Sharing an email.
“An acquaintance actually came home to tell my father that I spoke to a boy in the bus and advised my father to be careful.”
“Relatives made fun of how my parents were ‘investing too much’ in mere daughters.”
I am sharing my story with you after having read news/posts on how daughters are raised to be wives and mothers, how they are poisoned for not bearing son [A godman declared that she would never bear a boy. Hearing this, in-laws decided to eliminate her], and how few girls themselves feel that they have the right to get money from their parents as dowry and therefore refuse to take up jobs. Yes, there are girls who think they are entitled to receive huge amounts as dowry from parents.
I am sharing this to let people know that there are positive stories and that there is hope if parents treat daughters as daughters and support them without adhering to the ‘paraya dhan’ concept.
My mother passed away last year. As we all coped with the tragedy, we, three sisters, thought about our father who would have had to fight loneliness. My eldest sister lives in India and my other sister and myself live abroad and therefore, it was practical for my father to stay with my sister in India. As soon as the decision was made, my sister and brother-in-law made arrangements for my father to move in with them. So after settling things at our home town, my father moved in with them last month. All of us have been very happy with this. He is happy and tells me he is very relaxed and well taken care of by my sister and her family.My father knows he is very much welcome to stay with me or with my other sister.
By the way, my parents were actually consoled by few for having 3 daughters. Few even offered free advice “dont educate them beyond 12th or BSc. They will get ‘spoilt’. I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’. Education, independence, ability to face challenges – were given more prominence. In fact, my dad had made it clear that all three of us should study until post graduation and earn before we married. “Marriage and motherhood can wait. Please make yourselves strong enough to face challenges life throws at you”, he would say. My mother was a living example of how not compromise with ideals, be strong, have tremendous will power and a very positive attitude.
Let me share the comments that my parents and my sisters and myself had to face: (of course those who crossed limits were given stern responses by my parents and us). Will not include all that to avoid having a very long post.
1. My parents were asked to monitor three of us closely as we travelled to college everyday. This was to ensure that we did not talk to boys, did not sit next to them or ‘get spoilt’ (read made plans to elope). Of course, my parents never did so.
2. An acquaintance actually came home to tell my father that I spoke to a boy in the bus and advised my father to be careful. My father told that person that he knew the boy and his family and that he had no objection whatsoever if I spoke to boys.
3. When my eldest sister gave birth to her second daughter, a visitor on knowing it was a baby girl sighed “aah!! what to do? Just have to accept the fate”.
4. We were consoled for not having a brother to whom we could tie ‘rakhi’ on Raksha Bandhan day. “Tch tch, if only you had a brother….”.
5. Few relatives made fun of how my parents were ‘investing too much in us’ . Being in a small town meant we had to be married off as as soon as possible and my parents were asked ‘not to dream the impossible and have so much expectations”. My mother was asked why she was delaying marriage of her daughters. She did not respond then. But after we finished post graduation, found well-paying jobs and eventually got married, all those who commented admitted that my parents made the right decision.
My sisters and I are following the example set by my parents. Our daughters will be respected and will be encouraged at all times to achieve what they wish to in their lives. They will not be raised as future ‘daughters-in-law’.