We recently took a holiday. While on holiday, what K loves the most is abusing.. er... using the underground metro system of cities. I like taking in the culture and noting the general behaviour of people. K says I stare at people :( I prefer to believe I observe ;)
One day we got into a train and there was a family. Mom, dad, a boy and a girl. The boy was seated on mom 's lap and the girl in a seat. The dad was standing. The father said in Hindi ' control main nehi hain dono, itna maroonga na main inhe ghar jaake! ' ( They are totally out of control. I am going to give them a good thrashing once we get back home) The mom sat, listening, gently stroking the head of her son. Moms - aren't they the peace keeping force all the time? The father's words did not shock me, they in fact rung a bell - the old school disciplinarian dads before the daddy cool cult came in :) I absolutely love the new gen dads who do so much more. But I was raised by one of the retro ones :) so I know one when I see one :)
Yet another time we went to a place which was up in the hills. The trains were once every hour and the journey to the main city was close to an hour long. At the station a family got in - mom, dad and two boys. There was no place to sit in the train. But there were a couple of steps on either side of the compartment. 4 steps! Problem solved for mommy! There was only 4 seats she needed! She made her sons sit on one side and she and husband were about to sit on other two, when a man came and stood on one of the steps. She told the husband 'usko excuse me bolo aur baitho na!' ( Say excuse me and sit down). Husband hesitated. She said the golden words, the man moved and they sat. But there was some more trouble in paradise. Someone had to use the steps on the other end and the elder son got up to make way. In the meanwhile his seat was usurped! (Boy we were having some musical step-chair going on there!) Elder did not mind and shared the step with his brother. Mom asked from the other end if he was OK. He replied yes. She went across the compartment to check. All the while her husband kept his hand on the step lest someone grab her step - chair!!
15-20 minutes later, someone near the mom was getting down. Even before the passenger could lift one half of her bottom, mommy had secured the seat! She at once called the younger one to take the legal seat :) Next station someone at the other end I.e the end where elder was still seated on a step got down. Someone quickly came and took the place. Mom from the other commented 'usko dikh nehi raha tha wo utarne wali hai? Kitna gawaar hai yeah ladka!' ( Didn't he realise she was about to get down? How rustic is he!)
K and I could not help but chuckle at all this. But what I also saw was protective matriarch. Society may be accept it, but just how willingly women take the responsibility of the whole family. Even if there are men!
People do not cease to amaze me. And such incidents just increase my marvel :)