Sharing an email.
I’m not a blogger myself but i happened to chance upon your blog and trust me it got me hooked. I loved reading your posts and it felt like someone had put words to my thoughts.
What really disturbed be is that I also happened to read about so many instances where girls/daughter in laws are still being treated badly even in the so called “educated upper class society”. It is really sad. No matter how much we try and convince ourselves that our nation is developing, in reality its far from that. Real development should be measured by how much we as citizens grow and evolve as human beings and not by the number of malls and technology.
Well while reading about the cruelty of society I thought I must share with you my story. Amongst all the stories about oppression maybe this would help people realize that families like this also exist.
I am 27 year old, recently married, advertising professional. My parents are both working. My mother was a teacher for the first 15 years of her professional life and then wanted to do something different with her life. She got an excellent offer from a leading media house. My brother was a year old and I was around 7 at that time, and it was a very difficult choice as media jobs usually come with erratic working hours. My paternal grandparents pushed her to take it up as they realized it meant a lot to her. They assured her that she need not worry about us as they were there to take care of us (they lived with us).
She eventually went on to love the job and grow and continue in the same field for many years and still does. My Grandfather was a man who believed that work is number one priority as that is what gets the food on the table and one should never compromise on demands at work place. This rule was not just meant for my father but also my mother and paternal aunt (my father’s sister, who is a school teacher, never married and also lived with us). There was never any discrimination between them. I have seen my grandmother stay up waiting for my mom when she worked late in the night, make sure her food was kept aside before we had dinner and serve her hot food when she came home tired. Please note that my grandmother didn’t study beyond school got married at 18 and lead a very simple life.
My grandfather passed away in 1998 and just a few days after this my mother had a huge event in office which she was coordinating. We Bengalis observe a 11 day mourning period and during these 11 days relatives and friends keep dropping in to visit and offer condolence. The fact that the daughter in law will not be present during this time was unheard of. But my grandmother put her foot down and insisted that my mother join office the very next day after my grandfather passed away and fulfill her duties there, she would manage the rest at home. My grandmother was one of the most progressive and open minded ladies I have seen of her time (she would have been 88 if she was alive) and I have learnt so much from her. I always maintain that the person I am today is entirely because of my grandparents, parents and aunt. I have never seen my grandparents lament about my aunt not getting married. She had her own reasons and they respected that, She has a stable job, a wide circle of friends, an active social life and happens to be one of my closest friends and second mother. She is single and very HAPPY.
My parents have always given my education and later my career a lot of importance. For me working was never a time pass till i got married or had kids. It is an integral part of life. My dad had always told me that no matter what, they would not even think of my marriage till I had a stable career and the ability be financially independent.
I consider myself lucky that I fell in love with and married a man who has been brought up with the same values. He respects me and my job (advertising and the long working hours that go with it is still looked down upon by many). His parents celebrate my achievements career wise and motivate me to achieve more. Never for once have I heard them criticize my job or the fact that I hardly see them throughout the week.
My husband and I live in an apartment (where my in laws stayed before shifting to a bigger house a few years back). The house is a 5 min walk from where my in laws live and is perfect for us. We get our privacy and we are still near enough to drop in whenever we want to. This was my mom in laws idea when we decided to get married. My husband is a great cook and is excellent in all house hold work and the onus for this goes to my in laws who have brought him up with such values. We share our responsibilities and give each other the space that is required in every marriage. Yes we have fights and life is not always rosy and smooth. But that is just part of life.
My husbands family and my family are financially at different levels. My parents are in service and his parents have a business. Yet never for once has this been an issue. In fact they are very good friends and love spending time together even when we are not around. That is because their values and outlook match.
I am sure there are many families like mine and I pray that one day all families and in laws would be like mine.
Thanks for the posts IHM. I love them and look forward to them every day now 🙂 do keep in touch.
– A happy, married and working Indian woman.