Sasural Simar ka. Don’t we all wonder about our future?

Now you can’t watch the news without being reminded to blog, I saw this promo on CNN IBN this morning. :roll:

Don’t we all wonder about our future? What do you think of this ‘Sasural Simar Ka‘ promo?

And what did you think when you thought of your future as a young adult? Did you wonder if you could do more than just wish your family takes all the right decisions to ensure a happy future for you?

How romantic or thrilling is it to have no idea but all one’s hopes set on how the person one is going to spend one’s life with, might turn out to be? What do you think of the what-ifs and the expectations and the fears, and hopes in this promo?

Let me translate what Simar’s sister is saying.

Every girl wonders how her ‘sasural’ (her in-laws’s home) would be. 

You also must have wondered, no, what kind of mother-in-law you will get?

Will you be given love there, like you are given in your parent’s home (maika)…

Will the house be big or small?

And your pati-parmeshwar (Lord and Master)! Will he be the way he looks? 

My sister Simar is being married off :)  How’s her ‘sasural’ going to be? What do you think?

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84 thoughts on “Sasural Simar ka. Don’t we all wonder about our future?

  1. ewwwwwwwwwww. the hyper-cuteness and over-acting is bad enough, never mind the content of what she is saying!

    Time enough women stopped depending on the sasural to make them happy and if they do want to get married, focused instead on finding a compatible man who thinks of her as an individual, not an unpaid worker being added to the family.

  2. for one,sasural is synonymous with a glossy gift-wrapped drudgery and desperation for approval that awaits most girls on the wrong side of the twenties.
    Fie those girls who today feel shy at the thought of sasural…cannot dodge this bullet for long since age and society will soon catch up with them.fattening goat for slaughter.
    The promo romanticizes it as something desirable and coveted, without a speck of doubt-
    It’s NOT.

  3. Getting late for work here, so I’ll post a full comment later once I view the clip.

    For now, suffice it to say that any kind of reference to the concept of “pati-parameshwar” makes me feel mildly sick.

  4. Yeah sure, when I was growing up I was more concerned about being grown up and getting a job and earning my own money. I guess my folks failed in their duty of raising me to be a good Indian girl ;)

  5. There are a few channels that mandate blocking. Colors is one and it looks like every major network has one such channel…Zee, Star, et al. This is sickening.

  6. You know IHM, what these people say in these promos is completely alien to you and me. I was too busy studying for one exam after another, to worry about such silly things at this Simar’s age. But this reminded me of a conversation with our maid’s 12 year old (who was married off as soon as she turned 18). She had said that since by then her sister was married, she was learning to cook so that “her in-laws would be happy” and actually taunted me on “aapko khaana banana aata hai ya nahi, didi”. 12 year old! It takes just 12 years to drill this obsession of marriage into girls?

    • I’ve seen something similar…. my maid’s daughter was married off at barely 18….
      For a change from the usual….my maid was insistent that she study and get a job before she marries…
      she (the mother) was the earning member of the family along with her husband…and she used to say only this brings respect from the side of the in-laws as opposed to cooking and cleaning at their place…
      The girl used to come to our place….and say I know cooking and everything….didi aap ko nahi pati hai kya?? (She was 15 then…)

      The girl fell for some guy….and on her insistence they had to marry her off…
      6 months they lived in peace….and then the harrassment started….
      Her mother had advised her not to have kids. On the MIL’s insistence her husband forced her to get pregnant. She was pregnant with twins. She tried to go for work, but was forcefully beaten by her MIL, bro-in-law and sis-in-law and made to sit in the house. She went into early labour…gave birth to twin boys….who died at birth :-|

      Finally the girl learnt her lesson. She has now started going to work. She and her husband live separately from the in-laws, and visit them often. Their life is much more peaceful now (as told by my maid).

  7. In my case as a young adult(when my parents started looking for a boy), I was scared. I was not romanticizing anything. It was hard to do that, when there were a lot of unknowns in the equation.

    When I saw how very little I/my parents would be able to know(about the groom) , even with our best intentions and resources, I knew that I could never be hopeful about something about which I had so many un-addressed fears.

    I had lived a fairly independent life, and I had been taught to rise to the situation, and this one wanted me to believe and have faith and accept. I always imagined a sitting duck when I thought of my situation.

    I wanted companionship and friendship and was threatened by the possibility that marriage could make me unhappy if I married the wrong guy or if I didn’t address my fears. But I honestly didn’t think : “What kind of a mother-in-law will I get?”.The only thing I was sure about as far as the in-laws were concerned was that I’ll not fall for the “she is also like your mother/ he is like your father/ they are more important than your parents are” bit. That I felt, was tremendous pressure(and so unfair that it’s laughable)

    Finally decided that this fear is never going to help me or my marriage. Took matters in to my own hands(or love happened) and I married without fear or anxiety, with a lot of hope(that mattered very much to me)

    I think I have gone off on a tangent here.

    • I totally sympathise with your fears. I had them too and I totally refused to be married in such a way. And when the pressure got too much, I moved out. I don’t really have it in me to be a sitting duck, lol. But yeah, the MIL equation never entered my thoughts either. For some reason, I never envisaged living with her. It was all about the guy himself.

    • Btw, my case was not as a youngster, but as a 25 year old. It always baffles me why people think a person who has lived a quarter of her life is incapable of choosing the person she wants to live with and why on earth she has to worry about the guy’s parents?!

  8. I didnt even watch the video link you provided. I read the sister’s lines and realised its not even worth watching! What the hell? Ditto Allytude: When you are growing up, you dont worry about the sasural..you worry about what job you are going to get, how much money you are going to earn, how you are going to spend it and the fun you can have with friends! Duh!!! Does anyone even watch these serials anymore?

