Words of wisdom by Baba Twinkdev ‘God couldn’t be everywhere so he created mothers and the devil couldn’t be everywhere so he created mothers-in-law!’
For the record (and for me to continuing living in my marital home) let me state at the very onset that I have a splendid relationship with my mother-in-law. We are quite similar as people, both strong headed and fiercely loyal (though that should not come as a surprise because I feel that every boy eventually marries some version of mommy dearest) and over the years we have developed a healthy respect for each other’s individualities, but since I do know that quite a few horror stories exist out there, I assembled some girlfriends and got a few of their legendary stories.
Friend no 1 said that when she was pregnant her mother-in-law gave her a picture of lord Krishna to gaze at since this would help produce a bonny boy. When she produced a beautiful, dusky baby girl, mother-in-law was aghast. Friend no. 1 said ‘Mummy, looking at the picture everyday didn’t help in making the baby a boy, but it sure made her Krishna’s colour’. Mother-in-law at that point promptly collapsed.
Friend no 2 says that when she was newly married, she went to have tea with her mother-in-law, who remarked that her beloved son was looking a bit grubby and to send him to mommy ASAP so that she can scrub him with her own hands till he shines. (A fine idea when he was six but at 36 this was way beyond creepy).
Friend no 3 had a mother-in-law (past tense doesn’t mean she is dead just that my friend had the sense to divorce both her and her son) who decided that her nine-month pregnant bahu breaking her water bag was not a sign to rush to the hospital. Ma ji proceeded to have dinner and after leisurely having dessert announced that it was perhaps now time to leave for the hospital.
Friend no 4 is always complaining that her mother-in-law criticises her, nudges her out of family pictures, grabs the front seat next to her beloved son in the car and keeps repeating how Shonu (some kind of gross childhood nickname I assume) loves mommy more than anyone else.
Friend no 5 is convinced that her mother-in-law has bribed her staff. The moment she locks the bedroom door with her husband inside ready for some action, Mummyji promptly calls on the intercom asking for her darling son to come visit.
These moms-in-law sound dreadful but there are some good ones out there as well. So how do we tackle the women that we really do owe our men to?
1. Compliment her: It could be her great fish curry; her youthful looks (that’s a sure winner) her pretty saree or even her Wodehouse book collection.
2. Be sweet to her son in front of her: She is always watching to see if you will keep her son happy, pretty much the same way she does, by pandering to his every whim and fancy. I am not suggesting you indulge him to that degree but rather then making a sarcastic jibe when he fumbles at something in front of mama, just let it go!
3. Befriend your father in law: He will be your most dependable and fearless ally.
4. Do not complain about her son: His lack of hygiene, sense of time or taste in clothes. Basically any criticism about her beloved son will be the start of war in her mind.
5. Be kind to her: You pretty much get what you give. So, if you want to be happy, bring a little happiness in someone else’s life.
On that note, I bid you adieu but not before I leave behind a homemade joke I have cracked on numerous occasions and received threatening looks from the man of the house each time.
Why do all good Indian boys worship their mother? Because their religion tells them to worship the cow!