Today is a great day for me, more momentous than winning the miss world crown or the Nobel prize in physics, for that matter. I have just managed to make the perfectly symmetrical and the ever elusive gol chapati. Needless to say, I am being sarcastic. But please don’t judge me. After years of being heckled by relatives and nosy neighbors on not being the fitting ‘Indian bride material’, just because I do not know how to cook or hold on to a fast for a full day or the Hanuman Chalisa, I beg to be excused. Okay, so please let me bask in the ephemeral glory for a while. I’ve been trying to master this no small feat for the past three months! 😛 (All my previous attempts bore piteous resemblances to the map of Australia, an amoeba and even the human heart!) So, equipped with a master’s degree on one hand and a pair of cooking tongs on the other, I set out to conquer my hitherto unexplored cooking expertise.
A few days back I read an amazing and a really funny post on the to-be mother-in-laws and their sons. I sit back and wonder, the to-be brides are qualified with successful careers and more than just one degree in their Vuitton handbags, so why do they still have to cover their faces and take tea to the prospective groom’s family, looking all coy and answer questions on whether they can make round chapatis or not? The present Indian woman has broken away from the old shackles and is now qualified, smart, confident and independent. She can earn the big bucks as well as any man, so why is it that she has to be the only one who has to know how to cook, launder and look after the baby? I really hope that when its my turn at this social rigmarole, I can lounge back on the sofa with a cup of steaming hot tea and fire questions at the prospective groom on whether he knows how to cook or stitch. In short, why can’t we girls ask for a “homely qualified/working man“, like the ‘wanted bride’ matrimonial ads. Not very different from the WANTED posters of the wild west Hollywood movies, the prize money being the humongous dowry pocketed by the groom who takes the bride home. And why does every prospective groom’s mother want a slim,fair and beautiful girl? Well, we too would like a tall, handsome, athletic man rather than the backboneless, balding, pot-bellied by-product of hers. I bet all my fore-mothers are turning in their graves right now. 😛
A girl after getting married, has to leave behind her everything, the place and the things she has been comfortable with for the past twenty years of her life, or more than that. Take a giant leap into another place, alien to her till then. So it is her every right to question the place she would be going to, it is the girl who should be asking the questions, not the boy. That’s why I kind of believe that the child marriage system was probably introduced and was better in the old Indian society. If a girl is going to stay at her in-laws home, so why not from a younger age so that the adjustment issues and the emotional anxieties could be avoided. This does not mean that I support child marriage. If that system was inhumane, so is the present system of subjugating free-minded women into the docile and supposedly perfect, house-wives.
I am sure if a prospective mother-in-law ever reads this, she is immediately going to scratch me out of her ‘prospective bride’s’ list.