She chose to get pregnant so that she can miss all the work, enjoy attention and eat to her heart’s content.

So here’s someone with a different perspective to this post, How are mothers treated in Indian culture?

How would you respond to their views?

Below is their response, in their own words.

“Let me put a different perspective here… (doesn’t mean u r wrong in any way)

There are women who don’t like what they are expected to do.. for example i know an average scoring gal who was engaged to a topper guy who belongs to a family of toppers… Now this gal had already lost a year. She was forced by her parents to take up engineering in the first place. Now her in-laws were expected her to be a topper. She had got married when there was one year remaining for her engineering to complete. She chose to get pregnant while she was still studying so that after engineering her in-laws will not taunt or question her why she is not a topper in her college.

Another woman I know is not passionate about anything.. No passion to study or do anything.. She is not interested in cooking too. She was from a house where no one told her or ordered her to work. When she got married, she did not know even to prepare tea. She got married into a house where she had to stay with her husband’s parents, unmarried brother and unmarried sister. Apart from this, there was a lot of work as her family runs on just one grocery story. She chose to get pregnant (in fact she missed her first period after wedding) so that she can miss all the work, enjoy attention and eat to her heart’s content.

What would you say about these woman?

I am saying again, I know both the women and their in-laws family closely.. They are really good people.. But every gal after getting married cant be sitting like a guest right? Obviously they will have to help a bit.. It will be rude if her mother-in-law slogs to prepare food for all and the daughter-in-law just stays in her room all the time or watches tv.

First case:
The in-laws are nice and the husband too.. They had only one thing to crib about which is the topper thing. That too because their son had been stubborn he wanted to marry this gal. They are too rich and none of the women in the house get to do the household chores.. There are many servants in the house..

Second case:
The gal’s brother got her married to this house.”

Possibly Related Post:

It seems getting pregnant is not the only thing Indian women do with ulterior motives:
Dying statements of vengeful women settling scores by attempting suicide.


83 thoughts on “She chose to get pregnant so that she can miss all the work, enjoy attention and eat to her heart’s content.

  1. Getting pregnant and experiencing the costs and benefits of it is one thing, bringing up a child for the following years to come is another.

    Lamenting the lost career opportunities or finding an excuse in pregnancy for not doing any sort of work at all is just missing the whole point of having a child. I guess both prospective mother and father need to set their lives straight and prepare themselves mentally and emotionally before making a decision to have a baby.

    Nobody wants to grow up with a mother constantly complaining how she sacrificed everything to have you, or a mother that follows your every step way into adulthood just because she has nothing better to do.

    Talking about who missed her period and for what purpose is just too creepy to respond to. If everyone kept their noses in their own business some women wouldn’t fall under pressure to have a child before they are ready for it, others would not need to escape their responsibilities with a ‘pregnancy’solution’.


  2. I dont get it , what is the writer trying to say.

    although if that’s the case then it is so very wrong , to bring a child into this world just for the sake of making life easy .. BUT is it that easy for them .. getting pregnant has other issues tooo ..


    • Bikramjit- about the getting pregnant has other issues too- brings us right back to the issues discussed in the last few posts by IHM. A negligible number of women (like the bride) will have the guts to admit even to themselves, let alone to anyone else, that pregnancy and childbirth is not their best fantasy come true. In the majority of cases it is seen as ONLY a blessing- in every which way. Even by women. Feeling any less about it would make them feel they are Bad People, Bad Women, Bad Mothers, not doing the Duty defined for them by God.


    • Bik

      Not I am objecting to what you have just said,

      but I cant disagree on the fact that “in the given kind of situations women are more on the state of mind where they dont really understand gravity of situation”

      and trust me before getting pregnant and delivering their first baby, even women have only rough idea what they have got into ( courtesy: Elders of house) or no idea at all.


    • Your phrase ‘just for the sake of making life easy’ struck a chord actually. There are many couples who are nagged and nagged about having a child…that just to get rid of the pressure they go ahead. I am not joking…the emotional blackmail can get crippling. Many women, though they are not emotionally or mentally prepared to have a child, reach a position where they can no longer say no. For some women, having a baby seems to be the only way to redeem their position in the family – they find suddenly in-laws are more accepting and friendly. Then there are women who have babies for govt benefit handouts (not India)- it can get pretty lucrative.

      In an ideal world, one should have a child only when one desires so – preferably with a loving partner. We know that is not the case always. Whatever maybe the motive for having a child, what counts is how good a parent one is….right from pregnancy. That’s why this person’s comment really got my goat …the tone of finger-pointing when he/she has no clue what really the girls went through is quite nasty.


  3. I just read your post ‘Dying statements…’. While this does not address the issues raised by you in either of these two posts, Katherine Boo’s brilliant book- ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’ came to my mind. In case you haven’t read it, I won’t say more here, but there is the burning of a woman that lies at the heart of the book. Do read it, if you haven’t already.


  4. The email writer needs a major reality check. Does this person even know what he/she is talking about? getting pregnant to avoid chores? That would be like cutting a limb off just to avoid getting a mosquito bite. Duh-uh.


  5. I really do not like the tone of this comment.

    This is all addressed to the Original Poster of the comment:

    “When she got married, she did not know even to prepare tea. ” Is being able to cook and make tea supposed to be some sort of prerequisite to marriage?

