I was sipping my orange juice when someone tapped my shoulders and asked, ‘Are you Dr.Sukriti, can I ask something’ and without waiting for an answer proceeded,’I want to talk to you about my son and his wife…’
I cringed mentally. Yes a change of profession after my MBBS was my choice. Family therapy was my interest. But then we Indians, did we leave anyone alone? Today I had come to my dear friend Mugdha’s wedding anniversary, hoping to relax and here I was.
‘My son Suhas and his wife Sonia, have been together since school. We i.e me and my husband never stopped them from meeting or even when they wanted to marry. We are a very ‘broad-minded’ family’, she said. The way she said broad-minded made me smile. The way she had stressed had made me aware how much broad minded she really was. ‘So what is the problem?’, I asked. I wanted to just be quiet and sink in the celebration going around me. ‘It is Sonia…. She does not realize that she is married and she has some responsibilities now. No, I don’t want her to deck up in heavy sarees with ‘ghungat’ and all, yet.. You know when she is at home help me a bit, be a little respectful to the father in law and at least when we are around not…you know…’
‘No, I don’t know’, I said bluntly, I wanted this conversation to end.
‘You know not get physical with Suhas when we are around. And at least dress properly in a gathering where elders are around’, She pointed to someone whom I squinted to see, I had forgotten to bring my specs (or rather my specs looked out of style with my trendy dress). Yes, the lady wore something in which her skin glowed(and showed).
‘Mrs… err what did you say your name was?’
‘Ok Mrs. Marathe have you spoken about this things with your D-i-l’.
‘No, why should I? She should understand, shouldn’t she?’
‘Obviously she is not understanding, why don’t you tell her. Give her some responsibilities, talk to her. Won’t you correct your daughter if she is wrong?’
Mrs’ Marather gave me a look to show that she was disgusted with me and left. I returned to my drink. If people thought that I would do their work, they were wrong.
‘So my sasuma has been speaking about me?’
I turned to find Sonia and a young guy obviously Suhas. And I sighed.
‘My sasuma(mother in law) is absolutely old-fashioned. Does not like me wearing jeans and wants me to toil at home day in and out’
‘What is wrong if you help around the house, its your home too, isn’t it?’
‘I don’t mind at all but you see she expects everything to be done her way and…’
‘You do her way and then show that it can be done in another way too’.
‘And then she objects to our sitting together in a couch or exchanging a hug’, added Suhas.
‘She is insecure, give her some time. I suppose you people don’t spend time as a family, talk to each other, discuss your problems and soon you will see adjustments will follow’.
Both of them went in a huff.
After some moments a man came and stood beside me, it was obviously the senior Marathe. ‘Do take this Doctor’, he said giving me a drink,’you really need this’, he smiled and left.