Jungle ka Dastoor, Dadri Lynching, Beef Ban……..

Originally posted on I love life... so I explore.:

Mob killed Akhlaq and severely wounded his son in Dadri over allegations they had eaten beef. Meat sent for forensics, sickening! Don’t know what is hurting me more, lynching of a man in the name of religion or police sending the meat for testing, whether it is beef or some other meat. What, if it was beef, will the rest of the family be handed over to the mob, they had also eaten the meat. If it was not beef  will there be an eye for an eye kind of justice or by some magical religious powers Akhlaq will be brought to life. Law of the land doesn’t permit this, how can this be justified? Might is right is usually called the jungle ka kanoon. I would not like to insult the animals or the jungle. Reminds me of this beautiful poem by Parveen Shakir-

Suna hai junglon ka bhi…

View original 158 more words

“I am perfectly alright with being ‘unattractive’ to a majority of boys – love is not some job interview where you try tailor yourself to someone’s needs.”

Sharing an email.

Dear IHM,

Please do publish this on your blog if you see fit – I would like some opinions from your readers.

I’m am a 28 year old woman living in Bangalore. I am built rather small – I’m skinny and flat chested. I have short hair and don’t wear make up or jewellery. At the workplace I wear formal shirts and trousers (minus jewellery) when requires. Otherwise, I’m generally dressed in T shirts and jeans/shorts. At the ocassional wedding that I do attend, I wear ethnic clothes but this rarely happens more than once a year.

I like the way I look – I have no desire to change my appearance. I feel unnatural and uncomfortable in dresses/skirts/salwars/sarees/traditionally female clothes. I identify as female and do not have gender dysphoria. I simply enjoy dressing casual. No personal hygiene issues, my clothes are always clean.

However, I’m perpetually at the receiving end of comments from my female friends /co workers/ acquantainces/ relatives/enemies/ etc regarding my appearance.

Typical examples of comments:
“Why are you like THIS? ” (gesturing at my body)
“When are we going to see you in a dress?”
“Why don’t you try some lipstick at least?”
“You look sleepy” (I do not wear makeup, my eyes look like anyone’s normal, unlined eyes)
” Have you ever had a boyfriend?” (said in patronising tone)
“Maybe guys don’t look at you because of your small breasts” (my own sister, flesh and blood)
“Why don’t you get a push up bra?”
“Do you think anyone will want to marry her?” (obnoxious co worker.When I asked her what she meant she said that I looked too “careless”. When I asked if she meant that I looked like I do not cook or clean, she responded with ” No not that…other things.”)
” Come lets go buy you some good clothes” ( gracious offers by random people who think I need to be “taught” how to dress)
” Grow up sometime, be a woman!”

All these comments are generally thrown at me out of the blue – when I’m talking about something else entirely, when I casually mention that I need a new pair of jeans or sometimes just after I’ve complemented someone on their appearance.
They are not presented as suggestions – if i say something like “I like how I look/ I dont want to wear other clothes” , people act like I’m being unreasonable.

Ironically, I’m always the first person to compliment someone on their new clothes or hair, or reassure them when they are needlessly fretting about their weight. Corny as it sounds, I never think people LOOK ugly.. I only see ugliness in behaviour, actions etc.

I understand having to dress a certain way for the workplace – I think it is an unavoidable evil. However I simply refuse to change the way I look in casual settings.

I am perfectly alright with being “unattractive” to a majority of boys – love is not some job interview where you try tailor yourself to someone’s needs. If this means that I am single forever, then so be it – the thought does not bring me the slightest bit of sadness.

However, what is suffering now are all my female friendships. Talking about clothes and appearances seems to be requisite in these, barring some special, rare few.

I generally respond to such comments with a snarky comeback or tell them to mind their own business, but of late I am getting tired. This has been going on since I was 16. In all these years, I have met a grand total of 2 girls (my best friends) who have never asked me to change my appearance.

I love going out and meeting people, but now I dread talking to anyone because eventually the question of my appearance always comes up. Having to be defensive all the time drains the life out of me. When I’m introduced to a new girl anywhere, I automatically shrink away and stop talking. Being unfriendly seems to be the only way to avoid these comments.

How would you suggest I deal with such situations and the associated emotions?
Also does anyone have similar experiences? Does it get better when you get older?


Related Posts:

How would life be different if you never had to give a thought to how you looked?

What makes a woman look beautiful?

Does beauty really lie in the eyes of the beholder?

Why do Indian women like to wear western clothes?

The way a woman dresses…

“He said my top was not in line with company prescribed code and that it made him very uncomfortable during the meeting.”

Not Just a Pair of Jeans

“So why do we wear clothes again??”

