The kids settled in their new school and I had adjusted to this way of life. But what was hard, was to adapt to the joint family sensibilities. Everyone was in each other's space all the time. The family had not learned any boundaries. There was no concept of privacy and knocking on the door was unheard of.

Even on Sunday mornings, the name calling would start and when I would tumble out wearily thinking that something had happened, I would be asked the question,"Oh! Were you sleeping? Ok. No worries. Go back to sleep." At that moment, I would feel like pulling out my hair.

The concept of a working woman needing an hour of peace was not there. Any holiday was their time or one was at the beck and call of the extended relatives.

Hours would pass in the kitchen cooking delicacies for the multitude of guests which would arrive from all over and would plonk themselves for weeks together. Most of them would come for their treatments at the big Delhi hospitals and some would come to buy their wares for shops back home.

Even with all this, I had become fond of some of the aunts and uncles because of their simplicity. They were clear hearted people with no malice in their hearts. They would hold me in great respect that I was working and could converse with them in Hindi and understand their way of life.

I realized that essentially, everyone is simple. It is the coping up with the external circumstances that mold a person and make him acquire a mask. Even the whole joint family saga was overrated because of what one had heard and assimilated. If each one of us tried to accept and adjust to the other, the joint family system would be the best. Only certain rights and duties needed to be defined.

Alas, but that was wishful thinking on my part. It was a power game at the end of the day and whosoever would find themselves at the senior level, would by default exercise control on the person at the junior level.

If only people could change a little bit.

If only…

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