Mother in law vs daughter in law

This post is purely imaginative and while it refers to the characters as Rekha – my wife and Selvi – my mother…they were in no way involved in this incident. This post has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with me!

Fully aware of my hair`s need for coconut oil, my mother decided that Sunday was a good day for me to apply coconut oil and take bath. Like a lamb to the slaughter, I extended my head while she applied copious amount of Parachute oil (I still wonder why coconut oil has to be named Parachute. Why not ‘Lifeboat`?). Till this seemingly small incident, I didn`t realize that my hair was disputed territory. Though, the intelligent me should have guessed that anything at the top – Kashmir for example – is likely to be disputed. At least that is what half the World says.

I heard my wife, who I assume was just passing by, say: “Aunty, I could have done that.”

I heard my mother quickly respond, as if somebody had already given her the script and she had been practicing all night. “That`s ok dear. He is my son after all and I applied oil on his head for 28 years before you married him.”

“But now, I have married him, aunty.”

“That doesn`t mean I can`t apply oil on his head. Or does it?”

I tried to intervene but could only say ‘hey, mother…Rekha…” before my mother rolled my head around in such a way that my Adam`s apple hurt. Surprisingly, it was Adam`s apple but I felt the pain. While on the subject of apples, did you know that Newton`s apple fell? Anyway, I couldn`t utter a single word thereafter and was a mute spectator to this favorite pastime in Indian families.

“I know you have been applying oil on his hair for the last 28 years and that`s precisely why I am asking you to leave this to me now.” It was Rekha. She had her arms akimbo which meant she was angry.

With bated breath I waited for my mother to respond. What was she going to say? I saw logic in what my wife was saying.

“Rekha dear (I swear I spotted some sarcasm when she uttered the word ‘dear`)…you will know once you give birth to your child.”

“But aunty, you would have applied oil on uncle`s hair…so it is only just that you give me my share of joy.” You could accuse me of being a hen-pecked husband but I thought my wife was doing a fairly good job here.

Maybe the argument was taking a toll on my mother`s motor faculties…she was just running her oily, sticky fingers through my hair now. I knew she was thinking. Hard.

“Are you saying you will not apply oil on your son`s hair after he is married?” Now, the scales seem to tilt in my mother`s favor. I wondered how Rekha saw herself reacting when a similar situation arose – 30 years hence.

There was a long silence. Was it the right time for me to intervene? I wasn`t so sure. Many a times, a rabbit gets hurt because it thinks the tigresses are in a playful mood and it is the right time to get out of the shrub. I held my breath.

Rekha spoke first. “I agree aunty. You have every right to apply oil…by depriving you of a chance now I don`t want to let go of my chance when my son marries. Besides, medical facilities are really good now-a-days…and for all we know…I might not be able to cheat after you are gone.”

I thought I heard my mother`s victory smile. It was the right time to emerge from under my bush. I said: “Peace then, huh?”

Before my mother could say anything my wife jumped up and said, “Let me give you an oil massage today.” I smiled – luck takes many forms before it smiles on you. As I followed my wife I heard myself say: ‘Sorry, mom!”

Other Nasty Reads

# What if there were no women in the World
# Kid Story: How Onion got its clothes
# Farting…the fading art
# The art of making good tea
# Married men, watch out for dinner-time

By Jamshed V Rajan

Jammy, as Jamshed V Rajan is affectionately called, is a wannabe stand up comedian. He has a funny take on most things but documents only some of them. If you are interested in chatting up with him, do drop him an email at or message him at +919650080255.

22 replies on “Mother in law vs daughter in law”

Shiva: thanks mate. But please don’t brand me. Branding is for products – items with no life & intelligence of their own.

Joseph: There can be no fire without some smoke…the first paragraph was a bit of smoke i let out so that you believe that there indeed was some fire in the family 🙂

lol. looks like there is another daily soap opera(or is it OIL Opera) going on .. should we called Kahani Sir Sir ki or Saas ne kabhi Champi ki thi??

By the way congrates at least you got Oil Massage free with a head massage.:))!!!

you mean there will be any scope for dilemma after 25 years .. raj ? i think father day and mother day will be celebrated grandly after some years……..

Been there.. the battle between MIL and DIL over the son is always there… well guess after the bath and massage it is time for the favorite shirt fight…

Pooh.. It will not be the Shirt fight.. Who will serve the man…the DIL or MIL…and what is good for him to eat..
Isnt that Jammy… Expecting a Sequel to this “Mother in law vs daughter in law”

Santosh: Thanks man. but remember an oil massage given out of love and a oil massage given to prove a point are two totally different things. THIS TIP will come in handy when u get married.

nina: definitely. when u say ‘father day and mother day will be celebrated grandly’ do you mean the grand-parents will also be there?

Pooh: Talk about favorite shirts? In my house it is even favorite trains! While wife likes me to travel to my home town by the train that leaves Chennai last and moher want me to take the train that starts first!

Uma: Sequel to this “Mother in law vs daughter in law” post? I dont think that is a difficult task considering my mother will spend more time with us after the baby is born

Hi Jammy,

You must write a post on why do South Indians twist the spelling of others’ names.

e.g. I spell my name as Ranjeet and write a comment on your blog. And you reply back to ‘Ranjith’ !


You must write one day on this ‘annoying’ habit of South Indians! It will be great to read!

– Ranjeet / Ranjith / Renjith…Whatever

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