“I gathered all my courage and I have confessed about my relationship with the guy to my parents.”

Sharing an email.

I wonder at the parents’ lack of interest in finding out who their adult child wants to marry. If the parents claim to be so involved (as most Indians parents do) and are so sure they ‘know better’, then how is it that they don’t want to be sure that he is not abusive and controlling?

What if he is an amazing person and someone just right for their child? How is it that this isn’t their main concern?

Also, with so much focus on seeking their parents’ approval, should the couple need to talk to someone, have second thoughts or sense some other issues, what would they do?

Here’s the email.

Dear IHM,

I am writing this letter out of misery.

I have been in relationship with a guy who is out of caste. It’s been three years now and I was always serious about him. My parents have been looking for many matrimonial prospects for me but somehow I gathered all my courage and I have confessed about my relationship about the guy to my parents.

My family is a very orthodox family and none of the guys in my whole khandaan have ever dared to have a love marriage. Everything gets fixed by the parents and once the parents decide the guy and the girl meet and after a meeting or two, when people get comfortable, they finalize the date and everything gets fixed and the next thing you know, you are married.

I have always hated the idea of getting married to a person you don’t know, and when I met this guy, he seemed perfect. I have done my engineering and am working. He has done his B Com and doing his distance MBA and working and earning a few bucks higher than me. He comes from a middle class family and I come from an upper class family. He only has his mother and his brother never keeps in touch with the family and his dad expired when he was little. His mom did all the efforts in bringing up the boys. These guys do not own a home but this guy who has working hard is planning to buy a home about in the 2016 first quarter, and by this I mean a 25 yr old guy is buying a home! It’s a huge thing indeed!

Forgot to mention I am 4 months older to him and a total spoilt brat.. l lived in all the comforts till was living with my parents now that I have talked to my family about him, they don’t seem to like the guy.

1- He is a North Indian and we are South Indians.

2- He is a B Com and I am an engineer (the fact that this guy is studying long distance is not a fact that my people would want to consider)

3- He does not have a home right now.

4- His brother doesn’t live with him… implying that his background is not great.

5- He does not have a financially sound background.

They say that if I forget this guy I could get settled in a family where I would have all the comforts and everything.

So when I came back to my hometown my parents discussed this matter and somehow this lead to a huge fight and and my parents told me that if I marry this guy I would have to cut off all my ties and leave my home, and forget about going away from home to the big city I am working in, as they wouldn’t allow me to go there if I chose him. I have always been professionally committed, so I convinced them that I would do anything they say, so they let me work… so they made all this bhagwan ki samne kasam khao n shit n made me promise that I would do as they say… Now after all this drama I thought that instead of lying to them and going back to this city, I should stay here and tell them that I need to marry the one I love.

I tried convincing them but its of no use… and my dad’s health keeps on going from bad to worse.. and everybody is convincing me that I should do what my parents say otherwise that could make my dad kill himself…

But the point is all the time that we had the discussion all they were interested in was ‘what would people say’ … ” log kya kahenge, thukenge hamare upar,… kahin muh dikane k layak nahi choda tumne…. dhoka diya… ullu banaya” …

Moreover about the guy, he seems to even “likh ke dene ko tayyar hai” (willing to give it in writing) that he won’t hurt me, will keep me always happy… but my family just wouldn’t even meet the guy. They haven’t talked to him ever… all the blames and assumptions that they throwing at him is because of the fact that North Indians people are this and North Indian people are that and stuff.

I am so confused. Please help. I can’t lose my job and I can’t lose my parents and I can’t lose my man.

Related Posts:

What would you not change for love?

‘My parents will be ignored and ridiculed. No one will let them forget my so called shameful behaviour.’

Marrying out of caste, Divorce, and Nuclear Families are Social Problems or solutions to Social Evils?

How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way?

“Can you people help me on this? I only want to convince my parents that is all.”

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

“When the time comes to support them, they back out and and blame the children for misusing their trust and freedom.”

LOVE – Is it a Crime?

Against your child’s happiness

An email: I want my parents to know the real me, why do I have to lie?

18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.

“It was OK for her to say ‘no’ after saying ‘yes’? Saying ‘yes’ doesn’t mean a blanket sanction to any sexual activity.”

A Guest Post by Freebird.

I came across this other post: I Got Raped With My Consent. That Will Always Be The Most Horrible Memory Of My Life

I don’t think consensual sex which doesn’t involve any coercion should be treated as rape at any cost. So I find the statement ‘I said ‘yes’ but it was ’emotional rape” very contradictory.

