How true! ‘Good fences’ have become a sort of a necessity these days, seriously! That’s why I really adore this quote from the poem ‘Mending Wall’ by Robert Frost. Here, I would like to share two of the many pesting conversations I had with relatives. I really appreciate their concern but too much of everything, even care, becomes suffocating.
A few weeks back, I had a conversation with an overbearing and over-argumentative aunt. After giving her usual opening lecture about the importance of marriage, she told me about another suitor. I am reproducing the entire telephonic conversation here-
Aunt: Beta!! I have something special for you!
Aunt: Guess beta guess!!
I: Some delicacy, may be?
Aunt: Ugh…I have a nice suitor for you! He is a very eligible boy.
Aunt: He is earning well and belongs to our community.
I: His qualifications?
Aunt: How do they matter? He is working.
I: Don’t you think I need to know his qualifications?
Aunt: But he is earning well so why do you need to?
I: A scrap-dealer also earns well and so does a drug peddler.
Aunt: God! These girls! He is an engineer, OK?
I: Which college?
Aunt (agitated): Arrey baba, tell me how does it matter?
I: It does, to me.
Aunt: That’s irrelevant, and now I’ll tell you about his family in brief. Actually beta, they are two siblings; their father remarried after the demise of their mother but the stepmother packed them off to their Bua’s place and since that boy does not like that Bua, he is staying separately for years but his sister still resides there. They are not on talking terms with their father who has three more kids with his new wife.
I (in horror): Seriously?
Aunt (elated): Seriously! See, no in-law tension too! I’ll send you his photo.
I: No need, I do not think I’ll go for this match.
Aunt: Why? What is the issue? Atleast see his photo once.
I: Why should I when I’m simply not interested.
Aunt (very annoyed): What is the matter, tell me now? Is the boy not working? He is. Is he not well educated? He is. The community is same too. Then why are you not ready? Tell meeee! Answer!! Atleast see his photoooo!
I (WTF?): Hmmm…okk…Oh! An urgent call is coming on the other line; I’ll ring you back shortly!
A cousin of mine shocked me one day by the display of her sense of responsibility towards me. She arrived at my place one afternoon and this happened-
Cousin: Yaar! Give me your photograph.
I: You have so many of them.
Cousin: They are all group pics but I require a nice one, a single pic.
I: Ok, click one then.
Cousin: No, in Indian attire, with proper expressions.
I: What for?
Cousin: I need it urgently.
I: First tell me the motive for I am getting a bit suspicious.
Cousin: I think you should get married now and I want to know in detail the type of boy you wish. Tell me now!
I: Hey, what is your problem?
Cousin: Arrey yaar, actually I am creating your matrimonial profile and for that, I need a proper shaadi-wali type pic. I feel it is the correct time for you to get married.
Cousin: Relax. Yup!
I: You did not even ask me? Strange!
Cousin: Do I need to take permissions for such day-to-day sundry things too?
I: Marriage is not a sundry thing. Are you nuts?
Cousin: Leave it. Pic?
I: You do not need to worry about my marriage and all, we can take care.
Cousin: See, I really care for you. I will create a profile and then we will scan the matches and would select the best one! I’ll provide my own contact number and only I’ll filter the matches.
I (WTF?): You don’t have to take such pains. Please go home and relax. Thank you.
There is a thin line between care and interference. When one’s patience is tested, only irritation and anger spill, leading to a friction in relationships. In this era, it is considered inappropriate to cross the limits and trespass into someone’s privacy, even in close relationships.