I read this in a book and found it vastly amusing. A husband, while talking about his relationship with his wife says: “We have developed a unique system of dealing with one another. I issue orders. She ignores them. I feel better for having put my foot down and she does exactly as she pleases.”
That is exactly what I do. My husband issues orders and I do what I want to do – many of the times. What I don’t know is whether he’s developed the philosophical outlook of the person in that book. I am sure he found it most annoying and infuriating in the beginning days of our marriage.
I had perfected this art of doing as I like regardless with my father. He and me held opposite views on almost all issues worth debating about. He wanted me to agree with him on almost everything starting with whether girls should always wear a bindi and flowers and bangles and whatnot to how one should worship God. Whereas. I firmly believed in just doing without any of those feminine entrapments and I had my own way of communicating with God. Initially, my father used to make me talk about my views and how I applied logic to arrive at those conclusions and then refute them. Always getting the last word. Then I understood his tactic and changed mine. Whatever he said, I used to say “yes father” and do (and think) what I wanted. He caught me after some time but then he couldn’t do anything. I never say “no” to him, so he has nothing to complain about, has he?. With time, both of us came to an understanding. He will tell me what he thinks is right and I’ll do what I feel I should do but always say “yes father, you’re right” :D.
The problem with (arranged) marriage is you never know what you’re getting. So I had to do some recci before settling on a plan. My husband, like any self-respecting male, has rigid views about how things should be. Most importantly, how his wife (meaning ME) should think and act. Do I want to change after perfecting my act for so many years – NAH! So it brought out the worst in me in the beginnings. Then the enlightenment came – in one of my Sir’s classes. He told me, “always say ‘yes’ to people and do what you want to do. That is a sure way to avoid conflicts”. How could I have forgotten that! I have been doing exactly that with my father. So I started saying “yes” to his views. Not being my father, my husband is not deceived many a times. He always looks at me in a doubtful manner – that I’m up to something (which I am :D). Sometimes he even asks me, “are you really agreeing with me or just saying so to me and thinking ‘hell with you’ inside”. I just smile at him. See, one can interpret a smile in whichever way one wants. I just hope my hubby takes it in the right way (i.e. whichever suits him) so that he’s not overtly troubled by it :D. However, it’s peace time now. So what is there to write about?
Well, I became a parent – that is what J. Now my son gives me the same treatment. He listens to my lamentations of how I expect him to behave….. and does exactly as he pleases. He will sweetly says “amma, amma, look. Don’t get angry. I am sorry”. And go ahead and do exactly what I forbade him to do. It no doubt infuriates me. Well, I have to justify myself (ha.. ha). If he doesn’t follow my schedule, it affects my schedule. So I want him to stick to the timings. Well, he has his own agenda. He knows no matter how raving mad I become, ultimately I’ll have to take him to school, no matter how he delays brushing his teeth or taking bath. When i get really angry i don’t speak to him till he agrees to what i want. He can’t tolerate me not speaking to him.
When I spoke to my Sir about that, he said rejection is emotional blackmail and i was wrong to use it. He added, “look Bhagya. Your son is born through you and NOT to you. So you have no right to control him”. Well, it was like a blow to my head. How true! We all think that people – be it husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, friend – belong to us. They are just there for some time to give us, teach us something. We need to be grateful for that and try not to grasp at them, control them. It is not easy. We are so used to possess things it’s very difficult to give up the ownership. I guess most of the in-law problems arise out of that. (I hope someone will remind me this when I become a mother-in-law :D). My sir always stressed that we are all stewards of people and things that come into our lives. We are just meant to take care of them and pass on when time comes. We don’t own anything. It takes years of practice to reach that stage.
I believe, this para comes in Khalil Gibran’s Prophet – I think about marriage (for that matter it’s true for any relationship):
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Enough serious stuff. I will sign off with this mullah story which I got from the Net.
Someone brought a compass that he had found and asked Mulla Nasrudin if he knew what it was. Mulla looked at the compass and began to cry. A few minutes later, he stopped crying and began to laugh. The man asked: “Why did you cry and why are you laughing now?” Mulla said: “I cried because I thought how stupid you were not to know what a tiny object like this is. Then I laughed, because when I thought about it, I realized that I didn’t know what it was either.”
Like mullah I cry many a times thinking how people muck up their lives, and I laugh many a times looking at how I muck up my life too