But what I didn’t understand, and do find disturbing, is this:

In this story, why didn’t this girl ever realize that it was OK for her to say ‘no’after saying ‘yes’? Saying ‘yes’ doesn’t mean a blanket sanction to any sexual activity. It is perfectly right to set boundaries, or ask the other person to stop when she was getting uncomfortable. If he was hurting her and she was in pain, why isn’t it clear that she had every right to tell him to stop hurting her and not engage in things which were painful to her? And the moment this message is conveyed clearly and if he still carries on, it does becomes ‘rape’ (not an esoteric ’emotional rape’). Whether it can be proved or not is a different issue. That doesn’t change the fact that it is rape when the other person is violating your boundaries.

Related Posts:

“Even if the sexual intercourse was forceful it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased.”

Rapist said that coming from Afghanistan meant he didn’t understand what ‘consent’ was.

‘Madam so many rapes don’t happen in Germany coz girls don’t refuse to have sex.’

Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex, not lost Virginity or Honor.

Forced intercourse in marriage not rape: Delhi court

Forcible sex with wife doesn’t amount to marital rape: Court

“Girls should be married at 16, so that they don’t need to go elsewhere for their sexual needs. This way rapes will not occur.”

What makes Men Rape? – Do read.

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

A tag: But when a woman sees a hot man, nothing happens in her brain?

Triya charitram, Purushasya bhagyam, Devo Na Janati, Kuto Manushya…

Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex.

‘The woman said she was inebriated when a co-worker took her to a room and raped her.’

So how does Delhi – NCR Police define Rape?

How Victim Blaming confuses rapists, police and the society.

When they don’t even understand crime… 

Why it isn’t enough to raise independent daughters.

 A Guest Post by AlwaysHappyKya.
There is this story making rounds in the internet and has a very positive message.
Although I agree with what the writer has to say, it got me thinking.
Why did the boy grow up to think so chauvinist in that household? A main character should have been mentioned in the story. The boy’s dad.
Although the boy watched his sister growing equal and independent, maybe he still saw the mom doing all housework while the dad really did nothing at home? Maybe the boy believed women are supposed to cook, dress conservatively based on his dads opinion and his moms image? Maybe, he watched his dad slap his mom sometimes and thought that was okay too?
I believe, as long as BOTH the parents show the kids how to live equally, work as a team in society, the kids ( irrespective of girl or boy) will pick it up and progress.
Just thought these thoughts are worth sharing out there.
Related Posts:

I Want To Be A Dad. – Radhika Vaz

“My problem is my wife doesn’t like me hanging out with friends.”

Workplace Equality requires Equality at Home

The Men in Our Lives

Why do men NOT have to choose between being a CEO and a father, but women have to make this choice.

Abhishek Bachchan as a Working Dad in the new Idea ad.

“My husband says he can’t go against his family. My father says study but not without your FIL’s permission.”

“Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” Please adjust.

Response to “Koi Baap Apni Beti Ko Kab Jaane Se Rok Paya Hai”

The father threw the baby on the ground and tried to strangle her with his legs: No case registered.

Feminism Is Good For Society

‘How can we change the socialization of boys and the definitions of manhood that lead to these current outcomes?’

Of how men’s masculinities are connected to their wives taking their names.

27 ways in which Patriarchy harms men.

So why do some men compare and compete with other men?

What do men need liberation from?

Emotions, Masculinity and Hierarchies in Relationships: Or making men walk alone in the journey of life.

MIP: Men In Pink

Boys don’t cry. – Starry Eyed

What kind of sons do Feminists raise?

“The sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household”

Emma Watson to men : Gender equality is your issue too.


I got this email from J1289, a regular reader and commenter here and sharing this with her permission:

(In context of something someone said to her) “…… I feel there are only two options for all of us, be part of the herd and get all the joy sucked out of us where we are miserable, or be happy and do what you love to do and get rejected/ignored by others since your actions don’t fit their mold. It’s never a win-win situation IMO.

Indian culture (or perhaps most Asian cultures) can be very beautiful. There are certain aspects I love about it, however being pressured to be this ideal “Indian girl”, get married, have kids, live in servitude and act like a doormat where toxicity takes over, sucks all the positive vibes about being Indian and makes you have a strong disdain towards it.

Especially the fact that in Indian culture, non-Indians are inferior to Indians, we must “stick” with people of our caste and people from our state only (I HATE THAT!) so that we keep the “culture” alive where it will not lose its “purity”. (Emphasis mine)

I hear this all the time, and it makes you think, can we still keep a homogeneous culture? How come people from conservative places, despite living abroad and exploring the world will not look at any other perspective?

