“My parents are not allowed to visit me at my place. None of my relatives are welcome either.”

“Every time this issue comes up, my husband has just one ground – I can’t change my parents. I don’t agree to their behaviour… but they make my life hell. Please cooperate and manage, shanti rakho!”

Sharing a comment, by Rtag. 

I have my own story to share. I am not really sure what is it that I am looking for… reassurance or solutions!

I am a married woman. My father has been unemployed for as long as I remember. Because of this my brother, my mother and I suffered a lot.

Even though he had been unemployed for so long and never shouldered his responsibilities, by God’s grace and luck, I was able to complete my studies and find a decent job. My brother on the other hand went astray, but is now back with a decent job and I am supporting and encouraging him to complete his studies.

Because of my father, I started working really early, at the age of about 18 – tuitions, then receptionist, then Tele caller, and finally today I work for a consulting firm. I earn good income and considering my own background, sometimes I feel proud of myself that I have come so far.

Anyway, coming back to the point… I never wanted to marry. Reason being I knew that no one would marry a girl whose father doesn’t have a penny to spend and is dependent on her daughter. But as it so happened, I met a guy, fell in love with him and inspite of my background and condition that I will always support my parents and brother, he agreed to marry me. [A married woman does not have the freedom to spend on her parents and will have to request and hope for her husband’s permission to do so.]

“…inspite of my condition that I will always support my parents and brother, he agreed to marry me.”

I have been married for almost 6 years now and truly never had a fight with my husband because of issues between us. We have always been able to discuss and sort things out. But when it comes to his parents – everything goes haywire. Some of the issues I face with them:

1. My parents are not allowed to visit me at my place. None of my relatives are welcome either. As per my in laws it’s bad!

2. I cannot talk to any of my relatives or parents for long. It has to be short, crisp, and to the point. [IHM: This is not uncommon, Indian brides told to reduce mobile phone use.]

3. I cannot visit my parents or relatives when I want to, I need permission from my in laws. [IHM: This happens all the time, “She stayed with her parents for thirty years, now she is married so it’s an end to her relationship with her parents.”]

I have a two year old daughter. My parents have hardly ever spent any time with her because of these reasons! I feel I am cheating them out of something that’s their right.

While I was pregnant, I called my mother and dadi to stay with me for a few weeks. My in-laws didn’t want to stay or support me at that time for reasons of their own. My FIL called my father saying I don’t like you or anybody from your family residing with my son at their house. This is just one of instance. This has happened many times over the course of my marriage. When my father asked why don’t you like it, he had no answers.

Last year I called my parents to be with me for a month, so they can spend sometime with their granddaughter. My in laws threw a lot of tantrum on that as well, and today when I asked my husband if I can call my parents for a few weeks, he declined.

Every time this issue comes up, my husband has just one ground – I can’t change my parents. I don’t agree to their behaviour… but they make my life hell. Please cooperate and manage, “shanti rakho”!

He just does not want to stand up to them even if they are wrong… because he hates fighting (verbal or physical). But this had started to affect me badly now. I can see the hypocrisy and can’t digest it. Same things are right for him, wrong for me.

He makes plan to visit his parents as and when they call and he likes, but this is not applied for me. His parents can come and go as they please, mine cannot.

I have tried over and over to make my husband understand my plight, but it does not make any difference. I don’t want to end our relationship on these grounds, because we truly share a beautiful bond. But these are a few issues that just don’t resolve and I feel abused, deteriorated and lost.

Please advise. I really need third person’s insight on this situation.

Related Posts:

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

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

Another email. When an Indian daughter-in-law has no brothers.

Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

“I don’t see the point of forcing parents to give birth to unwanted girl children.”

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

“I just don’t understand how girls like me (independent, modern) then agree to get married and live with someone and his family.”

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

“She stayed with her parents for thirty years, now she is married so it’s an end to her relationship with her parents.”

That this email writer needs to justify her wish to visit her parents, is the reason why Indian families continue to prefer, sex-select, abandon, pray, fast and bless for male children.

What do you think should the email writer do?

Hello IHM,

Back again, today I am very depressed and that is why writing to you.

I feel bad about my self because I can’t confront or give back to my in-laws whenever they say something bad or throw a taunt at me and hurt me with their words.

This happens most of the times and I just hurt myself because of this.

Today when we all family members were together, my husband just said while general talking that I should go and meet my family and should stay there for a day or two. Before I could speak my MIL started and said a lot of things which were intolerable to me and I wanted to give back to her but I couldn’t. (I am so angry with myself now).

She said, “Ye nahi jayegi, hum nahi jaane denge, Unke sath 30 saal reh liya hai. or ab shaadi ko do saal ho gaye hai, ab unse rishta khatam ab idhar rishta hai. Or rehne to jana hi nahi chahiye 3-4 dino ke liye. Jyada se jyada subah milne jao shaam ko aajao.”

