Thursday, January 17, 2013

I am the Boss. Or Not?


My father used to introduce mother as, “Meet my Mrs,” or “Meet my wife.” He would refrain from taking her first name, even though she was a good five years younger than him. Mother did not take offence as it was a matter of propriety with no intentions of belittling her identity. However, during private conversations my parents had endearing terms for calling each other. As we grew up, they opted for a more conservative ‘suniye’.
Most couples today, do not shy away from taking first names. Short meaningful names ensure that you don’t become a Bebo or a Duggu. Or Pappu. Or Munna. 
Since I had an official short name, name mangling was never my concern. But as they say, in life, expect the unexpected. It so happened that when I got married, my sister-in-law turned out to be my namesake. The husband refused to call me by the same name. He did come up with some alternatives, but his pickings were spurned with the angst of youth.“The change of family name is enough. I am not going to change my first name,” I declared.


So I oscillated between unmentionable terms of endearment which are so lovingly bestowed during the first few months of marriage.Baby, Baba, Janu, Jani, Kootchie, Pootchie. After the initial ‘pyaar ka bukhaar’ subsided, it dawned that all the above terms were ‘haww-worthy’ in a joint family. Thus began the hunt for a new name.
As happens, after a decade of marriage, the husband began to enjoy ‘Wife is Boss’ jokes. The ones which go like, 'A man is incomplete until he is married. After that, he is finished', or 'It doesn't matter how often a married man changes his job, he still ends up with the same boss'. These jokes have been done to death, but they never cease to amuse married men.

Meanwhile, I don’t exactly remember when and how, I was christened as ‘The Boss’. This was also the time when ‘Hari Sadu’ advertisement for ‘naukri.com’ was on air. Remember, H for Hitler, A for Arrogant, R for Rascal…? Worse, our son joined the chorus and began calling me 'The Boss'. In fact, the way I find myself obeying our son, it seems as if he is the Biggest Boss. As if it was not enough, my mother called to say, " How are you doing Boss?"
And this Bossing charade irks more after they take a decision and then inform, 'Boss, we've booked the tickets'. Worse, the father and son duo ‘Boss’ me at social gatherings. Interestingly, there is a distinct sense of déjà vu among my husband’s colleagues. They smile knowingly as if to say, “We are in the same boat”.
So yes, my pet name, alternately irritating and endearing, has become the bane of my life.

“Which curtains to buy?”
“You're the boss. You decide.”

“Where should we go for a vacation?”
“You're the boss. You decide.”

“Should I go jump in a well?”
“You're the boss. You decide.”

Believe you me, I am anything but bossy. I am lulled into believing that I am one. Just as Manmohan Singh was.

65 comments:

  1. That was hilarious! Now I wish I should never be addressed as 'Boss' ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On your guard Akanksha.....see I warned you.:)

      Delete
  2. That was really funny Boss !
    My parents call each other by name .. so e never got to hear the conventional sunte ho while growing up !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My parents got down to suniye in their late fifties.

      Delete
  3. Yes Boss! Nice one. My name shortened becomes more endearing, so no fuss.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes Boss.
    Can't take away the fact that husbands are heavily dependent on their wife.
    It takes them a few years after marriage to realise this as till then they were dependent upon their mother.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Laughing put loud and imagining how Boss would sound from a child! :D
    Nice post, Boss :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me Shilpa, son messaged me just now......boss I am arriving on the 24th.

      Delete
  6. Hehe
    My mom is also titled home minister aka boss but she is not always the decision maker ! That manmohan Singh thing is true ;)

    Next time If your husband or son get cranky seeing some dish on table which they don't want tell them you are the boss . You decide

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For dinner table table decisions, they will happily let me be the real boss. :)

      Delete
  7. Hehheh...so with that Manmohan joke, Boss is now passe'! You must get one dhamakedaar one for yourself now!
    But before all that, do tell us some of the unmentionable nicknames that you were almost tagged with!
    Delightful essay, as always!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only hope I don't become Don.
      Lol

      Delete
    2. Since u r a dear friend, it was cootchie and pootchie.

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lol! I think that is how it goes.. and I am learning each day about both! :P Being Manmohan & Sonia :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the way it works on most occasions.

      Delete
  10. Alka,

    Enjoyed all through as I could relate to this very well. Your last line takes the cake.

