Saturday, 10 May 2014

Family first!

Arjun was newly married. His wife was a soft spoken gentle girl. Arjun was a little apprehensive as to how his newly wed bride would handle his over dominant mother.

He kept telling Asha to stay a safe distance from his mother.
“She is good at heart, but she may want you to listen to her all the time,” Arjun warned Asha.

These sort of warnings made Asha very conscious and in the end she had to tell Arjun to relax and allow her to deal with situations as and when they present themselves.

One day Arjun along with his wife and parents visited a mall. They were sitting in an eatery when her mother-in-law started warming up to her daughter-in-law. The mother-in-law started telling her daughter-in-law about how she had handled her mother-in-law.

“Whenever ma used to speak to me, that is my mother-in-law, used to speak to me, I used stand up and listen to her,” Asha’s mother-in-law hinted to Asha.
Asha did not let her words affect her. She continued eating as though she had not listened to her mother-in-law’s taunt.

After a few minutes her mother-in-law continued. “I come from a back ground where family values are held supreme. We never used to question our elders and took care of my mother-in-law as I would have taken care of my mother,” she added.

At this point Asha cautiously replied, “That was a very noble deed on your part, ma,” she said.

Her mother-in-law was happy and for some time did not say anything.

After a while she began talking again. “I heard that your father always fought with family members. He did not do the right thing. I don’t want you to bring those attitude of your father’s into our family,” Arjun’s mother said what she actually wanted to tell her daughter-in-law.

“Ma, we should not discuss the life of someone, who is not present here. Whatever he did, he is my father and I respect him and love him,” said Asha, her voice firming up.

As the conversation carried on, the waiter attending to them took away the old lady’s plate, assuming that she was done with eating.

Just as he was ab to leave, Arjun’s mother saw her plate being taken away. She was very angry. She stood up and started shouting at the waiter.

“How dare you clear my plate without asking me? Call your manager. I want to have a word with him. He does not know what sort of people to employ,” the old woman was unstoppable.

As the waiter scurried inside, she faced her daughter-in-law.

“When you saw him pick my plate up, you should have stopped him. It was your fault that the waiter did what he did,” she bellowed. Asha felt embarrassed and Arjun and his father intervened and moved away from that place.

On their way home Asha told her mother-in-law that her father used to reprimand his sister who had a foul temper. His sister did not like it and went around bad mouthing her father.

“Ma, but my father always taught me to value people around me for the work that they did. He taught me not to limit my family values to my immediate family members only, but to be courteous and kind with everybody around. To him family meant Vasudeva Kudumbakkam,” Asha explained.

Respect them!
Her mother-in-law was silent. “He would not have approved if I had shouted at a waiter in full public glare. When I once shouted at my servant maid, he made me apologise to her immediately and I did. That has taught me to respect people, whoever they maybe,” by now Asha was composed.

“I shall proudly bring my father’s attitude into this family as I realise that is what seems to be the need of the hour,” Asha concluded.

Arjun heaved a sigh of relief!

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