(No, she will not go. We won’t allow her to go. She stayed with them for 30 years and she is married from past two years so it’s an end to the relationship with their parents. And she should not go to stay for 3-4 days, she should go in the morning and come back by evening.)

I can’t tell you how I felt that time I really wanted to give back to her that time. But as we say kadwa ghut pee ke reh gayi and she spoiled my whole day.

If i should end my relation with my parents as I stayed with them for 30 years then same should be applicable on my husband as well. He also stayed with his parents for 30 years and now he is married and so he should end his relation with his parents and we should move out.

I don’t talk much to my in-laws often, I just do normal duties at home and general talk related to household daily stuff. As whenever I talk to them and try to become friendly with them, they try to control me. They say such things or throw taunts then I don’t feel like talking to them or sitting with them.

My husband doesn’t like this at all and asks me to sit with them, talk to them be as friendly with them as I am with my parents. Today we were on a small one day trip and it was going good, but while coming back this incident happened which spoiled my mood to the core.

I feel like they always try to pull me away from my parents, my family. Why so?

They don’t like me going and staying for a day or two with my parents. By doing this they are not pulling me away from my parents, instead I am going away from them and I don’t feel like staying with them anymore. I wanna run away from them.

When they do or say such things I crave more for my parents.

How can anybody think that getting married means end of your relationship with your parents, who gave you birth, who did everything for you, and because of whom you are and you have whether it’s professional or personal achievements. Shame on this thought. They don’t have a daughter and they can’t understand the feeling, how it feels when you can’t see or meet your daughter whenever you want to or whenever she wants to.

They don’t understand the pain I feel as a daughter when I can’t see my parents for more than a week or two, I have seen my parents too have the same feelings when they cannot meet me for long.

I never raised my voice against them and never said anything to them ever. I just discussed my problem and frustration with my husband every time. But I think I should raise my voice now as I can’t take this any more.

I don’t know what should I do at this stage, as my MIL is a spoilt brat being the only female at home having two sons and had been pampered by her husband and sons. She is such a dominating person that she doesn’t listen to anyone, does whatever she wants, says whatever she wants to. Even if someone at home says she is doing this wrong she never listens to anyone and just does what she wants to.

She wants to control everything at home, her husband, her sons and tries the same, every time, on me. I am frustrated now.

I don’t know what should I do. She is creating a mess for me every other day.

A second email in response to my email – IHM

I have stayed at my parents place for 3-4 days in general but I have seen their faces and can easily see they don’t like it. But yes my husband never stopped me from going and staying.
She said this all of a sudden and I think she wanted to let me know that they don’t like it and now I should not go.

My husband is supportive but he also keeps mum in front of his mother. Though he confronts but only sometimes.  He knows she was wrong at this point. I was sad the whole day and he surprised me by taking me to my parents that too chupke se. My in laws don’t know about this.

Related Posts:

A married woman does not have the freedom to spend on her parents and will have to request and hope for her husband’s permission to do so.

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

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

Another email. When an Indian daughter-in-law has no brothers.

Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?

Indian brides told to reduce mobile phone use.

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

“I don’t see the point of forcing parents to give birth to unwanted girl children.”

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

“I just don’t understand how girls like me (independent, modern) then agree to get married and live with someone and his family.”

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

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

” …So what about the girls? Haven’t their parents done a lot for them?”

 

Sharing an email from ‘A born feminist’. 

Dear IHM,

I hope you will post my letter. I would love to read all the responses that I get from the readers and I think it will help me a lot in making my decisions.

I think I am a born feminist. From the time I was a child I was highly ambitious and demanded equality. I somehow had a natural knack of
observing and analysing inequality between men and women in my  surroundings. To my great amazement and frustration this was treated
as something ” normal” by everyone.

I remember seeing when I was 7 or 8, I used to visit my Bua’s (dad’s older sister) place and saw that my bhabhi (cousin’s wife) would finish her job, come home, take a quick shower and help my bua in the kitchen. She then sat down with her kid to help with the homework and stuff like that. I remember her being busy from morning till night. On the other hand, my cousin who had his own business and worked from home most of the time didn’t have to do anything once he was done with his job. He came home and ordered for tea while watching TV. This was considered to be completely normal by everyone.

I think here I got the first taste of my growing feminism when I asked my mother why didn’t my cousin help his wife in the kitchen? Why didn’t she get to rest and watch her favourite shows? What made him special? I was amazed that no one questioned it. I was a little disappointed in my parents for not questioning the inequality. However, I was young and soon forgot all
about it.