    Additionally, while I personally do not believe in (or agree with) the concept of ‘arranged marriage’, what does being a topper or any academic history have to do with it? Some people may have that as a ‘requirement’ or a box to be checked when THEY look for a partner, which is not the same as a ‘family needing her to be a topper’. If husband and wife love and care about each other, where does the academic history come into question? I’d love to know the academic history of the commenter then. Dear commenter, what were your marks in your 10th and 12th boards? Do tell. We’ll put that up on your profile.

    “No passion to study or do anything.. She is not interested in cooking too.” – Wow, sexist, regressive beliefs too! The kind where you believe women should love the kitchen and cooking activities. Congratulations on your open mindedness.

    “But every gal after getting married cant be sitting like a guest right? It will be rude if her mother-in-law slogs to prepare food for all and the daughter-in-law just stays in her room all the time or watches tv” – What are the men in the house doing? It is their house too. You feel hungry, you go cook yourself something. You don’t warm your backside on a chair and yell to your wife/mom/’female in the house’ to bring you tea and biscuits. Are you saying the MIL and DIL should be like assistant maids, doing the housework? If the men are part of the household, they damn well take responsibility for it. And that doesn’t mean just earning money.

    “They are too rich..” What is ‘too rich’ to you, OP? To a person working as a household help, someone in a 1BHK may be ‘rich’. To the 1BHK person, a 3BHK resident may be rich. To a 3BHK, a bungalow owner may be ‘rich’ and so on and so forth. It’s a very ambiguous term and applicable to many things, but I’ve explained it in terms of wealth since that is the context you’ve used it in.

    ‘and none of the women in the house get to do the household chores.. There are many servants in the house” – you might or might not be, but your comment smacks of jealousy. Having material riches and ‘hired help’ isn’t everything. Why aren’t men doing the household chores, dear commenter? You use the toilet, you help clean it. You use the plates and silverware in the kitchen, you help clean them. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a ‘woman of the household’. Do you really think women in the house are supposed to be glorified servants to you?


    • “But every gal after getting married cant be sitting like a guest right?”

      I’m nitpicking here — why do we persist in calling adult women “gals”? Arrgh, I wish Indian English speakers would stop using slang phrases so indiscriminately. I hate that word!


  6. 1. It takes 2 people to get pregnant – husbands are equal partners in this supposed ‘wrongdoing’ (for lack of a better word). If they were so keen on toppers and mothers helpers they should have made sure there was adequate contraception being used.
    2. On having a passion – mentioned cooking and studying. What if she genuinely couldn’t care less about either?
    3. “…eat to her hearts content” – making digs at people’s eating habits is basest form of meanness.
    4. I’m sure both knew at least this much that pregnancy is only 9 months and they’re going to have to ‘face the music’ at some point.
    5. “It will be rude if her mother-in-law slogs to prepare food for all and the daughter-in-law just stays in her room all the time or watches tv.” Why? Just because one woman chooses to slave it out why should another feel obliged to do the same?

    Like someone’s already said ‘their body their decision’. Its funny you say she “chose to get pregnant” Haven’t we debated from here to kingdom come that many women do not get to choose anything?

    Baccha ho to problem, nahi ho to problem……


  7. Did the girls confide their ‘motives’ to the author in the ear – or did the author make these remarkable deductions by ‘knowing the family’?

    The author, clearly has no idea about the mental and physical trauma a pregnancy entails. The author seems to think pregnancy is all about eating and sleeping like a python – and the baby pops out like a cork out of a bottle one fine day.

    Going by the author’s judgemental tone, and the holier-than-thou attitude, the careless language, I doubt if any married girl will confide about her menstrual cycles in such a person. I found it sickening the way the ‘missed period’ has been thrown in as if presenting an evidence.

    The author is in denial that the girls who were married off based on someone else’s choice, had no choice when it came to contraception and family planning.

    I believe the author has no knowledge of the facts of life, except that based on heresay and ideas of misogynist elders and friends. I’ve come across young school going boys who are more mature, thoughtful, respectful in their attitude and speech. I believe in the author, we are looking at a future khap sarpanch. No one else can speak with such banal casualness about a newly married woman’s private life, no one else can be perverted enough to find a motive behind a woman’s pregnancy, no one else can be disgusting enough to hold such a dim view of a wife and a mother.

    I wish there was a way those two women could be made aware of the author’s views.


    • “I believe the author has no knowledge of the facts of life, except that based on heresay and ideas of misogynist elders and friends.”
      I know I’m repeating myself- but the facts of life are different for different people. And I’m increasingly beginning to feel that we can’t speak in such black-and-white terms and pass judgement the way we do without trying to understand where the commentator is situated- “no one else can be disgusting enough to hold such a dim view of a wife and a mother.” Women who are wives and mothers hold these views too! Rather than dismissing them, I’d be interested in knowing why they do, and how they got to having AND retaining their views despite their own bodies (in pregnancy and childbirth for eg.) telling them otherwise.


      • Oh come now! Does it strike you in anyway that the author has given a mature assessment of the situation? Don’t you find some of the details sordid?

        By facts of life, I meant biological facts of life. Do you really think the author has any clue about the seriousness of pregnancy when he/she mentions a girl got pregnant so she could eat her heart’s content?

