Saturday, October 8, 2011

Portrait of a perfect family

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina

The living room was spacious and clean. Two red color sofa, one single, another long enough for three people to sit and a teapoy were placed in the middle. There was a medium sized dining table at the far end of the room. It was a rented family apartment with three bedrooms and a kitchen. The four of them sat there chatting, hopping from topic to topic. The elder man was the host, the high school boy was his youngest son and the two young men were the guests.

The host's wife, a pleasant and graceful, slim and smiling lady joined the conversation in between her breaks from the kitchen. The husband wore a red T-shirt and pant. He looked much younger than his years. He was nearing fifty five and she was 45. They were an easy going couple. The conversation was largely jocular and easy going. It was obvious that both the husband and wife were very loving and caring for each other and for their children.

Bowing to his father’s words, the boy brought a family vacation trip photo album to show the guests. Most of the photos were taken in the backdrop of the Taj Mahal and its vicinity. Beside the handsome couple, three of their children were also seen in the photos. The eldest was a daughter and two boys below. The boys looked naughty while the daughter looked lovely and modern. She had a look of self-confidence and new-age, liberated womanliness. She wore light blue jeans and white koorta and her bob-cut hair appeared unruly and bubbly around her bright face.  

“We had this journey four years ago” explained the man in his husky voice. And he narrated the unforgettable long journey and its experiences in details. At that moment there was a knock on the door. The boy opened the door. In came, like a breeze, a beautiful young girl who looked below twenty. Her lovely figure and charming face captivated the guests for a while. She had that beautiful smile revealing her white teeth that would linger on the minds of the other person even after the the meeting was long over. It was the daughter, the one they saw in the photo. This time her appearance was completely different because she was wearing an overall traditional black dress. Though it was in contrast to her image in the photo, she was yet the more scintillating.

She glanced at the strangers sitting on the sofa and exchanged a few words of brief formal introductions, then disappeared to her room. Though the young men wondered whether she would show up once more, she was never seen again,

Then it was time for the dinner. Delicious Kerala style, vegetable dishes were served. The temptation of a nice homely food made the guests forget formalities, in addition with the hosts' insistence to serve them more. After having the food and some more talking, the guests took their leave and said good bye to the family. The host, a complete believer in perfect hospitality and politeness, walked with the guests along the way to show them off.

While walking beside, his low, husky voice became still huskier and sadder. His daughter’s persistent refusal to give consent to find her a life partner was the prime reason for his melancholy. Even though she looked much younger than her age, he said she was twenty six in fact. She had a good education and now she has a well paid job and a prospective best possible career ahead. What she was missing at this stage was a loving and caring life partner. Whenever her mom and dad tried to bring this matter to her attention, she smartly managed to evade the issue altogether. This, in turn made the couple restless in their wakeful and sleeping hours. It had already taken a toll on both of their health too.

“She is our precious child. I wish if she only knew the depth of a parents' sorrow seeing their grown up daughter being single. Still, I hope that she would realize our feelings one day or another, but I'm afraid that it would be too late.” He said slowly and sadly in a broken voice. 

The father being a heart patient and mother very much shaky in her fragile health, these words would have been enough to melt the daughter’s heart if she were to put things in perspective. 

Under the surface of the obvious happiness and bliss, it seemed there was an undercurrent of tension and confusion that made the paradise of a family sail through uncertain waters and sleepless nights. 


Shukoor said...

Very beautiful narration. depicting background events, contexts etc obviousely made me feeling of going through a well written novel. All families indeed have their own problems. Nevertheless, all are hiding and pretending they are happy. Here is a great lesson, we don't have to be worried, that we're not only the ones who struggle with troubles.

ആസാദ്‌ said...

Wow.. Fantastic.. Relay touching…

ചിരിക്കുന്ന ഓരോ മുഖത്തിന്റെ പിറകിലും എരിയുന്ന മലകള്‍ കണ്ടേക്കാം.

Best of luck Mr. Salaam.

കുസുമം ആര്‍ പുന്നപ്ര said...

nice story

സീത* said...

Dramatical narration keeps the heart of reader being sticked at every lines...felt that watching the family at a distance...the story is a reality happening in almost all families..regards

Nishana said...

Lovely story with vivid descriptions and exquisite narration!

I didn't feel it as a story but a real life incident, I am sure many of us would find it sketching the incidents from our or our closed one's life... At least I can related to. ;)

The fact is that happiness is what/how we perceive it. Many times happiness is our choice and every human being on the face of earth has one or another issue bumping in the head...otherwise what's the meaning of life..?

Echmukutty said...

ഭംഗിയായി എഴുതി, അഭിനന്ദനങ്ങൾ

ente lokam said...

