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"What's the necessity to meet your mother-in-law? I mean these are your carefree and golden days. Instead of seeing your mother-in-law, you must see your boy more often." Priya teased Vaishali.
“The weather is so beautiful, don’t you think we should go on a pleasant date today?” Mihir asked his fiancee lovingly.
“Well, some other day, but today I would like to roam around with my mom-in-law if you don’t mind.” Vaishali blushed and replied.
“With mom?” Mihir was perplexed.
“Yes, with mom, because I think I have known and spent enough time with you these days and now it’s time to know and understand my other mom” Vaishali was very confident in her tone.
“Oh come on sweetheart you must be kidding, I mean maa ke saath date par.” Mihir said light-heartedly.
“No, I am serious, Mihir, I would like to meet her.” Vaishali was firm.
“What is the need?” Mihir was now curious.
“Why not, don’t I have the liberty to talk to my future mom-in-law? After all, I have to live with her in the same house just as I will spend my entire life with you under one roof. I want to know her, make friends with her, and simultaneously want her to know me, and spend some quality time with me just like the happy moments we spent together. Am I asking for more?” Vaishali persuaded.
Mihir wasn’t convinced completely, though he agreed to arrange their meeting.
Vaishali’s sister in law Priya overheard their conversation and she too felt needless of meeting Vaishali with her mom-in-law.
“What’s the necessity to meet your mother-in-law? I mean these are your carefree and golden days. Instead of seeing your mother-in-law, you must see your boy more often.” Priya teased Vaishali.
“I agree with Priya, nobody up till now has done such an absurd act. I mean how can you order your elder to come and meet you…” Vaishali’s mother Shobha scoffed.
“Yes, Vaishali didi, mummy ji is right and as far as knowing and understanding your mother in law is concerned, you have got your entire life ahead to stay with her.” Priya ushered.
“This is what I don’t want to do. I want to know, understand and be cognizant of her nature before my marriage. And I do not find anything wrong with it.” Vaishali replied.
“You tell me Priya bhabhi, you did have some desires and ambitions to be fulfilled before getting married but were you able to fulfil them? You are an LLM degree holder and wanted to continue with the law practice but were you able to convince my orthodox mother, (I am sorry mom..) after your marriage? Today you are living as a simple and hardworking homemaker sacrificing your career and dreams. Not only am I talking about just a professional perspective but I see you compromising in many aspects. I am not saying compromising is bad but why is it most of the time you who have to settle for most of the matters?” Vaishali said everything breathlessly.
“This is the reason I want to sit with my mother-in-law leisurely and discuss with her some of the important matters of life peacefully before my wedding. This is important because this wise interaction between us will harmonize and give an optimistic beginning to our family life in future.” Vaishali kept forth her views.
Vaishali’s mother and sister in law Priya were dumbfounded by such a good, bold, and astute action of hers.
Mihir requested his mother and as expected by Vaishali, his mother agreed to the meeting.
In the evening Vaishali left her house to meet her mother in law. Sarita, mother of Mihir, was waiting for her daughter in law near the sea sight.
“Namaste, mummyji, how are you?” Vaishali greeted.
“I am absolutely fine darling! How are you doing and how’s samdhan ji?” Sarita asked lovingly.
“All great by God’s grace,” Vaishali said softly.
“It’s so relaxing to walk on the beach at dusk!” Sarita exclaimed.
“Yes, indeed it’s very calming and soothing.” Vaishali agreed.
The flow of their conversation went on gracefully for a few minutes.
Then, Vaishali came to the point. “Mummyji you must have some expectations from your daughter in law, must have got some kind of image in your mind, I understand. What qualities would you wish your daughter-in-law to have?”
Sarita smiled and began to sketch her dream daughter-in-law.
“Beta, I know that you are a career oriented girl. I am very elated to have such a dynamic woman in my family. I know your work will be a priority. You will have to leave early in the morning for the office. Here, I wouldn’t expect you to cook the entire meal for the family and go but would appreciate it if you come into the kitchen early and offer me a helping hand.
I don’t expect you to leave your work or take a day off when the guests from native visits our house but would appreciate it if you host them with your presence, removing some time from your busy schedule. This will make them feel important.
I have no objection to seeing you wear any kind of attire. You have the liberty to wear all sorts of western and Indian outfits but I would appreciate it if you wear a saree at festivals and while visiting the elders to pay them respect . They will be glad.
I know weekends are meant for resting and relaxing. It’s alright if you wake up at 10 am every Saturday and Sunday but once you get up I would want you to finish off with the household chores quickly in an organized manner and not just be lethargic.
In the future I and your papaji will take good care of our grandchildren in your absence and when you go to work but will not babysit them 24*7. Parents’ affection and attention is very important for their children. I hope both of you will never neglect their needs and happiness.”
Sarita cleared her expectations.
“Yes, mummy ji I will try my best to fulfil my duties and commitments.” Vaishali declared.
“As a mother-in-law I gave you my list but you might also have many expectations from your mother in law. Would you let me know about those beta?” Sarita questioned.
“Mummy Ji, I am a software engineer by profession. I am not saying I will return home late every day but there will be some days when I will have a meeting with US clients on call or will have to stay back in the office for project release. So I might get late occasionally because of work. I hope that would not be problematic for everyone in the family.
I will be happy if you scold or correct me upfront for my mistakes or faults instead of backbiting or simply getting angry or taunting me while I am ignorant about the issue.
Mummy ji I will not demand to visit my maternal house every week but would like to spend quality time with them more often and would love to visit them occasionally on festivals or special days with my husband just like I will spend time with you all here.
I will take care of the family, nurse them when they are ill but will not hesitate to go and see if my parents or siblings are unwell.
I will perform my duties responsibly and work dedicatedly and appreciate it if you too appreciate and be happy when my husband is helping me with tasks and shouldering the household chores equally.”
Vaishali also listed down the qualities of her ideal mother in law.
Sarita nodded her head in admiration and patted Vaishali’s back.
“I welcome you wholeheartedly in our house and family beta. I am fortunate to have such a clear-visioned, cheerful, skilled, and wise woman in my son’s life. All the best!” Sarita hugged her daughter in law with pride and contentment.
“I hope the mother-daughter conference is over. Shall we go for dinner now? Even I have to meet my mother-in-law.” Mihir suddenly appeared from thin air.
Vaishali and Sarita looked at him in bewilderment.
“I have invited mom, she must be waiting in the restaurant. We all will have a gala time together.’ Mihir announced.
“Great! I will discuss the food menu and a few of the rituals to be performed in the wedding, with samdhan ji”. Sarita said in excitement.
All of them proceeded together enthusiastically to enjoy a wonderful evening.
Image source: a still from Made in Heaven
Zahabia Kotawala is a homemaker,a mommy and a hotelier. She is an avid reader and a proficient writer. She is passionate about baking and loves gardening. She is always inquisitive and enthusiastic to learn read more...
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If her MIL had accepted her with some affection, wouldn't they have built a mutually happier relationship by now?
The incident took place ten years ago.
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