A Twist in the Tale: A Relatively Old Problem

Written By

Debolina Coomar

A Twist in the Tale: A Relatively Old Problem Loading

Mr. and Mrs. Iyer’s only son, Rajnikanth married Rajni in a simple yet elegant marriage ceremony. Rajnikanth was leaving for his MBA course soon and they wanted him to marry before that. Iyers were not orthodox people, but they followed the traditions and rituals to perfection.

Rajni was in her late twenties, and the match came through a common family friend. Rajnikanth’s father came with the wedding proposal and they had no reason to refuse. Rajni was a graduate and wanted to work after marriage. Everybody accepted, but wanted her to wait till Rajnikanth finished his post-graduation studies. Till then, it was decided, Rajni would stay with her in-laws.

Like any other mother, Rajni’s mom gave a big lecture on a daughter-in-law’s duties, a wife’s responsibilities, their family honor, a few simple recipes to start with, and of course, the code of conduct with her mother-in-law. Like an obedient daughter, Rajni noted everything, but was sure that the practicals were going to be very different from the theory. Rajni had met her mother-in-law a couple of times; she seemed amiable, though with an underlying sense of authority.

In the new house, relatives and guests poured in with gifts and blessings for the new couple. Then, came along Lathamma, a distant and old relative of the family. She had a comment about everything. “The decorations are good,” she told Mr. Iyer, “but more of those red flowers could have been used.” “The sweet is nice, but its size could have been bigger.” “The gifts are okay, but the packing could have been better.” It just went on and on.

She blessed Rajni and said, “She is beautiful, but her complexion could have been fairer. The gifts she brought are nice, but the sarees could have been more expensive.” Rajni felt that the age old ordeal at her in-laws’ place had just started, because Lathamma was going to stay for a while. Everybody seemed to be oblivious to the matter.

Rajni made all possible attempts to avoid Lathamma, but it was like the latter had a radar. When she came to know that Rajni wanted to work after marriage, she commented, “All this education excuse is fine, but her parents should have given better values to their daughter.” This broke Rajni’s heart and everybody could sense that. On the couple’s first night together, Lathamma barged into the room with a small packet and handed it to Rajni. “Eat this before he touches you. This will give you a better-complexioned son.” Rajni felt so humiliated that tears rolled down her face.

This went on for a while. Rajnikanth sensed Rajni’s discomfort and spoke to Mrs. Iyer about it. She didn’t reply and he felt that she must be annoyed that he is favouring his wife. Soon, it was time for Rajnikanth to leave.

One morning, Lathamma complained of a stomach ache and the doctor was called. After examining the elderly lady, he said, “It doesn’t look serious, but it can be. I will prescribe some tests.” Lathamma was reluctant, but the doctor said, “There may be a serious problem.”

The reports came after two days. Mr. Iyer said, “The reports look almost normal, but we need to consult the doctor.” The doctor advised that she be admitted for more tests. The Iyers and the doctor spoke of hospitalizing her the next day.

Lathamma called Mrs. Iyer over and asked, “What else did he say?”

Mrs. Iyer replied, “He said that if something comes up in the tests, they might have to operate.” Lathamma could not take it anymore. She requested them to book her tickets to go back home. She said she didn’t trust the doctor here, and would consult their village doctor.

Lathamma left the next day. Mrs. Iyer called Rajnikanth and said, “Now, you can be tension free about Rajni. After a pause, she continued, “By the way, how was the drama? Didn’t Baba and I do well, and the doctor too? Do not tell Rajni about it.” All three people in the room smiled.

They made Lathamma leave without disrespecting her.




As a believer of 'live & let live', Debolina likes to enjoy the little things of life. As a person who enjoys reading, writing and interacting with people, she finds it exciting to write about emotions, experiences, stories, lifestyle, parenting, self-improvement, current affairs and pretty much everything that affects a common man's life. Debolina is an ex-HR and Corp. Comm. professional, wife to a wonderful husband, mother to a lovely daughter; and a freelance content, creative writer, content developer and blogger. She strives to ignite the power of thought with a whole new perspective. Debolina shares her thoughts at: debolinacoomar.wordpress.com

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