    Take care

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's a trap, Alka, to make us do all the hard work. Gosh! what a bunch of gullible fools we women are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. U got it right. It's a trap...
      ....after this post son says he will call me The Don

      Delete
  12. Another Big Boss 7 in making! A nice read:)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lol...enjoyed the post and comments too...completed a decade but never been called boss yet...may be they know they are the bosses..:-) even if they do, it'll be like all others...Mr PM & Sonia...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since a decade is over, be on your guard.....it could come anytime.
      :)

      Delete
  14. For the record, I have never called Geet 'Boss'. It is a tacit pact between us because the moment I start calling her Boss, I know that I will be doing all that work which she efficiently manages. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geet is such a sweet short name. I guess it's the beginning for you both....honeymoon time.

      Delete
  15. hehe seriously married men enjoy this wife bossing kind of jokes, wheras in reality that is so not true. You answer in the end was ulti witty and I guess you can use that weapon when they use the boss word again :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They enjoy it more because they know it is not true.

      Delete
  16. Wow really, I've never been called boss, boss ;-). We call each other by our names. What is strange is that my pet name is only used by my family and his by his family. We've of course got our terms of endearment for each other which we avoid in front of kids ;-). My dad and mom never called each other by names like you pointed out was your case. And she was always Mrs. Srivastava or bhabhiji. Luckily, our generation of friends on both sides address each other by our first names. But when someone calls me Mrs. Parmar or bhabhiji, I do a double take! How times change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha...my mom was Mrs Srivastava too. And you are do right.

      Even the name plates today say Sharmas or Guptas. Or they put first names, unlike yesteryears.

      Delete
  17. Nyc post.. I still waiting for my BOSS .. Bt grow up to hear like suniye ji... Sunti ho.. Raju k papa mummy etc... Bt now time changing.. Bt sons called boss this is diffrent...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me, even my mother calls me by the same name.

      Delete
  18. LOL...:D

    So you are bestowed with the title of The Boss while you are no real boss, it is like corporates giving fancy designations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly...and then they try to rub it in.
      :)

      Delete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. :) funny but very true Alka....though my husband never calls me Boss and I used to think why is that? like many of his friends does. But now I am happy that I am not the "so called" BOSS...:).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's a sweet trap. The trick is not to get trapped.
      :)

      Delete
  21. Hilarious to the core! It must be different yet nice to have your son call you Boss :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even my mom calls me by the same name....it really bugs me.

      Delete
  22. "Yes Boss" alternating with "Yes Ma'am". These are what I am faced with. It irritates the hell out off me. Honestly, if they meant it at least it would be worth it. But no, it is just like you said about Manmohan Singh! He he.. I am going to use this line the next time! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. It indeed is the collective story of the 90% of Indians and I no longer wonder why Justice Katju had evoked that statement of 90%Indians.

    Nevertheless, It was a good read, especially the part here you brought the analogy "the boss" and Manmohan Singh.

    ReplyDelete
  24. nice! :)
    its sometimes the personality that singles out a person >>

    ReplyDelete
  25. That's the irony. No one else thinks, I am bossy. It's a trap set by the husband and son.

    ReplyDelete
  26. मंगलवार 22/01/2013को आपकी यह बेहतरीन पोस्ट http://nayi-purani-halchal.blogspot.in पर लिंक की जा रही हैं .... !!

    आपके सुझावों का स्वागत है .... !!
    धन्यवाद .... !!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Boss sounds a darn sight better than 'Memsaab' I tell you. Fortunately neither of the brats called me by that name :D

    Hey, I am not getting your mail notifications and so am missing your posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Memsab is definitely worse. I will check the settings.

      Delete
  28. This is so funny, you had me laughing throughout the post.

    Btw...Boss, I loved this post ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. You probably cause it to appear not thay hard and your speech, nonetheless i'm finding the following make a difference to be in fact the one thing that we come to feel I would never ever realize. Seems like also complex as well as extensive for me. I’m having a look ahead in your upcoming website, I will make an attempt to receive the hang from it!
    Take a look at my homepage ... 7063

    ReplyDelete
  30. 'Suniye' should get an entry in Hindi dictionaries as a common noun, a proper noun and a pronoun. Anyway, Boss is an infinitely better name than Suniye any day.

    That is a short but telling brief of phases in life. I can empathise with your struggle for a name. I was invariably addressed as 'Pandey' in my earlier days and I just hated it. Not that Pandeys were at a discount in those days but it sounded so impersonal. After a time though it has all become so immaterial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, ha.... But Pandey is cool after Dabangg.

      Delete
  31. LOL...that's a hilarious post Boss!...
    I will try this with my wife today... :p

    ReplyDelete
  32. I stand with the same kind of conviction, if ever getting married I'll keep my maiden name! The Hari Sadu thing and the boss link up might have been tough to go on with? Infact I like your posts, they are crisp and with economical English put to use!

    Kindly visit

    www.rinzurajan.blogspot.in

    Thanking you

    ReplyDelete