Humour unlimited…

Humour unlimited…

Readers on this forum are aware of my (often ) wicked sense of humour and I have been posting some funny stuff to tickle my readers from time to time.Today I am in the mood of dissecting one common relationship in our society.I will be concentrating on the funny bone to begin with and then see what develops.Please pray for me !!

One such relationship that has been stretched to the limits of boredom on the idiot box is the saas-bahu saga unlimited….There have been TV serials like …..Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thee …. as well as Tu Tu Main Main etc which have depicted sour and sweet sides of this relationship.

I often wonder how much truth or untruth is there in such depictions and/or whether the liberties as shown on the small screen, have been taken by the directors/producers just to garner TRP ratings.

I also wonder if this relationship is a stereotyped one and whether such a bitter/sweet relationship among the species really exists in all castes of our society-be it among Gujaratis,or Maharashtrians or even among our caste of Sikhs.There are several web sites on the Internet that list mother-in-law / daughter-in-law jokes, discuss situations and lay bare this relationship exposing their funny side,sad side and real side to some extent.

I have many friends and relatives.I have been watching saas bahu relationships in their homes from afar as a casual observer,since decades probably.

I had the good fortune to discuss this subject with Dr Mrs. S Sodhi-PhD (name changed at her request to avoid creating tiff with her dear m-in-l ) She has done extensive research on the subject titled : ” Role of Mother-in-law in the Indian Society and classification of this species in the real world.”

She has concluded that as a general rule,a majority of m-in-laws cause bad vibes in the house and often they are the subject of nightmares in the lives of bahus ! She shared some of her findings with me while stuffing hot alloo prathas in the famous paraathey-walli-galli in Delhi and sipping some creamy sweet lassi in a few sessions last month.

She has categorized mother-in-laws into following types listed at random (Serial numbers are not ranks please) :

1.Controller type : She always commands the bahu to do things her way, or she pretends to be nonchalant about whether or not she is trying to pressure her, but the bahu still feels her push.This kind of mother-in-law leaves stress in her wake.

2.Perfectionist type : Her eyes stealthily scan the entire house for anything out of place. The meals the bahu serves are not good enough, or the bahu‘s hair style is never ever right for her tastes. She points out every flaw and fault of her bahu , and refers proudly to her own skills in every area.Yes her nitpicking gives the bahu a real headache.

3.Judge type : She was the perfect wife when she married the bahu‘s father-in-law ! She has no negative history. They had lived a blissful courtship and he was the very first kiss. Consequently, the bahu has made errors in her past and she is quick to decide what kind a woman she will be in the future.The bahu’s style indicates one thing, her  mannerisms another, and no matter what she does, the mother-in-law is always looking down on her and sizing up her faults.

4.Cash connected type :  She gives the bahu a lot of information on mutual funds, banks, and ideas to make money on the side. She is constantly asking the bahu about money and bragging about her own income from various sources (?) .Her cconversations always gravitate toward finances, and it makes the bahu feel totally insignificant and irritated. She will offer to help the bahu to budget her monthly expenses !

5.Joker type : Whether the bahu is sensitive, or she considers herself to have a thick skin, it is not always easy when someone feels that every insult she dreams up is sheer comedy stuff. Yes, there are some mothers-in-law who are oblivious to the hurt they cause when they act the joker.I feel they just don’t seem to understand that such acts should be left to the stage professionals.Regardless of this, such m-in-laws inadvertently hurt a bahu‘s feelings, and after a while, it begins to wear on their relationships.

6.Baby badger type : Whether the bahu is struggling with infertility,or decided not to have a child, or just hasn’t started the family yet, she is constantly reminded that the mother-in-law would love to have a grandchild. She even begins to plan the nursery or purchase a pram “just in case.” The stress on marriage takes its toll, and this very subject has become the subject of many family gatherings. She even begins to pry into whether or not the bahu has any infertility issues she can help her with. The  mother-in-law had had her children when she was very young.

7.Liar type : The bahu just found out again that her mother-in-law is stretching the truth; it could be about something minor or even about her. It’s either a seemingly harmless white  lie that she’s told, or a whopper capable of destroying others’ lives. Regardless, the mother-in-law seems to be oblivious to the fact that her backbiting is highly unwelcome.

8.Snoopy type : Nothing is more tantalizing to the mother-in-law than the bahu‘s stack of bills in her desk drawer. Chances are that she’s taken a look before.She’s got more questions than a newspaper reporter, and she seems quick to catch the bahu off guard. She has probably interviewed everyone who ever knew the bahu to get a peek at her old records.

9.Hypochondriac type : Every time the bahu sees her,the mother-in-law has some sort of medical complaint.Her body is out to get her; she is always sick.The doctors don’t know what is wrong. Sometimes, the doctors are even wrong.The mother-in-law might have a billion problems which she researched in earnest on the Internet. Her intuition tells her that she’s got one foot in the grave, and she wants the bahu to know she’s afraid.The bahu should not dare ask how the mother-in-law is feeling, or she will tell her in detail !

10. Other miscellaneous types : The learned doctor friend of mine had to rush to pick up her dear mother-in-law from the beauty parlour and she did not want to face her wrath, so she soon left me asking me to pay the lassi-paratha bill this time,as her mother-in-law had not yet given her her monthly pocket money allowance !  So, I will end my piece here.My intelligent readers can add their own types of m-in-laws to this highly exclusive list.

Here is a suggestion.Let some of the experienced bahus on this forum share their survival strategies to face such a varied species of mother-in-laws !

Now,I come to the best part of this piece. What exactly triggered me to pen this outburst against this respectable species ? Well, I am a regular reader of Khushwant Singh’s columns and recently,I read the following nugget of 24 carat gold value :


 Rabba,yaa tey sass changi hovey,

nahin taan photo tangi hovey !

Lord, give me a kind mother-in-law.

If not,let me see her picture hung on the wall.

(From Khushwant Singh’s column ” With Malice Towards One And All “. Hindustan Times, Sunday 6th June 2010)


                                                                                           My m-in-law !!
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3 Responses to Humour unlimited…

  1. seshu chamarty says:

    LOL. Enjoyed, Broca. Kudos.

    Seshu Chamarty, Hyderabad
    Jun 11, 2010

  2. J S BROCA says:

    Dear Readers/Friends

    This piece has been published in the latest issue of a prestegeous E-Magazine called MUSE INDIA (Issue dated NOV-DEC 2011)
    Here is the link:

    J S Broca
    New Delhi
    24th nov 2011

  3. Very good written story. It will be helpful to anyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts.

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