        In every statement the author has done nothing but label and pass judgement on two women. THey have been portrayed as ‘passionless’ lazy lay-abouts who are good for nothing. On top of that, they’ve also been labelled as dishonest, manipulative vixens who ‘tricked’ everyone by falling pregnant. Don’t you think that this author who so casually wrote this comment, would have gone around speaking in a similar loose manner to other ‘friends’ citing ‘closeness’ to the girls – as if they’ve confided all this in him/her – maligning them?

        It is one thing to discuss perspectives and opinions. It is another to just label women when you know they are not available to defend their stance.

        Yes, i am interested in understanding why women hold a dim view of themselves. But I’d rather hear it from them directly, rather than from a pervert. I am sorry, I reserve no kindness, no benefit of doubt to whoever wrote this drivel.


  8. After reading the post for the second time, I get the sense that the writer is probably a woman- there is a tone of resentment against these women who don’t do their ‘duties’ etc. Underneath the accusations, the writer may well be doing all HER ‘duties’ (as a mil/ dil)- and therefore resentment/ subconscious jealousy which she tries to understand only through this ‘logic’. Sumana, I agree with what you’ve written- but to imagine that no one writes/ speaks like this about others private lives, is wishful thinking. I have heard ‘educated’ (literate uneducated according to me) women discuss how their relative ‘abc’ doesn’t want to have a baby- oh, sorry, is denying her husband a baby because “she doesn’t want to lose her figure, she doesn’t want her boobs to sag.” While this was an older woman, a younger contemporary (again, well educated, working etc) could not understand how ‘xyz’ expected her husband to load the washing machine, atleast over the weekends, since that was the least ‘xyz’ could do for him. “Men need these things done- they don’t understand these things.” I have found that women find it easier to take this tone, and pass judgements, the way the commentator has done, on other women.
    umm- I don’t know where I’m going with this- but at some level I feel bad for the position this writer/ woman is in too, as that is possibly what’s lead to her very grudging post.


    • “at some level I feel bad for the position this writer/ woman is in too, as that is possibly what’s lead to her very grudging post.”
      Mokapot…all I can say is you have a large, forgiving heart …bless you dear! 🙂


    • I agree Mokapot. The OP is most definitely female, though I cannot “divine” her age. 🙂

      I’ve come across many sanctimonious women in real life. It’s my belief that women trash-talk about other women out of a misplaced loyalty to “duty” and “tradition”. It’s also an ego-boosting mechanism — you feel better about yourself when you put down someone else.

      Any woman seen to be cocking a snook at established ways of behavior or conduct becomes fair game for clucking tongues.

      Perhaps the OP feel morally superior or jealous of these women and therefore feels justified in slandering them.

      I had a female college friend who had a chronic skin condition which severely affected her marital prospects.

      She was mercilessly critical of her married friends — their cooking and housekeeping skills, their failure to “win over” petulant in-laws and their failure to be angelic little wives. It was all very mystifying — until it struck me that the single friend resented her married friends for their “privileged status”.

      Perhaps the OP resents these women’s “happily married” status too?


  9. Yep, she chose to have a baby. Because the husband, of course, was an ignorant sod who had no say in the process, eh?

    Give me a break.

    Virgin births happen only in mythology.
    In the real world, it takes two to make a baby, and unless you are suggesting that the husbands in both cases were tied up and raped by the women in question, I really do not see how you can conclude that all of this was just a sneaky trick pulled off by lazy DILs to get off easy. The very fact that you think having a baby is somehow ‘getting off easy’ tells me exactly how mature you are. Grow up.


    • PT- What if this woman has to do ALL the chores and sees the 2 other girls who are pregnant ‘enjoying themselves’- she isn’t pregnant, they are. She figures, oh, when one is pregnant, its easy going from there.
      Yeah, maybe she does think having a baby is “getting off easy”. She probably hasn’t had one yet and so does not know what everyone else commenting on this post seems to know. Maybe all she can see is the girls being pampered as they are carrying the ‘Chirag of the House and the Family’. Watching tv. Eating to their hearts content.
      Which she can’t do.


      • Ah, what if. Here, we jump from fact to conjecture, to assumptions.

        If the situation is indeed as you have described, I extend my sympathies to the writer, I urge her to try and find a solution so she doesn’t have to be stuck in a situation she resents, and I acknowledge that her attitude is understandable. However, the judgmental tone of this comment is something that I can neither condone nor accept.

        Pregnancy is no joke. Yes, pregnant women are pampered, but so are terminally ill cancer patients. There’s a reason, right? I do not know the exact details; I cannot. I am male, after all. Even so, women tell me that it isn’t exactly all fun and games, and I’ve got to believe them, eh.

        If the commenter does not know how it is, they’d do well to find out before commenting.


        • hmm.. yup- jumping from fact to conjecture to assumptions- this wasn’t a court of law last time i checked- was a discussion on a post- discussion has space for doubts, conjectures, questions, yes?
          And about pregnancy not being a joke- I am not suggesting at all that it is. What I am trying to do is read between the lines of what the commentator said to get to the previous discussions on this blog and others, and amongst other things, point out that people like the Bride are an exception for calling a spade a spade. Women are NOT supposed to feel pregnancy is anything less than a dream. Women are supposed to glow not grumble!
          So if this commentator does not know, no amount of “finding out” is really going to help either according to me, where this specific point is concerned.


        • I apologize if I annoyed you. Let me try to be a bit clearer.

          The thing is, I see no reason to simply conjecture that the OP is in a particular situation and then proceed to respond assuming that situation to be true. I see nothing between these lines. The OP has given very little clue of her own situation; I am absolutely unable to understand how one might come to the conclusion that she is in this pitiable, naive state where she knows nothing, sees nothing and is totally brainwashed and downtrodden.

          Maybe she is in that situation, maybe she isn’t.

          What I know is that it is basic human courtesy to not make nonsensical, negative comments about people without knowing all the facts. If you do that on a public forum, you’re liable to be called out on it

          I personally found the comment very immature and disrespectful, and responded accordingly. The reasons for that immaturity are a different story altogether, and without more information about the woman’s situation, I cannot even make an educated guess about them.

          That’s all.


    • @PT,
      My thoughts exactly!
      But I have a weakness for mincing my words to soften the blow.
      You are free from this handicap.
      I couldn’t have expressed it as plainly as you did.
      Thumbs up!


  10. “But every gal after getting married cant be sitting like a guest right?”

    She can if she wants to. Period. If others have a problem with it, they better discuss it with her and if both parties cannot see eye to eye, she can be asked to move out and set up her own house, where she can sit idle or not, as she pleases. No, I am not saying a MIL has to slog for the DIL. But if the DIL not contributing to the work at home is a problem for the MIL, they have to sort out the problem.
    And as for people getting pregnant to avoid chores, Phooooey. This sure is by someone who has never known pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing.
    In-laws wanting toppers as DILs? Why hadn’t they conducted a talent search for the son?


    • yeah..i wonder why they did not keep a separate entrance test for potential DILs – “You have 3 minutes to make 30 chapathis. Your time starts now!” or “Name at least 3 important ingredients of alu gobhi masala”…


      • haha…talent search:) LOL!
        the topper thing if for their offsprings.. I guess they just want to be absolutely sure that their offspring gets their topper genes by making sure that the mother is also a topper!! The topper family!


      • ROFL @entrance test. I have this rooted belief that if some of the potential in-laws got together this is just the thing they might consider doing. 😉


  11. I find the word ‘topper’ being repeated so many times rather ridiculous. I had heard that educational qualifications, jobs, knowledge experience, etc do matter when one talks of marriages.. but score cards and ranks matter too?? I never knew!!

    secondly, with respect to the first family, who asked the girl to get married even before she had completed her education? I am an engineering student and I know that engineering is not a child’s play.. Even if they chose to get married, I’m sure it must not be her independent decision.. and her getting pregnant wasn’t all because of her own desires too..

    People in India, start dreaming of their grandsons immediately after their children get married.. I’ve seen women who were forced to leave their perfect jobs, because they were forced to get pregnant, because their in laws wanted to see their grandsons!
    Not because the women wanted to miss work.. the scenario is absolutely different.. Women wish to work, but they are forced to leave their jobs, in many cases..

    And about the second case… the author has completely neglected the compromises and sacrifices that women have to make after being a wife, and more importantly, after being a mother ! I am not a married girl but I can empathize..
    It seems that he is blaming those girls for no reasons, or is he jealous of the way they are getting the attention and a chance to relax for a few months.. perhaps that’s all he can visualize.. the real picture is way beyond his imagination and thought process..

    All he can see is that she doesn’t have to do the chores.. what about the fact that every grown up human being knows – the pain a woman has to go through when she gets pregnant, it is a scientific fact that it is much more than what a human body can bear, yet, women go through this pain, and I respect all mothers, all women for the same ! If only, men realized how much patience and tolerance it takes, before forming such baseless opinions!


  12. Wait, I wrote the comment assuming that the writer is a man..
    but she could be a woman too.. given the line, “It will be rude if her mother-in-law slogs to prepare food for all and the daughter-in-law just stays in her room all the time or watches tv.”

    well, whoever wrote it, my views remain the same, but if a woman feels so about other women, this post is out of resentment and nothing else!


  13. Wow I fail to understand the point of this post.

    Firstly, I am annoyed that it is somehow ok for the man to not know ‘anything’ ‘even to make tea’ but somehow a woman does not know it and it is bad? Secondly, how does it matter whether the girl is a topper or not? Thirdly, from my experience, pregnancy and childbirth are very serious life changers, and I do not associate any romantic notions with being a parent, it is HARD WORK and huge responsibility to be a parent, so if what the commenter says is true, these women must be incredibly stupid to get pregnant to avoid work. I don’t believe this story one bit!


  14. Getting pregnant to escape doing chores? Really? How can one compare the tedious nature of carrying and birthing a baby to washing clothes? Does the commentator mean to say that the girls in question had no idea how difficult pregnancy and childbirth are? In what age did this even happen?
    On a different note, even though I think that work and chores should be shared equally by partners, I’m kinda clueless when there are ILs in the equation. Why should the DIL feel guilty while MIL prepares tea? She wasn’t exactly hired to do that.


  15. //There are women who don’t like what they are expected to do..//

    Just keep doing what they’re expected to do has done more harm to the life of the people of our country than anything else. Just saying.

    //But every gal after getting married cant be sitting like a guest right?//

    Yes she can if she wants to. It’s not uncommon in ‘mera bharat mahan’ to see parents treating their daughter like ‘paraya dhan’ and in-laws of same girl treating her like ‘dusre ghar ki hai’, if she is treated like a guest, then she can sit like a guest and not do anything.