Also lack of equal respect is another factor I dislike about being Indian. I would never show I am superior or treat someone ill because I’m much older than them.  I made it a point for myself that I’ll take a blend of cultures because I have equal respect for all,  (not only Indian) and incorporate into my life. Sure I’ll keep some “Indianness”, but I will also make sure to get rid of some of the toxic aspects (arranged marriages, being a slave to in laws, and be firm when I have to). I will make sure my life is full of diversity and not just one sided.”

My reply to her:

“I think you have the right approach when you say you take a blend of cultures and incorporate them into your life.  No culture is perfect; each one has strengths and failures.  I agree with you on all those unpleasant aspects of Indian culture.  I think we can reject those parts and take the parts we like.  I think that makes logical sense – why should it be all or nothing?  We take what makes sense, what feels right, what makes us comfortable.  We reject regressive thinking and practices.”

But then, when I thought about it more, I was intrigued by this idea of “cultural purity” and “protecting one’s culture”. I could relate to so many parts of J1289’s email because I’ve been in her place many times.

I have often been accused of “becoming too American”.

Because I let my children disagree with me.

Because I let them make choices and decisions that impact their lives.

Because I don’t fall on elders’ feet at weddings.

Because I don’t cook up a feast in the kitchen while the men discuss “important things” in the living room.

Because I sit next to my husband on the couch.

Because I hold his hand when we walk.

Because I wear what I want.

Because I don’t fast or pray.

Because I like to run/hike in my shorts.

Because I read and write and express opinions.

Because I don’t need permission for a host of things.

Because I make choices.

Because I laugh aloud when I’m happy.

Because recently, I told my husband’s aunt who came to the US to visit her daughter, “No this is not a good time to visit. The children have exams. We will come and see you.”

Instead of “Yes, you are always welcome in our home.”

And with the predictability of sunrise, she pulled an Athidi Devo Bhava on me.

We are constantly told that this kind of behavior goes against Indian culture. That it is a betrayal of Indian culture. But then, what exactly is Indian culture? Allowing your elders to control your life – until it’s your turn to control your children’s lives?

More precisely, WHO gets to define Indian culture? Who ARE these dreaded guardians of Indian culture? Why should they be in charge of defining Indian culture and identity? Because what they are defining happens to suit them? Because “tradition” can be a great way to avoid the tough questions and accountability?

I’ve seen other Indian American families struggle with identity. Some (if not all) first generation immigrants keep a little nostalgic piece of India in their hearts. It is a soft-focus, rose tinted picture that ignores the negative aspects of our culture.

But not seeing the truth is unhelpful. This holding on to an “ideal Indian culture” never allows you to take a rational standpoint. It never allows changes. It is stifling, both for them, and for their children, whom they have chosen to raise in a different country.

It is a disservice both to their birth country (to hinder truth, learning and progress) as well as the country they’ve immigrated to (to reap the benefits of another culture while condemning it). It keeps them in a time capsule. India and many Indians living in India have moved on with the times in many respects, but some Indian immigrants still hold on to the past, afraid to let go.

To some extent, I can understand this love for one’s country of birth.  It has a sort of magical pull.

I recently visited India for my niece’s wedding. I delighted in dressing up in kancheevarams and donning jhumkas. I re-watched 3 Idiots and laughed like one in some scenes. I sat on my brother’s balcony, watching the vendors below, as the evening darkened, cups of chai in hand, discussing Indian politics with fervor, knowing very well that governance in India is still a distant dream. I listened to my sister practice her Veena, her hands now faintly aging, but the music flowing strong and confident as ever.

I smelled coconut water and Aarti in the Ganesh temple my mother makes me go to, on every trip. My mother still sticks bits of turmeric to the new clothes she gifts to my children. I visited my childhood tailor, Arif, who must be in his 70s and can’t see well anymore but still seems to be turning out beautiful dresses with his old hands through sheer habit.

On my last evening there, I went to the Old Town – the most neglected part of my hometown and hiked up the highest peak (now I realize it is a small hill) that overlooks a rocky shore. At the foot of the hill sits my old convent school.  I visited the strict nuns of my elementary school, now softened with age, their disapproving looks replaced with welcoming smiles. I sat peacefully in my school’s worn down church as they conducted their Catholic service, not really understanding their rituals, but calmed by the angelic singing.

To me, all of these things are uniquely Indian, or define the part of India I was raised in. Who can take away this Indianness from me?  This “love” is about  people and places and memories.

BUT, why does being Indian have to mean giving up the right to think, analyze, question, discuss, disagree, and express?

You don’t have to feel like you are betraying Indian culture when you think for yourself. Rabindranath Tagore thought for himself. So did Sarojini Naidu. And so did Gandhi. And those 3 eminent thinkers spoke and wrote their original, independent, rebellious thoughts eloquently in Indian languages as well as in English. They looked and sounded and felt Indian, but they were far from being subservient. They were certainly not part of the “log kya kahenge” crowd. So, let’s stop defining Indianness as conformity and fear. It isn’t nor does it have to be.

