Friday, September 27, 2013



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

Some women claim that they love their daughters-in-law as much as they love their daughters.

Is this just a cliche or is it possible in reality?

So here is the story, based on an incident I witnessed a few years ago which gave me the idea.

The apocryphal story is titled A ROOM WITH A VARIABLE CLIMATE

Read it and have a laugh. And then think about it.

An Apocryphal Story


It was a hot and humid summer afternoon in a sea facing flat on Marine Drive in Mumbai.

A young woman was unable to bear the stifling hot climate, so she switched on the air conditioner in the room to cool off a bit.

Her mother-in-law came into the room.

The old woman did not like her daughter-in-law and she barely tolerated her.
The moment she saw her daughter-in-law relaxing in cool comfort, the old woman got angry.

So the old woman shouted sarcastically at her daughter-in-law :

“You think you are a Maharani
Just look the way 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. 

Then the old woman shouted at her daughter-in-law: 

“First you go 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 young woman had no choice but to obey her commands and swelter in the heat.

Suddenly the young woman’s sister-in-law (her husband’s sister) arrived on a surprise visit.

The old woman was overjoyed to see her darling daughter, whom she adored.

The old woman could not bear to see her daughter suffering in the heat so she turned towards her daughter-in-law and scolded her. 

The old woman shouted at her daughter-in-law:

“You lazy woman. 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? 
Can’t you see that my daughter has come? 
Poor thing is feeling so hot.
Close the windows and switch on the air conditioner immediately. 
Do you want my beautiful delicate daughter to suffer a heatstroke?”

And turning to her darling daughter, the old woman stroked her daughter
’s hair and she lovingly said to her daughter:

“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!”

The bewildered daughter-in-law was seething inside but she silently complied with her mother-in-law’s instructions and shut the windows and switched on the air conditioner.
Then the angry 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 blows cold at the same time!”

Life is unfair, people are partial, there is favoritism, bias, prejudice all around you - this is the ground reality. 
Whether you like it, or lump it, there is nothing you can do about it.
And yes, a woman cannot love her daughter-in-law in the same way that she loves her own daughter.
Do you agree?
I have seen it everywhere. 
If you know of any exception, do let us know.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013 all rights reserved

Did you like this blog post?
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
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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 and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) 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 is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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