papaG & Aditya's ghost : navigating parent-adult child conflicts

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Posted: 2 months ago

no secret but I am totally enjoying watching mamaG and papaG and find their scenes rather amusing. papaG and mamaG may seem like irrelevant side characters but I love what the drama is doing here. rather than cardboard cutouts, these characters are having a lot of nuances and they are showing us different facets of interpersonal conflict and how this affects the family. 

he is basically a toothless tiger when it comes to this woman. all roar but she knows exactly how to reduce him to a pudding. 😂 their relationship shows us a nuanced different way of dealing with conflict 

this week, we have heard snippets of family squabbles in a book and some of it was weird as well as entertaining smiley37. as I was reading the reactions to the book across different platforms, what has been coming across is how common these family conflicts really are in some form. so how do you resolve such issues? so I wanted to make a separate post/thread about parent-adult child dynamics that are playing out here with the Gfamily.

why so much drama?

my view on papaG is influenced by life, age and experiences. initially he seemed like the typical ITV FIL who is unbending and difficult, but I was really surprised by how much nuances and character building they have done so far. papaG is a person in his own right and he is interesting to watch because he is so human.

if we take a step back from the drama, we are aware that all families have conflicts in some form or the other. part of growing up as an adult is realizing your parent can make mistakes. the relationship evolves and changes as you become an independent adult in your own right. you make decisions that your parents may not agree with and the family dynamics changes, which can be especially contentious in the Indian context. 

rather than a top-down approach where your parent gives you orders, now, they have to move to an advisory role at best. you also have to accept that they are human and will make mistakes. you have to accept they are not obligated to support you at every turn and say yes to every decision you make. they will call you out and tell you off. they will make decisions that you disagree with. 

as you go through these stages, then eventually you will get to a comfortable parent-adult child relationship which is far more nuanced -- where you treat each other as adults. so that transition can create lots of conflict in real life. in some families, those conflicts are so damaging that it seems impossible to repair. 

a cycle of hurt

within this drama, a key player in the conflict, aditya, is dead. but his ghost and his decisions he took still reverberate. basically it is made worse because papaG cannot have those confrontations with his son where he can make peace. he disagreed with aditya's choice of bride and possibly career. my guess is that papaG is a self-made man (and not someone who inherited his wealth). he worked really hard to grow his business and had dreams that his son would take over and be by his side. aditya in many ways broke his father's heart. so that hurt was there. they had a disagreement right before his death about katha. we do not know how that scene played out or what words were spoken. there was so much hurt that they didn't attend aditya's funeral. 

now, we may think that is heartless but we need to look at both sides of the conflict. if you talk to real life parents involved in conflict with their adult children, you will know that things can be very complicated. each side feels they are right and they document a list of hurts that go back years. both sides are disappointed but neither are willing to budge. often times, one side will melt only to be met with rejection and immediately the walls go up. then the other side comes down only to be met with harsh words and it is back to square one.  

we saw that play out with katha and papaG. she pleaded for money and he said 'no'. she was obviously upset. then when he calls to give her the money, she shuts him out and rejects him. immediately his hurt leads to his ego jumping out and telling mamaG that they will not communicate with aarav again.

if we just see papaG as selfish and egoistical, then we do not see his pain as a father and his regret. is he selfish? yes. is he egoistical? yes. but he is also more than these things and his character has a lot more nuance than just those qualiites. 

he didn't get to grieve because he was supporting mamaG. I read a line that says grief held too long can corrode your soul. in some ways, that has happened to papaG. he is still holding on to those hurts and anger but his conflict is with a ghost who cannot answer. so the conflict is amplified in some ways. katha is not a good enough replacement for him to fight -- the real person he wants to fight and resolve his conflict is with aditya who is no longer there. 

would it have made a difference if...?

katha too had a role to play in this conflict. she never showed aarav to them or tried more to build a relationship with the Gfamily. they rejected her and so she stayed that way. 

