Courteous readers, this blog relates to the domestic situation back in India many centuries ago, also found to have extended till the preceding generation in some families. The greatest deeds and legacy of married women in the society which have greatly helped to build up a successful society have not been much talked about. Many of my female contemporaries still stand in awe for the victorious upbringing of the family. I find that the natural predisposition of ladies that make a house into home was promising.
Family composition is no doubt more than 7 and continues till 12, for some it may go on till 18. They stop because some women die in their pregnancy due to uterine complications and malnutrition. Women were full-time child bearers besides being occupied in the kitchen & farm unlike modern women (descendants of these superwoman) who mark off their child-bearing years and get occupied with work after a brief maternity break to join her husband’s role of supporting the family.
Some women would never stop having kids until they get a male child. Wanting of heir was a big league. When a male child is born, the mother is proud and greeted. He is a crowd pleaser, and is celebrated and respected at his young age. I would rather say because males are predominantly the breadwinners of the family. And the male child is always considered a fortune. He was treated as a “King” and also called so. When a male child was treasured, the females of kin were fostered with pain and with caution. I say pain because when the mother knows the womanliness of her girl is springing up, she fears she might scamper, acting on her female hormones. That was a disgrace to the family and hence the honor killing started.
I have always wondered how they had managed to raise umpteen numbers of kids all at once. She carefully mothers each one of them with no lack of any good thing to the fullest of her strength. I admire the mothers of earlier generations. Women might have been uneducated but they were prudent in nurturing. When it comes to sharing of food, they never waste away their food. The mother diligently shares the food contemplating the hunger of her children. In a stroke of genius, even the remnants are quickly decided to be reinvented into a new dish for the next meal. They were the country’s first Human Resource Managers in action. They were excellent in Material Management, Personnel management, number crunching and securing, fair not to say saving petty changes.
Most of all, they were good in people skills, know the temperament of each kid and deal accordingly…I remember my friend telling me about her grandma’s humble tactics. A toddler with her parents once came to her house for an auspicious occasion. The child demanded 2 handfuls of sweets when they were running out of stock. My friend’s grandma promised the child to give her 2 handfuls if she returns the sweet in her one hand. The child hurriedly returned. Grandma quickly split the sweet into 2 equal halves, shaped into balls out of her sight and gave it back. The child was back happy again. That was smart !
The austerity and dexterity of these women have sustained their families. Though they were respected, their deeds have never been acknowledged, left ungratefully and ignored. She might not have known the distressing and tiresome catch-22 waiting to eat her as a consequence of being married in her dazzling youth. With adrenaline rush and their agility, their strength bounced back to youth.
This is the saga of Indian married woman in the earlier years until Christianity came to India through Lord Jesus’ disciples and missionaries. The love of God entered the hearts and now the husbands love their wives, and the wives submit to their husbands. They do and if they don’t, they learn to do it. Earlier, a girl may rather be called a mother but now a girl carries a love bundle. It’s more of a love thing. Boys love their mothers and consequently love their wives. Love becomes universal as the Lord says in Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Also in James 1:27 it says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Christianity as a religion is caring for orphans and widows. That in one word is “ love”. People understand why the Joy of the Lord is our strength” .
Christianity is belonging to Christ and accepting His true, unconditional, unselfish love in your hearts. His love is for everyone. Biblical values and teachings are the manual to civilized living, soul prosperity, health, healing and harmony.