Jamai: The son in law.
Sashthi : Sixth day of the lunar calendar.
Jamai-Sashthi: The day the Jamai (son-in-law) is made to feel like the King of all he surveys by the mother-in-law.
While travelling through the city recently I couldn’t help but notice that a prominent retail brand has put up hoardings on the occasion of Jamai sashthi, asking what kind of a “Jamai” are you? The good, the bad or the ugly?
And I asked myself, does it really matter? Because it is like Christmas, with assured gifts. I mean, the kids are often told they won’t get any goodies from Santa if they have been naughty through the year. However, such a marking system does not exist for the sons in law. Of course you may find a dish or two less on the table, or there also have been occasional reports of that fish curry being excessively hot, but then such forgettable incidents are never the norm.
It’s a day you get pampered irrespective of your progress report. And you are even questioned beforehand on your choice of dishes.I have managed to sneak in outrageous demands like an all Italian cuisine, and even got it.
But you need to be very meticulous about the way you go about it. You need to drop gentle reminders starting two to three weeks before the event, lest the in laws forget.
“Er, what is the 10th, a Friday or a Saturday? Had a meeting coming up….”
“Oh! The fish market is on fire all week. Can’t understand why….” kind of subtle I mean.
But, as the day approaches, the prices of all meat and even veggies indeed go through the roof, so you do need to drop in those lines out of your concern for your in-laws’ pockets.
And, if you are the perfect gentleman, you should also get gifts for them. But more often than not, it is done at the behest of your wife. Who, unfortunately, cannot see the significance of such an occasion.
“An utter waste of time and energies,” is what she quips. She squirms and frets all day long as you get to drool over the platter offered to you. You even get fanned by your in-laws, which in fact, forms a core part of the customs.
Having some Gelusil tablets in the morning also helps. After all, you need to clear up all that has been served.
“Aar khetey parchina,” is not an endearing thing to say, after your In laws have been toiling since the last twelve hours to serve up that platter.
But every dog has its day. And the prudent ones enjoy it to the fullest. Because waiting 365 days for the next requires a lot of patience.
(Archya, in his own words, is the trying-to-be-global bangali babu, who is attempting to carve out a niche for himself in blogosphere, having had mixed results in Medicine Practice. In short, a struggling artist.
For his other articles on Blong…Shong, Click Here)