Amazing people who make me go on n on n on:)

18 January, 2009

Living in a Big Fat Joint Family

Yes, this is in dedication to the big fat clan I belong to...
The Arora battalion as I like to fondly call them!
I hail from a very widely spread out family tree...whose roots and branches are hell bent on spreading in as far a direction as would be physically possible for them.
Often people ask me...So how many people are there in your in-laws? And I say...you name an in-law that should be and surely would a hand be raised to mark present!
If I got you baffled here...just imagine a typical Sooraj Barjatya flick with an over the top family saga and endless characters taking up the screen space....You’d get a picture of things in my humble abode...only a bit doubled for the members in line here go on and on and on...
After my wedding I even jokingly asked our chaiji, my father-in-law’s mother... ‘Aapke zamaane mein family planning nahi hote the na?’ And hey, we better not come in the eyes of the population control board...else taxes and fines would drown us in their mammoth proportions.

I remember the time I had just got engaged to my dearly beloved. Just before putting a tick mark on me by the ‘boy’...there had to be a preview of the ‘girl’ from the boy’s side. So there, a meeting was arranged in a temple ground and my mom, me and a family friend who got the negotiations started, waited there under the shade of a tree with bated breath...to let them come and the on-the-display ceremony to commence. A big car came to a screeching halt, followed by another car not so big. I was wondering if a police escort system it is, when there emerged a seasoned smart lady, followed by another and then yet another and ho!ho!...another still! A pretty young thing came out next and then another and another and more galore! Made me wonder how just two cars could have possibly upheld so many people or did they sit on each other’s laps and came!

Oh my good god! The whole jing bang had come to inspect whether the proposed new entrant in the family was good enough or not.
I looked here and I looked there...anywhere I looked, a specimen of the Arora battalion smiled sheepishly at me and I smiled back. The introductions came about followed by.... what have you studied beta n what do you like to do in your free time...crap...!
Yes, they still ask these questions to the young brides to be....! Thank god for small mercies, I didn’t have to bring in a tray of tea and enumerate which all snacks I had made and whether the tea cosy was hand embroidered by ‘moi’.... But then, soon after this they lost interest in me and a bitching and gossiping session went under way against those unfortunate members who were not present there at that time....I understood... ‘Kya family hain!’

Anyways, I passed the litmus test...and also finally the boy-meeting-the-girl- test with flying colours because my dearly beloved says he was hooked at first sight. The ‘rooka’ ceremony soon came by and lo! More members and more introductions...I was almost tempted to check the closets to ascertain if there were more of them hiding in there because they kept tumbling out at astonishingly regular intervals. Beta, yeh hain bade papa, yeh chote papa, yeh Abc papa, yeh Cde papa and more papas and chachas and tayajis and buas and masis and mamis all with their better and worse halves mind you along with an endless list of cousins popping out and asking... bhabhi, you remember me don’t you? Ya sure, I would say...you are the cute one, you are the intelligent one...you are the sweet one...because honest to goodness, I would be damned if I said I remembered their names.

After that was the toe touching ritual....I was pleading to god in my mind...Why can’t they all just stand in a line so in one breath I go about touching everyone’s feet?....I mean, I had to bend and then stand, bend again and straighten up...hold the neck of my kurta from sinking dangerously low and then bend again. I truly believe that severe back aches in women are an indirect outcome of the toe touching rituals that they are subjected too....
Anyways, the next meeting with my dearly beloved, I went all armed to face the crisis...a big art sheet, a pencil and a rubber. I drew a big tree and then a flowchart of the members with offspring and their off springs and any other extensions I should know of. All names neatly written and relations enumerated for me to go home and mug up! And here I had thought my education days were over! My father- in-law has four real brothers and a sister and then a cartload of his chachas and cousins...whom I don’t think I would be able to humanly recognize and categorize even now or ever in this birth!

So like this, a nuclear family girl got entry into a big household, thronged with people of all shapes and sizes, egos and magnanimities, sweetness and sourness...
And boy what a ride it has been...!

Each one here has welcomed me with such open arms in their existing fabrics that I have never felt that I didn’t belong here in the first place. Being the youngest I feel so overwhelmed when everyone pampers me to the hilt...all my eccentricities are ignored and whims upheld...everyone just goes out of their way to show how much they care...And the children of the house are an absolute pleasure to interact with and all of us extend our memberships to the mutual admiration societies that we have formed. When the whole clan gets together...the guffaws can be heard till miles down the street and the dirtiest of minds were all born and nurtured here. Oh God! I must have done something right to deserve this and hope and pray that I and they continue to do so!