    • The video is interesting to watch, her expression changes when she mentions the mother in law and husband …err pati parmeshwar.

      You know even if one does wonder about a husband, do we like to have this helplessness? No wonder women fast, pray and try amulets – because there is little else they are allowed to do. When one’s entire future is at stake, shouldn’t there be a little more say and thought, and choice?

  9. I am a bad, bad cynic when it comes to these sagas – esp. with anything that has references, however indirect, to sasural/saas/pati/mayka and the like. I saw this promo when my people were watching yet another rerun of Balika Vadhu. I was at the stands, waiting for the show to wrap up, given everyone else was too sleepy by then to switch the set off.

    Personally, I have never wondered too much about my ‘sasural’. Never had the time or the inclination to do so. I was a very book-person and would zone out when friends got on this subject. Even much later, I didn’t let fears/anticipation about my post-marriage life get to me. Now that my marriage will be on the cards in some time, I do wonder once in a while. I have to grant it’s unnerving – marrying the one you love doesn’t guarantee you’ll blend in with his folk. But then, it’s not on my thinking list. What will be will be. I don’t have a sibling with whom I want to rattle on about my marital future. Life has a long list of preoccupations and engagements as is, without adding anxiety about the inevitable (and the predestined) to your kitty.

  10. You know IHM I feel it has become easier to find out what kind of person one is by knowing what kind of serials they watch/ follow :) Works for me…it even gave me an idea about the kind of person my mother is, my divorce and what followed after (pls adjust why divorce…) only confirmed what I always suspected her to be.

  11. Well, all through my young-adult life, all i dreamt about the future was going off in a far away land and having an adventure (which did not involve any guy ;) ), living on my own, exploring new places.. which i did. Even when I was getting married, and my then boyfriend took me to meet his parents, I could very well tell that their family and mine are culturally very different, but I did not set my hopes of happiness on how they would treat me, and how my MIL will behave with me. I sure did worry about how much I (and them) would have to adjust and things like that, but when my FIL said that adjustments are always made equally from both the sides , I felt a little better and less tense about the cultural difference.

    I guess if you grow up dreaming to get married, then you might fantasize about the “perfect sasural” , pati parmeshar husband and other such non-existant things. Rather, you might think ‘only’ about these things when it comes to your future. This thought itself is scary :|

  12. unpredictable and mostly horror tinged …. this is the picture girls have of the sasural most of the times ….the horror news stories make it difficult to make a nice picture of sasural for a girl n god forbid if it is an arranged marriage .

    all romantic notions are reserved for the ‘companion’ pati while the idea of ‘parmeshwar’ pati is nailed into her head later on…

  13. I dont know even where to begin with these serials …..

    now you are married off and that is your home (your so called sasuraal) and even they abandon you – you have to live with it …. these thoughts are getting indoctrined by TV media, it is utter non sense and only reason they are proliferating these is because they are well aware their TG is rural women, who can identify with such situations.

    I was so sure IHM you will pick on this topic soon, on one hand we have women who are career oriented, manage their families and their work so well but somehow for sake of entertainment their marriage and post marriage woes seem to be only things that attract TRP’s. Most ironical is that girls who play roles of these destitute women in the serials have had such a struggle getting to where they are in the industry but their onscreen persona’s belittle their own efforts …..

  14. puke inducing. there’s so much wrong with this promo on so many levels. first of all a little girl behaving like an adult with all those adult expressions and mannerisms, that knowing look on her face – no no no. then the actual content – can some one please tell me which century we are living in? when i was growing up there was only one thing which was important and that was studies. i didnt know how to cook and wasnt expected to. i helped my mom with the housework and my brother did too. and that was because not helping is rude and inconsiderate. i have thankfully married a man i love and my mother-in-law is someone i really admire.
    do such girls really exist? the sad truth is yes. but the ugly part is that instead of showing progressive thinking in serials which MIGHT bring a positive change, they show all this crap which i fear might influence fence-sitters in the wrong direction.

    • Sorry for taking this off on a tangent, but too often, I see that cooking is seen as drudgery. While I was growing up (and even now), I loved cooking. I would spend my free time in the kitchen as a child, now I am always trawling through food blogs, and really look forward to cooking dinner at night. You could say I am a stereotypical woman in that respect.
      When I mention this in a social setting, eyebrows are raised. The ‘cool’ set cannot believe I cook, my mom thinks she must have done ‘something right’ coz at least I cook for my family. And in so many conversations all over the internet, it is expected that you say say ‘I never cook’, a sort of validation of one’s image as a modern career woman.
      Anna’s mom, this is not to disrespect anything you said at all. I am just saying, that to do stereotypical things, even if one likes them, is somehow not cool these days. Its confusing sometimes :D

      • Rambler I was under the impression that all the food blogs one reads indicate cooking is seen as a recreational and relaxing activity by some people :)
        But also why do you think is cooking seen as a drudgery by some people? There must be some reason…? Do you think men and children also see cooking as drudgery? I know many men who love to cook…

        About the ‘cool set”s eye brows, I guess what is cool for some maybe tedious for some others… I would say one could at the same time, avoid judging those who do or don’t enjoy things one does or doesn’t enjoy doing.

      • I would say the problem is “having” to cook for the husband and family simply because you are a woman. Many people do not like to cook, and it could be a drudgery for a lot of people. Nevertheless, women are still expected to provide a hot meal for all other family members at the appointed time, whether or not they like cooking. Sadly, that has led to not knowing cooking to be seen as some kind of emancipation of women.

