Whether it’s a battle or a war


A recent conversation (as is usually the case) triggered a thought process which is still causing me to toss the whole conversation and its resultant threads around like a challenge in my head – it’s bouncing around within the walls of my head. Is it? Can it? Should it? Why is it so?

My only thought: Who are these people who behave so irrationally?

When any of my friends were to be married in the past, few weeks before or even a couple of months before, they would slowly begin to take out more time for their families. It turns out not just my friends but a lot of people, most of whom I don’t know, also do it.

Natural, I would think. Even though you are going to still meet your family after your marriage, moving houses brings with a certain finality and one tends to hoard things, one knows one will soon not have.

So, after running out of other neutral things to ask a soon-to-be-married friend, I asked her if she was going to spend the last month before her marriage with her mother. She currently does not live with her mother.

Her: No. He (the husband-to-be) won’t like it and gets irritable.

This gave me a pause.

Me: He will get irritated if you spend time with your mum?

Her: No, he will get irritated if I am not around.. when he needs me (something to that effect, not her exact words).


Me: But won’t you be married in another month? He will have you (SIC) whenever he wants, in another month.

Her: Yes. But he’s particular, even now.

Me: But isn’t that irrational, even as demands go?

Her: I guess. But then men are always irrational, I have realised that.

Me: Sure they may be. But do you have to agree to what they ask, perpetuating this irrational behaviour further?

Her: I don’t mind losing the battle, if it means I will win the war.

War? At this point, I wasn’t sure we were still talking about the same thing. Somewhere later in our conversation, she listed more reasons but this phrase stuck. War.. what war?

I guess she wanted to be the person he wanted. That’s her deal. She knows what she is doing or, at least, is old enough to have to deal with the consequences.

But my bigger grouse is because there are women like her, who will willingly bend to be something they are not, women like me and some of my other friends, find it difficult not to get labelled.

We are modern, brash, rude, independent — take your pick. Mind you, this friend is also independent. But chooses not to exert it by the looks of it.

While trying to talk her out it, (I have no idea why I felt so compelled to) I kept citing my parents as an example. My parents are great as parents but perhaps have aspects in their marriage I don’t agree to, only because I am required to do things my mother agreed to do for my father.

What seem like small habits and start off as trivial, assume mammoth proportions as one grows older. I see it with my parents. My mother doesn’t register it but dinner has a pattern, thanks to my dad. Certain cups of tea just have to be made. With a certain kind of milk.

No, making all is this not the problem. The problem only arises only when one thing doesn’t get follow the pattern it usually does. No exceptions are made. Which is irritating. Assuming my sister or I will run the house in the same fashion my mother does is a mistake. It can lead to huge arguments and usually does. My mother’s logic: Just do it to avoid the hassle. I may even, most times I do. But I even land up telling her that she’s spoilt my father. She encouraged habits and behaviour patterns 30 odd years ago, which now all of us have to do. None of us have such quirks, except my dad.

I have seen a similar behaviour in my neighbour’s house where my friend was the girl in a brother-sister duo. Patterns were formed around her dad when he worked and now, for most times, around the son. It’s again around tea. Or specific items for meals, even if it means that the lady cooking has to make to a different dish for each member. In all fairness, my friend also got her specifications but it still bothered me. I remember telling my friend that if I were her mother, things would be different.

May be her mother didn’t mind. I know my mother doesn’t. But these men are spoil and don’t even know it.

And when I see people in my generation doing it, it pisses me off even more. I would have been happier if she just said she didn’t want to spend time with her mum.


8 responses »

  1. We have grown up with certain patterns (dad centric of course) at home. But in my own home now, it’s all different… my way… some things the man’s way… but at times I have found a lot of my ways are unconsciously my parents ways. That’s what they do to us!!

  2. Yes, women who play these ‘let me lose the battle’ kind of game really rile me. I just think they are lazy and just don’t want to deal with confrontation. Grrr.

  3. Hi ,

    I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don’t you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘The Age of Aquarius’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

    BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run http://www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

    This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. 🙂


  4. Is it really that simple? Such behaviour comes from so many sources – our conditioning due to what we have seen at home, our own insecurity or sometimes plain giving up of independent thought to someone else’s wishes (its very handy as it absolves one of all responsibilities).

    It gets to me too. But increasingly I am finding the limits of my understanding of reasons why people behave in any fashion. Damn, now I am sounding old!!

  5. Pingback: Boggles my mind… « The Age of Aquarius

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  7. “Whether its a battle or a war The Age of Aquarius” was in fact really pleasurable and educational!

    In modern society that is very hard to do. Many thanks, Lou

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