If your father is poor, it is your fate, but if your father-in-law is poor, it is your fault. This reality of life, like many others, dawned on me quite late. It was the biggest mistake of my life.
Whenever I had to introduce my father-in-law in my circle, it was an embarrassing moment. I introduced him as an inspector while he was merely a havildar and in the next 20 years there was no hope of his being elevated to the post. It was then that I realised the difference between being the jamai of an ordinary citizen and being the damaad of a VIP.
In our culture, son-in-law is designated as jamai raja. He is the king in sasural, even if the sasu maa is a lowly clerk in some Lala's enterprise.
Even our jails are termed as sasural and the status of government employees is that of sarkari damaad (son-in-law of the government).
But if one is a rashtra jamai, things are quite different.
As Lord Krishna said about the soul that fire cannot destroy it, air cannot touch it, it is immortal and unaffected, it is also true of sarkari son-in-law in case one belongs to a VIP family. He is free to enter any 4G-8G-16G scams. No intelligence agency can question him.
Even the media is divided on carrying out sting operations, unearthing the deeds of the damaad, due to the fear of losing government ads. Leaders of all hues start a rescue operation in case there is even an iota of allegation against the powerful son-in-law in the firm hope of being highlighted in the media and finding a berth in the next reshuffle.
Such jamai rajas' sasurs may belong to any party, but sons-in-law get the VIP treatment everywhere. They need no naukri, no occupation. They are free of all such vagaries of life afflicting the common man. Such a damaad needs a semblance of an occupation so that the opposition does not question his profession. It may range from land business to real estate to importing defence items or mediating in government deals with foreign countries.
Pointing at the portraits of our great leaders and freedom fighters in a classroom, a teacher asked his primary-class pupils, "What will you be when you grow up?"
"Damaad, masterji," was the answer in unison.