Classification of Wives
by Kiran Jhamb
(Nagpur, Maharashtra, India)
If you are about to read this essay of mine, you must either be a litterateur or fond of literature. You must be familiar with different types of beloveds/heroines in literature. You will wonder from where has this classification of wives sprung up now? Your disgust might prompt you on the lines, ‘Nowadays the writers are a limit in themselves--they can write on any topic under the sun’ - agreed, since there is no comparison between a beloved and a wife.
And If the discussion has to be in the modern context, why stick to ancient ‘Reetikaal's’ classification? This is 21st century. Today apparel can by itself form a new category. We can discuss heroines wearing many clothes or nearly no clothes. In the subclass of heroine with little clothes can come transparent and non-transparent clothes types. Again under the transparent type there can be two sub-classes that of mini and that of midi. The sleek tanned damsels of ‘Bay-Watch’ or ‘Channel F’ are pure fantasy material and not wifely material. Blue films are outside the purview of this essay.
Since you might question the very selection of my topic, let me give my explanation in advance. There was a time when a wife played a very limited role. In joint families even the time allotted to meeting the wife (mostly during the night) was very limited. Men dealt more with beloveds and less with wives. Therefore the earlier literature had only a classification of beloveds. Today times have changed. Wife has come into the foreground and heroine has receded into the background. With the cost of living being so high wife is ‘all in one’. The fear of STD/AIDS too has increased the importance of wife. So in public interest this topic can be discussed.
No classical information is available on this subject. I am the first one to write on this subject. My research too is in the incipient stage. Therefore, I have specified only nomenclature and given one or two examples of every type. I invite readers to lend a hand in doing detailed analysis and classification which will be done at a later stage.
There are seven known types of wives available in the present times. They are – one with the nose, with the ears, with the tongue, with the hands, with a kick, with a Big dowry and the last but not the least, the earning wife. I have not only hope but also full faith that this essay of mine will be useful to the ambitious aspirants to matrimony.
Wife with a high nose: A romantic had read about high Grecian nose. He knew that a high nose is counted beautiful. So he married a woman with a high Grecian nose. Little did he realize that her nose would always remain up in the air. He thought since she was from a noble family she would make his life a heaven. But alas, the wife was always worried about her nose. She spent thousands of her husband’s hard earned rupees on maintaining her personal standards, treating the husband as merely a spoke of the wheel. Her olfactory power was marvellous. If the husband ever happened to talk to a woman colleague, the wife could sniff it from miles apart and loo and behold she would be there to chastise him. As a result that husband’s chastity always remained preserved.
Wife with the ears: - Most of the wives have good well-tuned ears. The scientists believe that women have better hearing power than men. At times their hearing is so powerful that they even hear dialogues which were not uttered. Men who are not talkative prefer such wives. One fellow complained to his mother about his wife at a time when the wife was taking bath, but the wife had such sensitive ears that she heard it in the bathroom, and the poor husband had to face a lot of insensitivity from her in the bedroom.
Wife with teeth: - This kind of wife reminds you of some advertisement of toothpaste. At any and every small matter she flashes her healthy dentures. Such wives suit men who want to use their wives as a show-piece.
Wife with a tongue: - According to the scientists a women’s tongue is smaller than a man’s is. Therefore it can work faster. Every wife has a razor sharp tongue and from time to time uses it. Some wives use their tongue and not teeth when they want to bite a chunk off their husband or in-laws because if teeth are used tell-tale traces are left, which may lead to a police case. Deaf men can live happily with women whose tongue is too big for their mouths.
Wife with hands: - Hands can be used in two ways. They can be used for working as well as hitting. Smart wives, for the first purpose use their husband’s hands and for the latter purpose use their own while dealing with their mother-in-law, sister-in-law or even the husband. Such wives are highly suitable for wrestlers.
Wife with a kick: - Legs are used by wives for kicking. Most of the women indulge in kicking practice in the bedroom. Brazen men can take on such wives.
Well-dowered Wife: - Such a wife brings ample dowry and turns the humble abode of her husband into a palace. There is no need to look for her nose, ears, tongue, hands or legs. Her big dowry conceals her every shortcoming. That is the reason why the wife with a big dowry is counted the best wife.
Following this prevailing trend of our society, I brought home the wife with a big dowry. One day I brought home cheap seasonal vegetables. The moment she spied them, she threw them at me and shouted, “I have brought such a huge dowry and loads of cash - you can buy costly veggies with the interest only. Then why these rotten veggies?” Before I could answer her, my old mother intervened to safeguard my interests and dragged me to the other room. There she explained, “Son, keep quiet. If she gets annoyed she can divorce you. Nowadays the brides have the right to take their ‘streedhan’ back if the marriage ends in divorce.” I protested, “Ma, once, only once has she brought this dowry, will I have to listen to her taunts throughout my life?” Mother poured her whole wisdom in her advice, “Son, the husband of the well-dowered wife has to listen, has to seal his lips. Be patient. Slowly you will get accustomed. Have a good look at your father – see, how happily he lives”.
Being the husband of the wife with a big dowry, I immediately went and apologized to her. So in this way I kept my illusion of being the best husband of the best wife intact.
Earning Wife: - This is a product of the modern age. Up to quite recent times the wife with a big dowry was counted the best. Now the earning wife is much in demand. Her salary covers her every defect - whether physical or behavioural. Fair complexion, lovely features are not the requisites of the earning wife.
The earning wife understands her own importance. In case she is ignorant of it, her parents or her colleagues quickly disabuse her of such simplicity. She is her husband’s equal half in the real sense. Every small or big decision is taken after her advice.
I had selected my wife according to my times. Following the trend of his times my son selected an earning wife. He advised us, "She is a milk giving cow. Even if she kicks once or twice - bear her kicks.” We agreed. Now he considers himself the best husband of the best wife.
By writing this piece I have widened the choice of the candidates looking for a wife, clarified their notions. Now they should select a wife who suits their fancy, needs and shift from the stage of being merrily unmarried to the stage of unmerrily married.
I think it’s my duty to warn the future husbands that a woman’s dress should never be the deciding factor. A dress can be misleading. My experience has shown that sometimes women who wear saris don’t have the modesty, which goes with the sari, and are viragos and not virgins. Similarly modern women who belong to the jeans brigade can be seen observing traditional karwachouth like a Savitri. The floor is yours… ***