    //The in-laws are nice and the husband too.. They had only one thing to crib about which is the topper thing. That too because their son had been stubborn he wanted to marry this gal. //

    When the son wanted to marry her, then the parents have no right to poke their noses in it and you too, doesn’t matter how closely you know the family. He chose her, it his life, his decisions.

    //Another woman I know is not passionate about anything.. No passion to study or do anything.. She is not interested in cooking too. She was from a house where no one told her or ordered her to work. When she got married, she did not know even to prepare tea.//

    There are many people who aren’t passionate about anything, so? “Ek to koi utsah nahi uske ander aur upar se khana pakane mein bhi dhyan nahi hai!!” When you hear two persons bickering about another one, how do they sound to you? That’s how you sounded to me. One should pay attention to one’s passions and aspirations and not care about others’ lack of it.

    “Ordered to work”, I am sorry I didn’t get this line, is the letter writer saying a girl should be ordered to work?

    So one woman must know how to make tea before she gets married, but nobody gives a damn about when some men can’t even boil water before and after marriage.

    I don’t want to sound rude, but why is this person poking not only his/her nose but whole body in others’ life?


    Okay, today’s post reminded me of someone, who I have almost forgotten about, His Holy Highness, Shri Sharavan Kumar. Though me thinks his English was way too better.


  16. Aha.. parents wanted a topper, son married for love , parents are pissed off and want the DIl to become a Topper.. How about if the DIL’s parents wanted their son-in-law to be an astronaut ????? would he be willing to do that, can he do that…

    As for passion in cooking.. i didn’t even know to boil water, yet i was staying and working alone – that’s what PG’s and hotels are there for. My hubby came packaged with a cook, house cleaner, driver & watchman and inspite of my efforts i can manage cooking basics but am no sanjeev kapoor….

    When one has babies is best left to husband and wife and the reasons are personal and private, i have a cousin who had a 2 month old on her first anniv… and she’s a proficient cook and a topper… her body her choice.

    Everyone has dreams on how life should be, but anyone with any sensitivity will know you can dream for yourself, your life, not someone else, if in-laws like toppers they should go back to college and try to become one.


  17. “When she got married, she did not know even to prepare tea.” Did the husband know how to prepare a 9 course gourmet meal ? How about food from all over the world. Why does one expect that girls should know cooking or be interested in cooking by default ?


  18. Now, lets take the first woman’s case, if her in laws were understanding and nice they shouldn’t have had a problem in whether she was a topper or not. In fact they should have loved her irrespective of whether she was a topper or not. Now logic says, that if her in laws anyways had problems with her on not being a topper, then by becoming pregnant do you really think her in laws would have understood, stopped taunting her and left her alone later ? I seriously doubt that. In fact, they would have made life a BIGGER living HELL for her by saying that she was not taking care of the child properly and many other such things.

    Now, lets take the second woman’s case. How do you know she is not passionate about anything ? It doesn’t matter if you have known her since childhood, how can you say she is not passionate about anything ? Every living being has a passion and it’s not necessary they announce it to the whole world. A woman doesn’t choose to get pregnant, a COUPLE ( husband and wife ) chooses to get pregnant. No woman would just do it to avoid work and get sympathy. In fact the last sentence of yours which I would like to quote ” She chose to get pregnant (in fact she missed her first period after wedding) so that she can miss all the work, enjoy attention and eat to her heart’s content “. I find it PREPOSTEROUS !!!


  19. Though I do not like the tone of this email, I am trying to understand what this person is saying. A lot of girls in India are told that their life starts with marriage and ends with being a mother. They do grow up being told that marriage is their ultimate goal in life. Many of them know for sure that either they don’t want to or will not be allowed to work after marriage, and so they do not even make an attempt to do well in their education or career. Many of them are sent to professional courses only to become more viable in the matrimony market. All this does not mean the girls are happy, some might be willing and others might unwillingly go with the flow. The above two cases mentioned seem to be just that.

    //////for example i know an average scoring gal who was engaged to a topper guy who belongs to a family of toppers… Now her in-laws were expected her to be a topper. She chose to get pregnant while she was still studying so that after engineering her in-laws will not taunt or question her why she is not a topper in her college./////

    — Can you imagine the plight of this girl here? She knows she is not great in studies, but she knows not how to please her new family, I know of people in similar situations, I myself was questioned repeatedly about my ‘performance’ in my school or college years by some ‘elders’…In some families this is an other form of ‘Dowry’. What would the girl in the above scenario do? She has to find a way out and may be she got pregnant knowingly. Does that make her less of a mother? Less of a human being? If her in-laws and her husband did not put her in that position in the first place, would she have even taken such a decision? I really really feel sorry for this girl here, it probably became all about survival in her new house. She ‘chose’ to have a kid for her own reasons, and that makes her no less of a mother.

    /////Another woman I know is not passionate about anything.. She chose to get pregnant (in fact she missed her first period after wedding) so that she can miss all the work, enjoy attention and eat to her heart’s content.//////

    —— Again, if this girl had a chance to live her life her way what would she have done? Would she have even married into a joint family? And is not having an interest in house hold chores a crime? If that is the case all men are criminals, why expect that only from women?
    She chose to get pregnant, alright, does that make her less of a mother too? Who doesn’t want attention? Who doesn’t want some care? Aren’t women human beings who also want to be served tea or taken care of?