4 comments:

Ankur "AQIS" Narula said...

hmmmmm blog goddesss with another one of my favourites......cos in that family tree i also fit in a branch......well whatever suruchi has written has pin point accuracy......and then there is my version of getting married to one of Suruchi's (i am actually trying to figure out exactly how my FIL (Father in Law) is related to suruchi....)okay my FIL is Suruchi's sweat heart's cousin....got it......k....so things got underway and i happen to be at the store(run by the ARORA BATTALION) one time.....and my FIL wrote a note to his dad i.e my wife's grandfather that this is the guy ppl are talking abt in the city....(lets face it i was AT THAT TIME the most eligeble bachelor fresh return from australia and yank yank.....btw i am still the most eligeble minus my wife around)okay.....lets get back on track......so my wife's grandad called my dad, they wanted to visit our place as a FRIENDLY gesture of extending the family ties......so Sunday was the day set.....my home had a silver lining and my hair shining....and they came......abt four cars i guess......and then they started strolling in.......there was one, then two , then three, then four and count as far as u can......all ladies decked up in whatever they can flaunt......not flesh but other materialistic things.....incl....extensive use of English Lang and Slang.....as if ppl from US have just landed in Vietnam.......so there i was listening to some music in my room and then i was called for an evening show in my home lobby...my (MIL) Mother in Law kept on looking at me and she had dreams of her daughter and me singing behind palm trees in every possible garden in the entire city in her eyes.....
Then came the moment i will remember as long as i will live....on of the cousin grandfather (remember the family tree) who loved ECONOMICS more than his wife asked me what is MALTHUSIAN THEORY.........i was like WHAT THE FISH!!!!
i was wondering that whatever i learned all these years in australia came down to Mr. Malthusian.....OH! i suddenly realised i was always an IT Student so i had nothing to do with that abnoxious person....but he kept on pestruing me with the same bloody question.....and then there was silence......and i broke the silence with the most egoistic Aussie accent "I wouldn't have any clue mate" and there it was....everyone burst into laughters......and i was like ...okay this is their version of having a good time.....while they were sipping nice MASALA CHAI....i popped in one of my versions of having a good time.....i asked "do you know what happens to a system when bottle necks are created...???" and there i was TIT for TAT.....i could read the face.....it's okay that was a joke son...dont take it seriously...so the score read 1 all at the end.....so they laughed and laughed....and finally took some pictures of mine with my BIL (Brother in Law) to flaunt their SIL (Son in Law) and that was it....roka ceremony fixed after a week a sunday again.......

During that week i hated my cell phone as much as (i hate having chillies in the night and attending natures call next morning!)i hated the following phrases, sentences, words et al

1. main tumhari mummy (MIL) ki amritsar wale mama ki bhua ki badi ladki ke sabse choti behan bol rahi hoonnnnn....and after this intro.....they said PEHCHANA....wat the f!@#

2. Jeeju How are u?????

3. Kya kar rahe ho?????? (Office mein kapde uttar kar dance....my staff gets bored frequently)

4. Hey i am your FIL's bhua from LONDON.....ummmm okay so what's next.....

5. Sir join us for dinner tonite....pls.....

6. hello beta what kind of clothes u like.....(some leaves and a string to tie to my waist pls....and i love the blue colour in that pls....Levi's leaves fits me well.......) and so forth.....

so they FINALLY bid adieu to us.....and mind u all very FAT oops! HEALTHY (as we call them in punjabi)......two families in one qualis.....seemed like MAHANAGAR BUS SEWA is on......lol......so the d day came then got married and now it SAME SHIT DIFFERENT DAY.....but still as suruchi said it the last i feel good to be with the family and hope they also likewise.......CIAO!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

make way everyone..the arora circus is coming to town..kidding..so is evryone actually big n fat too?
kidding again..
and where are the vamps with long bindis or sexy sarees?
and having said it all..this system actually sounds fun..though claustrophobic..
kidding phir..hahaha..

sachit said...

One mistake in thi living in a big fat joint family....."WHAT IS RUBBER"......USE APPROPRIATE WORDS.....rubber means something else.....lol....its called eraser....mistake should be rectified asap..

ashez said...

Thanks yaar had laugh upto the extent of tears in my eyes.. a reality situation expressed so well and especially your temptation to check out the closets..and of course your Phd research on why women get back aches
Ashwin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...