10 things I hate about the joint-family system

Published: February 1, 2011
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.

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.

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.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Paras Vikmani
    Feb 1, 2011 - 4:02PM

    wht nonsense article!
    not xpected from ET to criticize koint family systemRecommend

  • Feb 1, 2011 - 4:22PM

    all can be settled smar tly while living in Pakistan. so don,t wory…Recommend

  • M Sharjeel
    Feb 1, 2011 - 5:16PM

    haha funny aspects….Recommend

  • Ali Hasan
    Feb 1, 2011 - 5:50PM

    Hah! Trueness!

    As always, readers don’t understand how it’s not meant to be the new bible. Carry on ET. Recommend

  • Hira Khatri
    Feb 1, 2011 - 5:55PM

    I’ve lived in a joint family for 24 years..
    the love and care you get in a joint family, you will never get in a nuclear family

    children in a joint family grow up to be responsible adults, and since you are living with your cousins the same way that you live with your siblings, you learn not to differentiate between them..

    but then again..it depends on the training your parents give you..

    in my case, i was taught to love my cousins the way i loved my siblings..


  • FB
    Feb 1, 2011 - 6:15PM

    waste of time. u should’ve scribbled it in your diary instead of sending it to a newspaper.Recommend

    Feb 1, 2011 - 6:19PM

    Man you really have issues! Move out!!!Recommend

  • ahsan
    Feb 1, 2011 - 6:25PM

    take it on a lighter note guys, Recommend

  • ahmed
    Feb 1, 2011 - 7:07PM

    Seems like the writer is explaining the things he hate while living with someone from other planet. I am living in a joint family system and I am pretty happy , and yes one thing more, i love my uncles, aunts, and my cousins and I consider them as my own siblings
    Atleast try to live happily, with clear heart with someone, you can expect the same from themRecommend

  • Amer
    Feb 1, 2011 - 7:12PM

    This is funny and I know what you are talking about! But it all depends on personalities and families etc.Recommend

  • Mohammad Irfan
    Feb 1, 2011 - 7:48PM

    @Paras Vikmani:

    Agreed with Paras VikmaniRecommend

  • Danish+S.
    Feb 1, 2011 - 9:02PM

    I don’t understand one thing, why do so many people get all worked up when they read a BLOG which deals with lighter side of life? Why should there only be “serious” or “depressing” news in a daily? This is entertainment piece guys, you’re in Life & Style section of the website. If you want something serious and gloomy, read the ‘home’ or ‘Pakistan’ section. Is our nation so entertainment deprived that they can’t even understand the difference between it and news? Recommend

  • Safwan
    Feb 1, 2011 - 10:36PM

    “And just like the Star Plus soaps tell you, in most cases it’s the chachi.”
    LOL!!! very interesting article. :-) I believe there are pros and cons, but advantages outweigh the downsides.Recommend

  • amir
    Feb 2, 2011 - 5:19AM

    Don’t know right or wrong but I lived in Giant Joint Family for 12 years and lemme tell you its a star plus drama 24/7. I’m sure my parents wouldn’t have separated if we lived as nuclear family !
    Some times its not worth to ridicule your life with people you can’t live !Recommend

  • Syed Abdul Basit
    Feb 2, 2011 - 7:13AM

    Yes, nice overview.. Every thing has its prons and cons like this.. Family system is fun. You never be alone even when u even want to be live alone. And when you living alone you are alone even you need some one presence. Family system always have funny things, drama and tragedy. Living seprate is just you. Family system may relaxe you as work is divided and any one who is free could do work but living seprately is your own, you have all responsiblity which some liked some take it as burden. Take your own decision as every one has different personlity and choices.Recommend

  • ABC
    Feb 2, 2011 - 9:50AM

    I am Living in a joint family .. but i think Joint Family is Blessings from GOD. Recommend

  • sarah
    Feb 2, 2011 - 4:50PM

    come on guys, give the writer a break, take it as detox reading!Recommend

  • M. H. Hussain
    Feb 2, 2011 - 4:52PM


    But honestly, the benefits of joint family system clearly outweigh its shortcomings.Recommend

  • Feb 2, 2011 - 4:54PM

    I would second Hira Khatri !Recommend

  • Wow
    Feb 2, 2011 - 5:44PM

    Nonsense article from a frustrated writer Recommend

  • Talha Khan
    Feb 3, 2011 - 4:53PM

    great work and seems all true. there are more bads than a good one in joint family.just live like a nature and u wil be happy.Recommend

  • Osman
    Feb 9, 2011 - 3:42PM

    Frankly, I hate my (dad’s) entire family and wouldnt visit them if someone paid me, let alone live with them. So, well done! There is nothing worse than insufferable relatives while growing up. Recommend

  • Hiba
    Apr 1, 2011 - 3:53AM

    You need to start writing well, before preaching such nonsensical values. Please move out. I doubt your cousins are happy to have you!Recommend

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