What Feminism? I have zero income… my family humiliates me for every mouthful

Tolstoy opens his world famous novel, Anna Karenina with this sensational line.”All happy families are alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” As the drama of my personal life unfolded over the past few years (five to be precise) I  have realized how right the  Savant was!

Me an independent woman being humiliated for every morsel I consume. That is the status quo in my life at the moment. I don’t completely blame my family for this … but couldn’t they at least try and be a little more sympathetic and humane?

Well, it began this way. I lost my job nearly ten years ago. The world  virtually came tumbling down for me, so to speak. Nevertheless I managed to bounce back by means of a major investment which  I  had made some time earlier. Four  years down the line, my daughter graduated as a physiotherapist and forthwith got a lucrative placement. So far so good. However haven’t we all heard that “When sorrows come they come in battalions…” For starts,  the private party i.e our investment agent suddenly began to play hooky. Monthly installments (of the  interest accrued) began  to  grow rarer with passage of time. Now this didn’t  go  down with my  family. After all everyone  loves  money. Don’t they?  Call it misfortune  or  sheer coincidence, around that time the finances of the  private company my partner worked in began  to flounder. Delayed salary, slashed  salary became the order of the day. In a desperate move he asked the daughter for support. Now  this offspring  of  ours is a sly one  .  She detested  this sudden turn of events, but  didn’t have the heart to  refuse  her dear Papa. So this clandestine deal was clinched while I hadn’t the  slightest  inkling. Again  shall I   term it my ill-luck she decided  to vent her ire discontent  and angst on  poor Me.

My   fault? being totally unaware of the intra-family nexus…i made simple nakhras /demands like a couple of extra dishes for meals … takeaway dinner because I was feeling sluggish etc …the duo mocked me in unison “paise kon dega tera baap?” On one occasion  I handed out a few cookies to the maid. The irate young lady jumped into the fray ” You shameless hussy,you are sponging on me and having a party?” I am sure the retreating maid must have heard it clearly In the post-nexus phase  I had unwittingly committed a few more blunders: attended the wedding of my best friend’s daughter en famille… entertaining a long-lost-and-found teenage friend  whom I met after forty years!  I have been  practicing Nichiren ‘s Buddhism for many years now…and had the audacity to buy its  scripture Gosho which  was a tad expensive. For these faux pas I am blasted day in and day out  invariably at family times, even now. Hard to believe but quite often in the absence of the lady Annadata (self proclaimed) I begged  the husband for an extra tomato, a whole onion, a dash of lemon etc  to pep up my  bland meal. But he would not budge an inch.  Such is his unwavering loyalty to his daughter who was  providing him his  bread!

It is indeed a cruel irony of fate that my contribution to the family when I was regularly employed was convincingly forgotten during these hard times.  Moreover I still receive the long delayed amount from the nefarious investor– if not monthly at least three to five times a year – which goes to fill their bellies and cater to their petty needs. What ingratitude!!

To escape being overweight I still.follow a diet regimen which requires items  like eggs oats brown rice. The  duo don’t eat eggs…hence I am ridiculed for extravaganza each time I reach out for one. A quick rewind: The long dead pater familias ie My father in law (pbuh) had laid down a Diet code: Simple frugal meals,pulses, roti, rice, potato as the staple veggie, fish once in a blue moon, negligible dairy etc. And above all “ Same stuff and same portion for each member. If A doesn’t eat X and B doesnt’ eat Y both will be taken off the menu even if other diners need it  acutely.”  Amazing how his children and grandchildren faithfully  (read mercilessly) adhere to this even now.

Often  I shed silent tears as to how harmony and domestic peace of my conjugal life gets  shattered due to financial crises and some outmoded ideas. But no…I must not crib or complain…after all  I am an adarsh Bharatiya Nari…and must ADJUST understand all circumstances. For that is my Paramo Dharma….


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About the Author


Am a trained and experienced features writer with 30 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...

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