This appeared in The South Asian Times on October 31st.
At the risk of getting frowns from the fair-sex-of-a-certain-age readers, I'm going to start off with the fact that this has always been a hot button issue with Indian women. If moms fail to train (read tame) their wild boys, they pass on the legacy to daughter in laws. "Shaadi ke baad sab theek ho jayega" is one of those lines that people never fail to use with the underlying assumption that the new trainer will be more skilled and would easily tame the wild. But the issue spreads across all ages and stages and tends to affect a large percentage of the population. Whether it is sending kids to boarding school, keeping the new intern on a leash, grounding teenagers for a week, one upmanship on husband's personal secretaries or sending mother-in-laws to yoga boot camps, the idea is the same. Tame the beast.
All of us do it at some point or at the very least, aspire to do it in some shape or form. No wonder reality shows become a huge hit. It's all boils down to who can manipulate the rest of the herd.
How hard is it to tame someone and what does it take? Neither of us comes with a manual or a rule book and strategies are best left to the trial and error model. The big question is, is everyone tame-able or there are exceptions?
I heard a fun story from my Thailand returned dad last evening over some French Boudreaux. Kanchanburi, a small place near Bangkok, boasts of something very exotic called a Tiger Temple. In this bizarre place, you can not only pose next to a Tiger for those snaps that you can show off to all your friends and family and make them go wowsa but you can do crazy things like stroke a tiger, pull his tail and lay on him for a quick photo op. Little monks go for evening walks with them like we do with harmless little fuzzy puppies. Skeptics will tell you that tigers have to be drugged to pull off such docile behavior but the lamas have a different story to tell. They practice some age old and proven techniques where they stare in the eye at the animal and suck the violence out of them through that gaze. I'm very tempted to get the details of the technique and even more tempted to try it out on someone.
Wouldn’t it make for one easy life? No parents would to sign those red inked papers from school, no dinner plates would break in newly wed’s homes, no teenagers would have to be secretive anymore, no wives would drag their husbands to court and get a fat alimony and no managers would make interns cry in the bathroom.
Give it a shot? If something works, do share. You’ll save me that trip to Thailand.