With FA­THER’S DAY fea­tur­ing this month, we nd out how cou­ples deal with their other fa­ther, the fa­ther-in-law

Fa­thers are our real life heroes that we look up to as an in­spi­ra­tion in our lives. As we grow up, we meet a new fa­ther, the fa­ther-in-law. As the coun­try cel­e­brates Fa­ther’s Day, Citadel finds out how the fa­ther-in-law cor­re­la­tion with daugh­ter-in-law an

Citadel - - CONTENTS - BY JUILI EKLAHARE juiliekla­hare.citadel@gmail.com

Tuck­ing us i nto bed every night, mak­ing us be­lieve that we are brave and there was no mon­ster hid­ing be­hind the cup­board, teach­ing us how to ght our bat­tles, mak­ing us laugh like no one could, that is what fa­thers are all about; he is every boy’s hero and every girl’s king. He is ir­re­place­able and an in­dis­pens­able be­ing to every in­di­vid­ual in the world. Sim­i­larly, another fa­therly per­son­al­ity en­ters the lives of most of us at some point: the fa­ther-in-law. Maybe, he’s two decades or more late to make you laugh. De­spite his late en­try into your life, you de­velop a rap­port with him. Per­haps, it isn’t ex­actly the same with the fa­ther who raised you, but a con­nec­tion is there, one that can al­ways emerge as some­thing ex­cep­tion­ally spe­cial. And it does. Anushree Patankar, 30, a teacher who has been mar­ried for ve years, ad­mits that the wave­length she shares with her fa­ther-in-law is akin to that she has with her fa­ther. “He pushed me to pur­sue my B.Ed De­gree post my mar­riage, just the way he pushed his son to pur­sue his higher ed­u­ca­tion. I would won­der how our na­tures would match with each other, but I have come to re­alise that it de­pends on un­der­stand­ing each other. As we have be­gun to un­der­stand each other, it has changed our re­la­tion­ship over the years. For in­stance, at the start I would be a lit­tle scared of him, but now I can talk freely with him,” says Anushree.

Anushree’s fa­ther-in-law, More­sh­war Patankar, 69, a re­tired bank em­ployee, couldn’t agree more. In or­der to help her min­gle with him and the fam­ily more, More­sh­war sug­gests that they take turns at do­ing house­hold chores. “We have bonded so well over the years, that when­ever she’s fac­ing a prob­lem, in­stead of conding in her hus­band alone, she chooses to tell the two of us to­gether be­liev­ing that it’s im­por­tant that I know too. And she’s also al­ways there to help me the mo­ment I need her. For ex­am­ple, she’s al­ways there to the res­cue when it comes to my com­puter inefciency; whether its in­ter­net bank­ing, send­ing an email or any­thing else, she’s right there next to me,” says More­sh­war ad­mir­ingly. While Anushree avers to be­ing slightly ner­vous about com­mu­ni­cat­ing with her fa­ther-in-law at the start af­ter the nup­tial, Purva Sin­narkar, 31, an ar­chi­tect, has a dif­fer­ent tale to share. Hav­ing a love mar­riage, she had met her fa­ther-in-law, Vivek Sin­narkar, an ar­chi­tect too, a cou­ple of times be­fore ty­ing the knot. And as luck would have it, they are both poles apart. “Baba clicks with new peo­ple he meets at the drop of a hat, whereas, I need my own sweet time to bond. This friendly na­ture of his is what drew us close in­stantly,” she as­serts warmly. Purva and Vivek, the fa­ther-in-law - daugh­ter-in-law duo, at­tribute their af­fa­ble re­la­tion to the good times that they have in­vested in the fam­ily and also with each other over the span of seven years of Purva’s spousal. “Af­ter step­ping into the fam­ily in the be­gin­ning, she would only obey. But with the pas­sage of time, she is vo­cal about her thoughts and opin­ions and even ob­jects if she deems nec­es­sary. She makes most of my de­ci­sions for me and I feel like I am not re­spon­si­ble for much, which is great. We both like to cook, so we of­ten cook or help each other in the kitchen or if she feels like hav­ing some­thing, she tells me openly, with­out hes­i­ta­tion, ‘Baba, I haven’t eaten a pizza made by you in ages,’ and then I make one for her will­ingly,” ex­pounds Vivek. Elab­o­rat­ing fur­ther, Purva tells us about their com­mon in­ter­ests. “We have the same pro­fes­sions, so usu­ally we nd our­selves talk­ing a lot about it, shar­ing our ex­pe­ri­ences and so on. Apart from that, I have im­bibed cer­tain qual­i­ties from him. For in­stance, I was never a spir­i­tual per­son, but he is. And watch­ing him in­volved in it every day has inspired me to be­come a lit­tle spir­i­tual too, which has also re­in­forced my in­ner self. That pi­ous con­nec­tion and lik­ing that we have formed is one of a kind, some­thing I don’t even share with my own fa­ther,” says Purva earnestly. Grow­ing old is just like another child­hood, wherein chil­dren take care of their par­ents. Vivek Ravin­dra Joshi, 75, a re­tired busi­ness­man, takes pride in how his daugh­ter-in-law, Nayana, is pro­tec­tive of him and even scolds him for his own good, like a mother would do her child. “I am com­pletely okay with my daugh­ter-in-law scold­ing me,” Ravin­dra puts forth, mak­ing it clear that he would have it no other way. “I used to be a chain smoker, and she has also man­aged the task of mak­ing me quit. And that too in her own easy way with­out be­ing pushy about it,” he im­plies with joy. Ravin­dra has no daugh­ters of his own, so the en­try of Nayana into the fam­ily has lled the void. He goes on to say that the two of them do a lot of things to­gether, one of their favourites be­ing singing and play­ing the clas­si­cal pi­ano (peti). Also, they have their share of jokes and ex­change of zingers, which might lead one (if with too tra­di­tional a mind­set) to think that ‘this is no way to talk or be­have so openly with your fa­ther-in-law.’ But they both can’t help it. They are so com­fort­able and at ease around each other. In spite of the happy ban­ter and to­geth­er­ness, the dif­fer­ences are going

