I have no doubt that most women today are more privileged than their counterparts from the black-and-white days. No getting married when you would rather go for school camps….no being thrown into the fire when a granddad of a husband takes off for the other world….no being mistaken for firewood by a dowry-greedy mother-in-law…no becoming mothers when you would rather be a kid yourself.
Having said that, I think the women today are deprived of a rather cool privilege. That of rushing off to the “maike” (parents’ place) when they got angry with the husband. It must have been so liberating! One had so many options to choose from:
Light anger – Don’t talk till forgiveness is asked for.
Medium anger – Have a war of words…cry a little…and threaten to go away to your “maike” till the opponent is moved to the golden words of “I am sorry.”
Heavy anger – Cry a lot…pack your clothes (don’t forget the novel you have been planning to read for a while) …walk out of the young man’s house…to walk into the old man’s house (who is always happy to see you, no matter what).
And then, life would be such a party! Eat and sleep and chat and read…and do what you want to do, while closely monitoring the number of times the husband calls in a day (of course you have given out strict instructions that the phone should not be passed to you, no matter what). And when you are sure that he has suffered/felt guilty enough…give him the chance to say “Sorry” or “Please come back home” or “I miss you”. Cry a tear or two to prove once again that “You were really hurt”, but say “yes” when he asks you if he should come to pick you up.
Then go back to a home where the pleasantest surprises are awaiting you. Dinner is cooked (for a change)…maybe a bunch of flowers somewhere to welcome you back home. What bliss!
There was something romantic about the whole episode, don’t you think? The parents are aware that it is only “one of those fights”, and don’t really force you to go back. The neighborhood friends pour in to ask “What exactly happened?” and you spice up the story, where obviously “he” is always at fault. And all this happens under the quiet, reassuring feeling that you will make up with him in a day or two and the two of you will live happily ever after… till the next fight.
Alas! “Maike” these days is as much a mythical place as “Kailash” or “Brindavan”.
We can fight and scream and cry and go into the “I-am-not-talking-till-you-say-sorry” mode. But we can’t rush off to the “maike”. Unless we are ready to apply for a visa, take annual leaves, buy last-moment expensive train/air tickets and travel a few thousand miles or nautical miles.
There is just no fun in marital fights anymore.