August 13, 2005

About IMILs, IBs and IJs.

With all due respect, I have a bone to pick with our creator. I do have a challenging and reasonable set of questions composed (or so I have convinced myself), ready to spring it on Him at Pearly Gates. My latest source of irritation and anxiety (I say latest because there have been several in the past, each consuming all my emotional energy at that point of time) is the overly glorified concept of being an Indian Bahu (IB for short).

Shy, demure, blushing easily, eyes cast down stealing loving, admiring glances at her soul mate, her master, her purpose for existence - her husband, excelling in culinary skills like all other such IBs, the epitome of sacrifice, docility and gentleness, a daughter to her in-laws, adept at keeping the house (or home - she is supposed to bring about that transformation, from house to home!) clean and beautiful...and several other such far-fetched fantasies.

I possess none of these traits (ah, I see that you being the perceptive reader that you are have concluded as much based on my past posts). I can cook edible and recognizable food items (if I am in the mental state to do so), I can keep the house as clean as it will be with a once-in-a-month quick sweep of the vacuum cleaner and with occasional (I prefer to be vague here than be embarrassed) dusting sessions, I am as much a daughter to my in-laws as my husband will be a son to my parents (ah, let's see 'em sneak out of this one - 'em obviously referring to the enviable IJs - Indian Jamais) and demure, shy, docile??? OK, we know we are talking about my anti-thesis.

Now, if I think of the plight of IMIL (Indian Mother-in-law), I am not too thrilled about her prospects either, I mean let's assume I am your typical IMIL, just for the sake of argument, I have spent a lifetime bringing up this worthless son of mine and here comes a pretty little thing and she has my son wrapped around her little finger (Now, why am I sounding more and more like one of those mega serials maamis :( ?)

A funny conversation took place this morning between a would-be IMIL and an IB.

IMIL : How are you?
IB : Good, good, good (too much gushing), how are you? (in a more restrained tone)
IMIL : Good

and after the initial customary greetings,

IMIL : So, can you make rotis?
IB : ?!!! I like paav bhajis aunty, I will have them if you will cook for me, IJ says you make awesome paav bhajis.
IMIL :(sportively laughs - whew!) Sure, I will make whatever you want! But I'll teach you how to make roti.
IB : Sure, we will also teach IJ! (Now I know she thinks am the worst IB there ever is :((()

So, in conclusion (yes, there is a point to all this drivel), why has such a grave injustice been done to the IMILs and IBs of the world (err...of India)? Why can't I be a happy, worry-free IJ :( ?

Question number n has been added to the pearly gates list of yours truly.


TJ said...

ha ha!! If rotis are for IMILs and IBs, for IFILs and IJs, it is another dimension of things, starting from buying a flat/house to shifting jobs even to family planning. [a lot of gyan, tho not as compulsive as the IMIL-IB relationship].
So in conclusion, (?) the injustice is on both sides :D

Shiva said...

to start with, this is a typical scenario for any south-indian bahu (SIB) who is marrying in the north..
secondly, the whole roti thing will happen only during India visits and during IMIL visits to the US.., it is more like the term exams.
thirdly, IJs can never be taught all this. They will learn to live on idlis and dosas.
finally, however excellent the SIB learns to make rotis, it will be only second best to that of IMIL. This is a competition that can never be won..

maybe you shd teach ur IMIL the secrets of pasta ;)

Bloggard said...

nice post :)

Vani Viswanathan said...

came thro' my sis' blog, thought palette....
and i love most of the books you've read/reading! esp. anne's beautiful!

Jinguchakka said...

lol very funny
But have a heart! It's the poor IM (Indian Male) who's caught between the IB and IMIL, the proverbial devil and the deep sea. If he praises IB's cooking IMIL will finish him. If he consults for any decision with IMIL, that night, he will have his living daylights knocked off by IB.
To be fair, you have mentioned IB's and IMIL's characteristics well.
Good! :-))

Subha said...

Funny. I thought had actually seen a "Shy, demure, blushing easily, eyes cast down stealing loving, admiring glances at her soul mate" RS...:) As far as culinary skills go, make baby K cook for you. After all, what are IJs for..:))

Prabu Karthik said...

As Shiva says, these Roti stuff et al is only during visits by IMIL.

Hmm. i have a feeling baby K will have to learn to love the 'thachu mammum' he despises with all his heart now.....

naanga idhu madhiri neraya parthirukom:)

RS said...

tj: well...I guess so but need a little more convincing to believe IJs and IBs are on the same scale :)

shiva: competition? what competition?! :) You know what? I have this suspicion, she will beat me at pasta too :((

bloggard: thanks :)

vani: thanks :) plan to add a lot more to the list, keep visting :)

jinguchakka: Just once...I wish the IJ gets stuck between me and my mom, or me and my dad instead of vice versa! :)

subha: shy, demure...huh? huh? :) baby k and cooking? you mean volleyball, foosball maybe :) ?

P~K: baby k and thachi mammum? hmm...I dont see it in the near future...I can picture myself rolling out one dozen fat, sticky, gooey rotis after another already :(

IBH said...

RS, I guess we have lot of things common going on! :)))

I have none of the traits u have listed...but nan thapichuten...just after marriage came over US...and I am still trying to excel in making a good coffee! :) the only thing am dreading in going back to India is me facing my MIL asking

"Enda ninikku Palappam cheyyam ariyo?"
meaning, do u know to make Pal-appam :) god! for that I wish I could stay here forever :))

IJ said...

IJ just wants to eat, drink, sleep and be merry. These women ! :)

Just leave the IJ's alone ! :)

Freedom, where art thou? :))

RS said...

IBH: "Enda ninikku Palappam cheyyam ariyo?"

Hilarious :)

IJ: Yes. Predicted as much. :))

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