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Since then, she was being ridiculed many times by other family members for not having "the basic knowledge that her mother should have taught her before getting her married."
Mr. and Mrs. Tiwari, who came from an upper middle class, had been in search of a nice family for Suman since last 3 years.
Mr. Tiwari had always maintained a reasonably good living standard, providing all necessary facilities for the family to have a good life be it by providing a good house in a posh area, good education, having cars for each member of the family, and care takers and house keeping at home. However, their life was not a luxurious life and Suman was ‘trained’ for all the basic household work which every individual should know as a practice to run a family as per Mr. and Mrs. Tiwari.
In short, a normal family with a decent background finally found a family with whom they were sure Suman would be happy after her marriage.
My friend Suman finally got engaged to Alok when she was 26. She was happy, and being the only girl in the family, the dreams of having an elaborated wedding was on cards.
Alok belonged to a middle-class family and the Tiwaris were ok to get their daughter married there since the family was decent, grounded, and educated. Most importantly Suman liked Alok and she had finally nodded for the alliance.
Everything looked smooth and I was seeing Suman happy to enter into a new journey that was most awaited for her and her family. All ceremonies went amazingly well, and finally Suman was given an elaborated departure with mixed emotions. All the laughter and tears around her made the ceremony immensely memorable.
After almost 3 days Suman called me up and I jumped over the phone to hear her. She sounded little low but I kept my judgements in control.
And then a small story made me wonder why is it that a new member in the family who has entered the house with all dreams and good hopes is put on the spot to be embarrassed while the entire family gets a jolly good time at the cost of that woman, who just can’t understand what and why that was happening to her.
Suman told me that on the day after her wedding, she was being treated nicely by each and every member of the family and was made so comfortable that she knew that it wouldn’t take many days for her to finally settle down in her new family.
During lunch time, her mother-in-law told Suman that Suman’s sister-in-law Komal (i.e., Alok’s younger sister) had put a vessel of rice on the stove and requested Suman if she can keep a check on the rice till it gets cooked. Suman immediately and obediently went in the kitchen to see rice getting cooked.
It took very long for Suman to come out of the kitchen. Suman’s mother-in-law asked Komal to check if everything was ok in the kitchen as the rice should have been cooked by that time. Komal went inside and saw Suman stirring in the vessel, and she looked totally confused with the rice taking so much time in getting cooked. Komal checked and came out laughing and shouting “Aaj to chawal ka halwa milega!” (we will get sodden rice to eat today). Everybody in the family ; her in laws, all the cousins, the grand parents and kids came running to the kitchen and checked the vessel, and found the rice smoothie in the vessel.
Suman’s Mother-in-law asked her, “why didn’t you separate the rice water from the rice yet?” And everybody started laughing at Suman. She felt the harassment from every one in the family and even Alok who was standing with his entire family laughing and tapping his forehead.
Suman felt her eyes getting wet at this, which felt like harassment, and not giving her a single moment to understand where she went wrong, or anyone checking whether she actually knew that style of cooking. She felt that she had cooked rice at her home many times with well measured water that got completely absorbed and it came out very well, but here she felt it was different; either the rice was different or the amount of water was plenty or something else.
Nobody had felt that they should stop the mocking and make her comfortable. Since then, she was being ridiculed many times by other family members for not having “the basic knowledge that her mother should have taught her before getting her married.” She also heard her mother-in-law whispering in Komal’s ears that “don’t let Suman prepare rice henceforth lest she spoils the entire sack of rice.”
This was a small and funny incident for the family but a bitter experience for Suman on the 1st day of her marriage, which she never forgets even after 20 years of her marriage now.
It was not about not knowing the preparation process, but it was about how a girl who is totally new in the family is subjected to embarrassment and taunts of “not having proper training from her mother.” Had Suman’s mother-in-law taken control of the situation and spoken to Suman about the confusion, she would have earned respect and a friend for life but having a great time at the cost of another’s self-esteem, was the choice they all made. And that is still a black spot in her memories.
When can people learn the importance of Emotional intelligence and earn better relationships?
Image source: a still from the film Hum Aapke Hain Kaun
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Ruchi is a new person who has dared to break all walls of monotony in life, a dreamer, a learner and likes to derive inspiration in all situations she is into.
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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