Giving Gyan: Dear Bachi, have lost 3 wonderful girlfriends, thanks to my mom
There are agony aunts, and then there’s Bachi. She’ll sort you out. Back by popular demand, Giving Gyan
How do I deal with my overbearing mom? I’m just not allowed
to do anything my way. I’m 26 and she treats me like I’m 12. Bad enough that she still dictates how I dress, it’s worse when she pokes her nose in all my affairs. Even my romantic ones.
Especially my romantic ones. She simply doesn’t want me to get into a new relationship.
At least not one that doesn’t fit her ideal, whatever that is. We are Gujarati Lohanas, and she wants me to find a girl from that slot only.
Whenever she finds out that I am seeing someone, she starts involving herself in it.
Like if I go out with the girl she will keep on calling again and again and asks me to come home soon.
If I don’t do that, then she starts throwing tantrums on the phone only.
Embarrassing, no? When I get home, her emotional blackmail begins.
I have lost three wonderful girls as a result of this. And now I am petrified of getting into another relationship.
Can you imagine what it would be like if I were to get married? I am fed up with this situation of hers. How do I deal with my mother’s dictatorial behaviour?
Dear Harassed Harish
The best way to tell off a dictator is to spell out home truths. But that is easier said than done. Frankly, your situation is hardly unique.
Domineering mothers are the unifying factor in the diversity of India that is Bharat. Indeed, it is a universal truth that all mothers think no girl is good enough for their ladla beta, and instead believe that every girl is a scheming witch with a ‘b’, out to trap her bhola boy who will naively fall for her wiles.
So the problem would be the same with an ai, amma, ammijaan or Mommy, for a Ma by any other name, can be as overbearing.
Therefore, the pessimistic fact is that you may not be spared even if you find a girl who is dyed in the bandhni and as Gujju as a garba-swirling gathia.
However, no need to throw your hopes into the Sabarmati and send an application for permanent residency at the ascetic ashram on its banks. Instead, stay put wherever you are but take a leaf out of Gandhiji himself. Launch a counter non-cooperation movement against your mother's tactics. Ignore her blackmail even though this is a tough call for any decent guy.
I sympathise with your fear of bringing a wife into this toxic
environment, and I do know that in my community so many men abandon their girlfriends because their mother won’t give them a divorce! However, don’t give in or give up.
Other than the non-cooperative movement, you could try the
opposite. Sit down with Ba, tell her no woman can take her place, but wouldn’t it be nice if she has someone to help her around the house?
If instead of spending her life making dal-bhat-shak, she could spend more time watching her favourite serials – and feeding her grandchildren all the shrikhand she lavished on you?
This isn’t as cynically scheming as it sounds, because it could well be a real-life scenario. Provided you are lucky enough to find a wife who will play ball with Ba.
The two of them may well get on together like fafda-jalebi.
Hey Harassedbhai, before you start getting dreamy-eyed
about this idyll, let me play spoiler and say they may well gang up on you. Nah! Only joking-shoking. But do try the satyagraha or the sweetness. Hopefully one should work. Either way, don’t Barter away your happiness. It’s your life.
Ask your questions to Bachi @ [email protected]
(Write Giving Gyan in the subject line of your email)
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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