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Our relationship is hanging by a thread, because of a million misunderstandings between us, that can be cleared, only if you give us the chance to speak in private.
This is your daughter-in-law. The one you were supposed to consider as your daughter, claim to consider as one, but don’t really. This is me, a person, although you fail to see me as that.
I’m not a competition to your family. I’m just a girl in love with your son — isn’t that what you wanted? Or did you only wish for a maid and bed partner for him, and a womb to carry your family name forward?
Your son is so afraid of what you will think that he sits and talks with you until past midnight, until his eyes are heavy, and you are convinced that he can’t stay awake for a minute more, before coming to the room to spend time with me.
There is almost no communication between us. When everything from shopping to going to the nearest theatre is a family affair, how do you expect us to have time for each other? By the time you let us sleep, we are beyond exhausted.
In the face of the odd chance that we do get to do something together, as a couple — be it going for a movie or even going to a tourist spot; you want to go there with him the next week.
Your son — the person you love the most , is trying to balance his life between you and me. Our relationship is hanging by a thread, because of a million misunderstandings between us, that can be cleared, only if you give us the chance to speak in private.
Every time I want to go home, there is a ‘why’ that comes from your end. If I want to stay for a few days, there’s still a ‘why’. You can’t even digest the fact that your son has a girl in his life, inspite of him giving you all his time. How do you think my parents feel, looking at my empty room, knowing full well that I’m not getting the care or time with my husband as I should be?
You can’t bear to listen to one rude comment from your son, but when he insults my parents in front of you, you stay quiet. The air you breathe reeks of hypocrisy.
Dear parents of the man I love, I’m sticking on to this because I love your son. But I’m loosing respect for you with each passing day. We are trying very hard to keep our relationship from meeting it’s end. We are emotionally disturbed. You are one of the reasons why. I cannot become his father or mother, just like you cannot become his wife. You are irreplaceable. So am I. Please do not make him choose.
Image source: a still from the series Agga Bai Sasu Bai
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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