Thursday, April 9, 2009
She can never match up to me, ever!! Thoughts behind the sweet, welcoming words of the Mother in Law as the new bride steps into the household. Blushing feet pushing the metal container of rice to the floor and stepping into a world she has dreamt of since childhood. Amidst chaos and revelry, amidst conch shells and auspicious rice, amidst mantras and jokes, amidst the young and the old, two pairs of eyes, watching each other, judging, guaging, smiling, nodding, obeying. The man blissful in his ignorance will always remain a spectator to the unfolding drama.
A few months later
The enamored husband returns from work after a long day to be greeted at the door by the loving mother. She takes away from his hands the bouquet of roses meant for the wife and pleasantly puts it in a vase. What? what are you staring for? c'mon, upset about what? She's just helping, taking the load off her weary son's arms. What does the blushing bride do? you may ask, does she overlook this move? Does she stand behind mom-in-law and gawk? or better still does she rearrange her pallu and count the mosaic patterns on the floor? Ohh you gotta be kidding me..this is no saas bahu serial epitomizing values and courtesys, this is bloody life..you never let the mom-in-law win, ever!! Yah, now you get the picture, she takes the bouquet from the vase and leads the befuddled hubby to the bedroom, where she now places the flowers onto her dressing table and admires the blossoms with a victorious gaze. Yes Mam, she is a clear winner! its match point one love!!
Well into a few years of marriage.
The kitchen sees quite a few rounds of culinary delights each day.
Mommy makes traditional fare , a huge five course meal, no less.
Her son works hard and must eat well!
The food he has grown up on
His soul food, his comfort food, no one but mommy can make.
The bride blushes no longer,
She is equipped with recipes from the net.
Low cholesterol and Low fat is the mantra of the day.
Deep fry is passe and the ghee leaves the shelf,
olive oil is in and grilling is the modern way.
Soups and salads might make the elders wince
but a blushing look from the bride and the hubby is convinced.
Kids come into the picture and the boundaries are set.
If I could bring up this fantastic young man,
an epitome of virtue, a man I gifted to you,
how come you seem to fail in raising my grandchildren?
I lived in a joint family setup
adhered to the elder's wishes,
a tight financial condition and yet
managed to make my son what he is today.
You have it all, the money, the independence,
non-interfering in-laws, and yet you raise hell?
the young mother has her hands full,
two naughty kids and a MIL to boot!!
Parenting has changed and times also,
These are my kids and how to deal with them, I know.
Studies is only a part now, there are other things that make them whole,
Mental maths is not their only goal!!
You cant run the household, you make a mess of it.
There is so much of wastage,
does money come cheap?
My son toils each day to make ends meet,
Had I not been here, there would have been no savings,
be grateful that I am around to help with things
Your son toils no doubt
but so do I
There are chores outside the kitchen
that you wouldn't dream
I do the groceries and paying of bills
I teach the kids their A,B,Cs
There are accounts to be operated
And car pools to school
gone are your days
when just the kitchen ruled
you have lived your days
read books now
make a sweater if it pleases you
or join a club
let go of petty things
haven't you had enough??
Oh what do I do?
where do I go?
when my son doesn't want me anymore
the one that I have given birth to
is now a mere puppet
in the hands of this fool
When he has forgotten my blood and sweat
the nightlong vigils
the horlicks by the bed
how can I expect
to give me due credit
for his success?
Is this why I chose you?
brought you into my household?
that one day you will
show me the door?
I am not doing any such thing
Am just reminding you
that times are changing
You had your chance
and you have spent it
Now I run the show
You are welcome to stay
but my hands are full
Your ravings and rantings
must have to go
You are not indispensible
You must know!!
And still if you must
You may go
for things are not changing here anymore
and be prepared
for your son won't hold your pallu
saying, "Mommy, Don't go!"