One of the things that Aziz Ansari's Netflix show, Master of None, gets so very right is its portrayal of the relationship between parents and their kids. Ansari has a special and very grounded way of putting into perspective the way many kids, of all ages but especially adults, take their parents for granted.
His approach is thoughtful but also honest: When we don't stay in touch with our parents or get annoyed with them, we often aren't thinking of the sacrifices they may have made for us or the love they've given us over the years. Living in this day and age of technology and constant distraction has made it even easier to neglect our relationships with them.
This is the gist of Master of None's brilliant second episode, aptly titled "Parents," which tells a quasi-autobiographical story of Ansari's own parents. Ansari cast his mother and father, Shoukath and Fatima Ansari, to play the parents of Dev, Aziz's character on Master of None. Just like the character of Dev's father, Shoukath is an immigrant who came to America to become a doctor, and the episode reveals some of the sacrifices he made to give Aziz a good life.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, November 11, Ansari discussed his November 10 visit to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, which he attended with his father. He wrote that his father told him he agreed to act on Master of None because he wanted to spend time with his son:
So I'm really relieved this all worked out. Tonight after we did Colbert together he said: "This is all fun and I liked acting in the show, but I really just did it so I could spend more time with you." I almost instantly collapsed into tears at the thought of how much this person cares about me and took care of me and gave me everything to give me the amazing life I have.
I'm an incredibly lucky person and many of you are as well. Not to beat a dead horse here and sorry if this is cheesy or too sentimental but if your parents are good to you too, just go do something nice for them. I bet they care and love you more than you realize.
Ansari's touching post is worth a read: