Of meddling mums / broken marriages
Marriages are quite often broken by interfering mothers! They hate to let go their hold on their birds and want to clip their wings at every stage.
Let’s tackle the man’s mother first. Her dearest wish is to see her son married and she takes a lot of trouble finding the right bride for him. Once the bride enters the home, she is subjected to various restrictions. Mum-in-law frowns on her ‘bahu’ locking herself up with her hubby and advises her to be more discreet.
“You know how people talk!” The other day Mausi had come in the afternoon and you were with my son in the bedroom. Mausi was shocked! She kept saying ‘Aaj kal ki bahuein don’t have any sharam’. So, please don’t do things like that again”!
The poor girl has no choice but to spurn her amorous hubby’s advances next time. This extends to outings in the evenings, mode of dress, everything. The husband wants his wife to dress in the latest outfits, cut her hair and look glamorous and go out with him. But what will ‘Mausi’ say — or so the mother couches her own objection! This is to make sure her son does not blame her! Soon the poor boy feels' frustrated, and starts admiring other well dressed women and blames his wife for her old-fashioned outlook.
The wife’s mother contributes in another way. She keeps advising the daughter to have her own way with hubby and gives tips on how to go about it. “Tell your husband not to smoke” or “Why should you be hospitable to his relatives” or “Put your mother-in-law in her place” ... all this can interfere in the smooth sailing of an otherwise happy marriage.
Women have this perverted tendency of not wanting to see other women happy. In 99 per cent of cases, it is the female relatives who create problems in a wedding. “Arre! What a church mouse you have chosen for a daughter-in-law! Not even a pair of diamond earrings!” “What a sparse collection of silver vessels”! “No furniture! Not even a dressing table?’1 They go on and on.
They don’t realize that they are in no way affected by the bride bringing bounty with her or not. Naturally, the mother gets upset as she feels her ‘nak’ has been cut in her circle of relatives. Even though she herself does not aspire for much, she succumbs to the comments and starts tormenting the poor girl.
Mothers should realise that they wield a lot of influence on their children’s psyche — and channelise it, rather than exploit it. Educated bridegrooms meekly submit to the machinations- of their mothers and though they don’t believe in accepting dowry are forced to, all because the mother emotionally blackmails the son. Feeling too weak to protest and hurt her, he slinks away to wear his sherwani. After all, the poor boy has to stick by his mother who has sacrificed so much for him!
Let’s not blame the men. If there is a demand for kerosene and matchboxes, it’s thanks to scheming and sharp-tongued women. They don’t want to loosen the knot in the apron string. They want to have their daughter-at- law and eat her(or roast) too!