An open letter from a mother to her newly married daughter-5
Training sons for marriage.
My dear Nimmoo,
The tension and excitement about the swine flu is over and life is almost normal once again.Hope you are all fine.
I want to share with you so many things.
Yesterday evening Jyothi came to our house.Jyothi is my little friend and chatting with her,playing with he drives away my blues.She is a bubbly girl who is about six years old.
Yesterday when she came to our house,she was not her normal self.Her face had become small and she was sitting quietly in front of the tv.I let her be.After sometime,she came to me and said,”Aunty,are boys more special than girls?”.
I said,”No,both boys and girls are equally important my child.why do you ask that question?”
She said,”Aunty,amma has given birth to a baby boy,no?My grand mother says,”Thank God, atlast God has been kind to her and has given her a son and not a daughter again.”I felt very sad,aunty.”
I pacified her and sent her home.But I have been thinkingabout this.
My dear Nimmoo,training for Jyothi’s younger brother has started right from now.He is being trained to be a pucca male chauvinist.When people at home, particularly the mother feels that she is more blessed to have a male child,her attitude towards her son and daughter does not remain the same.She is bound to give more importance, more attention to her son and this attitude will fan his self importance and he will grow up, believing that he belongs to a special species.Poor mother! she does not know that she has dug a deep pit of sorrows for herself, her son’s happiness and that of her future DIL.
This incident took me back to my younger days.I was a young girl studying in school and my brother was only two years elder to me.More than my mother,my grand nmother gave him so much of importance.When my father and my brother wee not in town ,my mother would make very simple food for the three of us ie my grandmother,me and herself.It was always rasam and roasted pappad.When I insisted on mother making some vegetables for me,my grandmother would shout.”Only we three women are there at home no?Why should we make subjis?This simple food is enough for we women.I used to cry sometimes, out of humiliation that I was considered a little less of a humanbeing by my grandmother and mother.This continued till I got married.I put an end to this practice when I became mother to a girl and a boy and have treated them and loved them showing no difference whatsoever.
Nimmoo I was amused and irritated at the same time, when I visited my elder sister’s house the other day.My youngest nephew who is working for an MNC was roaming around the house.wearing only his shorts,SHORTS my dear in the real sense of the word! Inspite of my being a mother figure to him,I was mighty embarrassed and imagine, I had to converse with him also.Then he went up and started exercising and I could see girls from the neighbourhood,some of them almost blushing scurrying down.
Nimmoo,my sister is a very strict mother.She would not allow her daughter wearing salwar kameez without a duppatta.Why is she not strict with her son?
I can see you smiling and thinking to yourself,”Oh dear,boys are like that!”But Nimmoo such boys who are not given proper upbringing grow up as insensitive men who do not care about other’s, particularly ladies’ feelings.I can give you countless examples, where such boys remain boys and never grow up, even whey get married.Their wives suffer,mostly in silence.
Radha,my cousin’s DIL visited us a couple of months back.I could see that she wanted to tell me something but did not know how to go about it.Finally she opened her heart to me.
She said,”Mami,Your nephew ie my husband Sundar is a wonderful husband.He is highly educated,he neve flirts,He is a genuine person.But my married life with him is miserable.I need your help.”
I kept quiet,she continued,”Mami,his personal habits are deplorable to say the least.Once he finishes eating,he leaves the plate as it is and gets up to wash his hands.I can’t bear to see his plate,it is always left in such a mess.He leaves the left over food in the plate itself and even washes his hand in the plate and walks away.I nearly vomit everytime I wash his plate.
I dread using the bathroom after he finishes using the bathroom.He always leaves the bathroom in a total mess,I just don’t want to go into the details,mami, for fear that you will retch.He leaves the soiled clothes on the bath room floor only,I have to pick them up and put them in the bucket that I have kept in the bathroom specifically for that purpose.
He is in the habit of wearing only his tight shorts ,with not even a banian on top .When my colleagues or friends or relatives come home also,he goes around the house in the same fashion.Well, I have stopped calling friends over for fear that both I and my DH will become the object of their ridicule.Her eyes had misted.
I asked her,”Why don’t you discuss these issues with him?Why don’t you tell him in a nice pleasant manner that these small things irritate you no end?”She said,”Mami ,I have tried telling him in many ways.But he never listens.He says,”Well, my mother never complained about such things to me.She never found fault with me.You are only making a big fuss about such small things.” I told her that she had to tell him that he was making it difficult for her to run a clean home and was also disturbing her mental peace.She nodded her head and went away.