I love my country of birth – it is colorful, vibrant, unique, energetic, evolving, boundless. I love America too – my adopted country – it is a place of equality and respect for the individual and immense personal freedom. Neither country is perfect, and both have numerous problems. And I love them both.

No one has the right to tell us what parts of which culture we adopt. One’s identity is a complex combination of one’s background, nature, experiences, and influences. It is ever changing, growing, and developing as we undergo new experiences. It is not to be determined by one’s aunt, mother-in-law, neighbor, pastor, or politician. It is up to us to determine who we want to be and how we choose to define ourselves.

And perhaps the same thing goes for India too. Indians should stop defining their country in terms of their Vedic past, the colonial legacy, the Islamic influence, traditions and customs, and other hang ups – these burdens only serve to limit us. While our rich past undoubtedly makes a fascinating study and understanding it is crucial, dwelling there forever is a sad mistake. Maybe if we start looking forward, India can be as beautiful and boundless as she wants to be.

Related Posts:

If our love for our people and our country needs being ‘proud of them’ then, here’s what we should be proud of.

When married Indian women (travelling or living outside India) strive to look unmarried.

Why do Indian women like to wear western clothes?

Why do some women see western clothes and being able to flaunt their bodies, without fearing being called sluts, as empowerment?

Mommy Guilt: A Western Influence.

Proud to be an Indian today…

I am Proud of India Today. Not India of Yesteryears.

Indians invented planes 7,000 years ago — and other startling claims at the Science Congress

The sari is the best way of showing global companies that these are Indian women managers?

Adarsh Bhartiya Nari – Ideal Indian Woman… !!!

Letting an outsider see or comment upon our imperfections is washing dirty linen in public?

“This is reply to BBC for making video on rape cases in other countries…”

“If we have people of your ilk in Bharat we do not need external enemies at all!”

“I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.”

An email from the Accused Guy: ‘I would request all to respond once again after reading the other side of it.’

Sharing a comment from The Accused Guy where he attempts to give ‘the other side’ of the story. 

The comment was made in response to this email: “He became more distant and sometime would verbally abuse me, call me names and then slapping and wrist twisting started happening.”

Please note,

1. The ‘only son’ in the email is not ‘only child’. 

2. The ‘only son’ is raised to understand that he would provide for his parents. (Which is why we Indians pray, fast, bless, sex select etc).

3. The only son’s parents in this email are expected to provide for the other adult child, the married daughter (possibly to ensure that she is treated well by her in laws and hence Stays Married).

4. The average male child does not question this, though sometimes he might expect his wife to demand from her parents what his parents do for his sister. This seems to transfer the victimisation to the daughter in law. 

This is not questioned or seen as evil although this is the biggest reason for India’s Skewed Gender Ratio.  

5. Violence, physical and verbal, in the email, is being tolerated as a part of conflict resolution. 

6. Indian women (and men) feel they must marry the first person they are in a relationship with.

In case of a break up, men risk being accused of ‘using’ the woman [Link]. Women risk being accused to having been used (and hence dishonoured and no longer marriageable).

And here’s the comment from AccusedGuy.

After reading the blog post, I would have reacted the same way as everyone. But this is what one sided stories do. So I would request all to respond once again after reading the other side of it.

Which is as following:

Me and “XYZ” were together for around 6 years before marriage. We first expressed our love for each other during college days. Of course I was in love with her because I hadn’t seen anyone so innocent and pure of heart. Hence our relationship started.
Start of relation was very bubbly-bubbly as every relation is but with time I observed that that innocence started to disappear (Only for me) and I was bombarded with jealousy, insecurities and expectations. This was first time relationship experience for both of us and being naïve about it, we left things on time to improve.
Things didn’t improve even after a couple of years of relationship (Mostly distance relationship during college projects), I decided to talk to “XYZ”. But before any kind of relevant talk, I was immediately tagged as “someone who used her for a couple of years with no intentions of marriage” (which was automatically assumed since we were in “relationship”).  I tried to talk to her that cheating her was never the intention but continuing a relationship which is full of issues is also a mistake. But she never agreed to split and assured that she’ll do everything to correct her limitations and I didn’t want her to hurt her like that so we continued our relationship.
After college, we took our jobs. She was in Gurgaon and me in Noida. We met occasionally on weekends and spent 3 years like this (having major fights all the while). One fight got so worse that we decided to take a break for a couple of weeks from each other and re-think our relation. After that time we sat together and I communicated to her that we shouldn’t be together because we can’t resolve our issues. She again disagreed and told me that she’ll make all the adjustments but insisted on maintaining the relationship.
After that it’s correct that I had feelings for some other girl. But “XYZ” was aware of that before marriage. We talked about this and I assured her that no external factor will come between us (I have maintained that always and have fulfilled that to this date) but I still maintained that getting married was a bad idea because we can’t resolve our issues. But again I was accused that I wasted her six years and now was simply ditching her for some other girl.

