Once in 8th grade, when my debating duties were aplenty, I had participated in one that pitted nuclear families against joint families. I was in favor of the virtues of nuclear family over joint families. It seemed a good choice then as I, myself, am from a small family. I remember the big 3-minute speech I prepared describing each and every way the nuclear family model was superior to the joint one. The main gist of it was nuclear families were cheaper and less of a hassle.

I didn’t win anything that day and was extremely disappointed. But the clear hero of the day was “The joint family”! I remember how indignant I felt when my choice was snubbed aside for the other. I was quite egotistical then. But now, having gathered a wise 18 years of life, I’ve come to realise that they were, in fact, right. A nuclear family is a rational choice for a growing economy and a peaceful household. But the warmth, nurture, and belongingness that a joint family can give are unparalleled. Because in a joint family you get to have many role models, many shoulders to cry on. You get to have a whole crowd of your own people that will be there when the times get rough.

It’s true what they say; blood is thicker than water. I know big families usually mean big drama. And it’s usually believed that friends are the family you choose and hence are better but sometimes big families mean big love. Sometimes all the drama gets cancelled out by the unconditional love we get in return. Sometimes the late night shenanigans with your cousins or the funny stories of the funny uncle seem enough. Sometimes families are tighter with more branches spreading out.