Broken Bones to Broken Heart: My Family’s “Thuk Patti” Quick Fix for Everything

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Broken Bones to Broken Heart: My Family’s “Thuk Patti” Quick Fix for Everything

Illustration: Akshita Monga

“T

huk Patti” is an urban Indian slang for a temporary solution or a half-assed way out of distress. Literally, it translates to “spit bandage” – from the myth that spitting on a wound will momentarily make it better. It is what “but we can still be friends” is to every teenage break-up or what a Netflix subscription is for a single person on Valentine’s Day. Or any day.

When my father and his two brothers got married and had children, each of these three micro-family units decided it was time to move out of our grandparents’ large home. In India, whether you are 25 or 52 years old, if you abandon your parents’ home, all of society looks at you the way the Catholic church looked at Galileo in the 17th century.

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