      • @Rambler, I understand where you are coming from. I love housework and cooking. But I get raised eyebrows for that. To be a modern woman you are not supposed to like these. That only has me laughing. I am yet to find someone as open-minded in outlook as I am, yes, in-spite of being the housework-loving kind, in spite of having grown up in an orthodox family, in spite of being married into another and in spite of living in a place with small town mentality. :)
        But of course I am damned if I let anyone take me for granted just because I love housework and cooking. ;)

      • Rambler, cooking doesn’t seem like drudgery to me because I can decide when and what I want to cook. Like most people i know we have a cook and I cook only when i want to make something special and i really enjoy it too. i think cooking becomes drudgery when you HAVE to cook no matter what. starting from morning tea to making hot hot rotis for dinner. it’s no wonder so many women see cooking as drudgery. and when i mentioned i didn’t know how to cook, i meant i didn’t know how to cook as a child. the problem is when little girls are forced to learn how to cook when their brothers are free to play because otherwise how will they manage in the all important sasural.

      • I don’t think that there’s anything intrinsically womanly about cooking. If you think about it, many top chefs all over the world are men.

        In my opinion, everyone, male or female, should know the basics of cooking, ironing, laundry, doing the dishes, keeping the house clean and so forth. These are basic skills that you SHOULD be able to do on your own, even if you don’t enjoy them.

        Both me and my wife enjoy cooking, and for us, it’s usually convenience that decides who cooks. If we aren’t ordering from a restaurant (which is unfortunately a rather frequent occurrence, thanks to our terrible schedules), I am the one who fixes dinner at home a large proportion of the time. This is because she likes to work early in the morning and is consequently fagged out by the end of the day, whereas I’m a late-night worker, so I’m relatively fresh even at ten PM.

        Thankfully, we do not have to worry about cleaning, because affordable maid service is one of the most fantastic perks of living in India! :)

        Cool and un-cool is all in the mind. If you’re a good cook, that’s an über cool skill, no matter what your gender is. :)

    • This is a reply to anna’s mom’s very first comment. I love what she says.. two very important things –

      1. Don’t parents see anything wrong with their kids doing these over-precocious acts for some TV channels? It is just so disgusting when a mere kid is being used for the wrong kind of entertainment. You want to watch an adult.. hire an adult.. right?

      2. The fence-sitters. Anyone noticed how often the serials drag on and on with one atrocity after another coming upon the damsels in distress? They show that they’re very obviously wronged, but nobody (neither their spouses, nor parents or siblings and definitely not they themselves) comes to their rescue for the LONGEST time, sometimes NEVER during the course of the serial. I have a feeling that people watching these might feel the woman deserves it. With the clearly unequal treatment to both sides of the story, the fence-sitters get this “such is life” feeling reinforced. Plus, many older women watching this might just emphasize upon the younger women in their houses that they have it much better than the poor women in the serials who go through one exaggerated torture after another silently, and it’s all thanks to their generosity. I’ve seen this in play. It’s all horrifying.

  15. Very early in my life I managed to figure out that financial independence was the way to all kinds of independence. I fantasized about having a high flying career and going places. I also saw my self as single/divorced as everyone kept telling me that I was too ambitious and would not have a good family life and troubled relations with my husband. :D
    I always thought marriage was a horror because I saw it as too restrictive and I always loved my freedom.

    • Heh, reminds me of myself. Dunno if males and females have similar perspectives on these things but I was never ever attracted by the idea of marriage or any kind of serious relationship as a youngster either.

      My priorities in life were professional satisfaction, money, and globetrotting, in that order.

      Romance was out of the window until my mid-twenties. I had a few sporadic flings, none of which lasted. Still, I was fantastically happy for the most part. My parents had given up on me as a basket case, which was a huge boon, because it caused them to stop interfering in my life.

      And then…a long-time friendship morphed into a romance and the rest is history. It blew quite a few of my grand plans for myself sky-high, but…what the hell. I married a fantastic woman and we’re happy with this, so it’s all good. :)

  16. Evidently I was a brought up to be a terrible Indian girl. My parents taught me to be independent and have career aspirations. I don’t think the question of marriage ever cropped up as a topic needing discussion till the time I had finished my studies and was in a good job. Even then, marriage was treated as a means of getting a good partner for companionship – not as the epitome of achievement in my life or as the means by which I would get completely handed off to another person/family or as a means of getting taken care of for the rest of my life.

    I feel pity for the poor Indian girls who are brainwashed into thinking that their purpose in life is to get married. No wonder these girls want to spend all their time wondering how well this goal will be achieved (a goal, for achieving which they mostly have no role other than simply existing).

  17. It made me shudder with horror, you know. I felt like someone was being cast adrift on an unchartered course without maps or a life line. And I made a mental note to never tune into this serial (not that I watch any). Scary :(

    The only thing I have learnt in life is that I can only depend on myself. Baaki sab bakwas

  18. You know what,the producers of the show have done enough damage already.The moment I saw that promo,I STRUCK it off my possible- watch list.Most irritating to say the least.
    A friend who is a channel owner when asked ,said ,you get what you want and this is what the audience wants. :( sad but probably true..
    Majority girls think like Roli ,its only a handful of us who sit in judgement here and talk about it because we are lucky to have that kind of upbringing and can carry on the progressive trend to the future generations.
    Its a long long way to a changed thought process…

  19. I didn’t watch the promos – the content was bad enough. I can’t believe India is poised on a golden era when these are the kind of thoughts a majority of people have in their minds. How will we, as Indian women, be able to change these ridiculous perceptions that are unfortunately so deep rooted? The questions loom large because even assuming we have controlled and managed our personal happiness, what about those of others – like the twelve or thirteen year old girls who are forced to marry and lead lives that probably steal their real destiny – what can we do for them?

