Mahesh Praksh Mishra, who works with a large multinational company as a software engineer and has travelled to US, Canada, Europe and Korea multiple times, stunned his perspective in-laws when he demanded a laptop in dowry. His shocked mother-in-law, who never expected this from her globe trotting son-in-law did not say no to the demand but instead gave him only limited access on the laptop.
‘I never expected this kind of demand from a person who has been travelling to numerous countries. Nevertheless, we gifted him one on his marriage along with other household items and gold jewellery.’
Our reporter, who had met Mahesh earlier and knew his displeasure over not being given admin rights on his brand new touch screen based Dell, when informed the mother-in-law about it, she seemed very clear about her motive.
‘When we inquired about the guy before saying yes to the marriage proposal, we came to know that he works best under pressure. Last year, he got one project which should have taken one month to complete. Instead, he asked for three months. Surprisingly, the client agreed for three months because he was drunk at that moment. Mahesh did not do anything on the project for two and a half months and started working on the project in last 2 weeks. There was a panic situation in the last week but he came out with flying colors and got best employee of the year award for this project. So you see, it’s very important to keep him on his toes. If I have the admin rights with me, he cannot mess up with my daughter. Whenever he has to install or uninstall something or change Wi-fi password, he has to ask me. That keeps a check on him, else he will install every damn thing on my laptop.’
‘Your laptop !’
‘His laptop, you can say.’
‘Does he not bother you at odd time of the day, say 2 am, that he wants to install something and needs the admin password?
‘He did couple of times, but then we defined a process, like IT department of his company. He has to list all the admin related needs and when we meet once in two weeks, I review the list and allow him to do the approved changes in my computer, his computer I mean. It also gives me a chance to see my daughter more often, because Mahesh always looks forward to meet me.’
‘Does you daughter, Mahesh’s wife, know the password?’
‘She used to know, but then one night, in a moment of passion, Mahesh asked her the password and she revealed. She is immature, does not know the intricacies of family game. The very next day, I reached their home, changed the password and now no one except me knows it.’
‘Isn’t it too much pressure on Mahesh?’
‘This is just formalizing the process which is already in practice. You tell me, can a man do anything without the consent of his wife and mother-in-law? My husband cannot even change the channel on TV without taking my permission. Admin password is just a way to make the existing system full-proof. Anyway he doesn’t do anything on laptop except Facebook and twitter. He should be thankful to me that I don’t control his access to Facebook and twitter.’
When we contacted Mahesh, he was checking whatsapp messages on his mobile phone during lunch time, outside his office and was surrounded by four of his co-workers.
‘Why demand for laptop in dowry?’ was our first question.
‘I have made eight trips to foreign countries in last 5 years, and on every visit, I get a demand from some relative to get them a laptop. I never got a chance to buy one for myself. To discourage this practice, I even brought a laptop with Korean Windows for one of my cousins, but that did not deter my other relatives from asking to get one for them. Though I am happy to do Facebook, twitter and whatsapp on my Galaxy chhotu and Galaxy baddu, I thought let me get one laptop for myself from my in-laws. I did not know it will be so torturous for me.’
‘What’s your plan for future, are you going to continue to bear this?’
‘Baby’ his eyes beamed. After a brief pause, he continued. ‘Earlier, I had planned a baby after three years, but now, I want to do it as soon as possible. Once the baby is around playing with mobiles, tabs and laptops, MIL will have no choice but to reveal everything.’
‘Does your wife agree to have a baby so early, you got married only recently?’
‘She is immature, does not know much about all these intricacies. I will convince her. If not anything else, I can always puncture the rubber.’
The manly laughters continued.
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