to be in­evitable.”We know that we don’t have to agree with each other all the time,” says Nayana clearly and con­tin­ues, “We have ar­gued a lot, but we have never held grudges. We give our opin­ions and tell the other per­son what we think then and there. We go to bed with clear heads af­ter there’s a spat, to never let it rise with us the next morn­ing.” Turn­ing the fa­ther-in-law- daugh­terin-law rap­port into a con­ge­nial one might be a tad eas­ier, given the woman moves into her new home. How­ever, when it comes to the son-in-law, the sit­u­a­tion can be faintly dif­fer­ent. But that again counts on one in­di­vid­ual to another. “Trans­parency is key,” says Nitin Paithankar, 52, a Deputy Gen­eral Man­ager, in a mat­ter-of-fact tone while speak­ing of his re­la­tion with his sonin-law, Soumi­tra Deo. “The faith and condence au­to­mat­i­cally comes into be­ing when the two peo­ple are be­ing them­selves and not put­ting up any fa­cade. And I al­ways felt that way about Soumi­tra,” he adds. Soumi­tra (27), an Area Sales Ex­ec­u­tive, re­counts with out­right frank­ness, “When I was dat­ing my then girl­friend (now wife), the only im­por­tant thing to me was for my fa­ther-in-law to see me the way I am and ac­cept me for who I am. I knew a bit about him through my wife and was aware of what he ex­pected and was also ready to try to live up to his ex­pec­ta­tions. But the best part is that we both think in very sim­i­lar ways and of­ten have the same thoughts and ap­proach to cir­cum­stances and things. Fur­ther­more, the fact that he had a love mar­riage and I was hav­ing one too helped him un­der­stand my po­si­tion well. I of­ten call my­self lucky to have the two of us think­ing so much along the same lines as that helps us get along su­perbly.” Al­though, Soumi­tra be­ing wed­ded for only one and a half years, Nitin says that un­der­stand­ing each other in depth takes time and they are still get­ting there. Soumi­tra sees eye to eye with his fa­ther-in-law and adds, “We try to keep it nat­u­ral be­tween us and don’t go over the top to make any ad­di­tional ef­forts for each other. We both make it a point to stay in touch, but above all, we don’t delve into each other’s per­sonal space, which we both be­lieve is ex­tremely im­por­tant.” Speak­ing about the signicance of mar­i­tal hap­pi­ness, Ravin­dra Ghal­sasi (65), a social worker, claims that as long as hus­band and wife are happy with each other, things in­vol­un­tar­ily fall in place for the fa­ther-in-law and son-in-law / daugh­ter-in-law too. “My daugh­ter and son-in-law are lead­ing a happy mar­ried life. If they are both happy with each other, I don’t see what’s stand­ing in the way of me hav­ing a happy bond with my son-in-law,” says Ravin­dra cheer­fully. It is true t hat t he fa­ther who did your favourite things with you grow­ing up and the fa­ther who takes a lit­tle time t o un­der­stand t hose favourite things, both have a dif­fer­ent and signicant spot in your heart. But some­times, they do ll each other’s shoes. Man­dar De­sai, 36, who lost his fa­ther be­fore he got mar­ried, be­lieves that his fa­ther-in-law, Ravin­dra Ghal­sasi, did the same. “We talk about ev­ery­thing,” says Man­dar with ev­i­dent love and af­fec­tion owing through his voice and goes on, “It has been 12 years since I got mar­ried and if there’s any­thing I ever need, I know I can al­ways go to him for ad­vice, even when I have other un­cles or male rel­a­tives from my own fam­ily. And for the most part, ac­cep­tance has gone a long way for us. Whether it’s our mis­takes, aws or inefcien­cies, ac­cept­ing them with our pos­i­tive traits eases most t hings out be­tween us, giv­ing me the best re­la­tion with him I could ever ask for.” Ergo, they say mar­riages are made in heaven, per­haps that’s when they pick out the other fa­ther too.

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