The Perfect Mother-In-Law

It was during my initial days in Chennai that I met Revamma* at Tambaram. My friend took me to her house as I was searching for a paying guest home. She looked like any other woman of the age 60 years. There were a lot of confusions inside me after seeing her. She seemed very strict and for somebody like me who live without any discipline, staying with her and the family didn’t sound like a good idea.But, my situation was so crucial that I badly wanted a place to stay.

(Here onwards I will be addressing her as Aunty.)

While walking back after giving the advance amount, I shed my worries to my friend. The family is very big consisting of eleven people – Aunty,Uncle,their four sons, Uncle’s Mother, Uncle’s niece, wives of first and second sons and the new-born of first son. Only the elder son, his wife and second son’s wife know to speak in English. Those days, I didn’t know Tamil and these people spoke Telugu at home. This home was only a temporary escape from the jail like hostel I was staying for the first one month of my job. Though reluctantly, I still moved in to their place. I was given a room which had a different stairway from theirs.

I moved in on a Saturday and next morning, as usual, I over slept. According to the deal, the family would be giving me food too. Waking up at 11.30 in the morning and asking for breakfast seemed a very bad idea. So I again slept to wake up at 3 PM when Aunty banged on my door. She said something to me and I understood it like “Please brush your teeth and come for lunch”. After refreshing myself I went to their house and I saw a crowd there. This is the problem when we grow up in a nuclear family and have not seen anybody other than your parents and sibling. I was seeing the complete family for the first time. Aunty and Paattima(Uncle’s Mother) were having lunch at the dining table. Rest of the folks was sitting on the mats spread on the floor. I was in confusion where to sit but when Aunty told me to sit on the chair next to hers I obeyed like a good girl.

That was the first and last day I felt strangeness about the family. Aunty adopted me as her daughter as she doesn’t have one. We had language issues but still we communicated and laughed out for jokes. They educated me on Tamil and Telugu movies. Altogether the family was a completely happy family.

Aunty stole my heart for various reasons.

She kept a very good rapport with her daughters-in-law. There were no rules kept for them. Three of them would go out for a walk in the evening. Aunty has no hesitation in serving food for them. The first DIL** told me that she didn’t want to go to her house during the 7th month of pregnancy. She did so only because of her family nagged her. I felt so happy when I heard both the DILs told me that they liked Aunty so much. I understood that it is true in my one year’s stay at their place. Aunty never made a fuss about the DILs taking afternoon nap. When she wants coffee after the nap, she prepares it by herself. She is very considerate when the DILs are having their periods, allowing them to take rest. Those days she cooks for all of us without any complaints. I regret for not taking that rare moment in the history of MILs*** and DILs in India. Both of the DILs don’t know to wear sari. They would stand in front of Aunty like obedient kids and she would make them wear it. The rarest scene I am talking about is Aunty kneeling down on the floor to correct the DILs’ sari fall. I wonder whether there is any MIL in India who would do so.

I respect her for bringing up her sons teaching them every household work. Though the first two sons are married, they both wash their plates after meals. All four of them know to cook, clean the house and wash clothes. They are a middle class family but Uncle and Aunty, though they are not educated, have brought them up well.

Once, her second son went for a movie with his friends without taking his wife. He didn’t take her because he and his friends had some plans after the movie. The second DIL felt little sad about it and you know what Aunty did? We, ladies in the house, went for the same movie next day. The DILs go out with their friends, their friends come home and everybody likes Aunty so much. When the second DIL became pregnant, she refused to go to her house for the delivery. She said that she is happier here than at her own house. But, Aunty told her to go. It was a surprise for me to see Aunty calling up the second DIL daily.

My mind was full of prejudices before moving in thinking whether Aunty would watch my moves and schedules. But, as long as I update her whether I would be there for dinner or not, she hasn’t controlled my lifestyle in any way. She has never asked where I am going or with whom I am going out. She never made comments about my schedules or clothes. In fact, there were a couple of times when I actually hugged her and cried because of some issues at work.

When people around me burst my ear drums with horrifying stories of their MIL, Revamma is a Goddess.

*Not the original name

**Daughter – in-law

*** Mother-in-law

Distance From BETI to BAHU

Some daughters are lucky to have a wonderful father.He would love her,pamper her and support her very decision.He would bring her up with so much freedom and liberal views.I know such a father since 10 years.Her daughter,6 years elder to me,has done everything that an orthodox Kerala must have not even thought about.She was studious,assertive,bold,travelled alone,married an English guy and now settled in London.

