Let me put up my hand and say that mums’ and their sons, especially us desis, share a complicated relationship that never stops evolving or degrading, as the case may be. But it is a relationship that can never stay still. It is a unique if not emotionally draining relationship that exists and grows like no other in the world. You can ignore this relationship to your peril but if you are smart enough you can tweak its rough edges just so, so that you’re other important relationships’ with your spouse and children are free of wrinkles.
A mother can be a sociologists’ dream or nightmare for the other women in the house and they can be heads for positivity and tails for negativity, depending upon how secure they are in their relationship with their sons. Mothers’ want to be secure about their sons but many actually begin on a bad note. Even today decades after independence and huge social change, women – mothers’, including the best educated ones – top notch professionals etc, are incapable of taking on their husbands and putting their relationship on an even keel. The young mother then seizes upon the young son as the substitute for a husband who should have been sensitive and tuned in to them. The young son becomes the lab for an experiment and the all too familiar game of emotional black mail, tears and remonstrations, unease between the mother in law and daughter in law begins. The young son, protected in a cocoon by the mother grows up confused, his loyalties split down the middle.
I can hear some of you saying that all this is a thing of the past, we live in nuclear families, it does not happen any longer. Really? This great Indian tragedy, almost farcical at one level, still plays out in just about every household.
On mother’s day it is as good a time to ask ourselves when as men we will finally grow up and tell mum that we thank you for everything you have done but mum’s the word from you between what goes on between me and my wife! And on this very same day is it too much to hope that women will stop perpetuating the cycle of turning on each other with the men caught in between as undeserving demigods!