The city is witnessing an unusual role reversal — children are hiring detectives to report on their parents, suspecting them of having extramarital affairs.
Cases of children employing detectives to check on their parents are on the increase, says Kumar Puri, chairman, AMX Detectives Pvt Ltd, a veteran detective.
“Most of the clientele is between 18 and 25.” Ajit Singh, head of Hatfield Detective Agency, says he has handled 20 such cases in the past few years. “They form 15 per cent of our total caseload.”
The suspicion triggers are not unusual: parents not spending enough time with their family, sharing a strained relationship with their spouse or returning late from work.
At times, children even come in to hire detectives with one parent in tow. “In one case where the parents were separating, the 16-year-old daughter became suspicious of her mother’s motives. She came in with her father to hire us,” says Singh.
“We followed the mother to Goa and eventually discovered that she was having an extramarital affair.” “Most of the youngsters who contact us come from the upper social strata,” says Singh. “They have their own bank accounts or if they come with either parent then funding is not an issue.” Agencies charge Rs 20,000 upwards.
“This trend is reflective of the increasing communication gap between the generations and the loss of role models,” says psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh. “Excessive portrayal of faulty relationships onscreen is causing insecurity among children and they start having doubts if something similar is happening in their family,” he says.
Besides extra-marital affairs, the other common reasons children hire detectives is to check cash problems or a change in parents’ attitude.
“There are two major reasons kids come to us. Either there is a behavioural change in either parent or excessive money suddenly coming into the family. They are really intelligent now-a-days,” says Puri.
—with inputs from Rahul Sabharwal