“Mohit, Ritu is going again to meet her parents this weekend! She just went last month. We told you earlier don’t marry a woman, who is too attached to her parents. The daughters who are too attached to their parents, seldom become good wives or good daughters-in-law! After marriage also, they are so much attached to their parents and their house, they never accept in-laws and husband’s house as their own! But, you never wanted to listen to us. You were so much blinded in love that you never cared about what we had to say!”, my mother-in-law tells my husband in the living room as I was busy in the kitchen making tea for both of them. My mother-in-law refrain from saying such things at my face, but she made it a point to talk to my husband behind my back.
But, sadly, I could hear her very clearly. And, I just couldn’t stop but think about her hypocrisy. I couldn’t stop but wonder how a mother who wants her son 24*7 to be attached to her; a mother who wants her son to spend more time with her than his own wife could even say such a thing! But, that’s the reality of many hypocritical Indian households. We keep telling our daughters to forget and ignore their parents but expect our sons to hold us too tight! We want parents of daughters to forget them after marriage but won’t let go of our sons!
While we expect our sons to take care of us unconditionally, we want our daughters-in-law to take our permission before doing anything for their own parents!
What makes it even sadder is the fact that while sons are applauded for taking care of their parents, the daughters are shamed and harassed for doing the same.
While I was wondering what to say to my mother-in-law, I heard my husband’s voice.
“Maa, the way you need me by your side, so does Ritu’s parents! The way I want to stand by you in every misery and happy moment so does Ritu! When Ritu doesn’t have an issue with me being attached to you after marriage then why should I? I am happy that Ritu understands the importance of being with parents. She has never stopped me from spending time with you. Maa, when Ritu has accepted me and my family with full heart then why shouldn’t I? Maa, when I was little – you always taught me – Give Respect Before Seeking It; Give Love Before Asking For It! Now, why don’t we give Ritu our full acceptance before asking the same from her!”
While my husband left my mother-in-law speechless, he left me proud. I was so excited that I married a man, who understands the true meaning of equality. I wish more men would learn from him and understand the true meaning of marriage lies in equal partnership and nothing else!