  20. Such apt questions….when I was growing up I had dreams too…I though I will be all professionally settled by 25 and then have a love marriage which my parents will love and then the happy ever after ( I know i had over dose of fairy tale and mills and boons :P)

    look at me at present- My career still needs a yr and I am 28 and unmarried and I plan to have a love marriage but like after 1-2 yrs and pursuing parents will be a task ( thankfully they r liberal and marriage pressures never happened)…but I still think how my future will be…..but I see it more in professional senses now :)…..See how real and dreams are different :)

  21. *shudder* @ promo
    As a young adult I did wonder about my future boyfriend and if he would be hot :P Even about having children and being a cool mum. But somehow I could not imagine about sasural. I hated that term and concept.
    Even more when my mother would ask me to change a habit because it won’t be welcome at my in-laws’ place. Like if I don’t change now, my future MIL would straighten me up the hard way. Needless to say, that threat did the opposite of what it was intended for. 
    Anyhow now, I am at a ‘marriageable’ age, living away from home and nobody is ‘looking’ for me as I have made it clear that I will be ‘looking’ for myself. Was it easy- hell no! But I owe this to myself. 

  22. The Ewwww factor in the video is unimaginably high that one wants to break the laptop screen. Fortunately, I desisted or else I would have been minus one.

    Really, too sickening for words!

  23. Okay, here goes.

    First, I have some advice advice for “Simar” – Start running, love, and don’t stop until you’re out of reach of your crazed sister.

    Watching this commercial has probably increased my risk of going into diabetic shock by at least 50%. The sheer sugary-sweetness of Simar’s dear sister is enough to trigger a weak gag reflex!

    Marriage is overrated in Indian society, to put it very mildly. The unfortunate fact is that millions of kids in India grow up believing in an idealized, bollywood-style concept of marriage in which the strong husband and the dutiful wife live together happily forevermore (under the stern wise eyes of the boy’s parents).

    But then…

    SHAZAM!!

    Disaster, woe and traahi-traahi!

    It turns out that the dutiful wife has OPINIONS and EXPECTATIONS and…*gasp*…AMBITIONS!

    How can a woman have those? That wasn’t a part of the deal!

    Nope, sorry bright eyes, but no opinion-shopinion for you. You’ve got too many X-chromosomes for that. Now get back to the kitchen and make us all some lunch, like you’re supposed to. Then go take care of the kid(s), like you’re supposed to. If you don’t, pati-parameshwar will wring it’s neck. And why hasn’t the dowry come yet, like it’s supposed to? Do you want pati-parameshwar to get the can of subsidized kerosene out, eh? And why the hell are you wearing jeans? Wear a saree, like you’re supposed to. Don’t want ya to look like one of the immoral westerners in pati-parameshwar’s “collection” in C:/Windows/sys32/dontopen/xxx.

    Welcome to sasural, ladies!

  24. First of all a super thumbs-down to that (ugh!) trailer. But then that’s the average trailer one would associate with this kind of trash. Where being married and serving her Pati Parmeshwar and in-laws is all a woman can hope for….. :roll: Oh wow! What joy! :P

    I read a few of the comments given above…. and I have to say my case was a little different…
    Having come from a background where my parents were separated…I used to wonder what my in-laws would be like….because I had nurtured a hope that I’d be able to have a husband whose parents were together….and I’d know a home where I didn’t have to worry about taking sides and being careful while speaking about one parent in front of the other. But of course my entire focal point was definitely my husband first… as in, what kind of person he would be etc.

    I have seen serials that show the story of a girl…. her family would be all excited that a boy is coming to ‘see’ her. The girl in question would be a totally innocent girl, barely 18, never having studied away from home….never having lived anywhere else except with parents and siblings….not a bit worldly-wise. I have wondered what kind of a crackpot would get such a girl married? I mean really!! what is the sense of marrying such a kid off!! What on earth would she know about being married??? :-|

    The serails are so far fetched from reality…. And yet there are so many homes that actually digest this drivel/rubbish and believes in this **** because the women-folks who watch these serials identify with this kind of a concept/sanskar (call it what u want)….
    It’s mind boggling :-|

    • “The serials are so far fetched from reality”

      That is not true, Aswathy. The sad part is that the serials are only an indication of reality, minus the richie rich sets. I had this friend living with me for a few days and she used to watch one such soap, and I used to keep telling her what crap do you watch. It can’t possibly happen. Then she surprised me by saying it happens in her own family. And when I went to her wedding recently, I got the shock of my life to realize that she was right and it was right there in front of my eyes! *shudder*

      • By far fetched from reality I was mainly referring to 3 things:

        1) The opulent sets where women consistently wear traditional heavy zardosi sarees and tons of jewellery and walk around the house wearing makeup which they dont take off even while going to sleep…

        2) The clear definition of black n white…. have you noticed how people are either almost all black or all white? Either the bahu is a soft innocent sweet character or the SIL/MIL is an evil bitch seething venom and plotting …
        In real life people tend to appear in shades of grey…rarely people are all good or all bad.

        3) The menfolk are mostly around the house doing nothing – as opposed to going for work in real life. Maybe there is a rare scene in office where they show them working but thats about it (unless it is like a Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi where the entire story is office-based but even that eventually degenerated to a saas-bahu drama). There were serials where they tried to incorporate more scenes of men being in office etc…but the tv channels later found that the target audience ie, housewives, women from lower socio-economic backgrounds…could not identify with such scenes and the TRPs went down. So they eliminated such scenes.

        Hmmm…so what was it that you saw in front of your eyes? She being mistreated by her in-laws?

      • haha Aswathy, not on your life! My friend is a firebrand and drew the line to her in-laws on what she would and would not accept. Quite proud of her, I am! But women from her side of the family were all in ghunghats and the younger ones spoke only when spoken to. They also scurried away when the men came and did all the household work. And they all had way too many kids.

