Watching Shehnai currently on air, and then Ishq Jalebi, I wondered, is this the world we’re missing? The warm family moments with the not so comfortable realities? The good, the bad and the ugly of joint family living – is it really worth it
Are Pakistani dramas glorifying the joint family on screen or are they showing us how we must stay tolerant, learn to live together despite our (many) frictions? The argument carries weight (baat mein dum hai) what say you?
When I watch the Shehnai cousins chatting late in the night or the household making shami kebab together, or evening tea in the garden, I do miss the khaandaani vibes … but then, very quickly I’m pulled back into the real world as Kafi bhai hacks another plan to throw everything off track!
But jokes apart … this is what I feel about joint families once I finish off an episode or two of the typical Pakistani joint family living drama!
1. It’s Great For Children & Cousins To Grow Up Together
The memories you share as children, the closeness, the no judgements barred bond is so precious. You practically know each other inside out, and that bonding comes in handy much later in life when you are married, tending to your aging parents, as the support system you draw on might be a cousin who comes to your help.
2. Family Means Bickering But Family Also Means Love
You bicker, you complain, you talk about each other to each other but then, eventually, you also back each other in front of each other. Just like all the cousins stood together for Bakht but secretly scolded her for using Meerab, just like the daamad in Ishq Jalebi stands by his father in law but feels for his son Basim too. Joint families tell us that we are human, they do not insulate us in a bubble, they teach us to be tolerant and respectful to others.
3. Do Joint Families Make Us Angry & Bitter?
So the success of a joint family is heavily dependent on the central figure. Can he or can’t he make it happen?
4. Do Joint Families Make For More Tolerant Children?
Sharing is caring. Heard that one before? You share your room, your cupboard, your wardrobe and your bathroom. Of course, the car rounds, trips to college and a friend’s dholki all have to be cramped in as you share the joint resources of one multi-household.
Is that a good or a bad thing?
If you want the easy (and peaceful) way out, of course, sharing can be relegated to the garbage dump and you can live in eternal sukoon and isolation (Covid comes to mind). But do remember, when you do want that extra help – recall the ageing parent example in point 1 above? you might not be able to get it. Joint families mean a joint sharing of pain and happiness and of course … joint headaches too!
5. Are Joint Families For Everyone?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. The answer?
Easier said that done? You say
Agreed. In conclusion, I would say, joint families should stay together because they want to, not because they have to. When the decision is in your hands, you have the power to choose, and that perhaps, is the best way to decide if you are the best fit for joint family living or not!
Till then, let’s slip back into the world of Shehnai & Ishq Jalebi to see what happens next!