As I grew older, I noticed a lot of things around me which just didn’t feel right to me. My mum comes from a small town and I remember spending the best times there with my cousins during my summer holidays. I also noticed all my female cousins helping their mums with housework while my male cousins worked in their shops and hung out with their friends. But atleast my male cousins had weekends off. The town was apparently not safe for young women after 8 pm when all the young boys would go out in their bikes in a big group and create a ruckus all over town. This made me mad because I was not allowed to go out because parents did not have control over their 20 something years old boys.

When I was 14 my mum suddenly decided that it was time for me to learn
how to cook and let me tell you it didn’t go down well with me. There were more tears and clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen than actual cooking. If only my mother had said that cooking was a skill that every individual should have rather than something that a girl needs to start learning when she hits puberty in order to prepare her for marriage. I have no regrets not learning and learnt all on my own when I realised I needed to cook for my own survival as a freshman in a new country.

When I was 25 and decided that I was now ready to settle down with a “Nice, Indian boy” one of my criteria was that I didn’t want to live with In-laws.

I am now 28 and let me tell you, all of the men that I have met over these three years have been utterly shocked by me not willing to live with in-laws. I think they consider me self centered and selfish. Here are the reasons why I am justified in not wanting to live with in-laws.

1) I am expected to not live with my parents so how do the boy’s
parents become more special?
2) I have no intentions of living with my parents either after marriage
3) I am ready to give my 100% to my parents and in-laws when they need
me (emotional support, during illness or disability) and I will be more than happy for them to live with us.
4) I want my freedom with my husband.  I have no issues with them visiting us whenever they like.
5) I have no expectations from my parents or my in-laws to help me out
in any way.
6) I want to create a lifestyle with my husband where we create the
way we want to eat, sleep, travel, decorate our house, watch TV, raise
our kids, use our money
7) I don’t expect my husband to be better in any way. I want us to work
together, save together, make plans together, cook and clean together.
I am ready to work hard with him. [link]

So how do the above seven points make me selfish in any way? I have met a lot of Indian guys who say their parents have done a lot for them so they can’t leave them now. So what about the girls? Haven’t their parents done a lot for them? Doesn’t it then, make the girl selfish to leave her parents who have done so much for her and live with a new family she
hardly knows just for her own happiness?

I clearly don’t understand the Indian marriage system and the rules of
patriarchy. I find them very archaic and suffocating. Even if my in
laws are uber modern and supercool why should I have to live with
them? Why cant my ubercool in laws just visit my new family with my
husband over the weekend? I wouldn’t want to live with my MIL even if
she was Sonia Gandhi or Hema Malini. Does it make me selfish?

Related Posts:

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

Is your relationship healthy?

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

“…it’s better if he is NOT a family guy. Extra points to the one who hates kids.”

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

“I thought it would indeed be wonderful to live with my in-laws.”

An email: Salary of the prospective groom must be 3-6 times more than the salary of the prospective bride.

An email: “My in laws want me to stay here with them while my husband works in another city.”

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

An email: What worries me is, will we be able to find guys who have a similar thinking process?

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

Piku in Patriarchy.

Another unexpected surprise. I guess with more and more Indian women watching movies, we are going to see more movies that acknowledge women as people. First Laila in ‘Margarita with a Straw’, and now Piku.

What else do Piku and Laila have in common?

1. Their families respect them and care for them.

2. They care for their parents, but they are not obedient and they do not fit into the traditional ideas of good Indian women.

3. They are sexually active, but are in no hurry to get married.

4. They are relatable.

They are involved in running their homes – Piku is shown cleaning cobwebs, loading her washing machine, counting clothes to be given to the dhobi and understanding their part time domestic helper’s need to take a few days off.

Piku gets impatient with and yells at someone she loves a lot, tolerates some amount of unfair dependence from her seventy year old father, but doesn’t prove her good-Indian-daughter love by sacrificing her social life.

She is caring and responsible without fitting into the stereotype of a good Indian daughter – this would still be considered unimaginable in traditional patriarchal families.

She complains about her father’s interference in her personal life, she appreciates sympathy from her maternal aunt and Rana Chowdhury, she talks about getting married but doesn’t believe that Getting Married and Staying Married is her goal in life.

Piku breaks some other stereotypes too.

I loved the scene where Chobbi Maasi is playing badminton with a younger man(Chowdhry?), who flirts with her, and instead of being flattered or overwhelmed (like the Bua in DDLJ and many other Indian movies) she casually (and confidently) says she was considering marrying a fourth time.

This maasi also wonders if Piku is stressed because she needs a sex life. Two women in an Indian movie talk, casually, about sex, but not about men or marriage – the movie passes Bechdel’s Test. (Laila and Piku have this in common)

My favourite scene [No spoilers] was when Chaudhury asks Piku if she would be able to manage it all on her own, and she says she would.

What if Piku was a son and was living with her mother? If the mother encouraged her… him to be sexually active but to be in no hurry to get married? And if the mother was demanding of his time and wanted to interfere in who he dates or sleeps with? I guess that is how it is for many Indian sons. Indian sons are also offered a solution – to bring home a daughter in law to take care of the mother.