So we got married.

After marriage everything changed.
“I’ll do everything to correct my issues” changed to “you push me for everything”…
“Lets resolve our issues” changed to “my parents will talk to you on this issue”…
“let’s stay together” changed to “we should split up” …

Parent’s issue:
Before marriage I told “XYZ” that since I am the only son to take care of my diabetic parents, they’ll come live with us. And “XYZ” seemed fairly OK with that. After marriage, before my parents were to visit us, I asked “XYZ” if she has any concerns then I’ll love to address them but she didn’t discuss anything that night… But a few days she started saying that she talked to some of her friends and she’ll like to discuss some issues.

Conversation was as following:
XYZ: Who’ll pay for their expenses?
Me: Since I am only son, there’s no segregation of money. So it doesn’t matter who pays. Even if it does, I’ll be happy to pay for my parents stay and eatables.
XYZ: What if parents leave some part of their wealth to your sister?
Me: Then it’ll be their wish. But I can still pay for their stay and eatables.
XYZ: fine. What’ll happen to us? Our alone time?
Me: We come back from office at around ~7 PM. we can join them till dinner time.. after ~9 PM we can have our alone time till we sleep (usually ~11 PM).
XYZ: fine. But I want to control kitchen my way.
Me: Sure, adjust with mum till she’s here after that you can resort to your ways again.

When parents came, she was friendly for a day or two but then she started ignoring them. Didn’t go to their room until I asked her to come along or didn’t left our room till it was exact office time during morning. I found this odd and asked if she has any issues with them. Her reply was “It takes time for me to accept and love people. So don’t push me till it happens itself”. To me, it wasn’t lack of love it was more about lack of respect that she chose to ignore my parents. [IHM:Link] That became one of our constant issues even after my parents left. Things kept getting severe on this front every time my parents visited afterwards.

I never asked/pushed her to do “Seva” of my parents and I did expect her to atleast respect my parents enough to acknowledge their presence.

Physical Abuse issue:
I’ll not defend myself here because I believe under no circumstance it should be a resort. But I’ll just add complete picture to this.
We were never good at resolving our issues and mostly it would turn into loud arguments and heated shouting. One time during such shouting I slapped her. But the moment I hit her, I realized what I had done and said sorry to her. Next day too I felt so bad that I called up mother and confessed that I slapped my wife and I was really sorry for that.
XYZ didn’t take it lightly and accused me of physical abuse. She made it a family issue and finally I apologized to her mother also for same.

In our subsequent fights, she started hitting me(Not on face but all over various body parts in her fury). I pointed that out to her that is this not physical abuse. Her response was “come on you are a guy, “itna lagta be hai tumhe??”.
First time I twisted her arm, she took a jadu and beat me with it. After her anger dissolved she said “Come on, deere se tou mara tha”
Another time, during the argument I made a gesture of raising hand and she scratched skin out of my arm. Later she said “itna bi ni lga tumhe”.

And yeah Kut*a, haram**ada were commonly used to address me during these fights.

A couple of days before I was to travel to Bangalore, we had a fight. But on last day, we put that behind us and hugged. I asked her to join me as soon as she can so that we can settle our new life their together.
4-5 days later I reached Bangalore, it was her birthday so I called her and wished her (No call from her prior to that). During another call later that day we again had an argument. Next day I called her and her response was “pls stop interfering with my life and leave me alone” So I didn’t call her after that. She had medical issues, she left for her home town (without telling me).

Now it’s been around 50 days..

Related Posts:

An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

Display of respect to those in power, in Indian culture.

‘I am not really sure why is it the duty of a new bride to adjust no matter what you feel?’

“I have met a lot of Indian guys who say their parents have done a lot for them so they can’t leave them now…”

“I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.”

An email from Pakistan: “There is a feeling among my parents that I don’t want to spend on them.”

Loving husbands who spend day and night to create harmony in Patriarchal Joint Families.

“My husband would tell me to stay with my in laws for some more time and that he didn’t want any discussions.”

An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.

The Men in Our Lives – Priya

From the modern, Indian woman to Shravan Kumar.

‘Last month, my sister’s husband picked a fight with her as he felt she was not doing enough for his parents.’

“I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.”

