and it is products—a cloth, a shoe, a toilet tissue —
that are gracefully suited for return,
vindicating the trust in a consumer’s sense of satisfaction.
A family then is “felt” when there is no complaint of boredom
with an existing relationship, whose bloom survives a partner’s death.
In this family, the child gets the lesson in willing sacrifice;
where the meaning of “bond” is seen beyond
its epistemological veil, since this is the bond
that the members have cemented and ably sustained,
unlike quick-fix solutions based on exigencies.
And that’s why in such a family, a wife can wait anxiously
for her husband who has been languishing for decades
as a prisoner of war in the foe’s jail:
and it is not the loss of delightful nights that she broods over,
but her’s husband’s safety. And there, unfortunately, might be people
who label her willing devotion “female subjugation”,
since to them it is predominantly
the loss of a night companion.
Family, indeed, matters as it can work both ways,
depending on what brings the couple together:
love or mere lust; commitment or convenience.
And the difference manifests here:
children might behave as tortoises that shut themselves off
when a tragedy hits the family;
and they might appear as swords
that out of sheaths assert themselves to slay adversities.
The minor nuisances, of course, I know of such extreme bonds
when crazily you eat, upon a flurry of insistences
and receive a thousand instructions on safety,
or in a foreign land you receive a call from parents who ask:
“Have you put on a warm jacket?”
And when you go back home, the neighbors—the extended family–
dare ask: “What’s for me?”
I love Indian family!
Source: “Family Matters” (anthology), Nivasini Publishers, 2013