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Sunday, August 7, 2011

She too has a Life !!!

My grand mother was not doing very well with her health and her trips to doctors had increased.  She had 3 daughters and one son, daughters included my mom :).  So they were having this family discussion on how to take care of their mother.  I will  never understand when one set of parents can take care of 4 children, why is it difficult for 4 children to take care of 1 set of parents.  Anyways, I was very small then but big enough to remember that discussion.  But after you hear about the discussion, you will agree that even a 3 month old infant would have jumped out of its cradle after hearing the end part of the discussion. Since my grandparents lived alone with their son who was working, and had no help around, also very proud to move in with one of their daughters it had to be seen what could be done.  So in the sitting room they had everyone, daughters and all the son-in-laws some other people aged same as my grandparents (don't really remember who they were and why there were there). 

The discussion started off with some old aunty saying that all the daughters should come home each day in turns and do some housework.  Since everyone lived close by this seemed possible, but the concern was everyone had small kids who went to schools and had different timings.  So this could be a temporary solution.  Then someone in the group said a full time maid at home would be a good idea.  Just as everyone was agreeing to it, one elderly aunty who looked like a mobile jewellery shop (I am pretty sure all mallu aunties suffer from spondylosis because of the weight of the chains they wear) said this, "Well, if it is about the maid, then in that case lets just get Murali (my uncle) married!!!!" Now you get why the infant would have jumped out of the cradle :D :D

So what is this thing about getting sons married to get a full time unpaid maid at home?  Years later there has been no change in expectations from a daughter-in-law for some families.  If you tell me it used to happen in olden times and now things have improved.  Then yes now things have improved, in the sense that the daughter-in-law is allowed to have a mobile phone, wear jeans, go to work.  Having said that, when you come back from work don't dare to ask your mother-in-law for a glass of water, or else their whole family & their society will drown you in the same water.  That's how modern these people have become.

I have few questions for such people and their society.  Who exactly is a daughter-in-law ?  A maid, a nurse, a medium to have legitimate grand kids, someone who is going to represent you and your family in front of the society?  Can she ever become an individual for you ?  If she was not the person whom you expected to be, then would you still acknowledge her existence as an individual entity ?  Someone reading this might think what is the individuality you are talking about ?  Well in simple terms, if your daughter-in-law and your son would choose to part ways because of their differences would you still talk to her and be in touch ?  Or now because she is not your son's wife such a person does not exist for you and you would say, "She spoiled my son's life"  because, maybe just in case you didn't notice she too has a life!!!

Pic courtesy:  Google.com


  1. Sister, all people have their own responsibilities in the life. Its like five fingers in the hand .....

  2. @jidhujosetrue..fingers in the same hand.. talking about people who behave like fingers of different hands :).. thank you for visiting jidhu annnndddd the following :) :)

  3. wonderfully posed questions!
    this is one social change I look forward to.. and as you said it is happening albeit slowly.. at least in the urban areas..

    lovely blog you have here!

  4. Love the post sunita, and love your blog...I think you'll have a regular follower in me..:DDD

    About this post, I agree that women's role in desi homes is stuck in time around a century back. Most people want an educated, preferably working, girl, who will bring in an income and also be their own cook, cleaner, shopper, driver, maid, babysitter, etc etc, if need be...
    I think that for these expectations to change, we really need some social reformers like jyotiba phule, or raja ram mohan roy, else there isn't much hope.
    The DIL is property of the family mentality is deep rooted in our society... :-(

  5. Again, I know I'm not up to date on my Middle Eastern culture, but even in America the same things happen. Maybe the daughter-in-law isn't supposed to keep the mother-in-law's house clean, but she better keep her house clean, heaven forbid she's too busy taking care of her kids and working that she can't keep it immaculate. And then, when people break up or get divorced, the families separate... They just stop talking. How does that make sense? (Especially if they have been married for a long time.) Just because the relationship worked and they are not blood, they are still family, or at least in my opinion.

    Sorry for the long post! You bring up such good questions and give me something to think about!!

  6. Sunita - First time here.. interesting read.. why blame the mother/daughter-in law, when the fault exists with the 'man' around whose life, both the woman anchor..if he knows why he wanna be married, den for sure both the mom and the wife for sure will have a better idea about the significance of mom and the wife in the 'mans' life..Ask me and I would say, the saas bahu can be kept at bay and taught to exist in harmony, if the man is worthy.. :)

  7. @ magiceye: yes the change is happening, slowly though
    @ AAD: u said it.. cleaner kaam wali bai :)
    @ Kathryn: u r always welcome to write here, do not worry about the length :) :)
    @ Ousu: Nay it is not your first visit, you had liked my narration on the post..Because Stockholm is outside India...about my nephew :)..am so glad to see u again :) yes i also agree with your point of view :)

    @all u guys thx for visiting u r such an encouragement to me :)

  8. Written Wonderfully.I agree with each word of this post - 'She too has a life'.Great Blogging.

  9. Reminds of that stupid KBC contestant who said my sister got married now no one is there to take care of my ailing mom and cannot any other care services so I married...Thanks to big B he immediately snubbed him saying it would have been better if he married for better reasons.


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