In one scene Piku’s dad demands that Chowdhury picks and throws away a knife. Piku requests Chowdhury to indulge her father. How many Indian fathers of daughters can expect this from their thirty year old daughters? Most of them would be too worried about marrying the daughter off. I hope some Indian dads watching this movies see the possibilities…

Someone who didn’t like the movie said Piku’s father didn’t want her to have a life of her own because he depended on her, this is what, we know, Indian male children experience all the time. I guess what Piku’s father (and other parents who view their girl children as their care givers) would eventually want is freedom and rights for their children, to have a life that doesn’t require them to give up caring for their parents.

That, and that alone will change the way Indian parents view their girl children.

This would mean more and more parents encouraging their daughters not to get bullied into marriages and relationships that leave them dependent or unhappy, and cut off from their birth families.

This is how it would be in a society that is not Patriarchal, where all children and all parents  (whether parents of sons or parents of daughters) are valued and cherished.

I also felt Bhaskor Banerjee came from a  generation of spoiled and entitled sons and husbands who were raised to be ‘looked after’ by their mothers and wives and that was what made a seventy year old behave like a hypochondriac (though loveable, liberal, feminist and spirited) ninety year old. I know plenty of seventy year olds working and living independently, and cherishing their independence.

[SPOILER ALERT]

I was disappointed that women were not shown participating in the funeral.

 Related Posts:

CONTEST: Apply this test to Bollywood movies.

Please watch Dum Laga Ke Haisha – where a man is asked to Please adjust and save his marriage.

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

Kai Po Che : Through feminist eyes…

Three thoughts on Bhag Milkha Bhag.

Dev D: Practical Paro Artless Chandramukhi

Bechdel Test: Apply this test to Bollywood movies.

‘Piku’: A review of reviews and some of my own thoughts.

And here is why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

Sharing an email. 

‘Is this love where you want to follow the society more than your children’s happiness?’

Hi IHM ,

I frequently visitor and replier on your post. Your posts have cleared my thought process a lot and seriously I think a lot on marriage. I have written a very long post.

I am not able to understand, why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

Sometimes I feel that seriously our parents love us or are we also a social responsibility to be completed? I am not a parent neither I am married so I cannot answer this question. But I am daughter and sometimes I really think that they are simply fulfilling their social responsibility.

In my family we are only two sisters and no brother. Never my parents tried for son. But their expectations are no different from us. My friend’s parents also think in similar ways.

Most of the parents educate their daughter because in their peer circle everybody is educating their daughters. Professionally unqualified daughter is a shame to them. They want us to do well in our careers. That’s it. Anything beyond this point is “tum hawa main udne lage ho, ladkyion ko jayda bolna nahi chahye, ladki ho ladki k tarah raho etc” (You have started flying in air. Girls should not talk too much. You are a girl, live like a girl.)

They want their daughter to be earning but not independent. They want the same thing which a parent who has not educated their daughter wants. They always want that we follow what we have been told on phone and no question should be asked. They will make all decisions- what we will do in future, when we will get married, to whom we will get married, the list goes on???

They will export you to another family. There also the same has to continue. They expect that you don’t reply back, never come back to them and be a good daughter. They are ready to cry in your pain if you have married as per their wish (this has been said by my parents and many of my friends parents).They will support you in case a martial problem and what is that support? That they will warn the groom/his family and send you back.

One of my friends is recently married and her husband started complaining within two days of marriage that I was not given watch in marriage, your brother doesn’t respect me, and marriage was so simple. Parents’ reply that this was not discussed during the marriage negotiations, why you are saying this thing. But nobody realizes what the girl is feeling right now. But parents have done their duty they married her, they are sad for her, they are helpless. Maybe one day they will fight with the guy and ask him to treat her properly job done. But how anyone can live with the person who doesn’t respect her and care her?

Another friend she is working was very close to guy from her college. They belonged to same city , so he use to accompany her and care for her during to and fro between college and city. Parents were aware of this and encouraged them to move together. This means that guy was nice and trustworthy. Now when the same guy went and asked parents about their marriage then they are saying that he is not trustworthy and he is a cheat. Isn’t it hypocrisy? Where is love for their daughter? Isn’t it using one person and insulting them when they have served their purpose? They want the daughter to go first way, marry their way, if she is unhappy then she is responsible for it as she is not able to adjust and forget her bf, they want her to laugh on her wedding even if she is feeling dying from inside. Is this parental love?

Another friend went ahead and had a court marriage. They are happy. She is continuing her job in another city and her husband is in another city. No demands from In-Law or husband. From day one she is living her life as she was living in PG. Still her parents are sad because she had an inter caste marriage. Where is love in this case? They are not happy seeing her happy? Isn’t all parental scarifies is a drama? Why they cannot say our daughter is happy, we are proud of her.

