Monday, September 29, 2008

Saas, Bahu Aur Sensex

Over the weekend I was watching this movie and quite inspired by the movie title . The title gave me creative outbursts to the story of many urban bahu’s and Saas. The Bahu is changing, should change according to the needs of the Saas Aur Sensex. The Saas will exercise her option of whether to change or if at all any change is required it will be according to her own whims and fancies. After all she is more experienced, has raised her children with the best of values, managing her work and home which according to her the bahu’s parents have not given her or taught her . These are all post marriage dialogues which most of the Saas give to their Bahus. Some bahus don’t bother, they are like the three monkeys don’t hear, don’t talk, don’t see. It’s like a customer buying a product and no sooner the post purchase dissonance sets in the Saas. But she forgets the fact that ‘’Customer is a King’’ and he/she has a right to choose her products properly before deciding.
Before marriage, Saas was the one who said yes to the same Bahu in the selection process thinking that she comes from a good family, having good moral values, well educated, career oriented etc. In the process, she forgot that though this Bahu has all this good side to her , she might not meet her expectations and imagination of how a Bahu should be? Times are changing, most of the bahus are working, career oriented, ambitious and yet managing the roles of home and office in their best possible way, making the necessary sacrifices, adjustments, social obligations, learning languages, learning cooking habits, likes and dislikes of people around. But still there is something lacking…. Bahu is expected to change completely, lose herself and her identity in the process. But most families don’t realize so much of harm they are indirectly doing to themselves in the long run and to the Bahu of course. After all, she is the pillar of the house. God knows where the Pati is there in the entire show. He is somewhere underground, buried…. May be somewhere in the underground… Some even supporting what their mothers have to say. After all they are caught between their past (mother) and future (Wife). Problem is also with the upbringing of most of the children. They expect their wives to be just like their mothers soon after marriage. Till then everything is fine..
However, Saas forgets the fact that some day she was also a Bahu, may be not as loyal and courteous as the current bahu. She forgets ‘’Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi’’. The TV serials have to remind all the Saas that they were also Bahu's someday.

Bahu : Gets ready in the morning to run to office and manage her homely chores to the best possible. She starts chopping vegetables to make the curry for lunch and has just finished preparing the breakfast for all the junta at home. Her voluntarily retired (from work) mother in law who has come for a few days from her home town is around the kitchen washing vessels from the sink before the servant comes and her overly spiritual nature prompts her to say her Bahu ‘’chop the vegetables 100% and you must be in complete fullness as you chop these veggies’’ . Bahu wonders why she is saying all this, where it’ absolutely unnecessary. Bahu ignores, after all she is a mother in law (MIL – always making noise) and has to show that she is the best and is more experienced in life. But she forgets the fact that she too has a daughter who one day will have to face such a situation.

Bahu has got her moral values intact and her parents have taught her about different kinds of people, lifestyle, food habits and their behavioral tendencies etc. Also that she comes from a joint family with loads of relatives and children. So she chooses to remain silent, after all silence is golden.Tolerance and silence is part of her DNA and her upbringing no matter how much people crib and nag. A little later her Saas again pops up saying that all the small little vessels in the house need not wait for the servant to be washed on a weekend when Bahu decides to spend some time in what she likes to do.’’ You can do it all yourself’’ say the MIL along with some disgraceful comments regarding dowry, native of the Bahu, her behavior etc . She has to show her MIL instincts after all . But this time the Bahu gets a bit upset, but yes she doesn’t utter a single word because she knows ‘’words once spoken can cause more damage and it can never be taken back’’.

This is the plight of many of the urban bahus. Most of the come with a mindset to adjust, adapt and be flexible but in the process they are not treated fairly. All that is lost in the process of ‘’marriage’’. Till then the mind is broad and after that it’s all gone with the wind.

I don’t know how many have to learn a different language post marriage in order to converse with their in laws?
How many have to make the breakfast if the wife is ready to make the lunch?
How many times do they attempt to learn the rites, rituals , cooking styles and language of their wives families?
How many times to they take initiative to call the bahu’s parents once in a while?
How many times will a man make a career change if their wives got a superb opportunity abroad?
How many times will the man sacrifice his entertainment (newspapers, television) when the wife is busy cooking, washing?

As I said, change management can never happen from one side alone, it requires compromise, adjustments, flexibitlies, dropping of the want for perfection from both sides. Otherwise, All this Saas- Bahu conflict will always be there.

In the process, I just forgot about the Sensex- At the moment I just don’t want to follow the Sensex, its really volatile just like the behavior of the Saas, submissive as the Bahu, dormant as the Pati. This Sensex can rise only if both the Saas and Bahu try to dissolve their differences.

This Navaratri I would just pray to the divine to free the Saas of all the conflicts, expectations, imagination of the Bahu in her mind.
To give Bahu more strength physically, emotionally, spiritually to accept the change and the different kinds of people around her.
For a Pati who is more expressive and has a good understanding of the situation and not misunderstand the Bahu.

Let’s all pray to live and let live. Also as Gandhiji said'' Be the change that we want to see in others''.

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