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Archive for September 22nd, 2011

I Need To Clear The Air

….regarding this post.

I received a lot of comments for it and it even evoked a response from, wonders will never cease, Dad!!

Unfortunately, after going through the comments and then re-reading the post, I realized with horror that in my hurry to hit the Publish button, I left out many of the minor details which made the post lop-sided in my favour. I painted a rather grim image of the GMIL and my travails in her presence, the result of which, I received many empathizing comments and also a heart-felt, anguish-filled one from Dad.

I apologize. Because I had no idea then how contrived my outburst looked !!

But, the truth is far from it, at least from where I stand now. True, I felt bad then. True, her behavior was brusque, but then, that was only because she valued her family so. She would care two-hoots about my job, but it would concern her more if the men in the family didn’t get their meals on time 🙂 . Keeping them fed and doing their bidding made her happy. This attitude was not just an obsession, it was a way of life. That is how they were taught to treat men in their families and that is exactly what she expected of me. On my part, I come from a VERY different background, like chalk and cheese. I was unused to being spoken to rudely and that too from someone who was a family member! Also, being the last child of my parents, I was a pampered brat 😀  (this you have to agree to, Dad !!) Alas, I also had this habit of asking the BF to run around and do his own work, pick his own clothes, help around the house and generally be of assistance. Obviously, this didn’t go too well with the granny 😀 . Her favourite grand-child was turning into a “Joru-Ka-Ghulam”, this after she treated him like the most delicate petal of her carefully preserved flower/family!! Not done at all 😀 !

Jokes apart, fact remains that GMIL comes from an illiterate, village background. Working women, time-constrained women, away-from-home women are not the types that go down easy with her. Though she has never objected to me or the MIL working, her only demand was that in lieu of our absence, we had to cover up whatever other homely responsibilities that came our way. Obviously, this was difficult since I have a full-time job (though, I was a full-time cook for the family before the twins were born). So I hired a maid, a nanny and a cook. Life became easier for me and just a tad complicated for her, because staying at home, she would have to monitor all the three!! I’m sure their casual attitude and callous ways troubled her more than my mere absence 🙂 . So the minute the MIL stepped into the house and after that when I did, we got to hear an earful on which maid did what !! Add to that the chaos of the kids! Its a wonder she herself didn’t give up and run for cover!

In all, I would say that it helps to have a senior person in the house. They bring about a stability which is otherwise difficult to maintain. Granny’s gruff ways also helped me team up with the MIL. So where people usually have scuffles with their in-laws, I have an amicable relationship with mine. We bond over talk on who was treated worse 😉 .  Also, irrespective of what treatment I received at her hands, fact remains that she gave up her comfort time for the twins. She gave up her afternoon siestas if the kids refused to sleep. She ate only when the kids were fed. She took a bath only after bathing the two (GMIL refused to let the maids or anyone else bathe the children till they were a year old) .At the age of 80+, this is a big sacrifice.

And for that, like it or not, I’m abundantly grateful to her.

And maybe this is why, when I see her detached from all this, I miss the old days. She may not realize it, but we do need her presence in our daily life. It added that much spice to our otherwise boring days 🙂 .

And for comments which held me in high esteem, what can I say? I’m sorry for shattering your faith in me 😦



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