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What changes on getting married that a woman loses her autonomy and her right to the natal home, unless she is ready to lose her marital home?
Everybody has a distinct emotion attached with the word ‘mayeka‘ (natal home). For decades married ladies have been using it to threaten their husbands saying – “Mai mayeke chali jaungi, Tu dekhte rahiyo…!” Just a thought of the word makes newly wed grooms’ face droop and on the other hand an experienced married man may rejoice… Married girls gleam with happiness at the thought of going to their mayeka and the unmarried ones are unaffected by the same.
Post marriage I have always wondered, if my mayeka is my first home or second? First, for the obvious reasons of having spent my childhood there and second, because of the limited access I have to my parent’s home post marriage.
Our society believes that post kanyadaan, the parents of daughter should not accept any kind of assistance from their daughter. All we hear them saying is – “Bus tum Khush raho..humein aur kuch nai chahiye!” (You remain happy. We don’t wish for anything else.) She is expected to only worry about her husband and the new family and not look back into her childhood home.
I always wonder that what has changed post marriage that I have to seek my in- laws/husband’s permission before visiting those who gave me birth? I need to apply for leave from home duties well in advance with a special intercession of my mother with the in-laws.
What changes post marriage, that I cannot just walk-in to surprise my parents like I used to, during my college days? What has changed that a grown up lady like me, who drives all alone to office daily, needs to be picked up from her place by her dad or brother? What changes post marriage that my parents pay me a visit only on special occasions and not just drop by?
I always wonder, what has changed post marriage that the society that once boasted of my achievements and proudly claimed that “This girl will lead the world one day!”, now wants me to follow my in-laws and husband blindly?
Our society seems to be progressing whereby parents are raising their daughters to be fierce and independent. But, subsequently those very girls are married off and tied to the cudgels to tradition and inexplicable norms of this society. I always wonder, what has changed post marriage that the society that once boasted of my achievements and proudly claimed that “This girl will lead the world one day!”, now wants me to follow my in-laws and husband blindly?
To those whom I sound like an alien, you are blessed and please be thankful to god for giving you the liberty to enjoy your freedom. And, those who can relate with me, do ponder over this.
Do ponder and let me know, how to change this society? If I stand up and fight against my in-laws, I lose my marriage and if I follow their footsteps, I lose my parents. The only way I see it changing is changing my self.
Taking a pledge that I won’t continue this legacy.
Taking a pledge that I will give my daughter-in-law the liberty to maintain her dedication towards both the households.
Taking a pledge that I will give my daughter-in-law the right to enjoy 2 families and 2 homes.
It is only, when I change as a person, will the society change at large.
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Published here earlier.
I am a mother of a baby boy, a management graduate and a multi-faceted
It’s not very easy to change the traditional mindset of people. Many in-laws believe that if they did not get the liberty why should their daughter in law get it!? It’s sad that some people still think that way. But at the end its the woman who suffers. She wants to be dedicated as a daughter in law but at the same time be a loyal daughter too. Frankly, the choice is your own. Yes, it’s going to upset people. But you have got to do what you have to do. If your heart misses your parents, do go and visit them. Don’t control yourself so much and keep it all inside you. Because one day when you can’t take it anymore, you might burst out with emotions which you never meant.
People are going to be upset either ways. People are going to talk about you any which ways. Do what your heart tells you to do. You will have lesser regrets then!! 🙂
Very well said Deeksha. The societal pressures make the women act in a particular way but the best way out is to listen to your heart and follow it fearlessly. Only then, will we lead a happy life in long run.
I totally relate.
To answer what changes – its just the way girls are brought up in our society as ‘paraya dhan’ and the expectations set long before she gets married off. Since parents want to be part of society, cannot go against their wishes and the daughter simply succumbs to what is expected out of her by the Samaaj/society. Hailing from a Marwaadi conservative community, I managed to tell my in-laws that I will visit my parents all by myself, and cannot ask my dad/bro to pick me up. It did not come easy, of course there was lot of flak I had to take in the bargain from my in-laws. This is about 20 years back. One has to take a stand, no body else will do that for us. We need fight our battles all alone, specially Indian Women/daughter.
Moreover, its a tradition that can be followed by only Joint & Business families, which makes no sense in modern day nuclear homes.
I do not agree with this tradition of beti going off to sasural, while beta does’nt care as much as a Beti for ageing parents.
The only best way out is – instead Beti-bidayi, ghar-jamaai.
You are very right in saying that the change lies in the way the boys and girls of this society are brought up differently. There are different sets of expectations from them and even their parents. Being submissive does no good to anybody. You are absolutely right that we have to fight our own battles and win them with a single-woman army!
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