‘How can we change the socialization of boys and the definitions of manhood that lead to these current outcomes?’

Of how men’s masculinities are connected to their wives taking their names.

27 ways in which Patriarchy harms men.

So why do some men compare and compete with other men?

What do men need liberation from?

Not touching feet after a year of marriage is disrespect to MIL?

“Practically, what can an introvert DIL do to communicate that she means no disrespect by wanting her own time?”

Relationships – Making Someone Happy – By Priya

An email: ‘He made it clear to them he will not marry me without their support. He will not leave them behind… ever.’

And here’s what seems to complicate it further…

“I realise that I do not actually want to have kids of my own. I just don’t feel the need to have children of my own.

Sharing an email.
Subject: Childless or childfree?
Hello IHM,
For many years, I have been a keen follower of your posts and the comments which follow. Many of the women who  write to you and the followers of your blog probably look for many things – validation, affirmation, consolation, strength, support or just maybe different opinions on the topic being discussed. And I too come to the IHM family looking for perspectives on a question that has started troubling me these days.
At the very beginning, I must say, I come from a privileged background. Liberal parents, a very good higher education, married the man of my choice (albeit with a bit of struggle convincing his parents!) and turns out he is a feminist, my in laws are fairly conservative but we live abroad so haven’t had any issues yet, I work full time doing the thing I love most, have ample financial independence too. My husband and I treat each other as the equals that we are and he is every bit the person I had always wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Having said that, now that it has been two years since we were married and are now both 30, we are dreading the inevitable turn the conversation takes at this stage in every Indian couple’s lives – “when will you share the good news?”
I want to clear something first – I absolutely love and adore children. Now that I am in a position where we have to decide if this is what we want to go ahead with, I realise that I do not actually want to have kids of my own. My husband, as of now, feels the same way. But he is still vacillating between “not now” or “not ever”. Our reasons are different, I just don’t feel the need to have children of my own. My husband, on the other hand, feels we are not financially ready since we are both still paying off education loans.
The issue is, I do not know how to broach this topic with either set of parents. My dad, no matter how liberal in other things, believes there is a circle of life and everything happens one after another, education -> marriage -> children. My mother, quietly, has told me it is our choice. I’m not really sure if she is ok with it or not but for the moment, she seems to be on my side. My in laws, I haven’t spoken to yet, will probably be apoplectic when they hear that I do not want children. I will keep that aside for now.
With this, I hope I have explained my background well. I love kids, have not been abused as a child (no trust issues, etc), am financially quite stable (not that we cannot afford to have children). I just do not feel the inherent need that some women do to have a child of my own. I have a couple of questions:
1. Have any of your readers experienced the same feelings as mine? How did they handle it personally? I know now that I do not want to have kids but at the same time, I am full of doubts and questions – what if I regret this decision when I am no longer able to have children naturally (I can always adopt of course), will I be missing out on something wonderful in life? Will this affect my relationship with my husband? What if we split up?
2. How did they deal with pressure, questions and rumours from family and friends? (For example – Maybe they are infertile, how selfish of them not to have children, maybe he/she is having an affair or is gay or is unable to “do it”, how are you going to live in your old age? what if one of you dies?  you will be bored of each other within a few years, what is the use of earning so much, this is what happens when you give your kids too much freedom)
3. How is having or not having children selfish? If you have children because you want them, is that not selfish since you are doing it for your own happiness? Are we being “selfish” and depriving our parents of grandchildren (a couple of friends actually told me this)? How is this relevant, especially since we are going to be primary caregivers for the children and not the grandparents who will barely see the kids once in a while.
4. Why should we consider children as a security deposit to be encashed later in life? My husband and I should be managing our finances properly and planning for our old age, irrespective of having children or not. We should be keeping ourselves busy with friends and hobbies, not having children to keep yourself occupied!
5. Are couple who are childfree (implying choice) or childless (could not have children for various reasons) any less men or women or not contributing to society solely because they do not have children? How much do couples actually think before they embark upon being parents? Most couples I know went ahead because it had been X years since they got married and it was the right thing to do next.
We have not yet made the final decision since my husband is still thinking of it but it would be good to know what other people think. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Related Post:
 More related posts:

Dr. Anorexia: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my body

Indian Homemaker:

“In light of my avowed feminism, which I continue to feel strongly about to this day, how was I allowing myself to define my value, or in this case, the lack thereof, by the men I had loved not feeling anything in return?”

“A human being is not a share on the stock market – you are not suddenly worth more if more people want you, or less if nobody does.”

Originally posted on abohemiansrhapsody:

One of those things is still integral to my life. The other has not been for nearly two years now, which is an extremely positive change.

