Sharing here an article of mine that has
gone viral on all social media sites, bringing me applaud and criticism alike.
It would be just wrong of me to not share it here.
Ever since I walked into the door of
your house, dressed in a red suit, I have been trying to fit in. I did manage
to make the house my home, but I still am lost at my place in the family. Daughter-in-law-
that is my identity, but what does it really mean?
Am I a daughter of sorts? The name does sound extremely similar,
but why doesn't it feel so? I asked myself this question a zillion times since
I got married. I asked this to myself
-when you remembered all her firsts and
forgot all mine.
-when you pampered her and pulled a face
when I said I wasn't well.
-when you talked to her endlessly and
fell silent as soon as I entered the room.
-when you called her 'beta' and
addressed me by my name..
....Oh! I asked it so many times, but
never aloud. I just tried to be good enough for you, tried to be a daughter so
that you may also love me so, but I tried in vain.
Then I became a mother and
realized that no one compares to your own child. I understood you. I
rationalised why you could not love me as much as you loved your daughter. I
loved my child like I loved no other, so it must have been natural for you as
well. I laughed at my foolishness and reconciled.
But then, your daughter got
married and another 'in-law' entered the family- your son-in-law! I
would have expected him to be treated the same as me, after all, only our
genders differ- we are both the children-in-law! The reality turned out to be
far from that. I saw you shower him with not only love, but also respect, an
emotion I never experienced at your hands. He became the V.I.P member of the
house. I discovered that you were capable of caring for and loving a child not
born of you. The daughter in the daughter-in-law felt
jealous of the son in the son-in-law. While he was served a cup of hot
tea as soon as he returned from work, my arrival from work was awaited...so
that I enter the kitchen and brew tea for everyone. His achievements at work
were lauded while mine were not even discussed. He became your pride while I
longed for appreciation. He was shown unconditional respect while I was judged
at everything I did. I was lost again.
It cannot be my gender- you are not the
kind who loves her daughter any less than the sons.
It cannot be the fact that I am not your
own child- you admire your son-in-law, who isn't as well.
What is it then? Is it a culmination of
both? Is it because I am a female and that too not yours? What is it really? I
wish to ask of you, for the discrimination hurts and pains, but I realise we
have never had a conversation. You seldom really talk to me, except the
necessary pleasantries or expressions of your disappointment in me. Maybe I
should just stop thinking and let it be, yet the extremely apparent nature of
the prejudice is hard to ignore. I cannot ever be good enough for you, however
hard I may try because you are not measuring my performance, you have simply
labelled me as 'no good'. Maybe my name is a misnomer and causes undue
expectations. Maybe you don't consider me a 'daughter' or an 'ín-law', I am
just a 'bahu', your son's wife...may be!
Can you for once, just once, ask the
questions I posed, to yourself? Can you even TRY to feel the same affection for
me as you feel for your son-in-law? I am not even comparing with your
daughter.... Or just let me know why, so that I may stop trying?
Author's note:This article first
appeared on mycity4kids.com and
someone even went on to express appreciation by very conveniently adding a few
lines to every paragraph and publishing it under her name. Well, all I can say
is, thank you! It is a tough job to be original! ;-)
Labels: family matters, gender equality, relationships