Once, a lady told me that in our country after marriage a small towner girl tend to think that her in-laws are her only family and she forgets about her birth parents. Whereas, according to her, the picture should be this that she should treat her in-laws as her extended family i.e. not ignoring her responsibilities towards her mom and dad. My question was – is it that simple?…
I do hail from a place and society where girls are given ample freedom to make a career – freedom to be a doctor, freedom to be an engineer, to be a teacher – but to be a model?? Or an actress?? Or even a career like a fashion designer? Oh no! Thats a total no,no. Here, if your daughter is into some of the aforesaid celebrated profession (i.e. doctor, engineer,etc.) then you are a proud parent. However, even if she is an owner of a beauty parlour, you are a disgrace. The problem with these places is that even if your daughter is professionally sound and makes you proud, still she is a ‘paraya dhan’. In India, when a middle class girl gets married, she is is expected to dedicate all her duties to her in-laws. She is always taught that after marriage she should be obedient to her in-laws and listen to them. Maybe not that strictly but she should always keep in her mind of her in-laws ‘happiness’ and their so called ‘ego’ forget that whether she is happy or not and to think of her parents’ happiness, oh no, after marriage that is not her job.
In a way, that lady was right. If we look at the cities, girls have overcome a lot off these problems. If an issue arises at their paternal home, they will immediately make themselves available for their parents’ needs and even they are smart enough to get their husbands included. However, in a small town they will prefer their brother-in-law’s or some other relative-in-law’s wedding rather than their father’s sickness, fearing ‘what people will say’. Is it really their fault? Is it really they are who to be blamed? Aren’t the parents equally guilty? I have seen cases where the married daughter literally insults and exploits her parents and siblings, just to prove that she is keeping her in-laws’ nose of honour high to the sky. Interestingly and shockingly, her parents’ reaction was that “we have brought our daughter up very well.” (WHAT!!!)” At least we have given her such values (parvarish) due to which she will prove to be the best wife and a true daughter-in-law.”
Hello, knock, knock! All your life you struggle to give your girl the best education, her self-respect – for this? Who is going to take care of her esteem? Who is actually responsible for forcing this kind of a situation upon her? So, small towners please think and try your best to get rid of these social values which literally are useful only to cause pain. Don’t allow people to make you feel small for the fact that you have given birth to a girl child. Its the social structure that makes you and your daughter weak and not the fact that your child has got XX chromosomes. And for you daughters — extended or not a family is a family. Stand for them, fight for them, love them but do not over pamper or understate any of them cause balance is the keyword for everything under sun.