Tuesday, 8 September 2015

4G Enabled! - Part -I

Shruti stepped into her husband’s house for the first time. The scene that welcomed her would have put off any normal girl.

Her husband’s grandfather, a ninety year old crippled man was bundled in a corner, smiling at her with a single tooth that refused to fall off the old man’s jaw. His grandmother was a lively lady, about seventy years of age and less than five feet in height.

Even at that age her eyes sparkled with joy when she saw Shruti. Shruti found the affection in that look infectious and smiled back at her with an equal warmth and affection.

She looked at her father-in-law who laughed more than smiled in joy. She smiled at him and with a lot of difficulty he uttered the words, “Welcome home,” to a huge uproar from the rest of the family. Shruti looked at her husband, her face changing into one big question mark.

“He never speaks. This is his quota of speech for the week!” said her husband, already reading his wife’s mind correctly.

Having lost his mother at the age of two and then his wife when he was fifty, Shruti’s father-in-law had withdrawn into his shell completely. His father remarried and his step-mother was an angel.

Shruti scanned the small room and her eyes rested on her husband’s brother and sister-in-law. They were in a state of bliss as they felt that they had succeeded in carrying out their responsibility, in the absence of the mother.

On one end of the sofa, their daughter was quite curious to know more about me. She was eagerly waiting for the elders to complete their scrutiny of me, so that she could take over.

Having spent couple of years in a hostel, Shruti herself was relieved to have a family and people around. Though the house was very tiny, she somehow felt that the people around would make up for it.

Since she had to join office the ensuing week, the honeymoon preparations and other social commitments had to be completed in a hurry.

The days that followed went by in a rush.

Shruti had her fill of attention from all the household members and she heard and spoke a lot!

When she joined office the following Monday, her colleagues wanted to know how she fared.

“It is just 4 days and I am not sure what is in store. But I feel 4G enabled! The household has members from across 4 generations. It is sure to offer loads of entertainment,” she said with a chuckle!

Author's note:

I am adding this note after a hint from one of the readers. Thanks Boris Pat.

In India, the bride leaves her father's place after her wedding. She lives at her husband's place and accepts her new home as hers from the word go. Contrary to popular beliefs not every house hold has fights between the bride and her mother-in-law. Most of the households function normally with just a few occasional misunderstandings.

Many households still follow the joint-family tradition and operate as patriarchal units. Though patriarchy can be misunderstood by some men as being male dominant, it was only for administrative ease that the system came into existence. The jobs outside of the house were performed by the male members, while the tasks within the house were taken care of by the women. 

In most of the households the finances are controlled by the women while the men are the primary bread-winners!