Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
A daughter writes about “being a daughter” to her parents after marriage- the trials and tribulations, but making it all come in a full circle.
From the age of thirteen, I was very much influenced by Oprah Winfrey. I was a regular viewer of her show that aired on Star World in the morning from 9:00AM to 10:00AM.
That show inspired me to strive for becoming an independent woman. I was around fifteen when I wanted to buy a property of my own and I used to tell my parents about that often. My mother was a great support to me and though she clearly didn’t understand the US accent, I remember discussing the matter of the show with her while it was running and thereafter. I knew what I wanted from life and had informed my parents that I wanted to buy myself a house before they think of my marriage.
But does life let your plans work? After finishing my college in Engineering, I got into a semi-government organisation. I started to earn and got to know my strengths. I worked for two years and my parents behind my back started searching for a groom. I remember the storm I created when I got to know about it. A year later I was married. I wouldn’t say that it was a forced marriage and I can never say that it was a mistake. But at that moment of time, eventually you surrender to the flow of life thinking that it is how it should be. You are made to think that you have an age for marriage and once that age is over, you get very limited options to choose from.
Like every other girl who has been pampered and brought up like a princess, you never want to leave your family to stay with few strangers.
Like every other girl who has been pampered and brought up like a princess, you never want to leave your family to stay with few strangers. In India being a hub of joint families, where in case you are staying apart from your in-laws in the same city, people try to point fingers at the new bride for being the reason for splitting the family. While my marriage preparation was going on, there were too many women to share their advises on marriage. They would go like, don’t sit idle while your mother-in-law is working in the kitchen. Try to catch up with her for all the work. As they say it all, I’m like “So yes, this is how it should be. Being the daughter in law of the house, I am supposed to take up the responsibilities. I should ensure that I hurt no one and people in the house are happy with me.” So from the one who walks into the house from her office, directly to the kitchen to pick up all the food from the counter and runs towards the couch with her favourite show running, she is now being asked to look after an entire new family after marriage.
So I got married. And it’s true that your life gets a little busy after marriage since in your parents’ home, all you got to do is manage yourself but in the new home, you are supposed to manage others and then manage yourself too. I started to keep alarms to wake up early, so I could prepare the lunch before I got ready to go to the office which was around 40 minutes away. After office hours, I come home and prepare for food if pending and wait for the time for dinner. It’s not that I am being tortured or anything but the change that I have to go through, that transformation to the routine that I had been following for last 24 years! It killed me when I talked to my mother once and she told me that she wasn’t well. It killed me that I wasn’t there while she needed me. For all the love and support they gave me all my life, for all they had done to keep me safe and happy, I couldn’t be there for them.
For all the love and support they gave me all my life, for all they had done to keep me safe and happy, I couldn’t be there for them.
Soon I realised that it’s how it should be. I visited home more often and ensured that I had that ‘we’ time with my parents so we could all talk it out. Somehow my parents also started to treat me like an adult and we started talking sense. I ensured that if not my husband, I was around for all occasions. When I couldn’t make it, I would send them a reminder of my existence in their life through gifts. I ensured that I talk to them every day. In all of this, one form of independence for me was my Scooty which took me anywhere I wanted at any time, even to my home. I feel free when I am on it. And another boon for me was my job. No matter small or big, the credit to my account on the first of every month was a ticket for me to be able to perform all that I wished to without asking anyone. Not that my husband wouldn’t allow or anything but the sense of dignity and liberation you feel when you use your hard earned money for the ones you love is unmatchable.
Blessed with a wonderful family at both ends, you would think that this girl isn’t happy with her in-laws. But the fact of the matter is, it is not possible to make someone forget the faces they have been seeing from the day they started existing. No matter how far you go, the final destination is home, the home where I have my loved ones and where I can be me.
Indian marriages image via Shutterstock
Basically from Kerala, and born and brought up in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. I am married and
Love your post 🙂
Thanks Swati 🙂
Very good nisha…..Wishing a happy future
Glad you read it 🙂
True.. It is commendable to manage with in-laws & job after marriage. women have great adaptble power.. Nice written.
Thanks Mr. Panchal.
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