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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Relationships: Misplaced Priorities…A,B,C, Drivers…Maids And…!

The family, particularly the Indian family, is supposedly the most closely-bound unit in terms of blood relations, in terms of proximity and in terms of unconditional love. In the joint family system, slowly dying even in India, there are tensions concerning the kitchen or concerning wives, husbands, brothers, in-laws and cousins. However, in all cases some people like drivers or domestic helps get into the thick of things. They understand the family moods, they know the underlying conflicts if any, have access to all the secrets and they are always conditioned to swim as per the waters. They are immensely capable of bringing a mere disagreement in the family into a shattering climax and can be a party to damaging relationships, sometimes irreparably. The members of the family in their effort to manage such ‘members’ often succumb to these third-party plays and the misplaced priorities catapult the happy family into an apparently insoluble crisis.  We will take examples describing the major players in a family by the alphabet and making them totally gender neutral to avoid any possible bias to any.

A and B are extremely close in terms of blood relation and friendship. One helps the other on every occasion possible like arranging cars, accommodation, get-togethers and so on. Now C is inseparable with B and by that bond is naturally close to A too. However, the level of priority for A is different as far as C is concerned. As it happened once C visited A’s place alone. A had to provide some facilities due to its closeness to B. C was provided with a car for some of its work assignments. As it happened again, one day C got very disturbed by the way the driver of the car behaved with it. C informed B first and then complained to A. Now A was furious thinking, ‘I gave a car to you, and instead of expressing gratitude you dare complain!’ B understood the case immediately. The driver behaved rather too politely, almost going out of the way, with B once after A provided the car. The intelligent driver understood that if it created problems with B the latter would complain to A and A like all other members of the family would believe B only. Now, in C’s case nobody believed it, particularly E who was extremely close to both A and B, all taking side of the driver fully. C was inconsolable lamenting the fact that despite being a member of the family it got no support from anyone and instead, all got angry with it creating a ruckus. Neurotic rants rent the air and continued creating a new low in the relationship matrix.

Once upon a time B and C visited E. As has been proved over the years C and E do not see eye to eye. They could never gel despite being members of the same family. On this visit too minor scuffles continued between C and E on petty domestic issues. Now, there was a concern for B. It was informed by A that E had developed a worrisome health condition. B took it to heart rather too seriously, maybe because of its bond with E. B was determined not to give E any kind of tension during their stay.

The minor scuffles continued and on two occasions B found E crying and complaining. Not to take further risks, B advised E to go to F’s home, another member of the family. However, E did not take the advice and B could not speak to C about all these due to work pressure of several assignments and B’s growing irritation with the state of things and the weather too. One day, finally having some time, B entered C’s room, closed the door and started a dialogue to try sort out things. But suddenly E threw the door open and baring its teeth started attacking C with most filthy language. Getting disconcerted and surprised B somehow managed to take E out of the room and almost ordered it to go to F’s place immediately. Later B came to know how the spark was provided for the shattering climax. C made a casual remark out of exasperation about the goings-on in the house to the domestic help. Feeling the simmering tension over the days the smart help put some colors to that remark and presented it to E finding it alone and sitting aloof one day at home. Misplaced priorities once again led to putting trust on a domestic help and distrust on a member of the family. The damage was already done.

Relationships are as brittle as they are beautiful. One should always try to nourish and protect them. Ensure peace, tranquility and everlasting love in your family.
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