By Anmol Rattan Narang:
My son got married in the year 2016. My daughter-in-law is an exceptionally good girl- very beautiful, highly educated, well-mannered, well-versed in household affairs and sophisticated as well. In short, she has everything which a good family aspires for, in a daughter-in-law. She is indeed my darling daughter. I do not know how she comes to know of, what I require at any point in time – tea/coffee etc and she will come running saying, ” Papa, you require tea. I am bringing in no time”. Every time, she brings tea, it is of the same taste and aroma I have in my mind- cardamom, cinnamon or ginger. In fact, I am in the seventh heaven. Whenever I go out for a walk, my friends ask me about my daughter-in-law, I tell them that ever since the girl has come to our home, it has become heaven (Swarg) to which they jokingly respond that then you ( I.e. we)are Swarg-vasi.
Though my relations with my daughter-in-law are the best, the same is not true of my wife, who, occasionally has skirmishes with her. Saas-bahu relations, as in the case of other homes, are not going well and both keep blaming each other.
My daughter-in-law is a member of many kitty parties, where ladies assemble to play Tombola, to do back-biting against mothers-in-law and also to enjoy delicacies.
As relations of my bahu with my wife are not well, the bahu, at one of the kitty parties, told her friends, “whereas my father-in-law is a saintly person, the mother-in-law is a quarrelsome lady’.”
The words travel very fast and in no time, reached my ears. Though I was mighty pleased that I have been called a saintly person, the word ‘quarrelsome’ for my wife was too bad to be tolerated.
The following day, when my bahu came in the morning to seek my blessings, I put my hand over her head and lovingly and endearingly, caught hold of her shoulders and made her sit on my bed. Very affectionately, I told her that I look upon her, not as my daughter-in-law but a daughter. She also reciprocated by saying that she has got the best father-in-law in the world, whom she loves more than her father.
When I drew her attention towards her comment ‘quarrelsome’ uttered by her for her mother-in-law at the kitty party, she felt ashamed of her action. I told her “Beta, we may be having differences with each other, but these should not travel beyond four walls of our home.” I continued, “There is some sanctity attached to our home, our country. We may fight among ourselves but should never let our neighbours know that we are a fragmented lot.”
Though she promised me not to repeat the act again, she, while getting up, stated, ” Papa, our PM Modi, immediately on becoming Prime Minister, went to so many countries and there, not only in the presence of the PM/ President of the host country but also in full glare of foreign media, stated that our country is a country of scams and that all opposition party leaders are corrupt, scam-stars, scoundrels, rogues, pirates and anti-nationals.” Then why this hullabaloo about my word. I had no reply.