Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Shruti's first reaction...Part II

Shruthi knew that it was going to be a mixed bag, right from the word go. When she returned home from office she was greeted by a house full of new people. A sudden strange feeling overpowered her as stepped into the house.

She did not know how to react as she was not used to a big crowd at home. She hailed from a very strict nuclear family that functioned like a clock.

Her father always insisted that the lights should be turned off at the stroke of ten, especially if the next day happened to be a working day.

Her father did not encourage relatives visiting them as, he said, they brought with them needless gossip.

Her father used to say…
Shut up! Who wants to know what your father would say! Just focus on the current situation and be here when you are here!’ she heard a voice ordering her from within.

Shruti managed to drive her thoughts away and smiled at the people who were eager to meet her.

Her husband introduced the gathering and Shruti smiled politely at everyone. She even hugged a few people as they hugged her, though her father would not have approved of it!

Her father always told her…

“Shruti, what’s the matter with you, you seem lost,” her husband’s voice brought her to her present.

“Nothing, I am just a bit tired,” Shruti managed to find her first excuse as a wife. She realised that she would have keep making such excuses or stop thinking of what her father would have wanted to do and do what she had to do as an adult.

Shruti realised the beginning of a new journey.

Her husband’s grandfather called her and spoke gently to her.

His grandmother handed her a cup of coffee. Shruti did not like coffee but did not utter a word. She had had her first cup of coffee on the day she had met her husband.

Compromise, an integral part of Indian weddings, had begun thus. She gulped down the thick filter coffee and as the old lady stretched out her hand, Shruti stood up and went into the kitchen with her.

“Thanks, though I normally don’t drink coffee, this one was good and refreshing. It was just what I needed,” she said aloud, though her mind warned her not to say things that she might regret later.
The coffee filter and what brews within, are an integral part of every South Indian household...

But the reply from the old woman put her mind at rest.

“Oh, I did not know that you don’t drink coffee. Tell me what you usually drink. I shall make it for you from tomorrow,” the old lady’s voice resounded the love and affection that she had for the new entrant to the family.

That night she sat with people around wondering why God had brought her amidst so many people that she never knew before.

“I know you are feeling strange and you must be thinking about your parents and sisters,” her husband sat next to her, holding her hand in a consoling manner.

She was a little embarrassed as she was not used to such over pouring and over powering affection in front of a crowd.

“Bhabhi, tell us what you feel. We want to know more about you and what your first thought about our family is,” her husband’s cousin was curious.

(Bhabhi is the way of addressing an elder brother’s wife in India.)

“Hmm…,” Shruti began, “I know that this is a new chapter that has begun and as a first step I have to understand that I am on my own and should refer back to the previous chapters of life only occasionally,” she concluded.

“That is a good beginning and may be applies to me too,” her husband added.

“Suraj, can we all have dinner?” Shruti’s co-sister wanted to know. (co-sister is husband's brother's wife)

Suraj, Shruti’s husband yelled back, “You all eat, we will take a while!”

Shruti was astonished. Her family always ate together!