Living in one small "inter"national family where the inmates visit home once a year for a month, i was in for a pleasant surprise when i visited one of my husband's friend today. Razack is a Superintendent working with my husband who visits home once a year. All these poor "Gelf" employed men visit home once a year, picked up from airport by a battalion of uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters. Zack is no different. Every time he comes home, a tempo traveller picks him from the airport. We visited Zack's newly built home today. His is a joint family of three siblings and their families, living in a two bedroom house along with their aged mother. The shrill laughter of the children- four of them playing greeted us from outside. All the four women of the house were busy cooking and the menfolk were taking care of the outdoor construction work. Remember, this is a normal day in their house.
I always have deep respect for Muslim families who live together, having seen many such loving families whose men are employed abroad. This particular family has completely withstood the test of time, held together by the guidance of the widowed mother and the siblings' commitment to live together. There may be some hiccups like in every family, but so overpowering is the sense of belonging among the little ones who call each other and hold hands, play together. May be i learnt a lesson from the little ones. The chit chat of the women cooking and the men talking lingers in my mind as i write this. Being a 'solitary reaper', i left their family with a heavy heart. A stoic silence envelops my living room as i enter my home and i say to myself my own slogan for the umpteenth time- "There is nothing that money can't buy, for everything else, there is Mastercard!"