Wife: (Apprehension and confusion on the face)
I want to talk to you about something
Husband: (without looking up from the phone)
Yeah. Tell me.
Wife: (Again the same apprehension with a little bit of guilt)
It’s a long weekend starting from 13th of this month. I was thinking of going to my mother’s home (maika). If there is nothing important coming up, I shall book my and kids tickets.
Husband: (Suddenly alert, up from the phone, curious, surprised)
But you just went there two months back. What’s the hurry ?? Anything important ??
Wife: (Now scared that her plans would go kaput, very upset and almost teary eyed).
Yes. But two months is long time no??And mom is missing the kids. Besides, there is my massi’s nephew’s sister’s
engagement. And there is also some shopping that I have to do for Diwali.
But Diwali is 4 months away.
Wife: (Looking like she will start crying any moment now.)
Husband: (Giving up. Better say yes than watch the wife crying and then not talking for a week).
Ok sure. Go ahead.
Wife: A BIG SIGH OF RELIEF !! And yes of course, the butterflies in the stomach kind of happiness and excitement.
Husband: Still thinking why his wife is so desperate to go to her mother’s home EVERY SINGLE TIME.
This is one of the most common discussions happening in almost all the Indian households. Whether the wife is stay at home mother or working, emotionally strong or dependent, bold or shy. Since the time, she leaves the home for higher education or for the job or she gets married. Even after she herself becomes a mother or when her own daughter leaves for higher studies. Whether her mother stays in the same city or another country altogether. Every Indian girl, wife, mother craves and yearns to go to her “Maika” her maternal home as often as possible.
And husbands still can’t fathom what isthis: “Jab dekho tab maike chalo” phenomenon with all their intellect and emotions put together.
So once and for all, let me explain it in detail.
Wife wants to go to her “Maika” so often because it’s the place where she was born and grew. It’s the place where she was taught to walk, talk, see the world and experience all the varied emotions that come with it. It’s the elementary foundation of her soul. It’s the place where she became what she is and what she remains for the life.
At her maika, she can stay awake till the wee hours of the morning – out of choice, not out of worry – watching the stars and reliving the childhood summer memories. She can spend one hour sipping the tea and watching the neem leaves falling one by one from her own bed and favorite window. She can actually read the newspaper in the morning and watch the TV soap in the evening. She can take a stroll from the very roads and gallis where she had played lukka chuppi and gossiped with her friends.
Here, she doesn’t have to think about what to cook for the next morning. Her mind doesn’t feel heavy thinking about the weekly list of grocery and vegetables. It doesn’t matter if the kids are not studying and running around creating mess. At 6.30 in the morning, she can sleep peacefully and not get up to open the door for dudh wala and paper wala.
She goes there to watch her father lovingly tend to his garden and then scold her like childhood when she plucks a red rose. She goes there to listen to her brother teasing her “Moti, kam khaya kar” but at the same time who takes her to her favorite paani puri stall on his Bajaj Splendor. Yes. There are lot of relatives visiting. But the time is spent chatting, gossiping and late night walks, not cooking cooking and more cooking.
Every day is a weekend. She talks to friends merrily everyday face to face, not on whats app. And the talks are generally memories from the college, not the everyday troubles and tribulations about office, EMIs, expenses, and in-laws.
She can lie down in her mother’s lap and be a child again here. The mother expresses concern about her stressful life in the city. While she is worried about the mother’s growing back pain. In that moment of togetherness, the maa-beti share their care, affection, warmth and the eternal bond of love for each other. They both shed copious amounts of tears. But the tears are of joy and happiness, not sorrow and pain.
She goes to her Maika to fill up her grail of love to last her till the next visit.
She goes there for the same reason the husband doesn’t leave his own home at all.
She goes there so often to feel at home. To feel at HER OWN HOME once again. And in that moment, she wants to be one with her true self.