What kind of relationship did Rakesh's wife share with her father-in-law in "A Devoted Son"?

In "A Devoted Son," Rakesh’s wife does not share a very good relationship with her father-in-law. She keeps watch on the old man and makes sure, at the behest of her doctor husband, that he sticks to the rigid diet he’s put him on. To Rakesh’s father, Varma, it seems like his daughter-in-law is taunting him.

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Rakesh’s father, Varma, is a stubborn old man who doesn’t like too much change in his own household. But since his son returned home from the United States and got married to a local village girl, there’s been nothing but upheaval in his life, and he doesn’t like it one...

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Rakesh’s father, Varma, is a stubborn old man who doesn’t like too much change in his own household. But since his son returned home from the United States and got married to a local village girl, there’s been nothing but upheaval in his life, and he doesn’t like it one little bit.

Things get even more difficult for Varma after his wife passes away. His loss plunges him into a deep depression which Rakesh, a doctor, tries to ameliorate by putting Varma on a strict diet. The old man instinctively rebels against this lean regime and tries to get around the restrictions imposed upon him by his son by bribing his grandchildren into buying him sweets.

That he’s unsuccessful in his endeavors is generally down to Varma’s daughter-in-law. Though she keeps tactfully out of the way, it’s clear that she’s acting as a kind of spy for Rakesh, keeping an eye on the old man to make sure he doesn’t defy doctor’s orders.

Varma comes to resent his daughter-in-law’s presence. He can see her smirk sliding merrily through the air. He accuses her of taunting him, mainly because she didn’t bring him a piece of fried fish, as he asked her to. Varma is depressed enough as it is due to his wife's death, but the tensions between himself and his daughter-in-law are making him even more so. No wonder he doesn't want to live anymore.

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