The Curious Case of the Missing Housewives


Cases of domestic violence and crimes against married women have reportedly increased in recent times. In our society, most of the time, womenfolk play the dutiful role of scapegoats. They endure anything and everything to run their homes. Manipuri women have been generally glorified with many adjectives such as akhaang kanbi, thouna leibi, mapuroiba ningbi and so on.

Of late, there is an astonishing discovery related to the changing mindset and nature of Manipuri women. Some of the married women break all the social norms and elope away with guys of their own choice. It has infact become chajik news for us to find out reports in the paper such as ‘mou maangkhrey or chenkhrey or hanjillaktrey’. I was quite unaware about it until my sister cracked a joke about it. She told me, ‘Hujikaangi chatnabini, akhoi asomgi mou amasu mayum ahumlak paankhre’. I had found it hard to believe but I started believing. Welcome to Modern Manipur (At least it sounds so modern).

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

If I have to share my thought salad on this issue, I think it reflects two sides of the same society where we live. On one hand, it is a death blow to the age-old patriarchal norms set by the over-hardworking Manipuri men. These women dare to break the cocoon built by these male lots. They have, all in all, proved that the dominating attitude of male folks and their chauvinism are an 18th-century tale.

On the other hand, it can also be considered as a blot to the typical image of Manipuri women. For all these years, Manipuri women have been glorified as epitome of various virtues. History has witnessed how Manipuri women have been taking active participation in many sociopolitical and economical causes.

It is debatable, however, if these new range of women belong to the same category or not. We would not be astonished to find out that a married woman has eloped with another guy on a few grounds.

It would be understandable if the woman elopes away with another guy — if her husband does not provide a good life, treats her badly and is a master of domestic violence. Shockingly true but some married women deliberately do it even when their husbands provide a decent life and treat them well. Some of these women run away from nupamayum at the cost of ruining their own married life. Some of them even abandon their own kids; and then, endure or simply snub the wrath of our society’s wathi.

TOOLS IN THE MONKEY’S HAND

We do not probe much into the reason why this is trending so fast in our society. Don’t you think we have to discuss why this is happening in our society? Has technology got anything to do with it? The answer is yes. Technology is perhaps a responsible factor.

Let us be bold enough to admit that we do not have any sense of civilization but we make the best use of every technology that is available in the market. And that’s because we can easily afford it. For example, mobile phones of all brands have flooded the market. There is such a craze of mobile phones among us.

One does not have to bother if there is enough grocery at one’s home. But it is really important to recharge one’s mobile balance. It is really sad to acknowledge how the value of relationships has been compromised in our society. Simply put, the mobile phone is a product of the industrial society, but in our shanty town, it is like a tool in the monkey’s hand, so out of place.

MISSING HOUSEWIVES’ CLUB

For married ladies whose husbands are off to work (or off to date other unmarried girls) they want to occupy themselves with something interesting. A random missed call given to a random guy is a reason enough to spark an extramarital affair. No one has the shame and there is no feeling of guilt to indulge in illicit acts with their new-found boyfriends. All in all, they do not have any shame leaving their nupamayum just to elope with a different guy. The case of ‘mou maangkhrey’ is therefore nothing shocking if we can see our super-modern trend.

There is no remedial measure for this unwanted trend that is spreading so rampantly. One cannot blame the Manipuri government for such cases. In our state, even future teachers can block the highway and the government is accountable for it. It is responsible for every mess. Sigh! Our government is at least not responsible for the missing housewives.

This article was published on 7 Oct 2012
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