  25. I cannot stand any more mush and gnawing sweetness. When I watch TV, its either animation or songs (from my time!)
    As for the question of sasural and dreams, I’d just say, its like a book that has a ‘Mills and Boon’ coverpage, and an Arundhati Roy script!

  26. These soaps are all the same. Holding up ideals from at least 100 years ago. I was just thinking what stupid titles they have ‘Sasural Simar Ka’, ‘Rishton Se Badi Pratha’, ‘Na aana is des lado’, ‘Balika Badhu’ (the worst one if you ask me). And have you noticed the names these women have? Mamta, Tulsi, Ganga, Durga – see a theme here? I wanted to do a post on the symbolism of this. But for that I need to watch some of these serials and to my mind that is a fate worse than death!!

  27. My biggest worry was and still is JOB security .. rest i beleive is all LUCK… thats what it is if you are lucky you find someone who cares for you and respects you and if you unlucky you live all through trying to make it work …

    Serials in india I am wondering your past few posts are about women being treated badly but then almost all the serials do show the same and the best line i liked in this post was

    “You also must have wondered, no, what kind of mother-in-law you will get? ”

    Now why is it that its a girls worst nighmare thinking of the MIL she will get and not the Fil or BIL …
    that to me does show and tell something :)

    and I liked the comment above made by @PT… so true its a fantasy girls/boys live out there and it is not the same …

    All the best to SIMAR… to hell with marriage.. get up , get a job , make a career and then think of Marriage :)

  28. My first reaction when I saw the ad was ughhh.. it was sick to see the bride’s sister hovering around her saying those dialogues.. What do the serial makers think really..? I mean do they see anything different in this to show on TV.. crap !!

    And when I was that age, I seriously never had the thought of how my MIL is going to be of all the things, I did not even think of it during my marriage.. All that mattered then were studies and job. My parents had never been of the worrying kind of when I would be married and to whom etc.. They always cared for my studies, and wanted me to have a job first.

    We are a middle class muslim family of 4 sisters and I am so proud of my parents to have given us this kind of life, they are the best planners. I’m amazed when people say how muslim families do not allow the girls to study much and work.

  29. I got my Indian channel connection cancelled about 2yrs back just because of these serials..they get on my nerves! Too much over the top in every repsect!!
    When I was in college, all I dreamt was becoming a CEO of some multinational corporate or may be a scientist looking for cure for some life threatening disease, earning loads of money, getting swept off my feet by a prince charming somewhere along the way, and globetrotting. Never ever did Sasural appear in that plan :D
    Then, first, my liberal parents ( or may be I thought of them as liberal initially bcos they hadn’t killed their daughters as soon as we were born and had very generously decided to educate us!) suddenly turned into the most orthodox ones, and then I was left with no choice but to agree to arranged marriage – was somehow made to feel like the most unbearable burden by the same parents who supposedly raised us girls as their boys! BTW, have started hating that phrase ‘ hum apni beti ko beta samjhtey hain’. Why? Just bcos you are educating her? Is education supposed to be only for beta, and bcos us girls are getting that privilege, we should forever be grateful? I can write a book on that topic.

    How we were supposed to magically turn into boys when we needed to take up responsibility, and how suddenly we were back being girls again when we wanted to go out with friends to attend an exhibition, or to movies and were told to behave like ‘girl’ :(

    Anyway, once arranged marriage was fixed, had no option but to start thinking about sasural and convinced myself that the joint family may turn out to be real fun with MIL doting on you, BIL wanting to make you as comfortable as possible in the new environment ( like some good hindi movies) even though SIL was already getting on my nerves trying to change the way I dressed, my choice of clothes, my hair, my no sense of applying makeup ( I had never worn make-up cos my dad didn’t like it as it attacts wrong kind of attention, never worn bright coloured clothes for the same reason) etc.
    The very next day of getting married, when realised that the maid was fired under some kind of excuse………….enough to say that it took a looooong time before husband realised that his family has been less than nice to me when he wasn’t looking!

    This post or rather some of the comments on this post reminded me about my dream I had as a teenager! Also reminded of some of the unfairness we girls had to go through while parents kept patting themselves on their backs for raising their girls like ‘sons’ by providing them basic human needs like food & shelter, offcourse education too. I still feel forever grateful for it and still feel so raged when I think about all that!

  30. OMG!! They still make these kind of serials!!??? :|
    If I say, who watches them??… well, I’ll be wrong… coz there are millions who watch such regressive, outdated stories!!

  31. Its quite a coincidence, I was thinking the same thing today when i saw the promo today!!! Much as we would like to believe that society today is more progressive, but its quite the opposite actually. Serials have been increasingly becoming more regressive. Girls now opine that its good that a girl gets married early since at that age its easy for her to ADJUST, giving the example of Balika Badhu. They think its fun to live in such a big house and wear jewels. They feed into the society’s belief that a girl is born JUST to be married off. Such shows portray how the BAHUS of the house, heavily bejewelled enjoy their time in the kitchen cooking and serving for their family as their respective husbands finish their meal. Only then do they proceed to eat their meals. The entire premise is of servitude and a girl is brought up by her parents keeping in mind her duties and responsibilities in her sasural. Hence she grows up thinking and fantasizing about her sasural and wondering how it will be like. The role of LAAJ also comes into place. The show “Bhagya Vidhata” portrayed how a wife has to apologise for dancing in a competition to win money for her family, since the HONOUR of the family was at stake!!
    As a young girl in college, my immediate concerns are my higher studies and my job prospects. Not that my parents DONT mention marriage. They know and even i am aware that it is THERE in the future. However, they emphasize on finishing my studies and having a stable career before any of that.
    What wonders me are we as audience that naive or just dont care? If thats the case why do they continue to gain TRPs. Do they really resonate with the thoughts of young girls today?