I have always looked upon this father with so much respect that I have felt at times that even my father drew inspiration from him on matters related to me.He would tell everyone that girls are asset to a family.

My heart made arguments against him after I met his son,who is 3 is elder to me,couple of weeks back.He has been a very smart guy since I have known the family.He wanted to marry his girl friend who was with him in one of the top management institutes in India and the father went against his decision.

His girl friend is smart,intelligent,studious,social drinker,modern,atheist and very liberal in her views.She cooks terribly,sings well,holds a fat check job like the guy but she is not a Keralite.

The reasons which his father put forward to cancel the marriage did depress me a lot because I always thought he would treat both his beti and bahu the same.His dream bahu should be

1)not-so-smart-not-so-intelligent(WTF!!His daughter is smart and intelligent.What is wrong in being a smart and intelligent girl?)

2)a good cook(I have never seen his daughter entering in the kitchen and from the Facebook photos,I guess her English husband does most of the household work)

3)traditional and god-fearing(What is his problem with her religious views?Traditional means she should wear sari and walk around?)

4)non-drinker(His daughter drinks,so why such a constrain on the bahu?)

5)holding a small job so that she has time to look after the house(His daughter holds a very high place in a world-famous MNC.If you need somebody to look after your house,get a maid)

And when the guy argued with the father,he replied that beti and bahu are not the same. :-0

Finally,I realized the difference between beti and bahu are not just three letters but much more than that.

Poor guy!! 😦

Edited and updated : The guy is marrying somebody else after emotional pressure from his family.So no point in telling anything now.Forgot to add this piece.Thus it proves that in India even guys are not allowed to take a decision by himself,when it comes to marriage 😦

*Beti – daughter

*Bahu – daughter-in-law

Ladies Special – Part 2

This happened two months back..It was a bad day 😦 for everyone i guess..

I got up late..skipped my dosa..:( fought with another lady to get an auto to the railway station..I had to run like PT Usha to get inside the inside the general compartment as train was already on the wheels..then had to get down at the next station and run to the ladies compartment in the beginning of the train..

By the time I found a seat for my bum,I was exhausted..It took 4-5 minutes for me to come back to the normal bp plot..

Savithri aunty got inside the compartment when Chromepet station was reached..This very active gang leader was having a shadow of sorrow on her face..It was very obvious from her face that she has cried a lot last night and more than being sad she was angry with someone..I was distracted by RajaAmmal aunty all in sudden..she came like a storm to Savithri aunty and asked whether what all she had heard was true or not..

I got interested in the topic..some saas-bahu(mother-in-law – daughter-in-law) problem has happened..may be something like the usual soap operas..But by deciphering their Tamil,I could make out that it’s not the usual fight but something very serious..RajaAmmal aunty was staring at me thinking that I am trying to overhear their seeing this I looked the roof of the train..looked left then right,then opened my bag as if I had to take something from it..he he 😀

Once the whole gang came in,I understood the problem..

The main cause was that Savithri aunty’s daughter-in-law is very possessive about her son it seems..Her complaint is that now son is spending more time with daughter-in-law than with her..A fight happened and of course the son defended his wife and they decided to move out of the house..

I was just pondering over this issue..I have heard about this very “special” fights from the childhood..But since I am not that big enough to give a lecture on this matter I will tell you my opinions..

1)Guys love their mom

2)Savithri aunty should look back 35 years and should think how possessive she must have been when she got married to Mahalingam uncle..Aunty should try to understand that the bonding between her son and daughter-in-law is as strong and important as how it is with aunty and uncle.Not even thinking hard she would be able to remember that the same cause must have happened in her life too and they must have moved in to another house due to this..

3)The daughter-in-law should try to understand that like how much she wish to be with her mom,her husband is also wishing to be with his mom..Howmuch ever she try,she can NEVER give the love of a Mom.

4)The son should try to realise that her Mom is not a super natural one and is just another female..She too possess all good qualities and bad qualities..If he is making fun of his wife about being jealous and selfish,then his mom also possess the same characteristic in more or less quantity..The faster he realises the truth,the faster the peace in the family..

PS:I hope now Ekta Kapoor doesn’t come up to me for tips 😉 😉 😉 😛