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Times are changing and so are we… So what’s wrong if I want a ‘live-in-son-in-law’ — Ghar Jamai for my daughter when she grows up?
This thought crossed my mind as I was making my daughter sleep one night. Very lovingly she cuddled up to me, still holding on to my shirt, clinging on to me with one hand. I too lovingly brushed my fingers over her head. I couldn’t stop admiring this li’l apple of my eye for long (just like many other moms). I realized that time is going to fly and my daughter will soon grow up, and so I must treasure and cherish all these little moments between us before they pass by like a fresh breeze.
Life never remains the same for anyone. It is only in the moments that we must love and live life. Tomorrow isn’t certain and so we must love every moment as if it was our last. I told myself that just like me, even my daughter is going to get married one day and leave my home.
My thoughts just froze at this point. I asked myself, “why should I even think of this? And that too so early when she’s just 18 months old?” But the fact is that this is a very good possibility someday and I can’t let her go away. Who wants their daughter or child to leave them? I’m sure nobody would like that even if it was meant for good. But such is life.
I told myself that I must teach her to deal with this too and more importantly train myself to deal with this. But I have already felt once how it feels to leave a mother’s home. Though I have the opportunity to go and see her whenever I wish, the feeling of leaving one’s own home where one has lived for years is a very tough feeling to handle or to get over.
It has been our tradition that always, only a girl leaves her parent’s house after she’s married. I respect my tradition and culture. There’s definitely nothing wrong with it. But given a chance, I would sure want my daughter to still stay with me if she could. I would love to have a Live-In-Son-In-Law for myself. A Ghar Jamai.
Times are fast changing and so is the generation. Who knows what it will be like tomorrow? We already have so many live in relationships around us. Women take a stand for themselves in so many ways so why not in this? If a woman chooses to have a working househusband, then it shouldn’t sound strange.
Why must the girl leave her parents every time, having to let go of their emotional attachment when sending their daughter off to a different house after so many years of her living with them? Having loved her, looked after her, pampered her, taught her, she finally has to choose her own life and join a different family to grow and take it further. But she can still adopt and accept her husband’s family without stepping outside her own home. Having a live-in-son-in-law wouldn’t change it.
Circumstances have changed now and mostly, the girl first steps out of her house to live in a hostel for a college education or go abroad to pursue higher education and job. By the time the urban woman is ready for marriage, she is well into her mid-twenties, established her career, knowledgeable about the outside world and financially quite independent.
So what does such a woman look for in a marriage? She looks for love, companionship, respect and understanding from her spouse. She definitely accepts her new family (husband’s family). But what about her own wishes and wanting to not let go her own family and parents who have raised her all her life to give her what she is today, who have loved her immensely, and feel terrible when she leaves? Society feels the daughter’s parents get over this emotional downfall very soon, as if it is natural and easy to get over it.
I believe that every girl must be given a choice, whether or not she wants to leave her own house and step into the husband’s. I feel that every daughter must also have the equal rights to continue to look after her own parents if she wants to. Society must not discriminate, differentiate or judge on the basis of gender.
Girls and women have reached great heights, doing what men do, accomplishing what they want. It’s high time we give these girls the right to choose and decide what they want even in a marriage – what they expect from a marriage should be their choice too.
One must appreciate and ask for what a woman wants in and after marriage and not just force her to follow what has been followed. With due respect to our traditions, I still leave this choice to my daughter in the future, irrespective of what society feels because for me, what and how my daughter feels is more important than anything else in this world…
Published here earlier.
Image source: Flickr, for representational purposes only.