    P.S. Aunty, have you heard of the book Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder? Though its fiction, its basically an introduction to philosophy. In that its mentioned that Aristotle considered women as UNFINISHED MEN. He didnt think them THAT important. They were just passive and his thoughts affected the thinking in the years to come, especially in Christianity. You could look it up if you want and the book is really good among other things..:)

  32. Okay – not one comment for the serial. Either the watchers/lovers are lurking, too scared to say anything or none of the batch reading this post actually watches these serials.

    This is just one example of dozens of really gross and very, very negative serials that obviously have an urban following. Who are these people? Oh, any of our parents….dare I say MOST of our parents with progressive minds (who brought up kids more progressive than them)?

    I switched from one to another for fun one day in front of my parents (very obnoxious of me but these really, really sicken me!) and every one of them had someone yelling in anger or crying – a ‘my life has ended’ style sobbing.

    What’s the pull in these darn things? I know of households whose lives stop at 6 or 7 pm for 2 or so hours. Everything else happens hurriedly in the commercial breaks!

  33. Yuck ** to the promo ***
    DO indian educations system give you time to think about your sasural? how? when?
    I was thinking of my 10th board, then 12th board, then came entrance tests, then admission, then adjust to hostel, then exams for the next 4.5 yrs, then housie, then finals then POSTgrad test prep……and the list goes on and on and on…..

  34. and here you go ..I bet this serial (killer) will keep TRP consistently high for the Channel.

    because after all Indian girls are there na…you see IHM. This is what INDIA is doing in PRIME( I don’t know exactly how it became this, PRIME) time.

    Keep Smiling.

  35. Hi IHM-
    The trailer is really regressive, as are all the “family” shows on similar channels these days. My own parents don’t watch them, but I know many in the extended family do and I’ve watched these people become more regressive over the years. I’m not saying these shows were the direct cause but I’m sure they made some contribution. For instance, there’s this aunt of mine who used to be a ferociously independent and confident woman (working full-time with two kids at home, my mom’s generation and upbringing, really big deal in the community she was raised in as well as the joint family she married into, but she persisted somehow). She had a major accident and then quit working. Suddenly she found all this time on her hands that she didn’t know what to do with. Now I understand the makers of these shows would say she’s not the target audience but this was the entertainment option easiest available to her. She started watching these shows and got hooked. Now she doesn’t step out of the house during an eclipse because “upshagun hota hai”. My point is, it’s easier to do what most people around you are doing. You need to keep the fire inside you burning if you want to go against the tide. And these shows GLORIFY that easier option which makes it easier to put out the fire.

    Again, disclaimer: I’m sure other changes happened in her life, these shows are not solely responsible.

    On an related note, I’ve looked far and wide for Indian movies or shows where a woman marries or falls in love, it doesn’t work out, they break up, she GETS OVER IT and moves on. Nope, they always reconcile. I’d never watched anything of the sort growing up so I’m wondering if that’s one of the reasons I’m the opposite of a quitter. I ALWAYS have a little bit of hope remaining, even with the facts staring at me in the face. I thought Jab We Met tried to come close, but Shahid Kapoor was always there waiting in the wings. Turning 30 also tried, but as soon as this woman’s bf breaks up with her, her *ex* ex comes into the picture saying he loved her and made a mistake but now that she’s single again what does she think of him? WTF?!!! Can anyone find me ONE movie where someone breaks up and then becomes SINGLE AGAIN? These movies played their part in messing me up! :D I know how to fall in love but have no clue how to fall out. Nobody ever falls out of love in Bollywood.

    I’ve also been looking for blogs by Indian bloggers that talk about divorce but haven’t had much luck. So I’ve started a blog to chronicle my own experience.
    - the woman that used to call herself a Confused Wife

    • Wow Confused wife!!! I am glad you started a blog of your own, that’s the best thing to do! I know a blog about divorce, it’s very good, I am sure you will like it… let me get the link!

    • Hmm…..in Love Aaj Kal, Deepika breaks up with her husband of one day because she realises she doesn’t love him after all. IT’s annoying because he is basically a nice guy, and she just married him without thinking of her true feelings towards him. And then she dumps him at the start of the honeymoon! I thought that was a bold move – a heroine in a mainstream movie doing that. Of course, in this case also, there is Saif waiting in the wings, but Deepika remains single for quite a while before Saif actually realises how much he loves her and leaves HIS dream job to come and get her. Very cool, I think.

      • Thanks! That’s actually kind-of close, but I was looking for something like multiple loves in a lifetime, or about eventually ending up single. Here she feels like she *doesn’t* love him and that’s why they call it off. What about moving on because things just don’t work out with the person you love(d)? Or what about being dumped by the person you (still) love?
        I’ve spent all my life so far believing love conquers all, and I have to say Bollywood was responsible for that because I sure as heck didn’t grow up surrounded by model marriages!

        • Shabana Azmi in ‘Arth’ doesn’t take back her husband (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) and also refuses to marry another guy, who sang a very sweet song for her… “Tum itna jo muskura rahee ho…“…

          And in ‘Astitva’ Tabu walks out of her marriage. She also sleeps with a man who she does not marry, watch the trailer below to understand how and why.

    • Well, Luck by Chance comes to mind. * SPOILER ALERT* She falls in love with a guy who turns out to be manipulative and dumps her. She learns to move on. By the end of the movie, she is single and pretty much at peace with herself.

