Saas, Bahu and Zaam

Sheru was stunned. A salad prepared by him eight years ago had gone to a buchi’s head.  She was unmarried then.  Now she lives with her husband and two children. Before learning how this eight-year-old salad `helped’ the buchi, readers must know what it was all about.

A couple was getting ready for the marriage of a relative. The `generous’ husband asked his wife to give names of people she wanted to invite. She came up with a long list, much to the annoyance of the husband. They argued, and exchanged blows. It was getting late, and the angered husband went to bed. In the morning, the wife came with a cup of tea. The husband knew what was in store for him, but kept quite. He did not want to create a scene at a crucial juncture.

What is up darling?

The wife smiled.

“I have taken a decision and I know you will be pleased to hear it. Do not invite my relatives, including my devar and zaam.  Invite your sala, sali and their cousins.”

The husband was pleased. He smiled and went to the bathroom. While taking a bath, he realised what his wife actually meant, and muttered a moti si gaali. 

This is what  Sheru heard from an acquaintance. It was just a piece of fiction. But the buchi used this formula in real life. For a couple of hours she was able to fool her gullible husband. But, in the evening that day when the invitation cards were written, his wife’s suggestion wreaked havoc in the family. The saas and the zaams joined hands and cursed the buchi. The poor husband could not understand  why they were cursing his wife. Finally, his younger brother explained.

The enraged husband went to his room. His wife was watching a saas-bahu serial. He switched off the television. People below heard a loud noise. It was followed by a scream. A few moments later, the buchi came running out of her room.  She had her husband’s finger marks on her left cheek. Nobody came to her rescue. She left for her maika that very moment.

Finally the auspicious day arrived. Everybody was asking for the bahu. She was conspicuous by her absence. The saas could not tolerate this for long.

She called his son.

“Get the *#@* as soon as possible,” she ordered.

He left immediately, and after much coaxing and cajoling, managed to bring his wife.  But before leaving with her husband, she got some `valuable’ tips from her mother.

Celebrations ended a week later. The saas and the zaams expected her to leave for her maika. But she surprised them all by staying back, notwithstanding their grave provocation. She would work in the kitchen for a while and then go up to her room. She simply ignored the scornful looks her saas and zaams sent her way.

She wanted to play her cards at the right time. And one day, the appropriate moment came. She persuaded her husband to invite her father, mother, sisters and brother.

One fine morning, her husband went out. He brought home a chicken and several kilograms of mutton. There were some vegetables as well. He handed them over to his mother.

“Cook them nicely mom, I am expecting some guests today,” he said.

And when the guests arrived, the saas and the zaams almost fainted. But they managed to greet them with a smile.

The buchi and her esteemed guests had a hearty meal.

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