Family, Extended.


Growing up in a joint family can be fun, I was deprived of it very early in my life, I got to just experience for few years, and then we moved out. Even though we moved out, I could sense the strong influence of joint family on us, both my parents come from one such, and even after we moved out we were in very close connection with the rest of the people from my parent’s family.

Any person from joint family would have seen various lovely relationships blooming, there are people of all ages and gender, in all kinds of stages in life, with experience of going through everything you can possibly get into, with people getting into almost everything you seem to have faced in life, ready to ask your advice, ready to give you some, help you out, command work from you, teach you, respect you and so on. At some point we become so self sufficient in these families we never look out for others in case of problems.

This, I guess must be a common thing in people my generation, where in you have seen a joint family or mostly your parents have grown up in one, and you have moved out either as young, or in most cases, because of job and have settled into a nuclear family. With the population problem, and issue with the ever increasing cost of leaving, we mostly see maximum of on kid per couple. I am really not saying its wrong, in fact its really good that people are concerned about such an important problem like population. On the flip side what this has redefined our concept of a family, and in doing so has replaced so many aspects of family life.

When I look around I see two kinds of families in Bangalore,

People who are originally from Bangalore, who are very less, and who mostly have parents at home, that makes it a typical family of 5 people, husband, wife, a kid, and parents of the guy.
Or the couple have moved out with the kid, so that makes it 3 people with the parents in close touch.
People who are not originally from Bangalore, they are typically a family of 3 with parents of both husband and wife visiting from their place yearly once or twice.

I see that in either case, people are not getting the rich experience of the older folk, nor the help when required, they cant even count on the over present advice. So what they do, they look out for these relationships outside. Acquaintances develop beautifully into these relationship which no longer exists in house. Given the circumstances, and knowing that old joint family may not be feasible going forward, I think this is something really good. I mean the relationship we form with people we know, and sometimes whom we have hardly met.

The fact that we spend so much time at work, makes us kind of take our work relationships home. A closely working co-worker becomes an activity partner over weekend, a slightly older one can guide you in case of issues, some one even older takes care of giving you unwanted advice like its time to marry, or you need to plan your finance kind of stuff. A co-worker’s wife does become a close pal of your wife, and they do end up sharing your evening time as well with the co-worker. Helping each other if one falls ill, or helping out with the kids. A female friend who can understand you really well can help you out during issues, and a guy friend might end up showing really genuine concern,

Today was reading an article where some website has opened where pregnant women can seek out old people’s advice, now isn’t this what old people in the house gave out in older times?

I know that all this comes with a lot of fights, lots of disagreement, jealousy, people not getting along with each other. But that has been there before and it does exist now also, but isn’t this social co existence something we should be proud of?

so anybody on the lookout to extend your family


7 responses »

  1. my dad’s family have this family house where everyone goes and stay there a couple of times a year. it’s a family thing, i guess. we used to go there a lot when i was a kid but these days, maybe just once or twice a year. at any one time, there’s at least 3 families living there.

    oh and what’s up with the last sentence?

  2. @Rambler : IMO staying under the same roof ; being there are each other is more important. Somehow I believe distance makes relationships more stronger.

    yeah me too did not get the last line though 🙂

  3. @Jos,
    those days must be fun right,

    Actually with smaller families you tend to have lesser people related.

    Distance makes relationships stronger, well may be, but then it also means lesser accessibility
    so whom do I go for help.

    last line was just a goofy way of putting if someone was interested in added people into extended families.

  4. world is so small with all ur internet, and mobiles unlike those old days .
    there would be famillies residing under same roof but distant in heart. and there would be cases vice versa. Which one is the good take ?

    just wondering where did the self sufficient funda disappeared ? we change ourselves very frequently ?

  5. actually there are two aspects to it, the practical needs within a family and the emotional needs, and both does not matter on how close you are in terms of physical distance,
    but then when your needs go unfulfilled due to lack of family, or lack of the emotional proximity, isn’t this a good thing to look for somebody outside? more than look for, when the other person is also look out for the same thing, you just end helping each other.

    as far as the self sufficient thing goes, there are things which are ideal and some which are real.

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