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Rima Parkar



Rima Parkar


The War Is On

The War Is On

6 mins

Varun, a 30 year old IT professional fell in love with one of his colleagues at work. He expressed his desire to his mother Sushila that he wanted to marry Maya, a 27 year old IT professional just like him. Varun was an only child and had lost his father in a car accident at the age of 14. As a single mother, Sushila had been her son’s best friend, philosopher and guide. In the beginning, she was skeptical on discovering her son’s feelings for an unknown girl. But, on meeting Maya, all her doubts vanished in thin air.

Maya was a simple and sincere girl who loved her son deeply and that was all she wanted. Even her parents seemed to be humble and down-to-earth middle-class people just like them. After a few meetings, both set of parents fixed the wedding venue and date. Varun and Maya became husband and wife with the blessings of their parents and loved ones. Sushila cried tears of joy as she saw her son and daughter-in-law happy together. She missed her husband dearly and wished he were a part of the wedding.

Two days later, the couple left for their honeymoon, leaving Sushila alone and lonely. But they spoke everyday over the phone, where Varun and Maya shared their fun experiences in detail. After they returned, the atmosphere at home changed a lot. Sushila ensured that Maya felt comfortable and at ease. Maya also made sure that she tried her best to keep her husband and mother-in-law happy. But even though both parties gave their 100%, something was amiss. They were poles apart.

Maya was health conscious while Sushila wasn’t. She poured a good quantity of oil in all types of food she prepared while her daughter-in-law poured the least possible oil in her food. All three members of the family had to divide their television timings as they had different choices with regards to the shows they watched. There was a huge difference in the way both women perceived life in general. While Varun and Sushila were early risers, Maya was a late riser. Whenever Maya did the cooking, Sushila would give her tips on perfecting her skills. Sometimes, she listened to her mom-in-law while at times, she would be adamant and do what she felt like.

Sushila’s constant suggestions irked Maya and she didn’t like it when Varun compared her cooking with his mother’s. She felt that no matter how hard she tried, mother and son were never pleased. Her mother-in-law always had something to say about her clothes, her food and her habits in general. On the other hand, Sushila felt that Varun was focused more on Maya’s needs after his marriage and ignored her. After her husband’s death, Varun had become her sole purpose of happiness. Now, that he was married, she rarely got a chance to speak to him privately or discuss her issues with him.

While both women were insecure about each other, Varun faced a hard time trying to keep both of them happy. He didn’t like it when Maya complained about his mother or when his mother spoke bad about Maya. He tried to pacify both of them from his end but to no avail. His mother started feeling that her son had changed while his wife felt that he was only listening to his mother and not even attempting to understand her point of view. Day by day, the situation at home turned from bad to worse. Sushila and Maya were at constant loggerheads and fought desperately for Varun’s attention.

They rarely spoke to each other. They communicated only if required. Unfortunately, they started imagining each other as the vamp in their respective lives and always tried to put the other person down. They argued almost every single day over petty issues. As far as Varun was concerned, he was going bananas. He didn’t know whose side he should take. The women were driving him crazy day-by-day with their kitchen politics. He dreaded coming home everyday and preferred staying outdoors most of the time. 

His relationship with his mother as well as his wife was turning sour and he didn’t know who to blame. He became depressed and avoided communication with both of them. Both women were equally important for him. Why did he have to choose between them? Why couldn’t they just keep their differences aside for awhile, for his sake? In order to bring Sushila and Maya back on track, he ignored both of them no matter how hard they tried. As there was zero communication, there was zero stress for him. Still, they continued their bickering even though he didn’t speak with either of them. This went on for more than a week.

Despite their differences, Sushila and Maya had one thing in common. They both loved Varun unconditionally and wanted to see him happy. Since the last week or more, none of them had seen Varun smile. He ate outside food and even avoided taking his dabba from home. Not only that, he also washed and ironed his own clothes and avoided any help from either of them. He did all of his work on his own, to show them that if they couldn’t stay together with love and affection, he didn’t need either of them.

Both Maya and Sushila became desperate due to Varun’s cold behavior towards them every day. It was a Sunday and Varun left home immediately after having his breakfast. He didn’t tell either of them where he went and purposely left his mobile phone at home so that they couldn’t contact him. And that was when, both the women in his life decided to break the ice.

They decided mutually, that, no matter what happens, they will not bring Varun in between their fights. If they have any issues or problems with each other, they will let each other know about it. They decided to start afresh and apologized to each other. They realized that if they wanted to see Varun happy, they had to keep their differences aside and learn to tolerate each other. They had to understand each other rather than criticizing and blaming each other. They had to become friends, if not mother and daughter. They had to love each other for who they were and what they were.

To Varun’s surprise, when he returned home late in the evening, Sushila and Maya were busy chatting and preparing dinner in the kitchen. Not only that, they were laughing and giggling. As if, nothing had ever happened. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t control himself and let out a smile. After almost 2 weeks, he had accomplished what he had desired. The mother-in-law-daughter-in-law duo apologized to him and convinced him that he wouldn’t have to make a choice between them ever, come what may. He forgave them and hugged both of them together. 

Sushila and Maya’s relationship did not change overnight. They had a tough time but they managed somehow. Now, they have become friends and share everything with each other. Maya usually shares good news with her first, even before conveying it to Varun or her own mother. Sushila has also decided to go the healthy way and both of them go for morning walks together. They even follow a strict diet plan. Not to forget, they still argue. But they make up after some time and Varun doesn’t have a clue about it. And even if he does, he chooses to stay out of it and allows them to address their issues together. Neither do they involve him. Luckily,now, they have their own moments and at times, Varun feels left out.

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