Coming to my situation, I too want to marry a person who is out of my community. He is well settled and loves me. I have met his parents and they have said yes without any drama. They encourage my bf to talk to my parents so that they can fix marriage. Now my parents want the same that is situation one. They don’t want to listen to anything. Is this love where you want to follow society more than your children happiness? And since I am living out of home city all the wrath have fallen on my sister. They have restricted her movement, don’t want her to pursue professional education otherwise she will also go out of hand. Is this the love and scarifies they always claim about?

I think its girls’ parent who have left them in such a helpless situation because this is the norm of society. Don’t they keep their daughter dependent so that she doesn’t start making her own decision? Can you tell me where is all this love everybody claim?

Thank You,

In Love

Related Posts:

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

“He has decided that we will stop trying to have a child now as he wants things to improve between his mother and I.”

When she says she no longer wishes to stay with him, why isn’t her word enough?

“I don’t want such education… I want no career… I want to be loved.”

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

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

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

Teenage Pregnancies – not our culture…

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

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

“I don’t see the point of forcing parents to give birth to unwanted girl children.”

40% of rape charges were filed by parents of girls who had eloped consensually with a boy

When a daughter refuses to go back…

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

Roughly translates to: Our daughter has good values and despite becoming a minister, she remains the footwear of her husband’s feet. 

Indian paraya dhan’s parents who could view them as role models and be proud of them – continue to justify and make excuses for the paraya dhan’s success. It would seem it is against Indian sanskaar for Indian daughters in law and wives (or married Indian daughters) to be seen as ‘successful’.

For such parents, Happily married daughters, who are ‘pampered’ or ‘approved of’ by the damaad ji (son in law) remain the role models and continue to be viewed as the ultimate status symbols. The society celebrates their position (equivalent to the footwear of their spouse?) with rituals, which are generally forbidden to single, divorced or widowed women (who don’t have any feet to place themselves at?)

For this mindset, success in single women is tolerated because they have sacrificed the joys of serving their Lord and Master (and his extended family) for worldly success. Women in abusive marriages are frequently told they are better off than single women who have no feet, to serve as Juttees. The same idea expects women to choose between having a family or having a career. 

What could make a parent of an Indian daughter say their paraya dhan’s rightful position is at the bottom of the family hierarchy? Do they believe this?

1. Or, are they being tactful and they feel this would make it easier for the Pati Parmeshwar to accept the paon ki juttee’s success? 

2. Maybe it is a reminder to other women in the community – so that  they don’t get any ideas about equality, success, human rights or empowerment? 

3. Maybe it is an assurance to the neighbours’ third cousins (or anybody else who might judge and comment) that they have given her good sanskaar, and ‘the juttee’ would not attempt to view herself as human?

It seems many parents of Indian daughters believe that they do not have the option of loving and respecting their daughters.

Is it surprising then that Haryana parents avoid having daughters?

Is it possible to change anything until this mindset is challenged and changed?   – IHM

Shared by Abhishek Oza.

http://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/state/punjab-and-haryana/other-cities-of-punjab/haryana/kavita-jain-takes-oath-as-new-haryana-cabinet-minister/articleshow/44952390.cms

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

Kavita Jain’s husband Rajeev is facing charges for unaccounted income. Yet Kavita’s mother Kamlesh is proud that Kavita always behaves like Rajeev’s “paanv ki jooti” (literally: footwear).ie. She finds her place below her hubby’s feet, even after being a minister. For Kamlesh, this is a sign of Kavita’s “sankaar”.
Kamlesh is neither ashamed of a son-in-law like Rajeev, nor proud of a minister daughter. She is just proud that some “sanskaar” forces a minister to be a “paanv ki jooti” (in Kamlesh’s own words.), and feels more so that such a “sanskaar” is shown by her own daughter!
– By Abhishek Oza.
Related Posts:

Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai?

Tradition, family values and custom are often used to enforce something (convenient for the enforcer) that  seems to defy logic, fair play or common sense. 

Which is why we hear things like, “Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai”, which roughly translates to – After marriage, a girl’s priorities change in favour of her sasural or marital home.

And since many get away with this sort of abuse, we have a Skewed Gender Ratio.

Because, only when Indian parents are in a position to view their daughters as their own children (and not as future daughters in law) would they be able to Want, Welcome and Enjoy having and bringing up their girl children. [link].

Sharing an email. 

