Traditional joint family is nowadays obsolescent. Its subtle charm still looms large in the minds of the old. The solitary old aged people often indulge in reverie reminiscing about the ecstasy of joy once they had in the gathering of the pretty faces.
When the scions of a family are yoked in marriage, many of them forget their filial obligations and disregard the wishes of their parents. Siblings try to find faults with each other over trifling matters. Their postprandial conversation do not scintillate now. They are unlikely to have a rollicking time at home. Although the emotional comedown of the members of a family is implicit at first, the antipathies come to light later on. Families of all strata of our society experience this revulsion. The old are likely to have a deja vu of this anticlimax. It is a common belief that women are the main catalyst to bring about the change among the members of a family. The contextual scenarios that bring about disharmony in the hierarchy of a joint family are almost identical in all families.
As the new wife breaks the ice, her mother in-law complains that she shows deference to her wishes designedly. On the other hand, the wife nags at the prima donna all day long. One pooh-poohs others idiosyncrasies and they fly into tantrums at the slightest taunt. Each of them fails to evince empathy on her part. The wife grumbles frequently as she has never been valued by the members of the family even if she is a hard working practical woman.
When the second wife comes to this household, the whole gamut of conflict occurs within a few days. Both the wives exploit the credulity of the fellow members for ear wiggling which triggers off the internecine broils. At the same time, the wives become censorious of each other and refuse to do their daily chore. Being instigated by their wives, brothers all together put the fraternity in jeopardy and each envies other’s good fortune. The scions do not like to tolerate any signs of senescence from their parents. The old have to pass their days under a lot of constraints. Ministering to the old parents, who stand towards them in loco parentis, is the wives’ bete noire because they think the old are fastidious. In this grey area, the old only long for euthanasia.
Apart from these reasons, a joint family breaks into parts under economic crisis. Not all members can contribute to the family equally. So the main subscriber sometimes domineers over the other members. His innuendoes against the fellow members for the inability to defray the cost of essentials fill them with chagrin. He often soliloquizes that he need not to skimp on necessities in order to maintain other’s family. Now his preoccupation is only to feather his nest. His opening gambit at this dispute stimulates other members to seek separations. Now they are not torn between their alternative wishes whether to live all together or not, they are not confused by the ambivalence of their feelings. Swayed by their bad feelings the siblings are now reluctant to preserve their cohesion. Now they do nothing out of complacence at home. Finally estrangement among the members heals the prolonged strife. Though the rift in the family rejoices the spouses’ heart, it keeps the old in limbo.
This jeremiad of a joint family might seem to my readers as the figment of imagination, nonetheless I can say with great aplomb that the scenario is not different from the fact. It is hard to say who is guilty of causing this schism. Whoever creates the division is a shirker. If the whys and the wherefores are analyzed, it seems strongly from the whole shebang that individual’s solicitude for self-complacency, indifference to other’s welfare, wooing for a good footing and carte blanche abets shirking responsibility towards fellow members. Being preoccupied by family troubles scions stifle in the fuggy house and do not hesitate to jettison their bete noire expediently from own family circle.
Though each and every one has carte blanche to draw his own family circle, yet it is not an exploit to cause an estrangement in the family. However, I do not intend to decry the scions’ caprice to bring about separation in a joint family and their individualism to resurrect a joint family. In our society, the old usually rely on their progeny sometimes for affection and sometimes for subsistence. The government is not yet provident to meet the demands of the old up to their expectation. Even so I like to give kudos to the present government for having a try to improve the precarious situation of the old. The old are still hoping against hope for the enhancement of provident facilities. The scions should have remembrance of the succour their parents gave them from the cradle to the altar. According to eschatology, ministering to the wants of one’s parents awards him the entry to the elysium.
However, we should all cooperate with our old parents to taste the best of living together and help the children do revelries in the domain of a joint family. I think scions’ surrender to the superego can help the survival of a joint family.