Extremely well written and narrated have brought out two important thoughts giving justice to them both in your own delicate manner about the worries faced by such parents these days .........and the other about how a smile could hide a thousand sorrows behind it .......really liked the post....
still the girl might have had a good reason for her reluctance to marry ......

പള്ളിക്കരയില്‍ said...

A single reason that makes an otherwise happy family’s life into turmoil.

Of course the reason here is good enough to create havoc in the minds of parents if they are loving, responsible and caring for their beloveds.

Chrystal clear narration that simply well justify the quotation of Leo Tolstoy beyond doubt.

Since the writer do not shed any light to the life of the girl in the yester years, one would be curious to know what makes the charming young lady to be so averse to the idea of taking a life partner..!!


Lipi Ranju said...

I really like your narrative style.
That girl may have a good reason for what she is doing..

ചെറുവാടി said...

Bit late to reach here but very happy to read this beautiful story.
Shukoor also told me about the beauty of this story.
Well narrated. Blessed writing.
Simply superb

മുല്ല said...

ഉം.കരയാന്‍ ഓരൊര്‍ത്തര്‍ക്കും ഓരോ കാരണങ്ങള്‍ ഉണ്ടാകും. അത് ജീവിതത്തിന്റെ അലിഖിത നിയമം.

കൊച്ചു കൊച്ചീച്ചി said...

The only problem I see here is a communication problem. Unfortunately nobody can trust all people with everything, so people sometimes tend to keep things to themselves.

Marriage is a very serious decision. One should not commit to it just to satisfy the emotional issues of the family. Any decision made in a hurry can be ill-considered. To that extent, I should commend the girl for staying firm.

I agree that parents need to be assured that the girl is fine. May be individual counseling will help. The girl can confidentially disclose her mind to the counselor and the counselor can reassure the parents without disclosing all the facts.

Oh, by the way, the girl's sartorial preferences have nothing to do with this problem (unless that was imposed on her).

I found the narration a bit too wordy - which is not your usual style. May be you could have added a few more vignettes of their family life and made it all concise.

ARUN RIYAS said...

nice work!
welcome to my blog
if u like it join and support me

Salam said...

"You take me through a common problem which many families are facing. Wonderfully narrated!"

Shanavas Esath Padinjareveettil commented through email.

വര്‍ഷിണി* വിനോദിനി said...

എത്ര സ്നേഹത്തോടെയാണ്‍ നിങ്ങള്‍ ഞങ്ങളേയും ആ സന്തുഷ്ട കുടുംബത്തിലേയ്ക്ക് കൂട്ടി കൊണ്ടുപോയിരിയ്ക്കുന്നതെന്ന് അറിയാമോ..മനസ്സില്‍ തൃപ്തി തോന്നുന്നു..!
വളരെ മനോഹരമായി ആ മനോഹര ദൃശ്യങ്ങളും അന്തരീക്ഷവും പകര്‍ത്തി തന്നു..
കുശലങ്ങള്‍ക്കും,സൌഹൃദ സംഭാഷണങ്ങള്‍ക്കുമിടയിലെ പങ്കു വെയ്ക്കലുകള്‍ ഹൃദ്യമായി..!
ഈ ജനല് പാളികളിലൂടെ ആ മകളുടെ മുഖം ദര്‍ശിയ്ക്കാനാവുന്നുണ്ട്..
അവളുടെ സുന്ദര മുഖത്തെ പുഞ്ചിരി ഇച്ചിരി മാഞ്ഞിരിയ്ക്കുന്നൂ, വേഷത്തിന്‍ മാറ്റം വന്നിരിയ്ക്കുന്നൂ എന്നേ ഉള്ളൂ...അത് നിറമുള്ളതാക്കാനുള്ള ഐശ്വര്യവും,മുഖ കാന്തിയും അവളില്‍ ഇപ്പോഴും തെളിഞ്ഞു നില്‍ക്കുന്നുണ്ട്..
അത് ആ കുടുംബത്തിന്‍റെ വരും സന്തോഷങ്ങളുടെ സൂചനയാണ്‍..!

ആ കുടുംബത്തിലെ സന്തോഷം കളയാന്‍ എനിയ്ക്ക് ആവുന്നില്ല സ്നേഹിതാ..
“A pleasant illusion is better than a harsh reality”......Good Hand dear.......!

pravaahiny said...

ഇംഗ്ലീഷില്‍ നല്ല അറിവ് ഉള്ളതു കൊണ്ടു ഒന്നും മനസ്സിലായില്ല .

‍ആയിരങ്ങളില്‍ ഒരുവന്‍ said...

Well narrated. Blessed writing. ..

ഡോ. പി. മാലങ്കോട് said...

Well written. Best wishes.