Hello friends, coming back to the tale of our new bride, I will tell you, how she negotiated the tricky situation at her in law’s place. It was the very first week of her marriage and as a custom, needed to be spent at her in law’s place to get her familiar with the new environment. The acclimatization process was rather stark in comparison to her erstwhile maiden life.
She had previously led a sheltered and calmer existence in a family of four. Therefore, she felt quite flummoxed while sailing through turbulent waters across the vast ocean of a joint family, comprising of almost thirty members including the extended relatives, who had congregated for the wedding. At that time (more than twenty five years ago) people’s time didn’t come at premium, as we do now. So the aunts and other curious relatives would like to stay longer with an intention of checking out the new bride thoroughly, before pronouncing their verdict regarding, the feasibility of the new bride in her acclimatization process .
The house was literally bursting at the seams teeming with so many people. The constant bouts of jovial addas( chatting), leg pullings and cracking of jokes which sometimes bordered to the limits of decency, made our shy and reticent bride blushing all the time, her ears burning with embarrassment. She was always nudged and cajoled by her brother and sister in laws to join in the chat but she could only manage a faint squeak or a genteel smile, as a mode of her response.
It’s not that she was detesting all those burst of laughters, talking in zest in raised voices, in an apparent effort to be heard in the din. Yet she felt her nerves in perpetual alert. She could control her perplexity and present her brave, smiling face at the onslaught, only because of her husband’s reassuring presence beside her. The fact, led to some raised eyebrows in some quarters, about his turning so soon into a wife devotee!
Just like the freshers in college, she was often subjected to a bit of ragging before being accepted as one of their own. It felt like a test by fire for her. Most of the time, she quite succeeded in hiding her vulnerability behind a gallant sweet smile. But that one time, the clueless bride thought she wasn’t going to have the luxury of a last laugh.
One evening, It was the cook who called in sick, therefore the onerous task of chappati(indian flat bread) making fell on the daughter in laws of the house. They were total three in number including the new bride. The older two certainly in the mood of roasting the new entrant some more, duely assigned the task of rolling the chapattis to her.
It wasn’t that the bride was totally ignorant of the process but rolling out more than hundred of them was entirely different consideration. Our new bride without feeling daunted by the enormity of the assignment, began her rolling them one by one. All the eyes were surreptiously on her, speculating in wispers as for when she would going to call it quits. When the number of rolled chapattis was nearing thirty, the weariness started setting in. After another five, she paused for a while, subtly stretching her backbone, her weary eyes suddenly fell on her husband, who was watching the proceedings keenly from a distance. She quickly tore her gaze from him, lest he saw her exhaustion and concentrated on her job.
The next moment she found herself abruptly standing on her heels! She was bodily removed from her place by her husband in a one clean sweep, replacing himself there and gently said to her, “You gonna she how quicker I’m at it than you.” The bride looked incredulously at him as he started rolling out the prfect round chapattis in a meticulous speed as he was a seasoned pro! Afterwards she came to know that he was proficient in the art and used to help his sister in laws (elder brother’s wife) in the past, in case of absantee cook.
There were ripples of wisper all around, eyes rounded in amazement by the sudden and unusual development. His two sister in laws, evidently, chekmated by him, were now running breathless, keeping up with the roasting of those piled up rolled chapattis!
Friends all those teasing words and catcalls thrown at their way notwithstanding, you can easily imagine how many notches the husband rose in the admiring eyes of the new bride, as far as love and respect was concerned.
So they say, the love gradually grows stronger in an arranged marriage.
Friends, I shall give another installment of the experiences of the new bride in the time to come.
Stay well and happy . Thanks for the read
Adieu for now.