The Dilemma of MIL DIL Duel

{ Just For laughs:  with malice towards none; and the belief that there are exceptions to the rule, and none takes exception to exceptions, and human beings….though animals….can laugh at themselves : ) }

 The eternal MIL DIL duel is a thing of beauty and a joy forever*

 It is that unfathomable equation where perplexity is the constant and reason variable.

 As in all dimensions of human existence, here too the all-pervasive and despicable “law” is the chief culprit. And human beings (assuming MILs &  DILs too are humans despite display of feline feelings, fangs n fervor) have the genetic predisposition to break the law with primitive cries of utter glee and absolute abandon, and indulge in things illegal {not to forget inscrutable and eerie : ) }

 In these unlawful situations where sarcasm adds colourful words to native vocabulary, sulking n sobbing are de rigueur, and the expensive mascara flows smoothly down the dainty tender noses with sweat n tears (Churchill must be turning in his grave), being caught in the clash of the titans is rather unsettling for the sensitive son and the fretting FIL.

 With this rampant affectation of unbearable affection, the son beats a hasty retreat to the nearest watering hole with the farthest friend to forget his failed attempt at prudent ‘animal husbandry, and the FIL flees to his nook with a book of inspirational quotes, look of sorrow, and quivering brow. (Let’s call it his hangdog expression, and therefore, add pleasures of paanparag+, peg or prayers to his survival paraphernalia depending on his worldly or other-worldly fancies).

 Though, in the end it is much ado about nothing (khoda pahar aur chuhiya bhi nahee nikli++), time and tide do not extinguish the raging fire within.

 Age cannot wither MIL DIL duel, nor custom stale, its infinite variety** : )

The Show must go on…..lights never dim….and its never a curtain call.

But, pain will be the occasional episode in a general drama of happiness***, if ‘Love’ replaces ‘Law’ : )

 (with thanks & apology to *John Keats, **Shakespeare, and ***Thomas Hardy)

( + An Indian mouth-freshner ; ++ “Didn’t even find a small mouse after digging the whole mountain”)

 

How to destroy personal relationships and perform harakiri !

Two most obvious ways:

ONE: when relationships become transactional…a selfish calculation;

TWO: when we become so adamant, egoistic, and self centered that even the most logical and common sense suggestions and requests fall on deaf ears.

These lead to slinging matches and fights, breed intense dislike and contempt, and culminate into indifference.

Destruction is total, final and irreversible.

 

HORSE SENSE

LET’s NOT IMPOSE….NOT EVEN GOODNESS!

Subtly show the right choices to the family’s young adults, but don’t make their choices; they will make their own intelligent ones…..when they want to.

All are comfortable in status quo and instinctively resist any change, and therefore, become defensive and defying to defend the ego.

Why insist or instruct, and come across as interfering? Let them sing loud and dance electric to Dr. Alban’s “It’s my life”, and join the party. Why be a spoilsport.

Forget coaxing, cajoling, cautioning and correcting. In today’s world, we can’t even bring a horse to the water, forget making it drink. Horse Sense!

Someone’s Pain, My Pleasure ?

The dead depart and the accused are arrested, but the world around rest of the crestfallen family falls apart. We relish gossiping about and deriving voyeuristic pleasure from tragedies befalling others. Gruesome details, innards and all, are shared and forwarded endlessly and instinctively with glee and become fodder for free entertainment. It is forgotten there are none without dark hidden side.

As evolved beings, can we curb this primitive urge, and show sensitivity by shunning the senseless and being sensible? Can we search deep within and allow a semblance of dignity to those who have to suffer ignominy for no fault of theirs? Can we just let them be?

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The Other Side of Midnight !

The Other Side of Midnight !                                                                                                   (with thanks & apology to Sidney Sheldon)

 Ok, they can’t “cool it”, nor are they “hot”, but can’t they warm up to the idea? It’s high time the seniors also looked at the changing times and relationships through the prism of the younger lot. They talk about the generation gap, but where is the effort to fill it?

 Whereas minimal discipline and civilized norms of behaviour can’t be dispensed with, why keep clinging to the past, the unnecessary and the unwanted? Resolve the crisis of confidence. When in doubt, give benefit of doubt.

The body ages, but one can be young and contemporary in mind. No doubt, “the in” vocabulary and behaviour do not decide the primitiveness or modernity, it wouldn’t harm to follow these simple survival rules: Suggest, not instruct; Listen, not ask! But by no means give in, rather give! Give space, even if void  : )

Constant complaints, criticism and cross-examination only widen the chasm. “Who, what, where, why, when” alienate. Leave interrogation to IT, IB and CBI. Excessive curiosity will surely harm if not kill the cat.

 Besides ignorance, ignoring too is a bliss!

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Of Faraway Families, Maddening Maids & Drivers Driving Us Crazy!

