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Love, Rotis And A Pinch Of Wisdom From A Mother

Posted: June 16, 2015

A mother writes a heartfelt letter to her son, on why he should not laugh at his wife’s shapeless rotis. A must read.

Dear Son,

Hope this letter finds you in the best of spirits and health.

You might be surprised to find an email from your mom. Something told me to write to you; that you need to hear from me today.

It was indeed one of the best evenings that your father and I spent when you visited us with your new wife yesterday. Rest assured, we liked her immensely. I could see that both of you are very much in love and that makes me happy. May your love grow every moment!

Now let me get to the reason for writing this letter. I don’t know whether you remember, but during dinner, you cracked a joke about the shapeless rotis that Lavanya makes. We all laughed and your father laughed the loudest. There were tears of laughter in your father’s eyes and there were tears in your wife’s eyes too. I can assure you that her tears were not of mirth; they were tears of mortification, of shame brought about by the innocuous joke that you cracked.

I can assure you that her tears were not of mirth; they were tears of mortification, of shame brought about by the innocuous joke that you cracked.

I guess that joke was the reason why we heard raised voices coming from your room yesterday night and the reason why Lavanya appeared puffy eyed in the morning. Maybe she cried all night.

Son, I want to tell you something. I love shapeless rotis. They bring back many fond memories. They remind me of the shapeless rotis made by my father on certain Saturday mornings when my mother had extra duty at her office. They often lacked salt, were hard like rock and were shaped like various continents. But his love for us compensated for all that it lacked.

Shapeless rotis also bring memories of those days when your father turned into my cook. It was during those early days of pregnancy while I was carrying you. I couldn’t bear the smell of spices or rice or anything cooking. Your father would churn out shapeless rotis and experimental curries, which tasted quite good because he wanted to provide home cooked food for his wife and unborn child. His care and affection made those rotis priceless.

Do you remember how you used to insist on helping me while I prepared rotis when you were around four years old? You would play with the dough and create various shapes that you wanted to be cooked and served to all. I can tell you, those were the tastiest rotis that I ever ate.

Words can create a world full of love. Yet, a thoughtless word is enough to destroy that world.

Words can create a world full of love. Yet, a thoughtless word is enough to destroy that world.

Lavanya and you are equally qualified; you both earn equally well too. You have both spent an equal number of years educating yourself to be the professionals that you are. But you expect Lavanya to become the perfect cook and home-maker from the moment you married her! How unreasonable is that?

Rahul, no new wife wants to be ridiculed in front of her in-laws. Trust me, I can tell you that. Been there, done that. She craves to be loved by them and she expects her husband’s support in her effort at endearing herself to them.

Teething troubles in marriages are often capable of draining out the love you have for each other. Be there for her while she adapts herself to your world. A small token of appreciation and open support is all that she will need.

You are my beloved son and I know you have learned to see the brighter side of things. Value love more than any other thing because son, perfectly round rotis are often machine made. They lack the most essential ingredient; Love.

Wishing you a world of love,

Yours loving mother,


Rotis with curry image via Shutterstock

Preethi Venugopala is a Civil Engineer by profession and an artist and writer by passion.

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  1. OOhho what an awesome letter and an equally awesome mother-in-law. Great piece Preeti. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Great one. My mom should have felt thesame when I made dosas for her for the first time ever 🙂

  3. Very nice… Wondering what stopped the mother from saying this when the event occured. That way, the dil would have been assured of the support of the in-laws too. I remember my mil saying similar things to her mother (my grand mil) – “Both of them work and both of them are equally qualified. Why do we expect her to do all the housework? My son is expected to contribute equally at home.”

    • Nice thought Uma Sundaram. May be her love for her son prevented her to openly criticize him in front of his daughter-in-law.
      I do believe that must have been the sentiment. 🙂

  4. What irritated me was that while she (the mother) goes on about son and daughter -in-law being equally qualified, both equally well paying jobs – she didn’t tell her son to get into the kitchen…instead she berates him for expecting perfect rotis from the beginning. So no expectation of equality at home and in the kitchen. It remains the woman’s job, still. So much for the mother caring about the daughter-in-law. Sigh… nothing changes.

    • Kamini, thanks for reading. Rahul’s mother chides him for expecting Lavanya to be a perfect homemaker after she explains how they are equal in every manner. As to how unreasonable his expectations are! I believe she means much more than just perfect rotis or being a perfect home maker through this letter I guess!

  5. Nice article but, like Kamini, I am wondering why the mother didn’t ask her son to enter the kitchen and start pitching in. Not “help out” mind you, but PITCH in. Be an equal partner in kitchen duties as well. After all, they are both equally qualified.

    My husband was raised with a distinct classification of what women were supposed to do and what were mens’ duties. I am happy that he was open minded enough that he changed his thinking once he heard my opinions on these ideas. He has changed to the extent that just two days ago he supported me in a (good natured) debate with his mom about men needing to be equal partners in the kitchen and around the house. He even disagreed with his mom, with conviction, that he did not believe that the female gender was genetically predisposed to be a better care provider or cook. He said both men and women have the same capabilities and what makes the difference is how they are brought up and what messages they receive explicitly or implicitly throughout their childhood (and even later).

    My father used to cook and clean too. Not to “help out” my mom, but to carry his fair share of responsibilities. We need more articles reflecting that mindset, not the ones that teach men to be more patient until their wives learn to be perfect homemakers. We need to send out the message that the wife doesn’t need to be the only homemaker – that both of them can make their home together.

    • Thanks for reading Cee Kay. I know many men who doesn’t enter Kitchen. But many are changing though the change is gradual. I agree we need more articles that teach men to treat women as their equals. But as I said, the change is gradual and won’t happen one fine morning. Glad to know that you have such fine examples of men in your life. May their tribe grow!

  6. Lovely lesson on showing compassion – from a mother to her son. Superb!

  7. The most amazing piece, I read today! 🙂

  8. Pingback: What exactly is “Shaadi Material” – LEAPING WINDOW

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