I grew up in a more or less traditional home in south India, dysfunctional as most homes all over the planet inevitably are, whether on the surface or deep in the bowels of core relationships. The tacit understanding that men ruled the roost certainly permeated our domestic atmosphere.
Despite his liberal attitude towards educating all his children, my father was the undisputed patriarch. None of us—least of all my dutiful and submissive mother—dared challenge even his most ridiculous orders. A brilliant and charismatic man who could enthrall a roomful of guests with his easy raconteuring, my father’s rage could incinerate, while his scathing tongue could eviscerate—and so we obeyed him without demur, at least on the shifting surface of things. Continue reading