his papa, the latter however keeps on being misled that he is the master of the house. While the poor papa keeps himself busy demanding his son to doff his cap to him he however does not have an inkling that the rug is since pulled from under his feet. This is why when the father-son duo sit together for hours, each keeps oneself to oneself, saving breath and wasting no words. Neither of them opens his mouth. Despite closely related the duo is miles apart in treatment towards each other. Even when the son is supposed to hold his father in great respect, the feeling does not however bring them an inch closer. The iron curtain raised in between the two, does not allow the relationship to build up between the two. As neither of them is ready to have truck with each other, more often than not the two are with their hackles up. As the fear and the negative feelings drift the two further apart, the two intimately related individuals tend to be as wide asunder as pole and pole.

In our day to day life this is symbolic of the treatment we give to our religious books, prophets, religious leaders, role models, our well wishers and the like. We no doubt hold them with all the respect on earth, but then given our inadequate knowledge and comprehension however when it comes to practicing their tenets/advices we simply fall flat. At the end of the day we feel scary of the miseries and affliction that we expect to be put to by following them (and their tenets). In effect our ‘Respect’ for them simply turns out into ‘Fear’.