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Dear father-in-law, please understand the following about your son’s wife – the most important being that she is her own person.
Suraj Barjatya movies do not define the way the world works (Are you that naive to believe them?!) You or your family have absolutely no right to bind her in your premises. This is NOT her house: there is not legal document to prove it.
Do not ask her to “change her address” in her passport / Aadhar / driver’s license / etc. Do not ask her to re-register herself as a voter in your Lok Sabha / Vidhan Sabha constituency. Do not put her name in the name-plate outside your door.
Don’t book her and your son’s honeymoon tickets with your surname behind her first name.
In short, do not be territorial about her. Stop patrilocality (and I am not advocating matrilocality). She is not in your clan now! She is an independent person, and so is your son. Let go of the pair, and get a life.
Don’t start controlling her and ordering her. Do not give opinions about her choice, whether it is her clothes or her career.
Do not ask your wife/son to order her. Do not ask for her money / jewelry / certificates / possessions to “put it safely” in your almirah.
Do not call her “our daughter”, esp. not in front of her parents: it only betrays your own insecurity. Stop the Hum-Aapke-Hain-Kaun-type drama and Nyaakaami. She continues to be her parents’ daughter, with all her property rights intact. Her duties towards her parents cannot be waived off under any circumstances: this is non-negotiable.
Stop milking her and her parents for dowry. They do not owe you anything. Please don’t embarrass yourself generation after generation.
Stop putting up your son for sale! What you spend on your son’s education is not an investment for your own gains: you have simply done a father’s duty. Expecting anything in return is like asking the river to flow up towards the mountain!
Don’t expect her to serve you bed tea. Ask your son to get it for you (if you are not self-sufficient).
Do not expect her to find out your tastes from your wife.
Don’t give orders to her like you do in a hotel / restaurant. You are not paying her.
Don’t expect that she will remind you of your daily medicine doses and get them for you. Where is your son?
You and your wife are not supposed to dump your household responsibilities on her. Either do it yourself, or ask you son, or outsource it. She is not supposed to look after the house and handle your milkman / gardener / newspaper-boy / etc.
She has her own genes. For that matter, even your son has your wife’s genes. Please stop obsessing about the Y-chromosome, and stop patri-lineage (I am not advocating matri-lineage).
She is not supposed to bear you a grandson. You don’t have a precedence over her parents to be possessive about her children.
Here are Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 in this series.
First published here.
Image source: YouTube
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Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
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