Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why not joint families?

Today I went out and met a cousin after a long time. Her mother in law recently expired and she was saying that the environment of the house isnt the same anymore. Another cousin asked, "why? the brothers should get more close now that their mother isnt there anymore," but she said that wasnt the case and that they were more aloof and self oriented now.

I thought and voiced aloud that this might be happening because men spend more time with their wives and kids nowadays, maybe more than they should.. giving ample time for the wives to fill their ears with poison and cause aloofness in the house amongst blood relations...This has caused so many joint families to split and become nuclear now..There are other reasons too.. tolerance and patience are no longer there.. EGO is a BEEG and very hungry too!!

I was born in a joint family, being the first born of a first born, gave me a lot of time to spend with my uncles and aunt, and they all loved me, I like to think that they still do..It was so nice being together, everything shared, the house full of people, not a moment to get lonely or bored.. what a life! I thought I had the best joint family in the world.
"a picture of a beeg joint family at a wedding" Do we stand together only for the camera now?

One fine day it was all over, just like the stock market crash.. I still remember, I was in class 9 and I was appalled and grief stricken. This affected me a great deal, my ranks dropped, I became lazy and sloppy.
What happened really and WHY? I kept thinking how stupid it was to live separately! How uneconomical too! What purpose did it serve really? I live in a joint family, and I had vowed in the beginning of my marriage that I would never be a cause for it to disseminate..Of course there are conflicts and discomforts and less freedom, but if we make a list of advantages and disadvantages.. clearly joint families have always outnumbered disadvantages..well, this is my belief.. Whats yours?


  1. I too grew up in a joint family - in a village about 110 km from Kolkata. I lived there until the age of five and then came to Kolkata but every years three months we will be back in the village. Fortunately for me the joint family in the village survived till I was in the ninth standard. We were not very well off but in the village, I had a charmed life with cousins around and my uncles ( mama-s) several of them around my own age!, they were around in my mama-bari three km away. We learned how to swim together, fish together and even fell off a coconut tree trying climb one.

    Now that I have moved around in the world a bit - lucky me! - and have my own family, I sincerely regret the falling apart of joint families in urban settings particularly. My kids do not know what treasures they have been deprived of .... no about of facebooking can recreate that magic -- while critics might say there are problem with joint families too, i think good outweighs the bad.

    Keep writing ( and I shall keep commenting! )

  2. LOL.. I will definitely write and you comment.
    Yes, You are right, even I feel that the cousins of mine who have never seen a joint family in their life are seriously deprived kids..
    Luckily for me, my community has large joint families and I still live in one.

  3. I was not lucky to have lived in that joint family set up, but my family did till a few years before i was born, so i have heard stories and stories about it and my papa still shares much of them,a few cousins do share some of their valuable times of old.

    I asked my cousin how he can show so much love and affection for my mom more than he does for his own, ohhh i have always considered yours as ours, and mine as ours too.( i would get jealous at times)

  4. Oh! Exactly exactly exactly!
    My uncle always took me to my parents and teachers meetings and I looked upon him as my second father!
    I was a pet with my uncles and aunts and I enjoyed every minute of it.