I hate weddings and i hate relatives and neighbours even more. They have this habit of making you feel inferior in every situation. Well, there’s a wedding nearby, and for that my mom had to wear a saree. Usually she wears salwar kameez, but for these special occasions, due to peer pressure (yes, at this age), she has to wear sarees. As her hand is paralysed, she can’t do this herself, she has to depend on neighbours. So this neighbour/relative was there few minutes ago, who ridiculed me for not knowing how to tie a saree. She didn’t say this in front of me (for her own good) but i could hereher from the next room. The way she was boasting about how her daughter knows how to tie a saree beautifully, much better than her and how i being so grown up must know how to do it. And it felt miserable when my mom had no words to defend me. I wanted to throw her out of our house the very moment. But i would only be considered more bigadi hui if i would have done that. I wanted to tell her the things i knew, or i could do. I can culture a leaf explant and create lakhs of saplings from it, i know who’s the president of Egypt when her daughter wouldn’t even know who’s of India ( i know its lame,but its okay ).I can even work on fields, i love doing that when their chui mui girls won’t step out in the open fearing they might turn a shade darker and consequently won’t get a guy . Yes, that’s the way they treat their girls, they never educate them, they get them married as soon as they turn eighteen. The only aim in the life of girls here in my small town is to get married( that’s what they are taught, to be a good wife, not a woman) even if the guy is a drunkard who’s unable to stand straight on his own marriage. But i am the loser here, because i don’t know how to tie a saree.
My aunt ( My father’s sister) is another one among my tormentors. She ridiculed me right from the time i was a kid, just because i didn’t know how to cook. While all her daughters knew it very well and mind you she has six daughters… and you know the reason for that, don’t you, all in the hope of getting a son, the chirag. She pinpoints mistakes in everything i do, not only she but also her daughters, all the five who are married and the sixth who is younger to me and behaves as if she’s my grandmother. And seriously none of them is educated more than me, still they make me feel like a fool.
Relatives play the most important part in the life of an Indian. They start from the very day a lady is pregnant, they’ll tell you to eat oranges so that the baby is fair, they’ll tell you not to eat eggplant because then you would give birth to a female. ( seriously i don’t know how can eggplant change the sex of a foetus, but i’ve heard this one from a doctor couple whose daughter-in-law was pregnant, needless to say i stared them in disbelief), they’ll advise you about everything. After the baby is born, they’ll give you the probable names and suggest astrologers to make the baby’s horoscope. After that they’ll suggest schools and tuition teachers. They’ll compare their kids with yours, they’ll make you feel inferior because their kid touches feet and says pranam while your kid only greets people with a namaste, the competition starts right from childhood. After that they’ll drive your kid insane so that he gets a percentage well above 90 in his boards. They’ll ridicule him if he opts to learn commerce, instead of trying engineering or medical. They’ll force him to rethink his decision.
Marriages are the favorite subject among relatives. As soon as they see a girl of marriageable age, they start emitting electrons here and there, they are so excited to get you married. They weren’t that excited even for their own marriages. They just can’t see single girls in front of them, they feel pity for them, a feeling of social service takes over their senses and they look out for every possible guy. The situation is the same for guys, only that it starts a little later, only when they start earning. They won’t breathe till they shower their blessings on you and your partner ( and eat in your reception).
Once the wedding gets over, they start speculating whether the girl has conceived or not. Its been 8 months to my brother’s wedding and every neighbour asks my mom, kuch hai?, a direct question, that means is your daughter-in-law expecting. My aunts have actually terrified my sister who has been married for two years with no kids. The only question they ask her, every time they meet her is, when are you going to conceive. That too in purely arranged marriages, which in our community means that you are not even allowed to talk on phone before you get married and you know what, some of them actually have kids exactly in nine months, that means you start a family with a guy whom you don’t even know in the first place. Well, that is a different problem which i’ll talk about in another post.
So, the cycle completes itself, from the time you are a foetus to the time you create one, every decision in your life is influenced by relatives. And it is an inevitable fact of our lives, a sad and a bitter truth. We all are forced to live of the society,by the society and for the society.