There is no doubt that our married life will be quite happy if there is a feeling of mutual respect and cooperation between husband and wife. The Bard of Avon wisely remarks: “Woman is a dish for gods if the devils dress her not.” The great importance and significance of an ideal wife has been universally acknowledged. Kalidasa, one of the greatest Indian poets who is described the Shakespeare of India pondered over this issue very deeply, as evident in his magnum opus Abhijnana Sakuntalam. During the marriage ceremony of Shakuntla, her father Kanva advises her to follow certain indispensablemaxims for making married life a little heaven.
It might be added that in India and Nepal it is customary for all family members to shed tears of joy and sorrow both when the newly wed is girl is leaving her parental house to start a new life with her husband at another place. This is almost a heart-breaking pain felt by the parents of the girl who is leaving them to cope with her new destiny. At this delicate and emotional moments, the parents of the girl instruct her to obey her husband faithfully. Shakuntala’s father Kanva is in tears, and instructs her in the following lines that
Obey the elderly; be kind
To his other wives; never be angry
With your partner, even if he is not faithful
Be humble toward his servants
Never have pride; be generous and tender in speech
Thus does a spinster develop into an ideal wife
Self-willed and perverted fair sex never gets peace and joy.
It might be added that the the above concept of an ideal wife is quite conservative, It won't be possible for the moderns and postmoderns both to agree with the view expressed in the third line of the above quote.
The truth is that an ideal wife always brings joy in the heart of her partner. Deceptive charm and physical beauty don’t make a perfect wife. God-fearing wife should always be admired as endowed with noble character she is “worth far more than rubies.”