Up until our grandparents’ generation, innumerable families in India preferred to remain in a close-knit joint-family setup. But as the years go by, many people prefer the nuclear-family setup – a couple and their kids. Like everything else in the world, there are pros and cons to both. Those brought up in a nuclear family will speak of the freedom and space they got while those who grew up in joint families will speak of the amazing times they had with their cousins.
However, the Doijode family living in Maharashtra’s Solapur is unlike anything we have heard or seen before. Their entire family has 72 members and all of them live under one roof!
According to India Today, the family, who has a trading business, is originally from Karnataka and they moved to Solapur 100 years ago. Four generations of the family are currently living together, from great-grandparents to kids.
Here’s what their day-to-day life looks like. Every day for breakfast, the family needs at least 10 litres of milk and for lunch, they eat Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 worth of vegetables. Non-vegetarian meals are 3-4 times more expensive.
“We buy a year’s worth of rice, wheat and pulses; around 40 to 50 sacks. Since we need such big quantities, we buy wholesale so it’s affordable,” said Ashwin Doijode, a family member, during a BBC interview.
Living with such a huge family is comparatively easy for those who are born into it. However, the women who married into the family find it difficult to cope initially but later, they adapt to the setting.
“Initially I felt intimidated by the scale of this family. But everyone helped me. My mother-in-law, sister and brothers-in-law helped me settle down,” said Naina Doijode, a daughter-in-law.
Aaditi Doijode, one of the kids in the family, expressed that they never felt the need to go out and play with friends because there were so many kids in the house itself.
The Indian Express quoted her saying, “When we were kids, we never had to go out to play. We have so many family members and that has made us bold enough to speak with anyone else. My friends are amused to see so many people staying together.”
Even though living with so many members comes with its own set of difficulties, lucky are those who get to experience such a family. Don’t you think?