Writing about my experience is an extremely difficult thing, and reconciling my own beliefs with the way I behaved was even more difficult. How does someone who strongly believes nobody should be defined by others by any metrics, and especially the metrics society chooses to define us by – which are often external – judge themselves by them?

I grew up being called ‘ugly’, ‘hideous’, ‘unattractive’, especially to boys at an age when that was somehow all-important, an essential part of being a true girl, woman, whatever it was. It taught me several things. First, as I was becoming a teenager, and then a young woman, I believed strongly that I was ugly, and at the time, it mattered.

It mattered that nobody looked…

View original 1,827 more words

“So I had a fancy wedding and moved to a business family ready to stay with in laws.”

Sharing an email. 

In ‘Astitva’ (a Hindi movie) an Indian woman turned down her would have been father in law’s offer to find her some job in the same family business where the son also worked. What made it possible for her to turn down that offer?

My answer at the bottom of this post. 

Also, what can give any woman the confidence to turn down any such offer that she does not want to accept? What can make anybody trust their own judgement?  

How easy are these choices for most women seeing that getting married, making the marriage work, family and parenthood have traditionally been viewed as almost solely a woman’s concerns? 

What do you think could the email writer have done? What would you recommend now?


I came across this blog a couple of days back. It is funny how I arrived on this page searching for “woes of an Indian daughter in law” on a search engine. Funny because I never really thought I would have to look for a solution to such grievance ever in my life. I grew up in a family where we were continuously taught to focus on how to get a good career which shall lead to an independent(financially and otherwise) life. Never really bothered much about learning to cook or do household chores. My mother was an academician and evidently those values were instilled in me and my sister since a very young age. Both us eventually got through good colleges, completed MBA from Tier 1 school and landed up with good jobs.

My sister went for an arranged marriage settled in a different city with completely non interfering in laws. All these years, I had been dating this guy (who did his courses from the same B School) until last year when I decided to get married to him. By then, I had switched 2 fancy corporate jobs, lived independently, managed my own investments and was fairly satisfied with my life.

My husband decided to join his father’s business in our hometown despite having the opportunity to crack MNCs in campus. It was his decision (not sure if influenced by his parents) and I respected it.

When the time came to discuss our marriage, it was understood that one of us had to quit and move. His being a very established business, I was given an option to join family business (after all they were not asking me to be a housewife). Discussions went on for months and finally I gave in. He has been the best thing to happen to me, I could have made that SACRIFICE and I did for the sake of our marriage.

So I had a fancy wedding and moved to a business family ready to stay with in laws. There were so many who warned me against it but I thought nothing could really impact me as long as I’m working and I have my husband by my side.

Days passed, I joined work but realised slowly how my work is not acknowledged or appreciated as much as I expected it to be. My mother in law is a very quiet lady, does not socialize much and is totally obsessed with her children. She sits at home entire day, constantly seeking attention from every family member and reacts vehemently when others do not reciprocate. I tried to manage her mood swings for months giving her company during the evenings, managing her fights with the domestic help. I was uncomfortable but I thought she does no harm to me, so I should be more considerate.

My father in law is a complete extrovert to the extent of being an absolute braggart, sometimes even lying or creating false stories of his fake glory. It was always hard to digest because I grew up in a completely different environment.

Now months have passed and things have not changed, only gotten worse. They have relatives coming in from the village who would stay for months and comment on the way I dress (Oh, the bahu in jeans or a suit minus the dupatta?), would want to evaluate my culinary skills and also question me on the knowledge of customs/rituals. My in laws are extremely traditional, they never really forced me to follow anything but the expectations are very clear. Both of them are in the habit of chewing tobacco, which I absolutely detest. There are many other things that makes my day to day life unbearable but I have no other option.

Although my husband is extremely supportive, I hate to share these problems everyday with him. He is torn between me and his parents. Another house is out of question as long as we stay in the same city (log kya kahenge?) and moving to another city is very difficult for him since he has been managing the business for 4 years now. Corporate options are limited in this city and even if I move to a company here, it leaves me with the same house and same set of people. My husband and I dreamt of a very different life and I truly feel am transported several decades back in time, away for the progressive world.


Related Posts:

1. A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.

2. 18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.

3. What would you not change for love?

4. “I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.”

5. An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

6. Please watch Queen.

7. “Someone ate without showering, someone didn’t bring mithai! These are trivialities, not social problems.”

8. “Although my in laws maintain a facade of being content with what they have and never asking the girl’s side for anything…”

9. An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

10. “I had written an email about being a DIL in the joint family, I am happy to share my current state …”

And the answer to the question I asked above: Only one thing – she valued her happiness and freedom more than she wanted to get married.