Stop clapping imperiously n shouting “koi hai” the moment you are out of slumber n sleeping bag. ‘Raj’ and “Raj-Idiosyncrasies’ no longer exist, not even in Rajasthan. With the helping hands becoming aspirational (rightly so) and maddeningly moody , it wouldn’t hurt to pick up your empty plate n wash it. Shun dependence even on the cuddling n befuddling family members. Apart from powdering your nose or splashing after-shave as the sole arm-lifting exercise, begin brewing your tasteless tea, burning your toast and holes in your shirt/skirt by ironing out wrinkles of your expectations, for family members have their own 1,2,3…lists (nothing wrong with that). Mastering the art of measuring sugar miserly will come in handy when you are salt n pepper and children take wings with their own families due to compulsions of work/kids/creating their own space (absolutely understandable). And in the foggy age when you pretend to come to senses n see life squarely in the eye, your wife may not see eye to eye, turn religiously religious, desert you in favour of God, n delicately but devilishly decline to pour wine in your goblet leaving you low in spirit n dry as desert. And if you happen to be a woman, you run the ultimate risk of being saddled with a spent sentinel sans senses slowly but surely sliding into senility. Dependence, like proximity, breeds contempt. So, ladies n gentlemen, tighten your belts, loose motions n emotions and wield a broom with gusto and a wild Woosterly “WHAT HO”! Waiting in the wings, Jeeves will approve!

PARADOX…LONELY TOGETHER!

 PARADOX…LONELY TOGETHER !

Headline Today:

“Indian birth rate going down, literacy rate going up!”

 Some have no offsprings… live on their own,

Some stay together yet live alone… though progeny abound!

Lonely coz together…

Ensconced in their cocoons!

Severed connections, shattered communications…

Deafening silence or silencing shout-downs!

 Yes, we are progressing…

After all, literacy rate is going up!

What is the Point…

What is the Point… If we grow but don’t grow-up,

If we speak but don’t communicate,

If we hear but don’t listen,

If we look but don’t see,

If we touch but don’t feel,

If we have senses but no sensitivity!

What is the Point… If we are together but remain separate,

What is the Point… If we grow but don’t grow-up!

BE FRIENDLY, BUT NOT A FRIEND !

BE FRIENDLY, BUT NOT A FRIEND !

LET THE LINES NOT BLUR !

A provocative thought !

Very often, out of misplaced love, or to mollycoddle, or to follow the herd, or to be seen as ‘modern’, we parents convert or pretend to be friends of our children. A grave mistake I think!

In our relationship with the children, we are meant to be what we really are and not don the hat of what we are not. Else we are likely to lose the benign but essential authority, the initiative and even the dignity. If we become so-called friends, children may become impolite, insubordinate and insolent. And we lose the respect followed by self-respect. This happens because we are not those friends of our children to whom they present their very best, but the ones who are and can be easily taken for granted. Perils of parenthood indeed!

I am not suggesting that we should wield the stick and not be loving towards children. But that love does not permit limitless license. We ought to say it loud and clear when enough is enough. If we install the children on our head, they are likely to pee on it. And the offensive touch, feel and odour of the excreta flowing down our face, even that of our own children, is difficult to endure : )

The history based on the amalgam of genetic and cultural progression of millions of years of human evolution has firmly established this hierarchy. If it is broken, there is chaos. When the lines blur, it’s  confusion.

So, let’s not pretend. Let’s not cheat ourselves by acting otherwise. Let’s not be the ostrich with nose n eyes in the sand.

Let the sacrosanct be sacrosanct!

With our children let’s be friendly…very friendly, but not friends!

Of Ageing n Ceding !

Tortured souls they were…my friend (who is many years older than me) n his wife whom I met recently after ages. They have one son, married…both husband n wife highly educated and in good jobs. Life should have been hunky dory for my friend couple, but they were miserable. As they opened their hearts, I was appalled by the attitude of their daughter in law and apathy of their son who remains mute spectator to the spectacles of disrespect n insults thrown at his parents.

Why is it that many educated and well versed in manners and etiquettes throw their civility to winds where parents are concerned ? Why even a harmless n well-meaning question concerning  their or their children’s well being or whereabouts is thought of as an intrusion and interference in their lives ? Why the parents are shouted at in reply ? Why are they misunderstood…intentionally and by design ? Why are they made to feel low, bad, a burden….unwanted and unwelcome…by words spoken n unspoken, by sarcasm nuanced or pronounced, by gestures…in your face or subtle ?

Why is it that in the sunset years, the parents have to suffer the humiliation n disgrace, ignominy n indignity ? They create and provide everything for their progeny…..willingly n happily cede time, space, ground, authority, money, assets..…everything, except the responsibility…..which they continue to shoulder on n on n on. Yet, they suffer, and are hurt. Whereas the so called uneducated n fossilized have no ego and are the ones to apolozise first and always..…mistake or no mistake, many of the so called modern don’t even have the courtesy of being polite, forget the apology….their  methods n manners crude n atrocious.

Wrote this in anguish, hurt by the injustice and unfairness, the shoddy n the shabby treatment meted out to my friend. Story could be the same in some other homes…more or less ! But I am not sitting in judgment, nor am I trying to point out to anyone in particular, or paint all with the same brush stroke. Am sure this is one of the isolated cases. There are good and bad exceptions every where and in every age group. And there are shining examples of love n care, grace n graciousness !

Can there be some soul search ? Can there be little generosity to allow them some dignity to sit atop their disability ? That will be reason enough for their happiness n contentment. They neither need nor want anything more !

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