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Khana Khazana

Dear Auntyji
Here is my problem. My wife cooks the most delicious food you can imagine – baingan ka bhoortha, aloo gobhi, mutton curry, fish in tamarind etc etc.

Each night there are leftovers and so I always take some to work the next day. I work at a very large engineering firm. In the past few weeks, I have found that my food has disappeared from the fridge at work! Looks like there is a chor at work and I am so upset about it that I have put up a notice and emailed people but no one admits to this.

Sometimes other people’s food gets stolen as well – but only mine gets consistently stolen. I have asked my wife to lace the food with zehar, with bhoot jalokia mirchi, but she refuses. I have tried to set traps by sitting near the kitchen and waiting for the chor – but no one has been caught by my jasoosi.

What would you recommend I do, Auntyji? My food is so delicious and each time around 1pm, when I make my way to the kitchen with a growling stomach, I am left despondent by the sight of a fridge pillaged of my meal. What to do Auntyji, what to do?

 

Auntyji says…
Oh my little petu, what to do with you? How do we know that at midday, you don’t make your own way to the fridge, eat the food and then forget about eating it, and then return at 1pm for seconds? Have you considered that the chor might indeed be no other a petu than you?

If your wife is cooking you such delicious meals, then you are a very fortunate man indeed. You have indeed been blessed with everything wonderful in this world.

So here is my question to you. If you are so blessed and lucky, have you ever considered giving some prashad, an offering to those who have less than you?

Have you ever thought that perhaps it’s time you shared things you have? This person who takes your food could have a host of reasons why they take your food, but why not simply get an extra serve each day and let them have it?

Of course, I would recommend that you get a little chiller bag and keep your food in there on your desk, in your sight during the day. And leave a serve, some prashad for the food god in the fridge.  This is the only way to deal with the issue.

And no, you should not consider putting bhoot jalokia chillies in the bhojan for a stranger. Remember, what goes around, comes around.

****

Saas Bahu aur Saazish

Dear Auntyji
I am 25 years old and have been married for three years.

From the day I found out that my mother-in-law did not think I was good enough for Vicky, I have had problems with her. She is nice to my face and all that, but I can’t forgive her for thinking I was not good enough. Vicky is the sweetest husband any girl could ask for and he is always loving and attentive. And I think I am so lucky to have a husband like that.

The problem is the in-laws have come to visit for six months and they are living with us. Because I don’t like my MIL, I have started working late and try to avoid being home. Vicky has started asking questions about why I work so late but I just make excuses about projects.

Auntyji, things are getting a little stressful and I feel bad about not spending time with Vicky, but I don’t like being around my MIL. I am polite to her and all that, but since my aunt told me before my marriage that my MIL did not think I was good enough for Vicky, I have disliked her.

Can you please give me some suggestions about what I should do?

 

Auntyji says
My, you are a stubborn little wench, aren’t you? You have based your entire relationship with your beloved’s mother on hearsay. How do you know she actually said that? And what of the evidence that you are there now, married to Vicky? Don’t you think that if your MIL had issues with you, that you wouldn’t be married to Vicky at all?

As I see it, you have made a mistake. You say that you love and adore your husband, but I fail to see evidence of that where it counts. How can you love Vicky, but not appreciate his parents, especially if she is not a tyrant and does not appear to mistreat you in any way, other than through some baseless allegation that happened years ago?

So, if I were you, here is what I would do. I would start by demonstrating to Vicky, how very much I love him, by being absolutely wonderful to his parents. He will love you even more for that.

It won’t take much effort from you, but all you have to do is forget about what might have happened or what might have been said in the past, and look to your future. This is the lady who raised your hubby. Show her the devotion that she showed Vicky when he was young.

Learn to be nice to your MIL – clearly she has no issues with you. One day, she is going to be the grandma of your kids. Do you want your kids asking you why you don’t like their grandma? Or, if you have a son of your own one day and his wife hates you, how would you like that?

If you really love Vicky, then start demonstrating this in your actions. Make a vow to yourself that you will be a nicer wife and an even better DIL. You will find that your life becomes immeasurably better when you learn generosity of spirit.

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