    • @The child gone wild – I so agree… that’s how i am too… no matter how clearly i can see things, i don’t know how to let go! I sometimes wonder… Are we too emotional…?? Or do we really believe in the existence of ‘love’…??

      • Neither. (As in I do believe in love but I don’t think that belief’s responsible for my stupidity.)
        We just haven’t had an opportunity to watch and learn – neither in real life, nor Bollywood. I didn’t start watching Hollywood movies until I was in college, and by that time the damage was done!:D

    • Frankly, I liked Jab We Met. They both helped each other out in times of need. I don’t exactly see much gender discrimination there! On top of it, its a commercial love story, give it a break. There’s nothing wrong with happy endings. Jab We Met never said she can’t be happy without a man. It just said, two people fell in love, and both felt incomplete without each other. True, he rescued her at the end, but even she rescued him in the first half. Nothing wrong with that!

      It’s these saas-bahu serials that actually irritate me, Bollywood seems to be moving pretty well with the times.

  36. i just wanted to grow up, educate myself and earn enough to buy my own house.
    my mother who was not happy because i did not do enough chores at home was always telling me, if you do not learn to cook , your mil will curse me. she did not know my plans.

  37. I couldn’ see the promo, coz its not available here! But yeah, I have always wondered that why do they have so many such serials.. I used to watch some when I lived at home (5-6 years ago) and used to think why don’t they have shows which focus more on independent women focusing on their careers, or some social issues…
    I never thought about these things while I was growing up.. I still feel like I’m a kid and not ready for marriage (I’m 24!!) I have been in relationships since I was 16 off and on, and I knew I wanted to get married to a nice loving guy (the prince charming variety that doesn’t exist) But I never let that interfere with my studies or my career.. I always treated these things separately, and have never been ready to compromise on my career… Over the years, I have also realized that your expectations from a guy change as you grow up and mature.. There’s no way I want to marry the guy I was dating when I was 16.. That brings into light the importance of growing up, living away from home, and facing the world alone.. I think that influences your decision about the kind of lifer partner you want – if you have a choice, that is!
    Thankfully, my parents are flexible in those terms and my elder sisters found their husbands.. and live happily with them! But I have seen people of the serial type also.. My best friend from college respects me for being independent, strong, etc. Yet he is going in for an arranged marriage.. coz his family wants it that way.. That I can still understand.. But then he says that he would prefer if the girl is not working.. coz its easier for everyone that way.. we have had numerous arguments about this and I am trying to convince him the other way for this.. Also, his family is looking for the typically ‘sanskari bahu’ and they don’t want her to be very old (22-23 is fine).. And one say, we had an argument, that for me, if to prove that I am a good DIL or wife, I have to quit my career, then that family can go to hell!! Anyway, I think the comment is long enough, so I should stop now!

    • Prerna,
      Perhaps your EQ is greater than mine, but to be honest, I absolutely fail to understand decisions like the one your friend has made.

      In particular, I struggle to understand why an intelligent, educated individual with (very probably) a bright future up ahead, would voluntarily give up control of one of the most crucial aspects of his/her life to parents or family!

      I wonder whether people who go in for arranged marriages actually think about what it means.
      If they do, and feel that it would work out better for them, then they should of course go ahead with it.

      But I suspect that a lot of people go on that path only because their parents told them that they should. It is not a considered decision, but an easy way out. A way to avoid intra-family conflict. And that, in my humble opinion, is a very poor reason to marry anyone.

      If there is one thing I’ve realized in life, it is this: good things don’t come to weak people. With your attitude, you probably know that already. While there is something to be said for adapting to circumstances, at some point, you have to stop and put your foot down. If you keep doing stuff just because it’s “easier for everyone”, you end up being a doormat. You also end up doing grossly unfair things to someone else, just because you want to avoid conflict.

      What about his own happiness? Has he ever thought about it? Does he really want to marry a traditional housewife-type or does he want someone intelligent and independent? Someone he can at least sustain a conversation with!

      I’m not saying that traditional housewives cannot be intelligent, nor am I trying to dictate preferences to him. But my point is this. He (and millions like him, of both genders), does not seem to have thought enough about what he really wants from a partner. He is obsessed with avoiding conflict, and toeing the family line and that sort of thinking can be a sure way to disaster.

      • @PT – I understand and agree with what you are saying to an extent.. But then you know, it comes to a point where I don’t want to judge someone just because they are not doing what I think is right.. I think that to him, his family is the most important thing.. He gave up the chance to come to US to get a Masters degree so that he could help his dad in his family business.. I think its a combination of family pressure and his priorities..
        I sometimes feel bad for him because I know he’s a nice guy.. he respects women, etc! but at the same, he doesn’t realize how the society is unfair to women in so many ways.. maybe his family is not.. but simple things like not allowing his sister to study in a far away city from home.. I asked him why the discrimination.. But he says she never said she wanted to go, she could have convinced them if she wanted to..
        He thinks his family will find the right girl for him.. I don’t know how that works.. I tried explaining the importance of a career in every individual’s life.. how it helps you to grow and mature as a person.. how you get to face the real world far different from school and college.. But then in the end, he has to realize and understand these things.. And I also know there are many other people like him… I think I stop somewhere because I don’t want to be imposing my decisions or choices on anyone.. and I don’t wanna judge people when I am not in their shoes.. But I wonder how would his wife feel if he ends up marrying someone like me..

  38. Pingback: ‘Maika Chavi Ka’… sequel to ‘Sasural Simar Ka’. « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  39. I guess I was lucky, in my family the talk was always and still is about career and what marks to score, where to go, all thanks to my mother. Father wasn’t that into all this. Yes, I wondered about my life partner, sure, every teen does, but it was more in the romantic chick flick fashion than in the whole what would the house and in-laws be like.

