Women: Congratulations or consolation

Dear Mummyji,
I’d read most of your ramblings on “Women” on your blog. These past few days have been a realisation that the biggest enemy of a woman is a woman and not a man (as it is said). Some time back I’d read that a man’s best friend is a man (in Men are from Mars and Women from Venus) and woman’s best friend too is a man. Two women will at a point feel jealous and bitch. However that’s not the point, I’m referring to here.

I don’t know, were my Naani and all the women folks in village trying to congratulate my mother or consoling her for Gudiya’s marriage. “छ़ोटी होआ ई देणना री च़ीज़, आच्छो कियो बै… एबै ना सूँच़ा बै।” (Girls are to be given away one day. You did a good thing. Now don’t think too much about it.) I was confused. Consolation or congratulation?

At the same time, I don’t think, you exactly remember the fiasco that happened at the gate when the baraat came. The Mama of the groom tried to push in and gate-crash. He tumbled the pooja thaali and the lota filled with water. Meanwhile, he pushed in the groom and after he made himself in, he tried to pull him in with his galbanda, almost strangulating him. So later my dad took him aside and asked him to behave. I also managed to try my hand on him, which aggravated the problem. But the problem was the grooms father/mother/sister did not know exactly what had happened. They thought that we abused the grooms mama. When the reality was told they mellowed down and were apologetic.

But there were some nuisances from their side. One of them told my mother – “आप लड़की वाले हैं, आप माफी माँगिए।” My mother asked him. “लड़की वाले हैं तो क्या हमारी कोई इज्ज़त नही् है, आप की भी तो लड़कियाँ होंगी?” Surprise!!! He claimed he had three daughters. He became silent.

Is that the reality? In one way we regard the groom as Vishnu and the bride as Lakshmi. That certainly reminded me of your postings on Draupadi, Hadimba and Kali Mata. How all men cheated them. Draupadi – How a woman was responsible for her fate.

I’m a bit scared for Gudiya’s future. What would be her future? I hope, she has a good one. The irony is that the boy’s mother is a headmistress in a school. Will she be able to accept that her brother was at fault. Because later she’d refused to to eat food stating that her भतीजे – भतीजियाँ left without having anything. Meanwhile, her brother had got himself busy with booze. While the groom’s father is apologetic, she tries to silence him every time. Probably her ego.

I’d gone to Hatkoti. The Mahishasurmardini idol, was in contrast. The Supreme. And all male deities in her service and the evil under her feet. And there was a pundit in the यज्ञ-शाला – opposite to the main temple. I just happened to ask him about my case, how soon would it get resolved. He said one thing – which made me come back to your posts – “स्त्री के ८४ रूप हैं। दुर्गा भी है, लक्ष्मी भी है, सरस्वती भी है, डाकिनी भी है, शांकिनी भी है…” But does that not apply to men? How many रूप do men have?

I don’t know. I’m confused.