If My Husband’s Brother Can Stay With Us, Why Can’t My Sister?

Meetu and Sudeep were very happy to have her staying with them, and within a few days, Jyoti joined work and started living with at her sister's place.

Meetu and Sudeep were very happy to have her staying with them, and within a few days, Jyoti joined work and started living with at her sister’s place.

Translated from the original in Hindi.

Meetu, a 27 year old woman lived with her family in a small town in Madhya Pradesh. Her mother was a homemaker, father a school principal, and her younger sister Jyoti was pursuing her college studies. Meetu herself was an English teacher in a school.

An educated, liberal minded family, they were in no hurry to get their daughters married, but soon they came across a good proposal for Meetu. Both Meetu and Sudeep liked each other, found that they had similar opinions on what they wanted from life, and agreed to the marriage.

Sudeep’s parents and two younger brothers Kamal and Tarun lived in the same town as Meetu’s family. Sudeep had lived in Mumbai for the last one year because of his job. Meetu was mentally ready to go anywhere with her husband, so she had no problem in going to Mumbai. The marriage took place in a month and in about 15 days both of them left for Mumbai. Both were very happy together.

It was around a year after their marriage that Meetu’s younger sister Jyoti had got a job in Mumbai. Her parents were comfortable about Jyoti’s moving to Mumbai especially because Meetu and Sudeep were there, and they felt it was good for her to have family around. Meetu and Sudeep were very happy to have her staying with them, and within a few days, Jyoti joined work and started living with at her sister’s place.

Jyoti was a smart woman – she soon settled in at work, and also in the different culture of Mumbai with the help of her sister and brother in law. She would also help in household chores, and contributed towards her share of household expenses as part of the family.

Five months later, Sudeep’s mother Kanta came to stay at her son and daughter-in-law’s house. She got along very well with Jyoti too, but after a while, she began to think differently. Jyoti’s staying for so long in her sister’s family began to bother her. Slowly, her behaviour towards Jyoti began to change. Initially, no one realised anything, but then things began to get obvious, with Jyoti beginning to get that something was the matter, though she couldn’t understand what it was.

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One day the Meetu’s mother in law Kanta couldn’t help mentioning to her, “It’s not right of Jyoti to stay at her sister’s house for so long like this.”

Meetu was somewhat surprised, yet she asked, “Why mother? She is my younger sister, and there is no there family in Mumbai than us. If we don’t take care of her, who will?”

To this Kanta said, “But she is a girl, a young girl, and that too unmarried.”

On hearing this, Mitu’s temper rose. “So mother, according to that, if Kamal or Tarun ever come to Mumbai tomorrow for some work, then they too cannot stay with us, because both of them are also young boys, and they too are bachelors,” she said.

Hearing this, Kanta was filled with anger, and went away muttering to herself.

Jyoti had come home a little early that day, due to which she overheard the argument between Meetu and Kanta, and understood why the behaviour of Meetu’s mother-in-law had changed towards her. She decided without informing anyone that she would now live somewhere else as soon as possible, near her sister’s house, but independently. Accordingly, she made arrangements to stay with a colleague, and left as soon as possible.

This is a true story.

Now the questions that arise are –

Once a daughter gets married, does her responsibility towards her family end?

Doesn’t she have any right over her family? Don’t her family members have any right over her? The husband’s family becomes her only family now?

If a woman shouldn’t live with her sister, why should a man’s brother have a right to live with his brother?

Why can’t we put all the responsibility of a marriage on both the woman and the man, and equally the responsibility of both sides of the family on them too?

If a woman is taught to take care of her in-laws, why is a man not also taught and expected to take care of his in-laws?

And, if a man starts fulfilling his responsibility towards his in laws, then why is he stopped like this?

Is there no need to change here?

I will wait for your response…

Image source: a still from short film Pinki ki Shaadi, YouTube

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Ruchi is a new person who has dared to break all walls of monotony in life, a dreamer, a learner and likes to derive inspiration in all situations she is into. Recently plunged into a read more...

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