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Hectic Social Life...

Last Monday morning, Mrs. Meira Bajpeyi, one of the matriarchs of our neighbourhood, came around and invited my mother-in-law to the birthday party of her grandson. Along with whoever else she wanted to bring. I hardly noticed. I had a lot to do that day. In the evening I was planning to bring Neil to the doctor to get him looked over before returning to school after two weeks of illness. I also needed a medical certificate to submit to the school office, in order to get the medical leave sanctioned.

Around 4 pm my mother-in-law called me and told me that as she was feeling unwell and therefore unable to attend the party, she had decided to send me in her place. I had no interest in going and rather felt irritated as I was busy. But I decided not to rock the boat and just go, as the party was a mere five minutes from home. I could show my face for forty five minutes or so and slip out again, having handed over the ceremonial gift (a decorative envelope containing 101 rupees!). Duty done, family honour satisfied! Am I a good daughter-in-law or what?

There are certain problems in attending parties on behalf of the family, rather than just attending parties given by your personal friends. For one thing, I had to wear a sari. Yash bought me a new sari earlier this year. It just so happened that his colleague Dr. Sumitra, got married earlier this year. She got married at the mature age of thirty seven. She's so kind. When she was doing her wedding shopping, she saw some saris that would suit me rather well. She told Yash, and practically ordered him to hand over the money so she could purchase the sari for me on his behalf. It's a gorgeous one too! Instead of heavy traditional cloth, it's a featherlight synthetic fabric which doesn't need ironing. Perfect for me! As is the colour and design. And very current. I had to borrow some pearl jewellery from my mother-in-law as I don't have anything suitable right now. According to her at least. My youngest child was sleeping. Neil and Mel were studying. Well, Trish was studying too, but she tore herself away from the books for an hour in order to accompany me.

Well, the party was fine. Balloons, birthday cake and a lavish Indian meal. Rice, curries of various types, all vegetarian. And the puffed Indian fried bread that tastes so delicious. It was a bit heavy but that's the way it goes. However, I noticed one thing. That party was simply for prestige. All the guests were elderly and middle aged ladies representing their families, wearing their best silk saris and jaded expressions. And of course, suitable jewellery. A party for a two year old should be full of kids, fun and games. There was hardly a child in sight. Strange! But some families are like that....

So Trish and I ate our food, paid our respects and left. We said hello to many familiar neighbourhood faces. The usual suspects, the ones you'll see at every party around. So we left and I knew that on reaching home, I'd be expected to give my mother-in-law the full report on the function, guests, food, everything. Because that's the usual drill!


  1. Sounds like you were made to go,what could happen if you said NO?Try it next time and let them sulk.

  2. What a sad party for a two year old. Trying to impress the neighbours is universal isn't it?You are indeed a good daughter-in-law xxx

  3. You are one hell of a daughterin law, am really impressed, and the poor kid imagine having a birthday party where its all about the glorification of the parents, the kid is a hell of a kid too!!

  4. My hats off to you. My late wife would not have done it had her mother in law asked her.

    Mrs B must have been attending many parties of similar nature and was waiting for an opportunity to return the favour. This is quite the done thing to even scores. When no suitable occasion arises, some poor little child's birthday will come in handy.

  5. I would love to hear more about Saris and what is current in style and colour.

  6. Good girl! Full marks for going because we get to read about your experience too!

  7. Grannymar, I can promise you one thing. If ever you wear a sari and come over here, you will get so many toyboys that you will need a football stadium to accommodate them and the whistles won't just stop. If on the other hand, you land up at our neighbour, you will be promptly hidden away in a burqa so that the finder can be keeper.

  8. Gaelikaa, Does that Ramana fellow think I have money???

    He has only ever seen a photo.. and sure isn't Photoshop wonderful! Don't you go telling him now. ;)

  9. My mother-in-law would be so impressed. She thinks I'm pretty hopeless, although I always arrange something for her birthday and Christmas, but not too much else I'm afraid.

    Poor two year old, didn't seem to be involved very much.

  10. I love your posts! Until Rummuser wrote about your two blogs I didn't know about this one.

  11. Lots of brownie points to you for going along, indeed a strange party for a two year old, I bet your sari looks fabulous.

    BTW thanks for the award :)

  12. you sure are a wonderful daughter in law. :)
    i'm glad i found ur blog. it's wonderful :)

  13. Yeah ..sad but true ...atleast he will be happy with the presents I guess ..
    For me also its a ordeal wearing the sari...
    Thanks for the award :-)

  14. Fascinating, and I think what you said sounds very thoughtful and wise. The part about your husband not recognizing you made me laugh out loud.


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