    I have heard this sort of complaints from some of the ‘women’ I know. I am not surprised, and I can sense the author is a woman too. If some women think that they are ‘superior’ because they did OK in school/college, and they are good cooks/cleaners/home makers. And they wonder how those who are not like them can have a good life too, and they always believe it is because they know how to ‘manipulate’. Not their fault, that is what they have been told all their life.


  20. For me the first sentence “There are women who don’t like doing what they are expected to do” says it all about the authors view…Women are expected to do what others expect them to do, where on earth does Choice figure into all of this? Women dont have a choice by most society’s standards, they have Expectations to live up to and that too, not their own but that of others.

    Now, if I wanted to defy the expectations, then I would do exactly the opposite of what anyone expects me to do. I call it the weapon of the passive aggressive. Here is my two cents of speculation – I bet no one ever asked the woman what she Wants To Do, everyone told her what she Should Do. I also think the woman in question is conditioned enough to know that voicing opposition will get her nowhere, so she opts for the only weapon she has at her disposal, use any and all means to defy the expectation, albiet insensible way. But so what. its her way. Everyone ultimately finds a way to get what they want. Every action has a pay off to the one acting.(My version of Newtons third law, for relationships)

    This is why I support the concept of choice and consequences. And now, I am done with my two cents.


  21. Last time I looked, it took two people to get pregnant, and since the writer sounds very conservative, isn’t that what the perfect wife is to do, providing the family with kids? 😛 Also, if the poor MIL is drowning in work, doesn’t she have a loving son to help out every once in a while? I’m a wife too and I’m perfectly happy to let my husband do the kitchen work while I relax. I do other household tasks in exchange. It’s the business of the respective couple who does what and when to get pregnant. Nobody else’s.


  22. What is a ‘topper’? Sounds like narcissism.

    Some women just don’t know any better, the majority of desi women (whether you like it or not) still believe a child would somehow cement their position in family. Little do they realize that it could make it worse – by keeping them in the oppressive circumstances for life. Worse they would later take it out on the child following them around constantly reminding them how much they sacrificed for them. It’s another aspect of the this culture and system, nothing more. OP would be well advised to spend his time in something more fruitful.

    However I do think that women reading the OP’s email should take heed on what NOT to do if you are in a tight corner, you are really just setting yourself up for a lifetime of misery.


  23. “There are women who don’t like what they are expected to do”-
    Yes, this is one setence in the post that is true. In fact, I think almost all the women do not like what they are expected to do. Some of course protest and chose to live life the way they feel is right for them, and other women bow down to pressure, subtle blackmailing and taunts and unwillingly do what they are expected to do. Of course, there is a third set, which are conditioned from the very beginning about how they are supposed to behave according to their gender, and grow up thinking that whatever is “expected” is in fact the way it is supposed to be. (but lets not get into this third kind). Expectations and stereotypes make life miserable for everyone. So, lets not expect certain things from certain gender. Each individual is different and will behave the way he/she deems is right.
    About the female who is forced to be a topper- I mean, if the husband is comfortable with his wife’s education and if the female is ok with her own education, what business do the in-laws or this letter/comment writer have to discuss her educational status?!! And on top of that, these in laws are called nice?! I feel sad for the girl-first she was forced into engineering by her parents and now the in-laws want her to top the stream which she probably has no interest in!
    As for the second case, I dont even know how the letter writer got hold of details as to when the girl missed her period.
    Having a baby to escape something, or to get special favors is indeed wrong and they do need a reality check. But then, reality check is required by so many people here- starting from the parents who force their kids in engineering, to the ones who marry them off when they have not finished studies, to in-laws who have ‘expectations’ for their DIL to be a topper, and to people in general who stereotype and expect women to behave in a particular way!


  24. A few thoughts. did she “get” pregnant by herself- if so here is their claim to fame- parthenogenesis. Also why did the in-laws want a topper? Was is a combo wedding plus recruitment deal? As for making tea- they probably did not specify it in the job description.


  25. I think the writer is a man, no woman would be so dismissive about the changes and responsibilities pregnancy brings with it. And as per him the role of a woman is in the kitchen …

    Moreover, I think this email was a bait, to get a rise out of the forum. At least I hope it was. Otherwise I shudder at the mentality this email reveals


  26. OP,

    Here’s a thought. How about thinking of it this way.

    These were two women whose lives have been controlled and dictated by everyone around them, but themselves. The first one though an average student was forced to marry into a ” family of toppers” by her parents, even before she has had a chance to finish her education. The second one has been pushed into marriage by her brother. I’d rather you felt sympathy for these women who had to use pregnancy as a mechanism to escape albeit temporarily from situations in their lives that they had no power to change.

    While self help skills and are essential, not knowing to make tea or knowing to make tea very well does not define someone. If you feel that the girl from the second family is a slob ( which is what I think you were getting at) just be thankful that she is not your wife.

    A DIL is not a trophy to be paraded around or a maid made to slog. She is a living breathing human. Since the family of toppers have nothing else to prove to anyone anymore now, maybe they should go back to college/school and this time around get an education.


