6. QUARRELSOME SISTERS-IN-LAW
During my visit to the Gulf I happened to meet one of my old friends. He was my associate in the student movement. He had left India for Gulf about twenty five years ago. Later we did not meet. His face reflected the mental problems which were perhaps a little more than that of his age. Hence I couldn't recognise him at the first sight. When we renewed the old acquaintance and engaged in friendly talk, I asked him whether it was time for him to bid farewell to the Gulf.
He said 'No, if I go home I will have no other go'
"Haven't you earned anything during your stay in the Gulf ?"
He said not even a house of his own. However I married off my four sisters decently without much problem. They are happy. So much I am happy. "He completed the sentence with a long sigh".
I asked 'What about the children?' All of a sudden I felt that my question had upset him. However it made me know another truth about him. He said “I married after my youngest sister was married off. My marriage took place vary late. Hence my children are all young.”
Hundreds of the youth of Kerala belong to the same category of experience in life. They work in Gulf suffering severe cold and heat silently, far away from their home. They put up with all adverse circumstances and the climatic conditions in the interest of their sisters; that is to make their life happy and secure. Many of the young people of our society remain unmarried simply because they want to fulfill their obligation to their sisters who are to be married off. There are hundreds of young men who wait until they fulfill their familial obligations. It is quite surprising that our society doesn't take interest in honouring or sympathising with the young men who sacrifice their golden youth for their sisters. Besides this type of care that men show towards the women folk of the society is hardly recognised or appreciated by money.
It would be appreciable if our women ask a few questions themselves in this context and try to find answers.
Do you thankfully acknowledge the service of the young men who have sacrificed their youth for you? Do you pray to Allah to make their lives free from difficulties? Do you long to see that the matrimonial life of your brother who aspired for a happy married life for you is happy? Do you pave the way for this? Do you express your thanks to your brother by behaving well to your brother's wife? Do you feel sympathy towards her whose husband has taken up sacrificial responsibilities for saving you and now she is feeling the grief of parting. Does your presence in the family create difficulties or happiness for the sister in law? Do you feel enmity or hatred when your brother speaks to her over phone or sends her messages or money? When he sends some gifts to her, how do you respond to and what do you feel? Do you feel that you must also get the considerations as your brother's wife is getting from him? or do you think that your brother who had delayed his marriage until you get married must be supported by all means to make his matrimonial life happy?
Do you go to your brother when he comes home and thank him for all the favours he had done to you. Were you upset when your brother entrusted the box he brought from Gulf to his wife? Did you have a desire that the box was to be opened in your presence and you were dejected when it desire was not materialised. Do you feel happy when your brother visits his relations, friends and kith and kin with his wife?
Did your sister-in-law ever feel unhappy at your instance? Did she feel sad and shed tears just because of you? Could you realize that any harm done to her was just a sufficient cause for the agony of your brother?
Do you, in remembrance of the gifts you received from your brother when you visited him give small token gifts to your sisters in law? Don't you wish that the sister in law should behave to you well and treat you decently? Did you ever desire that your approach to your sister in law should be noble and healthy?
You have to make self evaluation by asking these kinds of questions yourself and make necessary modifications in your behaviour and approach. If you do so you can save yourself from the cold wars going among the sisters in law, of course, an accursed feature of our society. If you keep yourself away from it you will be entitled to Allah's blessings and great rewards.