After a couple of months she came to our house carrying a big bunch of flowers.”Mami,Sundar has changed a lot now, Mami.He has bcome such a sweet heart.He is a pucca gentleman now”and beamed.I was happy.How did this happen”.Radha sat with her husband and discussed these issues with him very patiently and in a very diplomatic at the same time in a firm manner.Sundar, by God’s grace is a really good heared boy,so he took his wife’s suggestions in the right spirit and miracles happened.Now Radha says that her husband is more house proud than her and it is a pleasure for her to call her and his friends home for dinner or snacks.He insists that they both clear up the kitchen, once the guests leave and leave the kitchen tidy and neat.
Radha is a lucky girl and she also took pains to approach this subject with her husband tactfully,without hurting him. If Sundhar was an obstinate person who never wanted his wife’s advice either both of them would be suffering in silence through out their lives or they would have separated.Wel,l you have to give credit to Sundhar’s parents that they brought up their son as a democratic person,respecting other’s view point and a humble boy who accepted his faults and was ready to correct them.
There are mothers who do not allow their sons in the kitchen.According to them,kitchen is not their domain.These mothers definitely don’t allow their sons to help their wives in the kitchen.”Why should he work in the kitchen?That is the wife’s work”Little do these mothers realize that they they are deprive their son and daughter in law the million opportunities to show their concern for each other and to bind well with each other.Such understanding and love between the spouses is worth all the millions in the world.Most sons also listen to their mothers and are afraid of serving their wives a glass of water for fear that they would be branded as hen pecked husbands.Un fortunately they are the losers.
My dear Nimmoo,please don’t think that Iam holding only the mothers responsible for the good and bad in their children,particularly their sons, since we are discussing them only now.
As Iam writing this to you,I can hear sobs and screams from one of the huts that have come up recently near our house.Some construction activity is taking place in our area and the labourers, who work there have put up huts near our house,where the live with their families.Opposite our house is a dwelling, where a mason lives with his wife and his eleven year old son, who is studying school.The father comes home every night totally drunk,demands money from his wife to go out and drink more.If she gives the money,ok.If she does not, then she gets solid beatings from him and gets bruised all over.The husband is not at all bothered.His son is growing up, watching his father treating his wife so shabbily.He is seeing that his father’s word is law and the father is a hero to him.When he grows up ninety percent, he will be like his father only.He would grow up, believing that he has to be tough with his wife.He may become a highly educated person,he may become very rich,he may move in cultured circles, but most of the time, he would be a man who can not show respect to a woman,be she his mother,his wife or his colleague..
Nimmoo ,my dear,I can see that affectionate smile on your face.I know that you are thinking about your father of whom you are very proud.
Your father was and is a wonderful son to his parents,dotes on his mother,he is a caring husband and is an affectionate brother.In all these years of my married life, I have not seen him raising his voice with his parents or his sisters .You yourself have seen him as a loving husband to your mother who never failed to compliment her even when she wore a new saree.Your elder brother whose only rolemodel is his father, is turning out to be exactly like his father.He is a wonderful caring son and I know how affectionate he is with you.He dotes on his wife and Iam proud of him.Your father showed him the track on which he is walking and your brother has followed him and he has not regretted it Iam sure.
Kudos to the father who shows affection to his wife in front of his children.Iam not saying that he should hug and kiss her,no that’s not our culture.but definitely he can be a little demonstrative,put his arms around her shoulders,get her presents on her birthday,praise her in front of his children.Let them see for themselves that he loves her and respects her as well.This father is laying a strong foundation for his childrens’ happy married life.His children are going to grow up as caring individuals,particularly his son will have a wonderful married life.
All the mothers of young girls to be married, would pray for a husband like him for their daughters.Iam sure all the Gods in heaven would bless the parents who have brought up such a gem of a boy.
My dear Nimmoo,I was thrilled when your MIL rang up to te;ll me that you will be a mother soon.My joy knows no bounda.Nimmoo ,your thoughts and your dreams will have a bearing on your child that has started his or her life in your womb.Be happy,be cheerful,get ready to welcome your child into this world whether the child is a girl or a boy with warmth and affection.Iam sure that you will make a great mother .your husband a wonderful father.
All the best to both of you.
Lots of love