  27. I don’t understand the writer’s point here. According to him/her one woman got pregnant to avoid housework and one to avoid high grades. I am assuming the husbands colluded in this or did the women make the babies by themselves. And who confides such reasons to anyone. The whole letter is bizarre. Even if it is true, then the solution for this kind of behavior is to not force people into disciplines they don’t want so they have to resort to devious tricks to avoid studying and don’t get married to lazy unambitious people. The whole letter sounds nonsensical.


  28. ” They had only one thing to crib about which is the topper thing. That too because their son had been stubborn he wanted to marry this gal.”

    I don’t think the second sentence is any justification for the first. Nothing should give anyone the right to judge anyone’s academic or any other accomplishments, even when it happens to be a son’s parents. What if the case was opposite? Would the girl’s family also pressurize the groom to top in an exam and only then marry or have a kid or be allowed any privilege.

    This great seal of approval from the in-laws is very bothersome to me. Topper or no topper , I don’t think it matters. It is not that being good in academics helps 🙂 The problem is that the focus is not on the person she is , but on everything she is NOT. And the only reason this is so is because she is occupying that seat of being judged , so it is certainly not about her. Anyone else in that position would have been judged too, only the list would be a little different and every thing she does or wants to be would be eyed with suspicion(with the husband not considered equally responsible of all these decisions). It is funny how this pattern keeps on repeating. It will be much nicer if we can just let everyone be.


    • Sangitha, I have heard comments in real life where women are accused of avoiding pregnancies for fear of ‘losing their figures’, or blamed for not wanting to bear pain or for avoiding breast feeding (‘to maintain their beauty’), many other women (and men) listen to this and nod their heads in agreements. I didn’t find the views expressed in this unusual at all. I myself was told by one other mother and once in a party by a bachelor, that I seem to making too much of morning sickness and they knew of women who went back to work in fields the day after they delivered.


      • Touche! I was accused of faking (bleddy F-A-K-I-N-G) morning sickness by a colleague of L & M. Annd pray why would I? “Just to annoy my husband” it seems. “Poor guy” he said referring to my husband, “he is so worried because of you”.

        Can you see the injustice of that? Here you are miserable, puking all day and this stuffed shirt feels the “worrying” husband is the suffering one. He BLAMES me for making my husband suffer. He thinks being my husband’s friend entitles him to boss me. He chided me that I don’t keep myself occupied, asks me “Do you even know what’s happening in Srilanka these days? Do you read the paper?” He tells me ‘You don’t eat on purpose (just so the husband worries?). Your baby will born like one of those malnourished ones you see in documentaries, stomach bloated, hands and legs all thin..”
        Okay, I did not explode though I would have loved to smash him to a pulp. I quietly and firmly (though I was fit to burst into tears with the tension) told him, “Let me make one thing clear to you Major, “My baby, Right? Naturally the baby’s health is more of my concern rather than it ever can be yours.” That shut him up.


        • Shail,

          You should have punched that jerk right then and there. But you’re right it’s something totally unexpected and by the time one gathers one’s wits about and thinks of an appropriate reply it’s too late.

          I am estranged from my in-laws and it’s partly because of things like these. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 12 or 13 weeks on my birthday and this woman on the pretext of consoling me tells me “Don’t worry you are young you will have another baby, think of it this way at least now you have something to remind you of your birthday”. It took me weeks just to talk to her again.


        • Men like the Major believe that women will resort to any trick in the book to get a scrap of attention from the husband.

          They believe that women are cunning manipulators who derive great pleasure from making men “dance to their tunes”.

          They also think that women are brainless idiots who couldn’t care less about goings-on in the wider world. We are content with our petticoat governments and incapable of comprehending international politics. (rolling eyes)


      • People say all kinds of stupid things. I think this one is just trying to get the forum to go around in circles. We’ve got to lay for ourselves some line to even educate – this person will figure out what a pregnancy and the big deal of raising kids is when/if they or someone close goes through it. Sometimes giving these types attention is much more than deserved.

        Of all the things to make the most of, morning sickness?! What?!!!


  29. Baap re, imagine getting pregnant to have it easier! Only those who go through pregnancy and child birth and subsequent child rearing know that it is among the toughest periods of a woman’s life both physically and emotionally. Imagine if she does not know the responsibilities that she is getting into. Pregnancy should be a well thought out choice. Wish it would not be treated as such a frivolous decision.


  30. Its because of dominance of people like the email writer that women have to be passive aggressive and think up convoluted ways to achieve their small aims especially in a marriage, relationships with in laws. A woman speaking her mind and saying exactly what she is thinking is unheard of. There are few like me.. brought up unrestricted and not punished for speaking my mind.. but even i have been tamed to some extent in the outside real world.


  31. The writer needs to get a reality check. I have a sister who’s 14 years younger than me and I’ve seen my mom go through a lot when she was pregnant with her. Being pregnant to avoid chores? Isn’t the latter easier? And how mentally and emotionally prepared would you be for a baby if you got pregnant due to such reasons?
    How does it absolutely matter if the DIL can’t cook?! They could have employed a cook instead. Would have worked out cheaper than arranging a wedding!
    If you wanted a topper as your DIL, I’m sure the in-laws would later complain about her interest in education and negligence in household activities. Though there might be DIL’s who have an equal interest in both, that case would exist only if it came from her heart. Otherwise, you can’t have either ways.
    Let’s treat these DIL’s as human beings and let them live life the way they want. They have one chance at life and let’s not make them slog like laborers. Let’s treat them with the respect they deserve and the happiness they are destined to.


