Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Joint Family versus Nuclear Family : Hypocrisy and Double Standards

JOINT FAMILY versus NUCLEAR FAMILY 
HYPOCRISY – A Story of Double Standards
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Part 1

JOINT FAMILY

“Is everything okay? You don’t look well...” I said to her.

“I am okay, Sir – I am just feeling tired, that’s all,” she said.

“Tired…? Well – work has just begun…”

“My tiredness is not work-related, Sir…”

“Tell me – what is the matter…?”

“Sir – for me – it’s the long commute to work that wears me out – it takes me nearly 2 hours to get here to Hinjewadi from Kharadi – and in the evening – Sir – you know how bad the rush hour traffic is in Pune – it sometimes takes me 3 hours to get home – and then – even at home – there is so much work to do in the house – cooking, housework – I have to cook in the morning – and then again in the evening – sometimes I feel that I will collapse due to the exhaustion…” she said.

“Why don’t you shift nearby…? There are plenty of flats available in Wakad – just a 10 minute drive from Hinjewadi – you will easily get a good 2 BHK flat on rent well within your HRA – and it will be convenient for your husband too – his factory in Chinchwad is also a 10 minute drive from Wakad – in fact – there are some flats available for rental in my society – I will ask around – or – if you want – you can even buy your own flat in Wakad – I will find out…” I said.

“Thank you, Sir – but my ‘mother-in-law’ will not allow us to stay separately…” she said.

“Really…? Why…?” I said.

“Sir – my mother-in-law says that she believes in the ‘joint family system’…” she said.


Part 2

NUCLEAR FAMILY

3 years later – I met the same ‘mother-in-law’ – yes – the mother-in-law of my erstwhile “Techie” colleague.

She was the same woman who believed in the ‘joint family system’.

By the way – I had changed my job – and – I was now working for another “IT Software Company” – also located in Hinjewadi.

Call it coincidence – but the woman’s daughter had recently joined my new company.

And – like her ‘daughter-in-law’ – her daughter was also a “Techie”.  

It was the company anniversary function.

The woman’s “Techie” daughter had come along with her husband – and she had also brought her mother and father along. 

The woman (‘mother-in-law’ of my earlier colleague – and mother of my present colleague) smiled at me. 

I introduced myself  and I told her that I had earlier worked with her daughter-in-law in my previous office.

“So – like your daughter-in-law’  your daughter too must be having a tough time commuting to work to Hinjewadi from the city every day…” I said to the woman.

“No – my daughter lives in Wakad…” the woman said.

“Oh – your daughter lives nearby in Wakad...? So  her ‘in-laws’ – your daughter’s ‘in-laws’ – they live in Wakad – is it...? I said.

“No – her ‘in-laws’ live in their house in Model Colony – it is too far from her office…” she said.

I was baffled.

The woman made her daughter-in-law’ commute every day from Kharadi which was much further away from Hinjewadi than Model Colony.

“Model Colony is not that far away from Hinjewadi…” I said.

“Actually – it is not that – I did not want my daughter to stay with her ‘in-laws’ – they are too ‘old-fashioned’ – so I told my daughter and her husband to buy their own flat and stay separately…” she said.

“But I thought that you believed in the ‘joint family system’ – didn’t you make your daughter-in-law stay with you as a ‘joint family’…?” I said.

“That is different…” she said.

“Different…? What do you mean ‘different’…? You force your ‘daughter-in-law’ to stay with you as a ‘joint family’ – and you tell your daughter to live separately from her ‘in-laws as a ‘nuclear family’…? I just don’t understand your views. Do you believe in the ‘joint family system’ – or do you believe in the ‘nuclear family system’...? I said to the woman.

“You won’t understand these things…” the woman said – and she walked away.

Yes – I don’t understand these things – I just don’t understand the hypocrisy.

I don’t understand why women have double standards – one yardstick their ‘daughters-in-law’ – and another for their own daughters.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
1. This fiction story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Abridged and Revised Version of my Story HYPOCRISY posted online earlier by me Vikram Karve on January 25, 2016 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/hypocrisy.html
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