As a postscript to the last post on falling sex ratios etc,
I am reminded of an old, popular Lokokti (Lok + Ukti = people + sayings = the things people say)...
It says that all the major wars of this world are fought on three counts - Jar, Joru, Jameen.
Jar/zar = gold, Joru = wife/woman, Jameen/zameen = land.
Which basically means that the source of all human conflict is money, women and property and/or life-supporting-generating resources.
As a woman, I was initially offended by this statement... we women do NOT cause wars! If we had our way, there would be no wars. We don't even like large-scale conflict... Can't they see that? Morons!
In retrospect (ah! the wisdom tooth has made an appearance), I realise that the reference to 'woman' or 'wife' is not a direct one. It probably refers to a whole set of values, attitudes, perceptions and investments that came laden with the word 'joru'.
Think about it - a joru or a wife is not just a woman.
She is property.
She is sex.
She is love (?).
She is the other half of an economic unit; a business partner too. So, she is wealth. She is human resource.
She is comfort and warmth.
She is a servant - cook, maid, nurse, gardener, fellow-labourer.
She is a mistress.
She is an ideal to be upheld. She is also something that can be kicked, when tempers are mercurial.
She is purpose: she is something to come back to; something to work for, fight for. She is something to protect and swear by.
She is a womb, that will bring your seed to fruit. She is the future.
And she will be the sum of your memories, when you are old.
Hmm... all said and done, I guess a wife is worth a war or two.