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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
Rrashima is a senior corporate analyst with over 20 years of experience in the corporate sector. She is also a prolific writer, novelist and poet and her articles, stories and poems are regularly published in read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
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