Life | All in the Family

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All in the Family
Text by Supriya Nair
Published: Volume 17, Issue 5, May, 2009

To celebrate World Family Day on May 15, we salute our favourite fictional families, for the most part extremely thankful that they’re nothing like our own!

Amar, Akbar and Anthony
Before the decorous, ‘traditional’ family colonised Indian screens, the swashbuckling lost boys of Manmohan Desai’s classic saga went missing in Borivali National Park, growing up to be a Hindu cop, a Muslim musician and a Catholic jack-of-all-trades, only to reunite in the end, bringing daughters-in-law in tow.

The Von Trapps
Take one icy martinet with a passable tenor, and seven motherless children. Add one ex-nun. Dress in curtains. Very good at disrupting traffic, making goat-puppets dance, and evading Nazis.

The Viranis and the Agarwals
For defining family values to correspond with TRPs with the strategic use of bindis, contact lenses, surprise additions to the family, and convenient filicide, we can thank the monster clans of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki.

The House of Atreus
Because if your family’s practically propping up an entire body of Greek tragedy for, variously: cooking a son and feeding him to the gods; causing a wife to run away and then starting the Trojan War to get her back; murdering a daughter in a religious ritual and then getting assassinated in the bathtub by your wife in revenge and finally; going mad, murdering your own mother and going on the run from the Furies for the foreseeable future – we’re just really glad it’s you and not us.

Rahul Malhotra’s brood
After a spell with the three orphans Aamir Khan’s beleaguered young Rahul chacha inherited in cult classic Hum Hain Raahi Pyaar Ke, it’s no wonder he had trouble keeping his business afloat, and that Juhi Chawla’s runaway heiress-turned-governess, Vyjanthi, had to step in with all the answers. Best family setup ever, unless you happened to be Rahul Malhotra yourself.

The Marches
Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, and their mother have taught generations of us that sometimes, to be a good family you have to be good friends – to yourself, your sisters, and to the world. Getting a haircut to raise funds in a pinch always works, too.

The Addams family
Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley and Wednesday remind us of everything healthy, functional families aren’t supposed to be – snobbish, macabre, mordant and quite possibly criminally insane. Which is all part of the charm, even if they’re not exactly ideal neighbours. Bonus points for the disgusting Uncle Fester and Frankensteinian factotum Lurch.

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