Q: Dear Nicky, I’m a Sindhi Bhaiband girl in love with a Sindhi Larkana boy. My parents are against us getting married because they want me to marry a Bhaiband. Apparently they are of higher class or something. Please tell me what I should do? Isn’t being Sindhi all that matters?
Bhaiband Girl, Bombay
Dear Bhaiband girl,
“Don’t we all look for love at the end of it all? Doesn’t love erase all caste, boundaries and differences?”
Ok, let’s stop dreaming and get back to reality.
You see, there are different types of Sindhis. It’s not about which is superior or inferior, it’s just about coming from different places and different backgrounds. Bhaibands were usually the traders and Larkanas were the educated ones and got good jobs. They did very well for themselves. In the olden days it was about getting married to the same status in which you were born but times have changed now. Today Bhaiband Sindhis are getting good jobs after their education and Larkana Sindhis have their own businesses as well so there is not much of a difference anymore in the status. In the end, it all comes down to being comfortable and the decision is yours. It’s up to you to sit down with your parents and reason out your differences with them in a calm and civilized manner. You shouldn’t make the decision of choosing your life partner based on love only – that happens only in Hindi movies. If he is from a good family, doing well for himself, and will be able to take care of you, then try to explain to your parents all that. If he’s still not yet working and can’t support you, or has no family business to fall back on, then I’d suggest you listen to your parents and do as they advise.
Q: Dear Nicky, I am a 26-year-old woman. Before I got married my husband and I dated for a year. It has been five years since we have been married. Immediately after the marriage, I realized what completely different people we are. My husband can be very mean at times and only shouts. He is mean to the kids and after only fifteen minutes of spending time with family, he makes a big deal of it. I feel so helpless lately.
From: Vechari, Chicago.
They usually say women are hard to understand even though men are equally difficult to understand. Everyone needs someone to vent out on. In this case, it is your family that your husband is using. It could be that his work is very stressful which is leads to his anger outbreaks. After 6 years of knowing him, I’m sure you pretty much know how he would react to certain things.
After some time though in a marriage, things start to get very monotonous and routine. Everyday seems to be the same and there is no more excitement in your day-to-day life. Try to change things around the house to more of your husband’s liking. Make your home someplace where he can be more comfortable. If you know that he likes watching TV, lighten his mood by turning on a game or some comedy so both of you can sit and watch together. Try to have your kids in bed early so he can get some peace of mind with some silence. Get on his good side even if it means sucking up to him, it would be worth it. Be more loving and understanding. Every man is a child himself and needs constant attention, so treat him like one and make sure he doesn’t know what you are doing. Maybe you have been too busy in your daily routine and that is affecting him. Talk to him and find out what is bothering him. On the weekends, do the things he wants to do. Doing this for some time will make him feel better; a marriage is about sacrifices after all.
Q: Dear Nicky, I recently got married but have been living away from my parents since I went to college, although I visit them regularly. I currently live in Hong Kong and my parents are staying in India. I feel guilty that since I’m the only son/child, my parents are living alone when they should be with us. I’m undecided whether I should ask them to come live with me. I would like them to be here while my kids are growing up. I’m in a moral dilemma and since I’ve had proper Sindhi values instilled in me, I feel guilty all the time. Please advice what would you would do in this situation?
From Only Son, HK
Dear Only Son,
This is a tough decision to make. There are a lot of factors that should affect your decision.
a) Are you able to afford it? Hong Kong is an expensive city to live in. You should work on your finances and see if you can afford it.
b) Does your wife get along with them, and is she nice and understanding enough to make the sacrifices it takes to live in a joint family? It can be hard living with in-laws in this day and age. 80% of women do not get along with their mother-in-laws and will never really get along with them.
c) Will you be able to handle the extra responsibility of taking care of them all the time? It’s a full-time affair to take care of family especially after you have been living away from them for some time.
d) Are you close to your parents? I am sure you are since they brought you up well. Only a person with good upbringing and values would consider their parents’ feelings. I’m proud of you.
e) Are they willing to live away from India? Most people are very accustomed to living in India. My parents, for example, won’t even think of living away from the conveniences that Pune have to offer them even though I’ve told them to live in Dubai with me.
If all these criteria are in the positive, then only should you ask them to come live with you. If not, you can visit them often. Come via Dubai and bring me Char siu (pork on rice).