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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.