Dear Indian homemaker,

I need help from you and other readers. If you can kindly share my story.
Here’s what’s bothering me soooooooo much:-
I am a working woman and my mother in law is driving me CRAZY.
According to my mother in law after my marriage I am not allowed to do any “seva/support” towards my widow mother. It’s all my brother’s responsibility.
I have to do EVERYTHING for my in laws now on since I am married.
I have to wake up at the time my mother in law thinks is appropriate, do things around the house (household chores), am not allowed to talk back, am not allowed to have a mind of my own, get loads of gold from my mom .
What I am simply not able to understand is :- why am I not allowed to do seva for my mother? After all it’s my mother who has given me life and not my in laws.
My mother never discriminated between her son and daughter. Not in any manner. Gave both the same love, educational opportunities, food, clothing, basically everything.
My logic is this:- it’s my mother who gave me life, raised me, spent crores on my education to make me a successful career woman, basically from A TO Z did EVERYTHING a parent can do and beyond for me . While within 3 weeks of marriage if my mother demands unconditional devotion towards herself:- the way I see it :- she has not done ANYTHING for me; she has not given me life, has not raised me, spent crores on my education.
I am NOT against doing ” seva” for my in laws.
But I do NOT understand why it is only my brother’s responsibility to look after my widow mother in her old age, and age related diseases.
I need to point out that my brother lives in USA . While my mother and mother in law both live in the same city in India.

Common sense is telling me my mother in law is the most selfish person on the planet and I am hating her more and more by the day.

Even to meet my mother; my mother in law expects a three step process :-
1) my mother has to take permission from my mother in law.
2) I have to take permission from my mother in law. (though with all the bitterness that is growing inside me, u feel like calling her monster in law and not mother in law).
3) I have to take permission from my husband in order to see my mother.
I am a cosmopolitan girl with a very liberal progressive outlook.
All this seems like total and absolute gibberish to me. Her views. Her expectations. Her demands. They do not make any sense to me .
Cause it totally defies all logic and common sense.

But I am still writing this letter to you in DESPERATION cause I am losing my peace of mind and sanity trying to understand the monster in law. I swear I will go insane if I keep all that’s going on bottled up inside me. According to my viewpoint :- am more than willing to give my in laws respect, care, live, understanding, help in their old age. Support in any and every manner.

But why would I not do the same for my mother?
Agreed I am married.
But my mother is not dead to me.
My gratitude towards her is not dead.
Why is it only my brothers responsibility to look after her? Also him living in USA for professional reasons makes it harder for him to be there for her as much as I can as both my MAIKA and sasuraal are here in the same city.
Basically my monster in law keeps repeating the same thing over and over again.

She says :-” Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai”.

I have not heard this saying before. But monster in law keeps repeating that over and over and over again .
My question to you is, is that a commonly heard saying?
And even if it is :- I do not understand the LOGIC behind it . Cause within 3 weeks of marriage, REALISTICALLY speaking I will not be more in love with my in laws than my own mother. [link] And isn’t the person we love more going to be our priority?
Isn’t the person we have MOST gratitude towards going to be our priority??
Also I need to add :- isn’t the gravity of the situation going to determine who our priority will be??
My mother has to undergo a MAJOR life threatening operation. What I am trying to say it’s a surgery in which there are chances of mortality (death) and morbidity.
While my monster in law only needs me in sasuraal to cook. I agree my monster in law also does not keep good health . But there are other male members in the family. Why can’t they help her in the cooking or hire a maid or get tiffin service? They have enough money, by the way, to be able to afford tiffin or maid .

But my evil monster in law keeps saying :- it’s my brother’s responsibility .

My brother cannot come to India cause his infant child is not well at all.
There’s way too much more I need to write; but honestly I am totally going crazy with all this stress.
Am simply not able to understand why it is only my brother’s responsibility?
Why do I need permission from anyone to see my own mother?

Why should sasuraal be priority whilst the gratitude lies towards MAIKA ??

What is the logic behind it all???
It does not make any sense to me???
Please please help.
I want honest opinion of yours and of readers.
Also I think it’s worth mentioning that the monster in law who keeps giving me all these lectures about sasuraal being priority :- she herself never stayed in her sasuraal, lived in a nuclear family :-  did not allow her husband to send money home to her husband’s parents in village, did not care for her in laws in their old age, did not allow her husband’s siblings to come stay with them while they desperately needed to!
So am I right to conclude that she is a super selfish woman who only thinks about what’s convenient for her?
And even if she’s the kind of person who believes that I am ” parayee” for my mother now that I am married :- then why expect gold from my mother for sasuraal if I am parayee now? My monster in law says :- ” ladki to jab bhi Maike jaati hai, Kuch na Kuch leke hi aati hai apne yahaan se gold ka”.
Regards,
An Anonymous DIL
Related Posts :

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

I knew one young girl – not yet 18 [read here], who ran away from her husband’s house and told her parents she would commit suicide if they even talked about trying to send her back. Basically she made it clear that there was to be no discussion – she was not changing her mind.

What do you think can this email writer say to her parents to convince them that it is okay for them to support her decision to end her marriage? 

