It has been my experience in trying to gain a bit of alone time – I’ll settle for a solitary minute – that if you are alone, society has failed you.

From the Hindustani Times: “Our weddings are attended by family, relatives, friends, past and present neighbours, people who invited you to their or their siblings’ weddings, past and present colleagues, random strangers because we had 300 wedding cards extra and didn’t want to waste them, plus gatecrashers – a guestlist so long it rivals the population of the whole of Africa. If however, our homes are filled with the population of only one small country, like Bangladesh, we’re just having a family dinner.”

People here often live together in extended family units with a hierarchy. The Mother of Sons is Queen. Her daughters-in-law must wait on her with a cup of hot tea from the moment the first rooster crows until the old bat is sleeping soundly, one prays, for the night.

“May you be the mother of 100 sons,” is a traditional blessing, concocted by a Hindu priest with the compassion of a pit viper – imagine being the mother of 100 natural deliveries.

More than one marriage has caved because the daughter-in-law fled to Dubai or moved on to the next life via ingestion of poison or an exploding kerosene stove.

My daughter-in-law is a model of restraint. She calls before knocking. She does not appear at daybreak with a cup of tea. She does not try to wash my feet before tucking me in bed.

I love you, Traci!!!


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