I was reading this article that had an interesting view on this topic -- the writer was sharing her life experience where she had a fallout with her father-in-law over her choice of career. she decided to encourage her husband to maintain his relationship with his father because she felt it was important for him especially as an only child. so the husband alone would go to meet his father and spend time and they did grow closer during his later years. however, the rift between her and FIL never healed. she understood that as a man from a different generation and life experiences, he was entitled to his views and she just accepted that. after he died, she reflected that she was glad that she didn't insist her husband cut ties with his family because it would have also negatively impacted their marriage. 

as I was reading that article, I was also thinking about katha -- would it have been different if she had tried harder to repair the broken relationship between aditya and papaG? would it have made a difference to how papaG reacted when she asked for help?

katha pops back in their life over an emergency after years of silence. now her need was great but in some ways, it can seem a bit of a user if we see it from the parents perspective. "so you show up when you need money but otherwise, you don't care?" -- many parents feel that way about the next generation and this leads to hurt, resentment, anger and conflict. 

while katha thought he was obligated to help her, papaG didn't see it that way. legally, self-acquired wealth can be given to whoever they please. so when he does not have a relationship with them and she didn't try, then why is he responsible for this child on the basis of ties which have been broken for years? while that may seem heartless, we do not run to help those who have hurt us. instead, we step back and don't interfere. that was his attitude. 

seeing through different lens

while his words to katha were indeed hurting and could have been avoided, he was lashing out from a place of hurt. part of his journey is to realize that he can't throw out words he can't take back. he can't act in ego because he is hurt -- we have mamaG now pining him down and glaring at him. 

I was recently reading this article about parents estranged from their children. the article said that those parents feel isolated and there is a complex set of emotions they find difficult to process. they can't talk to others about their hurt -- they want to save face or they feel rejected by others who don't see their heart. so that kind of isolation amplifies papaG's feelings. he feels invalidated as his struggles and the sweat and love he put in as a father are not acknowledged. basically, his journey will be to confront those feelings and hurts but he has to do it without aditya. 

in many ITV dramas, we have rather lame parent-adult child conflicts. everything is magically forgiven. however, true forgiveness happens with accountability and humility on both sides. it basically means letting go of your anger and hurt and moving ahead to the present. now, does that mean automatic reconciliation? not necessarily. those take time and sometimes the relationship is too broken for that. 

in real life, parent-adult child relationships can be complicated and have huge drama. I know of one family where father and son didn't talk for years but then over a period of time, made up. they now get along well but the road to get there wasn't easy for either. both men had to put down their ego and the women in their lives also played a role in the reconciliation along with other family members. 

in another family, the conflict has been ongoing for over a decade and it does not look they will patch up at all. sad. the parent side is willing to come down but the daughter's side is too busy holding on to their hurts. so conflict cannot be resolved and a blame game does not help resolve these type of conflicts. neither does listing each other's bad qualiites. you can't have conversations that resolve things that way. 

and these things can get so complicated for bystanders as well as other people. one uncle who has been trying to mediate said "what is the exact issue they are fighting about -- no one knows anymore! so how do you resolve when they are too busy compiling a list (of wrongs)?" 

people are often told to pick sides in such conflicts but sometimes there is no side to pick as both sides can be wrong. even if one side is completely wrong, it does not help if everyone is pouncing on them. that does not resolve the conflict most of the time, does it? then the conflict snowballs into something that affects a lot of people in different ways. 

will we have fun?

so what can we expect from papaG and mamaG? based on what they have shown so far, I think we are in for a treat where we are going to get realistic emotions. am interested to see a complicated parent-adult child conflict play out and see what road the characters will take. fingers crossed, we are in for a ride! hope we can get some interesting conversations. lets see.:) 

Edited by mango.falooda - 2 months ago
Posted: 2 months ago

So true 

They are such cute couple 

Luckily MamaG & PappaG are not the typical ITV family who crowd ( most of the time) around ML or FL , gaslight  them ... the usual typical ITV family is like that smiley37

Over here papG reminds me of “ a bear .. at time grizzly bear roaring aggressively at times become a stuffed  cure teddy bear !

