The Search For The Perrrrrfect Sanskari Bahu

Matrimonial ads for brides read more like ads for a domestic worker who is also the 'fair and homely' perfect daughter in law. Stop, already!

Matrimonial ads for brides read more like ads for a domestic worker who is also the ‘fair and homely’ perfect daughter in law. Stop, already!

While reading a Hindi daily newspaper recently, I came across an article called “How to be a perfect bahu ( daughter-in-law).”

I thought it may educate me on the topic and make me a perrrrfect bahu, as Ms. Dixit used the word in her dance reality show, so to understand further I went through the article. To my dismay, as I was looking for an easy way out I was left disappointed.

How can the onus for a smooth life long relation be on the female only. Is it only the women who can make it or break it, and if so then we are definitely the stronger gender.

The list was long which comprised of never-ending dos and don’ts for the women. Rather than frowning and fretting on the write-up, I started enjoying it, due to its serious overtone which turned out to be hilarious in actuality.

I do value my Indian values and culture , as well as respect my elders but in 21st century reading an article in print media giving tips on Sanskari (cultured) bahu is something, which was funny on one side and left a bad taste in my mouth as well.

Has anyone ever written or talked about ‘how to be a perfect son-in-law’? Leave aside the ‘perfect’ thing, has anyone ever asked for a better son-in-law.

Please do not think that I hold any prejudice or bias against the opposite gender, but this really rankles.

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Coming back to the article, it also said that to be a perfect bahu, no matter how educated or smart you are, one should never give suggestions to the mother-in-law, always do it in private, behind closed doors.

Apart from this the other point or rather I may call it a tip given was: Please do not try to make your husband a hen-pecked husband, let him be free in the day time as in the night he will be all yours, As he will spend the night with you. (?!)

After reading this tip I couldn’t control my laughter. I could not take it any longer and picked up another English daily and as luck would have it, the page I opened was the matrimonial section of ‘Brides wanted’.

“Fair, homely educated brides ‘wanted”, this is what 99 percent of the paper was covered with. I squirmed and rolled my eyes! Girls who can cook, earn salary, have long hair, are fair, wear suits with dupattas, basically the apt definition of a perfect and homely bahu according to many.

Why are women always judged on their ability to do mundane, menial chores? Has anyone ever posted an advertisement asking for a homely son-in-law? Why should girls be judged in first place? When a girl and boy decide to get married, shouldn’t they shoulder each and every responsibility equally.

Women oppressed in the name of marriage regardless of their education, upbringing and financial independence and men getting married just to get someone just to care of your parents, cook for the family, work and give her earnings to you, bear your offspring is absolutely incorrect.

I was taken a back when an advertisement recently telecast during the IPL matches portrayed women in such a pitiful state. A newly married girl, who is a cricket enthusiast, is sent back to the room – “Aap ander jaayeye” while her husband and in-laws enjoy the match and on her mother-in-laws insistence, she is allowed to see the match.

Print and social media plays an important role in making us aware and responsible of our rights and should abstain themselves from promoting and propagating ideas or views where one gender is subjugated by the other.

Marriage is about sharing your life with that one person, who makes you a better person with unconditional love and respect. The other trivial things can take a back seat and let love and understanding prevail.

Image source: daughter in law by Shutterstock


About the Author


A woman of today ,I love to travel and live life simple and happy. Writing for me is an outlet to my emotions, which I can visit again and again. And yes learnt the hard read more...

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