Tuesday, April 3, 2012


A Story

Summer is has arrived in Pune and the weather is terrible - hot and sultry. So here is a story to cheer you up in this hot climate.

It was a hot and humid summer afternoon in a sea facing flat on Marine Drive in Mumbai and a woman unable to bear the stifling hot climate switched on the air conditioner in the room to cool off a bit.

Her mother-in-law came into the room and the moment she saw her daughter-in-law (whom she barely tolerated) relaxing in cool comfort, the mother-in-law shouted at her daughter-in-law sarcastically:

“You think you are a Maharani or something? Just look how you sit in such style with the air conditioner full blast all for yourself. Who is going to pay the huge electricity bill – your father?”

“I’m feeling hot,” the daughter-in-law said. 

“It’s not at all hot – just open the window and let the cool sea breeze in,” the mother-in-law said, “And shut off the air conditioner at once. Sitting in an air conditioned room is not good for your health. You must get used to the climate and learn to adapt with nature!”

Scared of her mother-in-law, the poor woman had no choice but to obey her commands and swelter in the heat.

Suddenly the woman’s sister-in-law (her husband’s sister) arrived on a surprise visit, and the mother-in-law was overjoyed to see her darling daughter, whom she adored, and couldn’t bear to see her suffering in the heat so she turned towards her daughter-in-law and scolded her daughter-in-law:

“What are you doing just sitting there? Why have you opened those windows to let the hot air in? And why is the air conditioner switched off in this oppressive heat? Close the windows and switch on the air conditioner at once. Do you want my daughter to suffer a heatstroke?”

Then the old woman turned to her darling daughter and she stroked her daughter's hair and lovingly said to her daughter:

“My poor dear, it is so hot here and how you suffer in this terrible heat. You must take care and protect yourself from the harsh vagaries of nature!”

Seething inside but silently complying with her mother-in-law’s instructions, the bewildered daughter-in-law said to herself:
“What a miracle indeed? Wonder of wonders! Have you ever seen a room with such a variable climate? Yes, the same room where it blows hot and it blows cold at the same time!”

Moral of the Story:
Most people are partial, and have double standards of behaviour. And whether you like it, or lump it, there is nothing you can do about it.

This is particularly so in the case of daughters and daughters-in-law.

I have observed that most women have double standards in the way they treat their daughters and their daughters-in-law.

My mother too blatantly favours and pampers my sister and gives a raw deal to my wife despite the fact that it is my wife who has always comes to my mother's rescue in times of need and selflessly serves her with love and dedication whenever my mother is in distress; whereas my sister only indulges in sweet talk and lip sympathy and is conspicuous by her absence in times of need, like she has been shirking her responsibility during the last few weeks when my mother is recuperating from a serious accident entailing emergency surgeries and my wife has to toil and look after my bedridden mother all by herself during her entire period of convalescence as my sister has shied away on the flimsiest of excuses. 

Despite this my mother still has a soft corner for my sister who is an expert at gaining sympathy with her smooth talk, sob stories and playing the victim. All she does is call up once a day (for which my mother praises her "concern") whereas my wife's slogging day in and day out is not of much consequence as far as my mother is concerned, since as per conventional thinking my mother feels that it is a daughter-in-law's "duty" to serve her mother-in-law. And, by the way, I realized that this is what everyone else thinks too when I discussed with the matter a few persons. I know that the moment my mother gets well, my sister will turn up to gain my mother's affection by all her superficial emotional antics and the sterling service of my wife will be forgotten (till the next time she is needed).

I can bang my head in despair but my mother won't change. I am sure this is the case with most mothers and mothers-in-law. So the next time this happens to you just remember this story BLOW HOT BLOW COLD and have a laugh.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this story?
I am sure you will like the stories in my recently published book COCKTAIL comprising twenty seven short stories about relationships. To order the book please click the links below:

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and he is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@sify.com        

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


Saru Singhal said...

It happens and you accept it...Blood is definitely thicker...

Anupama said...

Uncle,you know how to call a spade a spade!Admire your guts!What if your sis or yr mom read this?I would love to know their reaction!
We had a story in Hindi in school called baadal aa gaye!In that the father in law clearly says beti beti hai aur bahu bahu!And I have addded never the twain shall meet!

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Saru - you are right: blood is always thicker than water

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Anupama - one of my navy buddies used to say that I don't call a spade a spade, I call a spade a bulldozer!