Mum’s the last word!
Quick question single ladies — what do you get when you cross an Alpha male with a Mama’s Boy? Ah, any one of your exes, you say? You know this already, you are not alone. Women across the country are wondering what to do when their successful, intelligent, independent, manly-men turn into simpering little boys who need Mummy’s approval. And if mummy says ‘no’, then the fat lady has indeed sung — it’s over.
Take Wadia scion Ness: young, successful, dating one of the few ‘thinking’ actresses in Hindi cinema. But Ms Zinta was kept dangling while Ness tried to win Maureen’s approval. Four years on, Mama’s will prevailed and the relationship went kaput.
Danseuse and interior designer, Vani Ganapathy looks at the situation with cynicism. “I think they just use their mothers as an excuse. They’re either bored or maybe the relationship has not evolved. In the case of celeb men, a lot of hype is built when it is assumed that the mother is not in favour. And the men play along.”
But the stories persist. Ranbir Kapoor showed his heart ultimately belonged to mummy Neetu Kapoor Singh. Neetu apparently believed Deepika Padukone was not ‘ideal bahu’ material for the Kapoor khandaan.
Or arguably India’s most eligible bachelor (with arguably India’s most intimidating potential mother-in-law) politician Rahul Gandhi has rumouredly said ciao to his long-standing Columbian girlfriend because mama Sonia did not approve. “You have to be strong minded to be able to stand up to your family,” says model Raghu Mukherjee. “Guys opt to go with mama’s advice because if things go wrong, they may not get family support and may even be cut off from the inheritance!”
But even self-made men, like our celebrity cricketers are guilty. Cricketer Harbhajan Singh rumouredly introduced actress Geeta Basra to his parents. But that’s over and Bhajji has gone public saying he’ll get married soon because his mum wants a bahu.
Awww. Yuvraj Singh may have been nuts about Kim Sharma but when mama Shabnam tut-tutted about her, that relationship was stumped. And they’re both following cricketer Rahul Dravid’s footsteps who allegedly dated actress Raveena Tandon but refused to acknowledge the relationship because mama Dravid didn’t like his filmy alliances.
The million dollar question is: what makes grown-up successful men go running back to mummy when it comes to matters of the heart? Echoing the psychological core of hours of saas-bahu soaps, Dr Anand Rao, clinical psychologist says — having helicoptered over their education, wardrobes and lives, most mothers want to retain emotional control. A daughter-in-law not chosen by them is perceived as a threat. “They resort to emotional blackmail and usually, these sons are too strongly attached to their mothers and often given into their demands.”
It’s in the DNA, ladies, like it or lump it. When you’re being wooed with the mere paas gadi hai, bungalow hai, bank balance hai line,’ what you need to really listen for is the quietly whispered ‘mere paas maa hai.’