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Life reflections

#SoCS April 11/2020

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “joint.” Use it as a noun, an adjective, or a verb–use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

The word ‘joint’ reminds me of the joint family system which had prevailed in our country. In a joint family, the parents, their sons and their families, all lived together under one roof. I remember my paternal grandfather writing about his childhood in the early years of the 20th century, as part of a joint family. His parents , uncles, wives children all lived together in one house in their village. Work was distributed among the members. Women usually were immersed in house work from morning to night. Men worked in the fields or the areca garden. Children grew up amidst all this. They helped their elders, went to the village school and enjoyed a great deal of freedom. He also writes how the property was divided among the three brothers in the first decade of the 20th century.

But the joint family system started really breaking in the 1970s and by the eighties there were very few joint families, at least in our community. These days parents and one son or daughter and family may live together but siblings and families do not live together under one roof.  But as I wrote the last sentence, I just remembered there is a joint family in our neighbourhood. Parents, their two sons and families are living together under one roof. But the elder son is planning to get a house constructed on their land next to their house in the coming year.

My husband grew up in a joint family. In 1971 my father-in-law got a house constructed and shifted there with his family. There were many plus points in a joint family but the individual interests were submerged somewhere. The interests of the whole family was given more importance. The head of the family had to be an able leader to guide the whole family. He had to inspire respect and a little fear too. But when individuals of the family began asserting their freedom and did not want to bow to any one person, the joint family started slowly becoming a part of history.