The email:

I am 22 yr. Well you can think why this girl is writing in this. I am married 7 months back. My in laws are typical. My husband is never in my favour. I hate him. I have tried everything to change him. But I don’t sleep with him because I don’t want to sell myself for peace. He claims for sex and I say no. His mom tortures, waking me early, getting all work done. When I try telling him that he says it’s common. I can’t take it. I was a princess at my house. I have done all the work here. Still they keep extracting work from me. Even I am working . He does not spend one rupee for me. Clearly he does not love me just want to sleep with me. I am not ready. We went to a counsellor too. He didn’t change a bit. Day by day, so much work. Food also I manage my own food. My needs I manage. I have decided to break this marriage. I am moving to a far place as I have got job there. My parents are practical but now they are fearing asking me to stay back. I don’t know how to convince them. Can you people help me on this.? I only want to convince my parents that is all.  Only they mean the world to me. I am bold to live alone. Just my parents . Help me

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Daughter-in-law should not be treated as domestic help, says Supreme Court

“I have to seek permission for visiting parents. My phone bill has to be reasonable. My expenses nominal. And my desires non-existent.”

Marriage counseling: “You are working, it does not mean you can talk this way.”

“I am betraying my parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage, people are talking, younger sisters not getting married.”

“Now I just think of marriage as contract to go serve some stranger family. He made it clear that I could have ended in a much worse situation.”

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

“I don’t want such education… I want no career… I want to be loved.”

“I want to take my own time, get a job, then think whether or not to get married. But, I can’t tell my parents all this.”

Refusal to have sex during honeymoon is not cruelty: Bombay high court

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

Anil Singhal shared this – we still receive these forwards.

If it wasn’t for this mindset, there would be no skewed gender ratio, sex selection and male child preference.

“DEDICATED TO ALL GIRLS… ”

DAUGHTER TO FATHER::

Mujhe Itnaa Pyaaar Naa Do papa,
Kal Jane Ye Mujhe Naseeb Na Ho
Ye Jo Maatha Chuuma Karte Ho,
Kal Iss Par Shikkan Azeeb Na Ho

(Rough translation: Don’t give me so much love papa, tomorrow I may not be destined to such love. This kiss on my forehead that you plant, May it not be replaced by worry lines in future)
Mein Jab Bhi Roti Hoon papa,
Tum Aansun Poncha Karte Ho (When I cry papa, you wipe my tears)
Mujhey Itni Door Na Chhor Aana,
Mein Roun Or Tum Qareeb Na Ho (Don’t abandon me so far away, that I cry and you are not close by)
Mere Naaz Uthaate Ho papa,
Mujhe Laad Ladate Ho papa (you pamper me)
Meri Chotti-2 Khwahish Parr,
Tum Jaan Lootate Ho papa (You fulfill my little desires)
Kal Aisaa Naa Ho Ek Nagri Meinn,
Mein Tanha Tum Ko Yaad Karun (It should not happen that in future I miss you in some city, all alone)
Aur Ro Ro Kar Fariyaaad Karun, (and cry and plead…)
Aey Bhagwan Mere papa Saa Koi Pyaaar Jataane Wala Ho (Oh God let there be someone loving and caring like my papa)
Mere Naaz Uthane Wala Ho .(someone to pamper me)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Descent Reply Of FATHER…..!!
Jo Soch Rahi Ho Tum Beti Wo Sab To Ek Maya Hai (What you are thinking daughter is all an illusion)
Koi Baap Apni Beti Ko Kab Jaane Se Rok Paya Hai (Has any father ever managed to stop his daughter from going away? i.e. to her in laws’ house)
Sach Kahte Hai Duniyaan Wale
Beti To Dhann Parayaa Hai (What the world says is true, a daughter is a paraya dhan  i.e. somebody’s property, not her parents’ wealth)
Gharr Gharr Ki Yahin Kahaani Hai
Duniyaan Ki Ye Reet Puraani Hai (This is the story of every home, it is the world’s old tradition)
Har Baap Nibhaaata Aaya Hai
Tere Baap Ne Bhi Nibhani Hai…….. (Every father has honored this tradition, and your father has to respect it too)

* * *

What if we responded to such forwards with some progressive and feminist thoughts?

Here is an attempt – would love to read yours, in any language, with translation.

Yeh sab batein ab hooin bahut puraani hai
Beta shaadi ke alawaa bhi zindgani hai.
Tum dhan naheen aulad ho
Apne pairon par khade hoker,
choolo aasman
Mein hoon har pal tumhare saath
Khush ya dukhi, sahi ya galat, din ya raat
Jab yaad aye tab mobile uthaana
Ya dil chahe to  flight book karke khud chalee aana 🙂

___________________________________________

Rough Translation:

All these are things of past
My child, there is life beyond getting married and staying married.
You are my child, not my dhan
Stand on your own two feet.
Reach for the skies.
I am with you, always.
Happy or sad, right or wrong, day or night.
Pick your mobile when you need to talk, Or if you feel like, just book a flight and come over 🙂

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“But, my only motive in life has been my daughter’s happiness which is now in your hands. I beg you, please keep her happy”

Paraya dhan and her limited rights.

