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Indian society is still so divided in certain pockets when it comes to their own Betis, we tell our girls to be one with the boys right from nursery. We encourage them to have an own identity, yet we often tell them to be less once they are married.
Drawing inspiration from experiences that are closed to home and of course a reflection of so many stories I hear from real women.
The concept of educating and urging one’s daughter to be educated and be financially independent often comes to a halt when she becomes a daughter-in-law or when she is in the process of becoming one.
Countless conversations come to my mind as I am thinking of instances when my humble quest to be a little better overall was always met with competition from the generation above me.
Comments like travelling alone isn’t for women, that working at a corporate office is so masculine, that not knowing how to make 100 dishes is a big character flaw and my skills professionally are immaterial.
Just a correction, I may not know 100 dishes, but I know cooking well enough for survival whenever needed.
But the fact that I have a job demerits all the other domestic skills I possess. Women my age who are about to get married also face such a screening process.
They are always kept at an arm’s length, as if they will only blurt out French or Italian instead of Hindi. They are hardly given a chance to share their life, only if people let them will they know how grounded they can be.
Still, there are families that don’t want a daughter-in-law in their own home that is well-read and well travelled. She is seen as an alien specimen that should be shunned. She is seen as too high maintenance and too much to handle.
Indian society is scared of the woman who can do both, work and take care of her home and essential relationships.
My advice to all the women who are on a quest to better themselves, don’t seek approval from others, just marry a good person who will aid in your growth. At the end of the day, in a marriage, it matters how your partner sees you.
And to the generation above me, open your mind up a bit, a well-rounded woman isn’t just someone who rounds up plates and groceries, it is someone who can handle both.
And shouldn’t be shunned for being equal to your son. She shouldn’t be seen as a burden, but a valuable addition to your home.
Not sure if in 10 years society will change, but I am a sucker for hope, and I shall do that.
Image source: Still from Lagnachi Bedi, edited from CanvaPro
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