A doll that goes “Mama”

I come from a country that deifies a woman, the mother-figure most of all. All prayers to godesses, in every language, in different religions are sung in praise of Mother.

Yes, it is probably a complex, near-magical bond, the relationship between a mother and son. More so than between a mother and daughter. After all, for the average woman in Indian society (still very much a man’s world), the son is the male who gives her the most respect and adulation. He is also the male who can be most easily molded by her. A comment on one of my earlier blogs made me think about the relationship of a man with his mother too. She is his first female influence, the all-encompassing womb and the protective, nurturing arms. All said and done….we all enter the world in the same way.

Anywhere in the world, insinuate that a man is attached to his mother’s apron strings and he’ll take it as a personal insult. On the other hand, most Indian men will beam proudly like you’ve called them the greatest thing since chocolate. Yes, I really don’t get it. I don’t want to get it. So fine, you like your mother, that’s cool….but for heavenssake it doesn’t make you a great human being, it doesn’t make you good company, it doesn’t make you attractive or likeable or intelligent or sensitive. And if you’re flaunting your attachment to the mater, chances are she’ll be the only one who finds anything worth loving in you.

Oh well, perhaps not…..Indian women are probably used to it. Every woman I know, married or otherwise affirms the fact that Indian men are indeed….mama’s boys. It is far from annoying….it is alarming. What makes an otherwise intelligent, smart, confident man so dependent on the woman who bore him? Yes, dependency it is. Do not mistake it for love. I love my parents too but I’d find it slightly disgraceful to keep touting myself as “daddy’s little girl”. Most of all, ‘daddy’ would have a fit over his daughter wanting to become a whining, snivelling airhead. I’m so glad I had a sensible upbringing.

Yes, I’m not about to blame the men for this one. The women are entirely at fault. I see it everywhere. What is paraded as great love is emasculation. I know a family where the son has been pampered and cossetted since birth by his doting mama (who has incidently also brought up a girl who is more worldy-wise and mature at 20 than her brother is at 26). As a result this post-graduate professional travels the world, advises his company on important business matters but can’t be relied upon to run his own house or his marriage for that matter. Oh…did I forget…wifey dearest was also “whatever mama thinks is right”. But of course. Mama’s boys like to outsource their brains. Mama is proud of the fact that her darling beta, so important to the world, still pays so much attention to her. Why? Because husband is too busy listening to his mama.

And the cycle continues…..

So it is a pity that most men are being brought up very badly. I would go so far to say that they are being totally ruined by their mothers. Being a parent can’t be an easy job but most parents of daughters do manage to instil in them a sense of responsibility and the ability to handle life. For some reason the parents of sons, on the other hand, will pander to all their whims, make them feel like they are little lords and generally give them a wholly unrealistic view of the world. Small wonder then, that most of these men grow up woefully unable to handle more than basic desicions by themselves. At some point of time the ‘little boy looking for mama’ syndrome is transferred onto the wife or girlfriend or whatever female is available. It is not nice at all. I for one, am not flattered or amused to have to play nursemaid/constant emotional prop to an overgrown baby. When I want to be a mama, I’ll have babies of my own.

There is something slightly unhealthy about an umblical cord that hasn’t been severed over two decades….how I wish men would understand that.

When I was about four, I craved a doll that opened and shut its eyes and said “Mama”. Think I was being conditioned to produce more ‘mama’s boys’? I hope I don’t have sons…..the temptation to twist a brain to fulfil my selfish need is too much to resist. I’m an Indian woman after all.

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on October 25, 2005, in Battle of the sexes, I'm An Indian Woman, Seriously speaking, Survival Guide and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. So true. I’ve never met men who are more into their mothers than desi men. Just found your blog today. Looks very cool so I am bookmarking it.

  2. I kinda agree. I don’t think all Indian men are mama’s boys, but I guess a lot of them are. The whole ma-beta thing is over-glorified in Indian society; hindi movies are a good example. I think the key is to leave home at some point and venture out into the world. I left home at 18 and I don’t think I was a mama’s boy, but it changed a lot of things between me and my parents.

  3. an exerpt from your earlier post… There are two people today in my life who have the power to make me cry and have used it. They are my mother and my best friend. Both women.

    when women are vulnerable it is because the other woman is powerful and when men show vulnerabilities, they are mama’s boys and non-independant and what not…

    i am independant and yet am a mama’s boy… nobody understands me better than my mom and i will go back to her with my problems… and i will be proud of it too 🙂

  4. Accepted. I have nothing against people being close to their mothers. I do however have an issue with people who are dependent on another person for every small desicion…and that goes true for women as well as men. It just seems to come out a lot with this mama’s boy thing.

    As for my mother and my best friend, I’m probably more sensitive to their opinions than to others, but I definitely don’t expect them to solve my problems for me.

  5. LOL the last line is an absolute killer.
    I LOVE this post.

  6. Much generalization, dontcha think? I beg to differ about being the ‘Mama’s boy’, though mama continues to live the dream. Hmmm.

  7. IdeaSmith, this is wonderfully written. I was brought up in a family where we are just two sisters,hence I hadnt known much about a mama’s boy till i got married.
    It was an arranged marriage :)). Had very little time to know my hubby. Its been sometime since my marriage and i realize he is a complete mama’s boy. This fact just irritates hell out of me.
    My analysis is that, though gals are equally pampered, they are sensitive enough to grow out of their parents’ clutches and think independently(unlike the boys).

  8. Gosh!how true…and sometimes sad…Like when you marry one of “mama’s boys”like I did….and now after 9 years of this torture getting separated….Because mama is a goddess and “only person who will ever trully love me”(that’s what my husband said)….but unfortunatelly how we are creatures of habbits and my husbands mother is very strong person,he married me,also quite strong personality…so and that’s it….and because mama wants to rull our life and Im opposing….there is problem…and poore man is stuck in the middle…and cant make decision….without his mama…hm,too bad Im getting out of there…its sick!tried for long enough,but can never give enough….GIRLS BE AWARE OF MAMA”S BOYS AS MUCH AS VIOLENT MEN!!!! it will ruin your life and put you off men for long time(ans I never said all men are the same)….

  9. for me it’s not my husband that is a problem but his mom won’t let go – when we first got married she kept saying I need to pray (and also probably prayed in another life) to God AND her son with golden flowers for snagging him (yeah yeah LOVE marriage.) It got to such a point that she was saying that even to visiting friends/relatives that my husband had to talk to her about it – and she threw a mighty fit and was so hurt because she was after all ‘stating the truth’ – it’s more like he has to indulge her or else life is miserable for all of us.

  10. @ Anonymous: It’s been falling to our lot to make the adjustments like…forever, hasn’t it? All the very best to you!

    @ zuzana: I’m sorry to hear that and I really hope you find your resolution soon.

    @ Lsa: It is mama who creates a mama’s boy after all.

  11. Guess inidan men are born with this disease!!
    No matter what the education background is, no matter if the guy has been living away from his mama dear for a long time, the umbilicord is STILL THERE that gives VITAL nutrition to his head and controls his time and energy. And yeah, tell it to your guy and see his frown, after it is just “caring for his parents”…Gosh..!! as if we women DON’T HAVE PARENTS???
    How we women wished if we could get some priority in our husband’s life and if moma dear could have injected some wisdom in her son’s head instead of praising and pampering her son to ridiculous heights!!

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