For the last few days I have been stumped and confused. The reason for the confusion is a simple phrase which I have heard several times before. The general meaning of this phrase is "it is a similar story prevalent everywhere" and the literal translation is "every house has a doorstep" or in Tamil "Veetukku veedu vasalpadi". The only context under which I have heard this is when a complaint about a family member or in particular, a daughter in law, is lodged to a neighbor or friend. That neighbor or friend would then nod their head giving assurance and comfort to utter this phrase .There may be other circumstances under which this phrase is uttered but so far I have only heard it in this particular way. Now the confusion I have is not in understanding the phrase but about the doorstep itself. In which way does this small, insignificant cement structure play a role in getting admitted into this phrase? What does a doorstep and a complaint regarding a daughter in law or a family member have in common? I feel I need to know as my head is bursting. Why not say "every house has a door or wall or window?" It is not as if people trip and fall on the doorstep. They very well by now, unless they are under two years old, know that there is a little step and they have to either lift their foot and cross it or step on it to get inside any house whether it is theirs, or a friend's or a relative's. If the doorstep is regarded the same as a prevalent problem or a hurdle, why is there a custom of putting rangoli on it? When I was a new bride, my mother in law used to insist that as goddess Lakshmi resided in tha "vasalpadi", it was imperative to put rangoli on it in addition to the floor in front. It seems that the more practical purpose of the "vasalpadi" is to serve as a gap preventer between the main door and the floor so that creepy, crawly things are kept in check outside the door. So even being an insignificant piece of cement structure, the "vasalpadi" seems to serve more than one purpose. Then why does it get the harsh treatment of being compared to a grievance or problem that seems prevalent in homes or in a society?