As my regular readers know, my household is a multigenerational one with my father, me and my son Ranjan, living under one roof.
Quite how this happened is very relevant to this post. When my son got married to Leena, way back in 2001 he and his bride lived with us as, my late wife Urmeela and I were living in the same place that I live now in. It is a three bed room plus, fairly large residence and since our son was already living with us then, it made sense for the young couple to stay with us. In any case, my son was and is a part owner of the property as, when I bought the property way back in 1990, I was able to finance most of the deal by using tax breaks by buying part of the property in my son’s name. Legally speaking then and now, I am still a tenant for part of the home and Ranjan too is a tenant for part of the home.
During his bachelor days, Ranjan had stayed away from home within India and overseas but preferred to come back to Pune to make it his permanent home. So, there was nothing unusual in he and his bride moving in with us.
By 2005, Ranjan and Leena had had enough of married life and decided to part ways. This they did amicably and till today, they continue to be friends and meet often. Leena may be Ranjan’s ex but for me, having taken her in as my daughter in law, she continues to be so.
After the divorce, both Leena and Ranjan moved out and went to separate residences. Ranjan lived alone in a bachelor pad for about a year, but, both Urmeela and I felt that the additional expense was silly and asked him to move in back with us, which he did. Since then, he has been living here with me.
So, Ranjan went solo once again and he subsequently boomeranged once again.
In late 1998 my step mother died and my father was left to fend for himself, when Urmeela and I asked him to move in with us, as we had sufficient space in our home for another person, which he duly did. Subsequently, in March 2009 Urmeela passed away and since then, our household consists of three motherless children, all single, and each a specimen to write separate tomes about. I now joke that I am the butter between two slices of toast.
So, I went solo from my father in my teen years and finally, he has boomeranged to my home!
So, when I read this review in the NYT, I tried to figure out what exactly was being studied and what conclusions were being drawn for both the Going Solo and the Accordion Families phenomenons.
I gave up till I came to the end of the article. As I often do, I endorse the conclusions that the reviewer Garret Keizer draws, which is: “What both authors strongly imply is that our debates about the family, which are nothing if not debates about how people take care of one another, are nothing indeed if we lack the collective political will to take care of one another in the fullest sense. Klinenberg and Newman flesh out their subjects with expertise and devotion, but neither forgets that “accordion family” and “going solo” are always less definitive terms than rich and poor.”
Comments are closed.