I always wondered how so many Indian men in my life – my father, my uncles, my husband, my brother, my friends – are perfect sons, caring brothers, supportive friends. But when it comes to being a husband – they are inconsiderate and self-centered. I struggle to understand why?
Like many others, I wonder why a man who treats his mother like a queen, treats his wife so badly. Why the man, who is always present for his parents, refuse to be there for his wife when she needs him! Why the man, who is emotionally available to his siblings, refuse to give emotional support to his own wife?
Why the man who sees his mother, his father, brother, sister, friends, often treats his wife as an invisible element of his life? Why the man who takes a stand for everyone, refuses to take a stand for his wife when she is being broken by family drama?
While the average Indian man who strives hard to fulfill the expectations of his father, mother, and other family members, never even considers the unmet expectation of his wife!
How come a man, who respects one woman (his mother) to the point that he could give up anything for her, ill-treats another woman whom he calls a life partner?
Here is one of the many conversations that these men conduct behind the walls that shows the irony:
“Mummy, why are you washing dishes. What happened to the maid?”
“She isn’t coming. She called in the morning that she won’t be coming today as she wasn’t feeling well!”
“Then, why are you washing them. Stop it. Riya will wash them!”
“Riya said she has an office call and went to her room. Even at this age, I need to bear the burden of household responsibilities, what a shame! I have done it throughout my lives and I thought when you will get married, I will be relaxed from the household responsibilities. Firstly, I was serving my mother-in-law and now I am serving my daughter-in-law. It is my destiny to rot in the kitchen.”
“Riya, you should take a half day off from the office. The maid isn’t coming. And mummy is washing the utensils. It’s better you finish the household chores and then join the office in the second half.”
“Mayur, I have done most of the work already when you were sleeping. I cleaned the floors and put the clothes in the machine. Only the utensils were left. I didn’t know that maid won’t come today. There is an urgent meeting and I need to attend it.”
“Riya, mummy won’t do household work. She has done her bit. You need to plan better. I don’t care how you will do it, but Mummy is not doing the dishes. So, you finish your call and do it. Don’t expect Mummy to do any household chores!”
“Maa, you leave it. Ritu will manage it!”
“Thank You, Beta! You are such a good son!”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against anyone’s mother. I think mothers definitely deserve love and respect. But, what I have an issue with is how the man who treats his mother like a queen, treats his own wife as maid and nanny!
In the quest of their desire to be proven to be great sons, the husband in them always gets defeated. And, my heart breaks when I wonder how a woman is expected to leave her family, for the man, who cares about everyone else more than her!
Should we blame Indian men or our society who conveniently raise them to be better than everything except husbands? The issue with our society is quite evident when it starts calling supportive husbands – chamcha (spoon) and Biwi ka Ghulam (servant to the wife). Society leaves no chance to shame the men for being supportive and loving towards their wives. Society, especially the family, tends to shame them for spending too much time with their wives or shame them from expressive their love!
This is how, since time immemorial, our society continues to train our men to be great sons and brothers but inconsiderate husbands.
Dear Average Indian Men, don’t let society trick you into believing that being a good husband means you are a bad son! Don’t let society turn you into a man, who cares about everyone except his life partner! Don’t listen to society when it shames you for standing for your wife! Don’t let society trap you into this fake ideology of sanskaari beta. A real sanskaari man treats all the women in his life with equal respect and dignity. Period!