1. The word ‘privacy’ does not exist in anyone’s dictionary.
2. The never-ending need to compare and compete with others in the home. Just because my dad bought a new car after five years, the very next week my chacha has to buy one too. Or face everlasting shame.
3. My poor mum slaves in the kitchen to prepare a fancy dinner since my dad’s boss is coming round tonight (new cars cost money and a raise is always nice), and my chachi invites her kitty party jing-bang over to take advantage of the food extravaganza.
4. I understand that you are my cousin and live two bedrooms down the hall but that doesn’t give you the right to sneak into my bedroom in my absence, raid my dressing table, use my hair straightener, damage it and conveniently place it back in my drawer, pretending nothing ever happened.
5. Sharing is caring — but only up to a point. After that things are just taken for granted and politics gets in the way of everything. Whatever happened to Hum Saath Saath Hain?
6. There’s always a villainous character stirring up trouble and creating misunderstandings in the family. And just like the Star Plus soaps tell you, in most cases it’s the chachi.
7. FYI… they happen to be your Dada and Dadi too. You’re the first to snatch Eidi from them. How about being the first to run their errands.
8. It’s your 18th birthday and you decide to invite your friends over for dinner, but just because you didn’t invite your phuppa ki khala ki bahu, the khandaan will make you miserable for the rest of your life.
9. Everyone lives together but eats at different times, hence the poor maid has always got dishpan hands.
10. The entire family goes to a restaurant and waits over an hour to be seated, simply because a ‘table for 17 people’ is not available!
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, January 30th, 2011.