On handling the samdhis

After the last computer crash I gave up all hope of having any pictures of the kids pre-2009 February.  Until I realised today that my gmail account was full and I needed to start deleting. As I went through old mail I found a lot of pictures that I’d been clicking and foisting on to unsuspecting relatives. The first among friends and family to have a baby I had no idea how annoying it could be and to their credit nobody replied telling me to shove it up. So here’s a shout out to those who know me in the real world and might have old pictures that I mailed them ( unless you printed them out for dart practice and deleted the mail)  – pliss to be mailing me any old pictures you have of me and my beloved rats. I will be eternally grateful.

Anyhow… while scrambling around in the inner recesses of the inbox I came upon a gem my father sent to me and my brother and the OA. This was around the time my brother got serious about his now wife. Apparently I had a conversation with my father that left him rather shaken. Whereupon he woke up next morning and mailed us this piece, that begged a larger audience. My brother is happily married and on most days my mother has a better relationship with his wife than with me. God bless them. So I guess its safe to air this gem now!

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One of the signs that you are ageing is when you start getting frequent advice from your children, particularly if they are daughters. Now take last night for instance – I get a call from my daughter that since the other child, her beloved brother “may be thinking” of getting married to a girl he is presently friendly with, we better take some advice from her about handling the situation. The “maybe thinking” is delicately put as one has to be careful in forming an opinion in these situations where the kids are concerned.  Handling the situation could mean anything from “don’t annoy him” to “don’t be too nosey about the girl”, but here it was specifically meant on how to handle the in-laws or “Samdhi’s as they are called in this part of the country.

I was frankly taken aback and was scanning my brain to check if I had said anything rude or behaved badly with her in-laws when she got married a few years ago. But before check disc had even started she shocked me with her next sentence, saying that the wife and I were “too nice” “easy pickings” “push overs” etc etc. Her explanation was that if you are nice to the prospective in-laws they will think that you are dying to get your daughter or son married to their progeny and imagine that their son /daughter was too good for your son or daughter or worse still, something is genetically wrong with your kids. I began to defend our attitude with a “who cares what they think anyway” when she jolted me with an accusation that the other side probably takes your friendliness as weakness and gives them latitude to be nasty to your kids. This philosophy was as clear as mud to me, but then who’s to argue with the daughter, huh?

So the wife and I have started to practice being nasty. Fortunately it’s a little easier for her, but poor me is going to find it difficult to drop my 50 odd years of gentlemanly upbringing and get down to street level. Added to that is my deep aversion to religion and caste, to colour and cash – particularly the first two. Hey, as long as the girl or guy they want to marry is a genuine person and has a good heart, nothing else matters. As long as they love each other and he or she is going to make our son/daughter happy, we are prepared to be nice to the devil himself. That’s the way the wife and I think – but then do we dare ignore the daughter’s advice? So the friendly old pushovers are now busy planning our nasty strategy – I mean getting real mean.

1. For starters we are going to ignore the other side – they don’t exist.

2. When we finally condescend to acknowledge their existence we shall “consider” if we should actually meet them or not.

3. If we do get past that stage, we would then agree to meet them for a cuppa. We shall then dilly-dally over the venue. Definitely not their place – good heavens, no -we can’t risk being seen in that part of town. The club would be out of the question- can’t let the rest of the members snigger behind our backs. Maybe at a discreet restaurant on the outskirts of town.

4. Once at the restaurant we would not discuss “the matter” at all.  We would talk mainly about how terrible the tea is and how soggy the sandwiches are and leave, apologizing and saying that we had to get back quickly as our pet stray dog would be getting lonely by now.

5. After agreeing – very reluctantly- to a second meeting (definitely not at that teerrribble restaurant) we would then invite them home for dinner. After making sure the expensive carpets were rolled away we would then put out a seven course dinner and then embarrass the hell out of them with the long line of cutlery.

6. Now when we have them grovelling at our feet,  we will start on all the reasons why we find the connection unsuitable. They belong to the wrong religion, are of an inferior caste and are probably after my money (which I have very little of anyway) etc…..

If after all this they still want to marry each other then the best of British luck to them. My wife and I shall definitely not be gracing the wedding – probably be a bloody shoddy affair anyway. Now that should sure make their married life a whole lot better and earn us a whole lot of respect. So bring on the Samdhi’s – this time around we are ready.

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Needless to say – the letter is a joke and my parents were extremely nice to the samdhis. But we did get a good laugh out of the letter!

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41 thoughts on “On handling the samdhis

  1. Uncle writes so much better than you! Not to mention a sense of humour that is a million times better.

    (Oh sorry, million times zero is still zero. But you get the drift, right?)

  2. What else do you have in that inbox of yours? Please bring them to your blog 😉 I can see where you get your writing skills from. Was smiling all the way thru. A very good one Uncle. But, did you give him such an advice MM…can’t believe that though.