They are so refreshing 

Like them a lot 

PappaG is totally in love with MamaG smiley42smiley42smiley42

So  adorable they are smiley27

Edited by Rosh4rose - 2 months ago
Posted: 2 months ago

Mango ji, great writingsmiley32

I am on board with everything here, except Katha's part practically speakingsmiley24. I will respond this weekend sometime, as I have to collect my thoughtssmiley4.

Posted: 2 months ago
Originally posted by Rosh4rose

So true 

They are such cute couple 

Luckily MamaG & PappaG are not the typical ITV family who crowd ( most of the time) around ML or FL , gaslight  them ... the usual typical ITV family is like that smiley37

Over here papG reminds me of “ a bear .. st time grizzly bear roaring aggressively at times become a stuffed  cure tedfy bear !

They are so refreshing 

Like them a lot 

PappaG is totally in love with MamaG smiley42smiley42smiley42

Do adorable they are smiley27

thats exactly how I see papaG -- a grizzly bear who is actually a big teddy bear at heart. smiley42 yea, he says things at the heat of the moment but I don't think he really means half of the things he says. he just needs to control that temper. 

and I love that papaG and mamaG have a life of their own which has nothing to do with FL or ML as you said. I am enjoying their scenes because their conflict is about their own relationship and not about others per se. so makes it fun to watch. definitely beats the typical uncle and aunty of ITV... :) 

Posted: 2 months ago
Originally posted by mili9

Mango ji, great writingsmiley32

I am on board with everything here, except Katha's part practically speakingsmiley24. I will respond this weekend sometime, as I have to collect my thoughtssmiley4.

sure, will be curious to see what you think; I was reading a lot about prince harry and all the fallouts from the book this week -- hence this super long spiel about family squabbles and parent-adult child conflicts.. 

so the article I was referring to had this lady reflecting on that conflict and saying it was important to keep ties with the family and not let your issues with your in-laws affect him. basically separate the two. it was interesting food for thought. 

so it made me think about the role of katha here because we haven't really heard about her part in this conflict other than her telling papaG that she understands why he is still mad at her. 

Posted: 2 months ago

First of all Mango, the thoughtfulness and detailing in your writing is so good! You should consider writing articles. smiley1

And I completely agree with your point about the in-laws. Initially, I was not very interested in seeing their story, since I thought that this was the typical ITV touch to the serial. So I used to fast forward the scenes. But I actually saw the last episode fully, and the fight that happened between them hit home. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I think that their interactions and dynamic might be more realistic than a lot of Katha's reactions in the drama. 

I find mamaG's character extremely interesting and nuanced as well. When mamaG was talking about how there is a sense of narcissism even in papaG's worry for her, that was spot on, since I have come across exactly situations like this. We need a female character in ITV who is able to bravely point this out. Yes she is calm, but I wouldn't say she is behaving like a robot; she is articulate in her views and is true to her character/personality. While I still am not very fond of papaG's character (especially after his last fight), I really appreciate that he actually listens to his wife, instead of completely refuting what she is saying. You can see that he is indeed processing the information, and wishes to be a good husband to her. 

Also, I love the actors who play them both. I find the actress for mamaG quite graceful, with an old time kind of beauty. I'm sorry but I like her subtle acting way more than Viaan's mom smiley36 And papaG used to act in Best of Luck Nikki on Disney India, a show that I love, so I have a soft corner for him!

Edited by amrapali2 - 2 months ago
Posted: 2 months ago

Also, another reason I think that the in-laws are realistic is because ITV doesn't acknowledge deep rooted issues like this between older couples. They think that after marriage (presumably arranged marriage, if they are middle aged/older couples), it's all a smooth sailing. But that is not the truth at all. In fact, there is a high chance that there would be deep rooted issues that remain buried, especially after years of marriage. So I'm glad that the drama is portraying them. I just hope that they will keep portraying them in a mature light, instead of a shallow way. 

Posted: 2 months ago

Beautifully written😍

Agree with all your points - I’m determined not to read up on the Turkish story and want to be surprised.

I love the way all the characters are being unpacked and everyone has a back story.

Nothing else to add🤗

Katha Ankahee 

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