These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

“I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’.”

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

How important is it for a girl to get married?

When a daughter refuses to go back.

“See – UNICEF has figured it out. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out.”

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

“I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’.”

An email from an Indian father: I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone…

Do you think this video can make Indian parents want to have daughters?

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

Difficult daughters, easy sons?

What do you think of this mother, and this family?

“This man is openly threatening his daughter and is instigating others to burn alive their daughters.”

“Hoping god grants more wisdom to your parents to make you understand things and train you to be a good indian wife.”

When a daughter refuses to go back…

“But, my only motive in life has been my daughter’s happiness which is now in your hands. I beg you, please keep her happy”

What do you think of this speech by a dad? Is this speech likely to inspire much needed confidence in the daughter, does it convey that she can look upon her dad, and her family, as a support system? If not, then how does this daughter benefit from having a ‘family’?

Do you believe anybody who feels this way about daughters could genuinely consider himself ‘lucky enough to father a daughter’ and for all the love they feel for their girl child – would they, if they could choose, want to have daughters?

This dad clearly seems to believe that the parents of sons have some special rights and parents of a daughter can only ‘beg’ for her happiness. What then could make them want to have daughters? A sense of duty to the son’s parents? (as in, the society needs girl- children or else who would the sons marry)?

Then, should people have and raise girl children, out of a sense of ‘duty’ as a ‘social responsibility’? Does it make such parents, or the society, value those children as equal people – or do these children remain future daughters in law and wives for them and for the society? How does it affect the lives of those whose sole purpose for being born and raised is to be married off at the right age to someone who is being begged to keep them happy?

How likely are any parents to want to have a child if they also believe that this child’s life and happiness lies in the hands of other people and all they can do is beg for her happiness?

This is one of the many ways in which Patriarchy affects men.  Patriarchy gives tradition the power to overrule common sense, parental love and basic human values.

Sangitha Krishnamurthi shared this link, with this question: ‘Can we begin with any lower expectation?’

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=424835987628847&set=a.141810862598029.25259.141806592598456&type=1

23,695 people like this.
19,665 shares

A DAD’S SPEECH AT HIS DAUGHTER’S WEDDING

I thought I would start my speech by addressing you as the “new” family of my daughter. But I think it would be inappropriate because now that she is married, you are “the family” for her. Believe me; I don’t have a problem with that. I, in fact, want my daughter to have “you” as her priority now. Its time for us to take a backseat in her life. We would happily accept it but would surely request one thing- please keep her happy!

I am more than sure that you will keep her very happy. She will perhaps be happier than what she used to be here. But like all fathers, I obsess over my daughter’s happiness which is making me say this over and over again- please keep her happy!

She never was and will never be a burden for me. She is in fact the reason why I breathe and smile. I am getting her married because this is what the law of nature demands. I am helpless in the face of our culture and therefore sending her to your home. She was the happiness of my home and will now light up your home. I am giving my world to you. Please make sure it remains beautiful. I am giving away my princess to you. Please make sure she stays as a queen. I have raised her with my sweat and blood and now she is wonderfully perfect. For all the care, love, beauty and warmth my daughter will bring into your lives, I just want her happiness in return—please keep her happy!

If at times you think that my daughter has said or done something wrong, feel free to scold her. But handle her with love. She is very fragile. If at times she feels low, be with her. She just needs a little bit of your attention. If at times she feels sick, show her some care. It’s the medicine that works best for her. If at times she fails to fulfill a responsibility, feel free to chastise her. But empathize with her. She is still learning. Do understand her—please keep her happy!

I don’t mind if I don’t get to see her for months. I don’t mind if I am not able to talk to her on a daily basis. I would be more than happy if she doesn’t remember me much. But, my only motive in life has been my daughter’s happiness which is now in your hands. I beg you, please keep her happy.

Dear son-in-law, these words may not mean much to you now but if you are lucky enough to father a daughter someday, you will appreciate them better when you will find every beat of your heart shouting – “please keep her happy”!

— Dedicated to all fathers

Related Posts:

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

“I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’.”

An email from an Indian father: I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone…

Do you think this video can make Indian parents want to have daughters?

Another email. When an Indian daughter-in-law has no brothers.

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

Difficult daughters, easy sons?

When a daughter refuses to go back…

What do you think of this mother, and this family?

“This man is openly threatening his daughter and is instigating others to burn alive their daughters.”

“Hoping god grants more wisdom to your parents to make you understand things and train you to be a good indian wife.”