  3. Oh, this was awesome. This is what parents in our country do usually do to Samdhis in many cases. Both ways 😛
    You penned it so brilliantly, MM’s pa!

  4. your dad is so cute… you my girl are surely a chip off the old block…does he blog too??

    Me: nope. Although he should. he often writes to us – either long sensible mails (that usually offend me and I respond rudely) or such ridiculous ones. I do tell him he should blog if he has so much time and energy to spare on mails

  5. I guess it is universal. Daughters (especially if they are the first of the children) tend to advise, be bossy, be protective, tell things for their parents’ own good, are concerned about their younger siblings, try to take things in their own hands, and do all the things that only they (think) can do. After all this they become mute (I don’t know how you reacted!)witnesses to (such) mails or in other cases form the crux of humorous conversations! Good mail and thanks for sharing it!

  6. I wish I grow up to become as level-headed and with he sense of humor intact! Most people start out fine, but lose their wit and humor somewhere on the way! Awesome mail!

  7. LOL what a fab letter – can I adopt your dad 🙂

    Me: poppy – take him. like my kids, he’s a nuisance. And yes, in answer to the line you asked me to delete.

  8. Didn’t your mom beat him up for that line up there? “So the wife and I have started to practice being nasty. Fortunately it’s a little easier for her, but poor me is going to find it difficult to drop my 50 odd years of gentlemanly upbringing and get down to street level.”
    Dangerous stuff, MM’s Dad!

    Me: 🙂 she’s used to his nonsense. the household pretty much indulges him as the baby of the family with my brother being the most mature.

  9. Your dad writes so well..and humourous too..sounds v.v.cool and “adoptable”…I’m sure all your friends as well as your brothers’ adore him.

  10. LOL!

    Well, Uncle, take it from me, there’s being nice to samdhis and there’s being a doormat. Doormat does a lot of long term damage to your kids’ marriage. Yes, of course I’m another knowitall daughter speaking. 🙂

    Beautifully written.

  11. wht a great dad u’ve. but yes most of the people think being nice is being weak. n in alliances it also means being desperate to get ur ward tie knot with other person. in our country if u r rich u will be snooty n snobbish – gentle n gracious n accommodating people r middle class nobodys who can be walked over. learned it in the hard way! so cant blame u for advising dad on how to behave with samdhis.

    Me: Phew – thank you all of you who agreed.. Sue and the rest… because as you can see – he thought I was nuts 🙂

  12. you have a fun dad who writes very well….i read your comment to arundhati about your pops writing regularly to you and your brother…that is so lovely!
    my dad used to too and i miss his letters now. he stopped writing simply because letters often used to get lost in the mail..and he is not tech savvy (its hard to teach an 80+ year old)..so sorry no emails for him…but i do miss his writing.

    Me: my dad’s about 55 and not very tech-savvy. you should see my mom on the laptop and her blackberry and multiple cellphones though. admirable. on the other hand – do you think perhaps someone could help your dad? you know let him type it out slowly on a word doc and then mail it to you? I’d be devastated if I missed my dad’s letters and yes, the whole snail mail getting lost thing is very annoying 😦

  13. Your dad sounds super cool (did i tell you he looks a lot like mine? :))
    His letter reminds me of a couple of months back – I’d met this guy K, thru the whole arranged marriage route. Couple of weeks after meeting me, his folks sent my dad a letter (yeah, a letter, after having done most communication on phone, until that point) saying they are not interested in taking it forward. Guess what my dad did? He called K’s dad, cos he wanted to thank him for having got to meet him and wish them luck with everything!! I tried arguing with my dad, trying to convince him that they would absolutely not understand this mad-father.. and they didnt. K’s dad did not return my dad’s call. Dad finally mailed them!! A beautifully written mail. We got a meek response in return. Not that it matters one bit. But it sure made me look at my dad in a whole new light.
    And now, in retrospect, i realise, these are the things that make the Fathers, rock stars! 🙂

  14. It’s the same story here, I feel my parents are easy targets because they are so gentle with their samdhis, I’ve told my parents to give back as bad as they get, but “NO” they insist on being cultured and respectful, whatever it means.

  15. your dad is so cool…but sadly much of what you said was true…reading your in-law stories and so many others makes me feel so very lucky that my in-laws are so very nice

  16. Your poor dad! How you bully him!!

    BTW, if you are cleaning your gmail, check the Outbox – the attachments you mailed random folk must be there too. So you might be having copies of the pix you sent around the world.

  17. What a cute letter..

    Since you seem to be giving him away for adoption and I accept, can you please ask him if he wants to adopt me ?? 🙂 please ? i promise to be nice and sensible, unlike someone else i know..

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