It’s the 70’s era, born in an orthodox family, I was the second child and elder sister to the other 5 siblings. Ignore the total, as this might scare this generation of women.

As my father was a civil defence employee in the Indian Navy, The house was more like a gurukul with a standard routine and the best part was equal treatment.

The day started like this !!!

  • Reading the newspaper. The uncovered topics were covered up in the radio news which was played around 7pm in the evening.
  • No privilege to be up till late night or sleep for long hours.
  • We were never allowed to be friendly with the other kids in the colony as friendships may have a negative impact on our minds.
  • With 7 kids in the house sometimes I felt there was no need for new bonds.
  • Outing with friends or school picnic was out of the syllabus for us, as safety comes first.
  • Listening to songs or Watching movies was out of the question.
  • We 7 were never allowed to speak up for ourselves as decisions were already made and we had to follow it.
  • Less grades never bothered my parents but complaints from the neighbourhood made our day end with all sorts of marks on the body either with a belt, broomstick, or as per the available props.
  • Beating us every now and then was TAGGED as disciplining us.

But nothing can stop the kids from being who they are from inside.

I was caught stealing mangoes, gossiping, cycling, talking to the so called bad kids in the colony, bunking classes and other little things which I never felt wrong, also never understood for getting beaten up for living my childhood.

Still with no regrets,

we love them !! Thankful for the education, food, shelter and mentally stable and moral life. That’s the maturity we had in our generation. We never had grudges towards our parents.

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We are not wealthy or rich, and providing beyond their capabilities is acknowledged.

I was 18 when i got married. Definitely not married to the man of my dreams but to the one which is destined. He is not any older but 21 years young man and handsome.

I entered the mandap as D/o

Rituals happened for almost half a day and stepped out of the marriage hall as

W/o with my new SURNAME

My mother said, This is your family from now, don’t let us down. Learn to adjust, learn to keep your voice down, learn to adapt to their rituals and lifestyle. We are always there for you but we can’t interfere or take a stand as you don’t share our SURNAME anymore.

Nothing made sense but slowly it started to..

Day 1 everything was normal it felt like home.

Day 2

I was made to do all the household chores.

Don’t remember if I was served breakfast but my mother in law never skipped the taunts and insults.

Everything ended with one statement

This is what your parents have taught?

One year to my marriage and I was Blessed with a baby girl..

That depressed them the most.

Every minor mistake often scared me thinking will they throw me out of the house again??

I often told my parents but they never gave a thought to talk to them but often told me to deal with it. If people in their neighborhood come to know, it’s a matter of embarrassment. In any circumstances it’s the girl’s family who will be left in shame.

So now I’ve understood why I was told my in-laws are my family. You don’t just share the SURNAME but everything they serve, you should accept.

I never raised my voice instead suppressed all the emotions saying THIS IS MY FAMILY TOO !!

Things got worse each day,

My husband is abusive, mental and physical harassment is too obvious.

I learned to surrender and never scream.

Things will get better one day” 

I said this everyday.

The day has come.. I was asked to leave the house. Sometimes for no reason but this time my mother-in-law was specific.

Didn’t do the laundry you may leave she said and saw her throwing my suitcase and clothes in the lawn. I’ve tolerated you enough, it’s a girl child and my fault that I’ve let you stay with us again.

It wasn’t out of intention but I was feeling sick and sleepless with my 1 year old. I replied

She got furious hearing me speak.

I heard a voice from behind saying

“what’s wrong if she hasn’t done it, you can still do it. The baby was crying all day and even both of us couldn’t sleep. Why are you making a mess out of silly things.

My husband spoke.

In no time his clothes and other belongings were thrown out too.

Now we are even. Holding my baby in one arm, We both picked up our things and left without saying a word.

I was scared seeing all this happen but surprised to see my husband telling ‘you had enough let’s move out.

Your husband is 23 and the good part was he was a government employee with some job security.

With the little amount he is earning I was scared to start a new life. A rented house, no bed to sleep or no utensils to cook food. But my parents had helped a little and slowly we managed to buy everything and started to deal with the new routine.

After a few years again the relationship with my in-laws was amicable. They visited my rented house but I’ve realised nothing has changed.

I was told I’m a servant who survives on his son’s expenses and to be grateful for that. It’s their house too and can visit anytime they want, as the source of income is being contributed by his dearest son.

Back in those days, society had its own ways to classify your tiny family as dignified or decent.

You stay alone and there is no flow of relatives, you are the topic of discussion in the neighbourhood.

I chose to abide with the society and even she was asked about her kids and family so she visited us with so much hate, I knew nothing has changed but still I was silent like before. No matter if I visited them or vice versa.

I was blessed with a boy and She often stayed with us, helped me at times in looking after both the kids with utmost love and care. Soon she is the best grandmother and even we used to talk, gossip and things started getting better over the period of time.

Disputes once in a while said *HI HELLO* but I never gave it a thought to prove I was right. Sometimes giving time to things will balance the good and evil.

Things would have been different today

  • If i hold grudges?
  • If I told her to stay away from my kids?
  • If I insult her the way she did?
  • If I was abusive towards her parents and her family?
  • If I kept distance and treated them with disrespect?

But I never choose to be.

People may go on the wrong path or wander lost, but when they choose the right steps, be their guide and learn to accept them. That’s what I was taught by my parents she said.

I was all curious about my mother and asked why didn’t you step out of your marriage?

She replied,This thought never crossed my mind.

What if I was put in that situation, how long will you wait. She questioned?

Being a 90s kid I’m still furious listening to what she has gone through..

Just to answer her question I replied, maybe a couple of years or maybe in no time if I find it toxic.

My mother replied

‘I gave them 35 years, 

To make my mother-in-law realise that I’m like her daughter who can still forget everything and be there for her.

To make my husband understand

“I may not be independent but looking after kids, doing chores and keeping the family together by making sure it never gets separated is the tuffest job I did smiling with no regrets.

She said,

Many mothers of our generation faced humiliation, insults, mental and physical abuses both from families and husband, but turned out mentally strong each day. We raised out kids with utmost love and care might be strict and stubborn probably not like today’s parents, but gave our best in all possible ways. Over the period of time, we mothers of our generation learnt to forgive and forget.

The 90s kids might feel, Their parents or grandparents were never happy together !!

We might have faced the ups and downs but never thought of getting separated and we are more happy today being TOGETHER.

How long have we come, seeing our

  • kids getting married,
  • working in good companies,
  • playing with grandchildren

and even today when kids are busy with their life. I breathe with my husband by my side. I struggled for many years just to experience this moment. As I said things will get better one day. 

Talk to your parents and ask them how they managed !! you will hear a wonderful story which was never shared or heard or written or you may never find in any books.

I thought, For this generation it’s still “It’s not my cup of tea !!


I barely hear her say !!

With utmost pride, she accepted her SURNAME.




About the Author

Gummala Lavanya

A fauji wife and mom of little princess.

3 Posts | 980 Views

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