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Do you need to wear a particular type of clothes to be recognised as the ‘bahu’ in a family? The author talks about her experience of living in such a family.
What women wear and how they wear it are the perennial concerns of people around them. Every one thinks that they have the right to have an opinion on women’s clothing. Most astonishingly, people from the same sex are often the fiercest critics of women.
As a girl from Assam, my parents never told me to dress in a particular way or manner. I was free to wear whatever I pleased. But things changed drastically after my marriage.
My in-laws had a totally different perception of a ‘bahu’ and they wanted me to dress and act accordingly. To my surprise the entire neighbourhood had the same perception about a daughter-in-law. And I used to see people whispering whenever they saw me in western wear or without a bindi.
I was never particularly obsessed with western wear, but the imposition made me rebellious. So I started wearing whatever they thought was inappropriate for a bahu. I used to love my golden overcoat with blue jeans. And throughout winter, I wore those without paying heed to the incessant comments my mom-in-law made.
After 5 years of marriage, my husband finally got a transfer and we shifted to another city. Here I was free to wear whatever I wanted. During the first few months I experimented with my looks just to feel free from the confines of my in-laws.
But slowly I got bored since that was not what I wanted. Gradually, I started concentrating more on my writing career, instead of finding ways to rebel against my mother-in-law and her squad. Finally, I found my peace of mind.
I have seen and heard of many women who undergo the same dictatorship after their marriages. But what makes me feel aghast about the entire situation is that it is a woman who puts these laws on another. She probably was a victim once but, why can’t she let it go?
Why can’t she stop herself from being the very same monster that haunted her?
Picture credits: Pexels
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A free-spirited bohemian whose world revolves around books and blogging.
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