  32. Women are not doing anyone a favour by giving birth to babies, because a man’s contribution is equally important and increased population doesnt necessarily help the world in any manner. Women are not entitled to any special treatment simply because they carry babies, obviously i am not refering to food,medicine or any other thing that is a must for a healthy baby. A woman has no right to ask her man to contribute in household chores if she herself doesnt earn any money and stays at home all the time. A man can not be expected to earn money and handle household chores at the same time, and a woman who doesnt wish to earn money and would like to stay at home must and should handle all the household chores regardless of equality between sexes because she is contributing practically nothing on the financial side and regardless of what some feminists demand. On the other hand if the woman toils hard and earns money than the man must obviousily share in the household chores. And the above post clearly proves that there are some very cunning and lazy women unlike what some feminists believe. Please note that i used the word SOME and not EVERY. A woman in the modern world is expected to work hard and earn money and no woman shall escape from such responsibility. I think i have made it quite clear what i intend to say without sounding like an anti feminist extremist because quite clearly i am not one, i am just trying to state that every one must work and contribute not only to a family but also to the nation.


    • “…increased population doesnt necessarily help the world in any manner.”
      Sure it does. Population does not just increase when children are born. A healthy birth rate is important or else you will see population decline like in Japan and Germany where the governments have had to create all sorts of incentives for people to have children ( and even those are not working).

      “A woman has no right to ask her man to contribute in household chores if she herself doesnt earn any money and stays at home all the time.”
      This is highly short-sighted. Have you considered cases where women are forced to give up their careers and stay at home? Have you ever run a home? Most likely not, because then you would realize what a tough job it is, with no pay and no vacation. Most men would find their day jobs less stressful compared to running a home. Was your mother a homemaker? If she was, then I can’t imagine how ungrateful it is to make such a statement.

      “And the above post clearly proves that there are some very cunning and lazy women unlike what some feminists believe.”
      Yes well, if you had read the comments, you would have seen that commentators here have clearly deduced that the email writer has no concept of what pregnancy entails and how difficult it is for a woman to go through it. Also pregnancy is not something that a woman can create alone. It might have been the couple’s decision to have a child. It’s no one’s business to poke their noses in, and question the timing of the event. Oh wait, I forgot, that’s what ‘log’ do in India right, shove their faces in other people’s business? Why not focus on their own lives, or the lack thereof?

      “A woman in the modern world is expected to work hard and earn money and no woman shall escape from such responsibility.”
      No woman SHALL escape? Dear me, do we have the makings of a dictator here? Oh I’m shivering with fear! You and which army is going to try and implement this? Lol! What about men who leech off their wives’ money? (Think men in the slums and elsewhere, who take their wives’ money to drink and gamble.) Would you say that they too SHALL not escape their responsibilities?

      “I think i have made it quite clear what i intend to say without sounding like an anti feminist extremist because quite clearly i am not one, ”
      In your own little bubble, perhaps you are not an ‘anti-feminist-extremist’ but your statements clearly prove otherwise.

      @IHM: Sorry for hogging space like this, but I couldn’t keep quiet after reading such regressive views.


  33. Very very annoying comment – I agree with the rest that this must be written by a resentful lady and not a man.

    However, reading about the “topper” requirements reminded me of one of my college-friends. She is searching for a potential groom for herself (arranged marriage), and her sole criteria is – the MIL-to-be should be a college passout. She does not want a less educated mother for the fear of her being.. backward.

    Do you all agree to that? my MIL (mine was a love marriage) is illiterate and my mother is a college passout ex-accountant, and yet I see my mother being more conservative than the MIL.


    • I know of feminists who have never been to school, but they understand that patriarchy harms both men and women; and ofcourse there are educated misogynists, many are in positions of power too.


  34. I think both the in-laws you know are crazy to an extent.
    In first case, when they are well to go, Simon s job & already married, what else do they want??? Just because son was stubborn about getting married to the same woman – they want to give a tough time to the daughter in law. Why would somebody so particular about everybody being topper in family choose a girl who lost a year?! … At least they should have waited till she completed her education rather.

    2 case – the new bride missed her 1st period?! Not a surprise. Obviously if she had unprotected intercourse during her ovulation ( I am sure you know some basic biology). Which means her husband has equal role unless he did not want to be dad that ’embarrasingly’ early into marriage.
    One question to you, why would mother in law who did not ‘slog’ to cook before her son’s wedding to the whole family has now suddenly started to?! That too with a unmarried daughter at home? Is her daughter lazy like the ‘new bride’ who is actually getting to know the family & expected to take over ‘everything’ for name sake while her mother in law enjoys the actual bossing?!
    If you think so I think you are naive.
    Women aren’t stupid enough to have babies just to get rid of other responsibilities. FYI having a baby is lot more responsible than any topper or somebody slogging at the kitchen. It’s life time. Getting to eat good, attention is all for short span of time. That too if the family isn’t showing any respect or affection to the DIL she may be wanting s baby to call somebody of her own.


  35. all i read is topper this, topper that. I don’t want to excel acadamically, why would anyone put pressure on me to do otherwise, and disrespect me for not joining the band wagon. She might be good at something else. For the other lady who got preggo. Was the husband sleeping too. There are so called looser guys so be it so called looser girls.


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