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Now here was the new daughter in law, competing and vying for the attention that had previously been lavished solely on the daughter.
The chicken curry and rice smelt delicious but she’d never eaten with her hands before. Vivek was out in the garden attending a telephone call and no one had offered her a spoon or fork. Looking down at her plate, Melanie wondered what to do. After all, it was the first time she’d ever entered his family home.
Too overwhelmed to say much, she just sat there in the chair and with wide eyes, observed the hustle-bustle around her.
It was like an entirely new world for her since she’d always lived in a small family, just she and her parents. Here, with three generations all living under the same roof, things were bound to be different. Getting married was a change for anyone but for her, it was going to be a tremendous challenge, trying to adjust to a new family and culture in a country she’d never seen before.
Looking around, Melanie tried to form some sort of an initial impression about the core members of Vivek’s family. She knew they were probably doing the same thing, sizing up the newest addition to their family.
First the father. Hmmm. Looked easy-going with an agreeable disposition. The mother seemed to be more reserved but she had a sweet smile that really seemed to reach her eyes. The grandparents looked like kind, gentle folk and Melanie knew she’d warm to them quickly. The paternal aunt though, had a gossipy look about her but thankfully, she didn’t live with them.
And finally, there was Priya, Vivek’s sister. A pretty girl with long, lustrous hair and dark eyes, she was the one who was bound to become the nemesis of Melanie’s life. After all, she was the same age as Melanie and until now, had been the only daughter of the house. Now here was the new daughter in law, competing and vying for the attention that had previously been lavished solely on the daughter.
Vivek had already told her that his sister was pampered and used to getting her own way. ‘Thank God she’s just started a new job,’ thought Melanie to herself then. ‘I’ll probably not see much of her. And as long as she doesn’t have the time to cause me any problems, it’s fine. After all, other than the fact that we’re the same age, we obviously don’t have anything in common. I don’t expect us to be friends anyway.’
Satisfied with her analysis, she looked down at her plate again. Her stomach was churning for she hadn’t eaten anything after that measly breakfast on the flight. Sighing, she was just about to plunge in with her hands when a shining stainless steel spoon was gently placed in front of her.
Melanie looked up in surprise. Priya had quietly slipped into the chair beside her. ‘I’m sorry,’ she apologized then with a sheepish look. ‘That was thoughtless of us. After all, this is your home now too. We should make you feel comfortable here.’
Melanie smiled. ‘Thank you.’ She picked up the spoon and started mixing the curry and rice together.
Priya smiled back. ‘Let me know if you need anything else. Oh, I also wanted to give you this.’ She rootled around in her pocket and pulled out a colorful piece of thread in a crisscross pattern. Smoothening it out, she then indicated to Melanie to hold her hand out. ‘It’s a friendship band,’ she explained as she fastened the thread on to Melanie’s wrist. ‘From me to you.’
And Melanie knew with the utmost certainty that from that moment on, the two of them would always be friends.
Image source: MaggiePoo on pixabay
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Rrashima is a senior corporate analyst with over 20 years of experience in the corporate sector. She is also a prolific writer and poet and her articles, stories and poems are regularly published in leading read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).