  40. Most soaps on television today are on daughters and the troubles they face after marriage. They all begin with a promise of being progressive and different. But eventually, they alll fall prey to TRPs which rise with the sacrifices of the women of the house.
    Look at so called revolutionary soap “Balika Vadhu” now with the Vadhu grown up they show her husband having an extra marital with a classmate. And she is ofcourse wondering about her husbands changed behaviour, serving her inlaws, studying and teaching…what a self-sacrificing great nari…epitome of womanhood and other blah blahsss!
    I understand they are trying to project the ills the child marriage here, but they could also reversed roles. They could have bridged a gap by showing the child growing up as a educated woman, you clears competitive exams and comes as a collector in the district and the gap between her and the uneducated husband!
    But no, that won’t sell, a husband left behind, while a woman has progessed how will it ever sell.
    None of the soaps show the woman being progressive, and with each day the regression becomes worse with each day.
    What are we conveying to the audiences, that extra martial affairs happen due to child marriage and hence are justified?!
    Its disgusting, all the soaps, each one of them. Its just taking us back to the dark ages.

  41. you know IHM.. i remember a show on ZEE TV earlier where they show trailers of some serials and the viewers vote to decide which show they would like to watch and that show continued.

    And there was a serial where the protagonist was a lady aspiring to be an IAS/IPS officer, and people around her asking why she wants to venture out into a man’s world and etc, and it was a story of her dreams and trials.. Unfortunately it could not garner enough votes, and went off air.. And I am sure some dumb sasuraal show would have replaced it.

  42. Every day in my college, where I have taken up Journalism, we’re made to believe that media is meant to educate the people and is greatly responsible for building public opinion. Looking at these stupidly regressive serials I’m no longer shocked that a number of Indians (majority) still over-rate the entire institution of marriage!!!

  43. This is why I don’t watch TV.

    We’re all of us here discussing how we thought of our future in terms of our career, money, travel, and at most, our future partner. But that is because most, if not all, of us commenting on this blog have had the luxury of an education (yes, in India, it is still a luxury, especially for girls), and possibly have educated and progressive (relatively) parents.

    But what this and other serials on TV show is an exaggerated reality. Girls of today do worry about their sasural – and rightly so. Because even as we speak, girls living in their sasuraals are being harassed, humiliated, and abused. And they aren’t really a minority. So of course women who think they have no other choice but to live with their in-laws will worry about the kind of in-laws they will end up with. Just like the rest of us worry about the kind of careers/husbands we will end up with.

    And to add fuel to the fire, these TV serials actually show the suffering or simpering woman as the ideal Bhartiya Nari, something the rest of Indian womanhood should aspire to. Not that I blame the producers – ratings and surveys shows that this is what viewers want. GAH!

    • Call me regressive, but I do believe in the importance of the in-laws. We’ve seen in one of the posts here on IHM’s blog where a woman realized only after getting married to the guy she loved what his family was really like and how manipulative his mother is. They didn’t even celebrate their anniversary because their whole wedding was a nightmare and she couldn’t bear to relive it.

      Also, regressive as it may sound, I don’t believe the problem can be solved by the arranged vs love marriage dilemma. I would want to be there for both my parents and my husband’s parents when they get old. Not because of tradition but because it’s the right thing to do. And if I’m going to do that, I sure as hell want to be sure I like and respect them!

      The issue here is not one of wondering about the sasural or the in-laws. The issue here, as many have pointed out, is the idealization of a woman’s complete lack of control over her life. The very same people who talk about our glorious culture seem to forget that there was also something known as a swayamvar in our glorious past…

  44. I am very excited to watch Avika in this serial. She is looking very different from her previous role in Balika Vadhu. I watched making of Sasural Simar Ka. She was wonderful in her role. I am much excited to watch the family drama in a new sense of humor.

  45. You know, I gave in to my parent’s world-view that it is best to marry a man from your own community, in a traditional arranged marriage. I have always distrusted the whole institution of the arranged marriage but was also raised to be an obedient daughter who thought her parents knew best. Well, it’s been a disaster from the very first day. I was in the kitchen cooking the very next day after my wedding. My husband told me that he didn’t have any leave left at work and we would have to do without a honeymoon. A few months into my marriage, I gradually realised that my husband is a complete mama’s boy who coldn’t take the most trivial decision without consulting Mummy dearest. Every fight we, have he appeals to his mother and insists that parents on both sides be involved for every small dispute to be resolved. His justification for this is that a traditonal marriage is arranged by the parents of the bide and the groom and it’s their obligation to intervene every time a couple fight. He also expects me to unconditionally accept every ridiculous demand that his mother makes. It’s very difficult for me to respect and love a man who is so low on emotional maturity and who’s so dependent on his mother. He, of course, sees nothing abnormal about this. He gets the wounded look of a baby elephant whenever I try to explain to him that he needs to detach a little from his mother if our marriage has a chance of succeeding. The irony of course, is that he closely watches how often and how long I speak to my parents on the phone, expects me to take his mother’s permision every time I want to visit my parents (they live in the same city). But the obvious unfairness of it never strikes him. After six months of marriage, I am now convined that this will never work, all he ever wanted was a daughter-in-law for his mother, not a wife for himself. So, going by my own experience, I can kind of sympathise with the lead character’s dilemma. In an arranged marriage there is no way to accurately guage your intended husband’s temperament or predict how his family will treat you. In my case, my worst fears have been confirmed. But there was no way for me to know beforehand, because my husband made all the right noises before I agreed to the marriage. He talked about equal responsibility and joint decision making and had me convinced he was a reasonable, liberal-minded man. I guess what I have learnt is that an arranged marriage is rather like a gamble. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

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