“How could you talk to me like that? Your parents have not taught you anything! How could you answer back to your in-laws? You are half our age and still you have no respect for us! It’s our bad deeds that we got our son married to you! We already knew you will mistreat us!
Rohan, didn’t we tell you she will never respect us! The parents of these well-educated girls spend so much money on their degrees but hardly get any time to teach them sanskaar or family values! They forget to teach them how to live in a family! They forget to teach them how sanskaari bahus stay quiet in front of in-laws out of respect! They wear appropriate clothes in front of their in-laws. Look at her what kind of short clothes she keeps wearing! What a shame!”
This was my mother-in-law’s response when I told her I couldn’t come to a distant relative’s marriage! It was quite disappointing how my one word – ‘NO’ – pierced through her ego and made her to react like a maniac!
But, I won’t say her reaction shocked me at all. In a country, where women are expected to do things as per the family expectations; where daughters-in-law are nothing more than educated maids, my mother-in-law’s reaction was just the ugly reality that no one wants to talk about!
In our patriarchal society, it is very common to shame daughter-in-law and their parents, whenever they attempt to do things that don’t please in-laws. Even in the 21st century, many in-laws still believe daughters-in-law are nothing more than bonded labourers; they believe that both their daughters-in-law and their parents are expected to live on the terms dictated by them!
To the in-laws, who refused to respect me and my parents:
Before cursing and blaming me and my parents, can you look at yourself! Before calling me an unsanskaari bahu and my parents lousy, can you spare a few moments to introspect?
Dear In-laws, the parents who raise their daughters to be strong and independent are not people devoid of values. Rather, the people who treat their daughters-in-law as doormats are the ones who forgot to imbibe the right cultural values!
While you shout at me and my parents for being unsanskari, the reality is that you yourself lack values! No cultured person tends to control the other person! No cultured person shames or blames people for living life on their own terms! No cultured person treats the other person as a servant or a doormat!
While you question my values, how could you forget that respect is a two-way street. When you don’t leave a moment to shame and insult me, how could you expect me to love and respect you?
With changing times, I hope you would soon realize how your treatment towards me and my parents is unfair and disgusting. Dear in-laws, I will be a good daughter-in-law, but can you first be good in-laws?
Yours sincerely, Daughter-in-law!