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A caged-parrot husband

Being husband is serious business. It seems it was Aristotle who gave mankind the clever choice of repenting either way; whether men and women married or abstained from it. I did not realise the wisdom of the wise old Greek till I was myself hooked by the charms and bliss of matrimony. Writes Col DS Cheema (retd).

chandigarh Updated: Apr 03, 2014 08:54 IST
Col DS Cheema (retd)

Being husband is serious business. It seems it was Aristotle who gave mankind the clever choice of repenting either way; whether men and women married or abstained from it. I did not realise the wisdom of the wise old Greek till I was myself hooked by the charms and bliss of matrimony. I fell head over heels in the marriage pit and those who met the same fate as mine can understand what a terrible fall it was.


It is said that nothing begets nostalgia as much as good wine and bad memory. I have already enjoyed the pleasure of good wine and am here to narrate the story of one deliberate act that changed the course of my life.

Ours was a typical marriage of a small-town boy getting married to a bigger-town girl. I did not realise that in about three years, my wife had became the 'victim' and I the 'foul-mouthed little devil'. And then started my journey of trials and turbulence, the essential ingredients of all marriages.

The 'victim' didn't have to engage any lawyers to fight her case, as I was blessed with a legendary mother-in-law (MIL) and four sisters-in-law (SIL). The abbreviated form of the first lady, by a strange coincidence, is close to the acronym MIML, which stands for Manual of Indian Military Law.

I may clarify that military law is connected to mother-in-law only to the extent that both enjoy tremendous powers.

The 'court' proceedings were not as simple as you may think. It invariably opened with a series of sympathy-evoking sobs from the 'victim', which generally degenerated into full-fledged crocodile tears in due course of time. At such moments she didn't appear to be even remotely connected with me and I often wondered if she was the mother of my two children.

Yours truly was expected to stand mum respectfully. Any effort to defend actions were met with a stern and scornful glance.

Though the MIL played her role to the hilt and cannot be accused of letting her clan down, it goes to her credit that she had taken pains to groom her children well and she, many a times, delegated her authority and projected them to fight the prosecution case under her watchful eyes.

Though she was the producer and director of the drama, enacted at the behest of the 'victim', with the only aim of humiliating yours truly, she had the cheek to announce at suitable intervals that I was one of her favourite sons-in-law.

Knowing well that there could be nothing farther from truth than that proclamation of hers, I still had no option but to adopt the 'golden husband silence' and express my gratitude to her for bestowing the most favoured status on me.

Fortunately, everyone seemed to have matured over time and I started getting hauled up lesser and lesser. And then, unfortunately, MIL passed away. I admit I miss her now.