The Dratted Mr. Right

Written By

Chitra Doraiswami

The Dratted Mr. Right Loading

Such a Victorian phrase but I use it differently. These are men with many issues (and I don’t mean kids) who HAVE to be right in any situation. Our new age man has changed a lot but to see a genuine Mr. Right, you look at husbands who are now in their sixties or seventies. Or sometimes, they may be as young as fifty plus.

His favourite victim is his long suffering spouse. The kids would have, by now, flown the coop. He has set a timetable and he won’t veer an inch from that.

I remember my friend’s pa-in-law who would finish his puja and plonk his plate down (a nice silver thali) at 10 o’ clock come what may. He wanted his brunch and he wanted it NOW.  The poor old girl would be in a stew from 9.30 onwards. If the meal was delayed, he would walk off and nothing would persuade him to come back to his now abandoned thali. Even the gas finishing at the crucial moment wouldn’t be accepted as a good enough excuse.

Being a good Hindu nari, the old lady wouldn’t and couldn’t eat before he did. The son, the daughter-in-law would all plead with him but he would remain obdurate. The poor wife would weep copious tears. I longed to give him one whack on his nut with his own umbrella.

I know one more who won’t permit his wife to do puja or ‘paat’  ‘cause he is an atheist. She would do her prayers when he was away at work. But, one day he opened her cupboard and saw her idols and other paraphernalia and chucked the lot out, ruthlessly, in spite of her entreaties.

There are so many who yell at their wives in public, criticize them…some of them pretend it’s all playful, but the eyes are a dead giveaway. They are actually mad as hecks about the wife’s transgressions.

Such men, strangely enough, have respect for the male of the species but they look down on all women.

 I thought it may be because the wife isn’t educated much or is not a working woman. But no, many of these ladies have held high posts and obviously have great qualifications. They refuse to retort or even recognize the fact that the husband has a problem.

‘He loves me a lot,’ one avers. ‘It’s my fault, I irritate him’ says another. One, I know tried to get away. This was in the earlier days of their marriage when he hadn’t yet successfully brainwashed her. He threatened to kill himself and she came back, thoroughly scared.

One of the worst of the Mr. Rights I know declares, ‘I cannot live without my wife,’ and proceeds to run her down or raise his voice to her in front of all and sundry. And, she actually believes it. ‘He loves me,’ she whispers, because she has lost her voice because of the stress…some psychological problem (the doctor knows the psychological problem is living with her).

It’s not as if there are no Ms. Rights. There are, plenty. But in the old days, they were financially dependent on the husband so they did it in devious ways. If they didn’t get their way, they would take to their bed, sick. Or just do a long sulk and withhold sexual favours. Till, the hard pressed husband gave up and gave in!

I have seen so many mothers do it to their sons. Manipulate them, make them feel guilty, a quick hand to the heart at a harsh word…God such devious women! But the guy would be stupid and insist his mom was an angel! Impossible to stay married to one of these Mama’s boys.

Now, today’s Ms. Right laughs to scorn manipulation. She puts her cards on the table… ‘My way or the high way’. I know one clever cookie who put an FIR against her husband and in-laws because he wouldn’t leave his parents.  The parents shifted to an old age home and she withdrew the case and came back to live with her husband…

Is there any solution for this or do we just call it ‘karma’ and shrug?

Do let us know what you think in the comments section!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chitra Doraiswami, 69, is from Bangalore. She has written for many publications such as the Deccan Herald, The Times, Femina, Eve’s Weekly, etc. Chitra has many an interesting tale to tell including the one about finishing her Masters along with her son; sadly “only” getting a First Class, where her son got a rank. She joined CMR, NPS as Headmistress two decades ago and is now known as the Associate Principal of the institution. She also has a sixteen year old grandson. Chitra is an avid dancer, reader and drama-enthusiast. She's traveled extensively with her husband who was in the IAF. She taught wherever they were posted. Chitra enjoys teaching people innovative ways of helping children learn, but she is definitely not the prototypical fluffy grandma!

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