patriarchy in-laws

I Am Just an ATM For My In-Laws, Who Only Want To Fulfill Their Own Desires With My Money

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

Are the in-laws your relative or an accountant? Where is the actual home for women?

Conventionally, it is the in-law's place for all married ladies in India. But let me ask, how many in-laws welcome a newcomer to their den? Few are open-minded. They might say all are welcome. "Come and settle. You and I are alike. Let's make a home. All by-gone let them be bygones please.”

On the contrary, there are many who are close-minded and maintain a balance sheet for the newcomer. Wait, let's call it as a history sheet.

The moment a new bride enters she is provided with a thorough explanation by her in-laws as to why she is not welcome and not allowed to get in and forge any emotional bonding with the rest of the family members.

"Your mom said this to me. Your brother insulted me. Your father didn't pay me my money for which my mouth was watering for years. He ought to pay no matter whether I barked at the right moment for it or not. I want, I want, and I want. You pay me because you have to pay me and if you don’t, be ready to face the consequences. Who told you that this is a home for you? Don't you know that my house is a business? I maintain a profit & loss statement on per day and moment basis. If you want to live here with us, you’ll have to pay to me if you need something. From the sofa, cupboard to bed and linen, you pay me and only then I’ll get something for you. Who told you that we are parents and as parents, we are here to treat you alike. No, we are managers with hunters in hand, that if you don't take our permission, we will bark at you, shout at you, make faces, give names, poke you, pinch you, rub you, dust you, hurt you, torture you, throw you and what not. Why? Because we, as 'managers-in-laws', are licensed to do anything and everything as we want to do.”

With such a solid introduction at the first place, a newcomer is expected to keep "fingers on your lip" and remain silent.

"Don't say, don't talk, you have to keep quiet because your so-called husbands and our ATMs are in our pockets and we and only we know their passcodes. So, no amount of your swapping will bring any difference in them. They are handled by keys operated by us. Don't talk to your husband, don't talk to your parents, and don’t talk to the society. Just remain silent and praise us because ‘hey, can you in your dreams ever find good people like us’?”

 They proudly proclaim that they are neither nasty nor greedy, neither self-centred nor selfish. They are who they are i.e. “the great in-laws" and that's how they welcome a new bride and expect her to behave just like how they want. To them, a bride's dream is rubbish, her tears are 'drama', her pain is fake, and her emotions are crooked. This is because for them only they and only they can have 'real pain', ‘real tears’, and 'real illness', as they are the epitome of 'truthfulness and purity'.

Only what they feel has to be true and what they say is correct.

Rest all people can only do dramas. And yes, who said they married their sons so that the latter could happily settle in his life.They rather b(r)ought a liability of sorts, a mode to increase their own income, a means to fulfill their own desires by blackmailing albeit emotionally.

Now, what if the son gets his own daughter? O c'mon, how does it matter?  It is just an extra source of income for them. "You pay me when the child is born. You pay me on her birthday. You pay me on her pooja. You pay me for any other reason you can find."

In short, the story remains the same and that would be to keep paying me.

If at all the daughter-in-law tries for an explanation, she is quickly returned with a statement, “How dare you!”

“How dare you try to interfere with our business? Who are you? Don't you know how much of (imaginative) trouble do we have? Because you see, our desires can never stop. It doesn’t if your family is getting bigger and you need more saving because we want our share regardless. Your father didn't pay me money in 'my account' (even if he bought a home for the newlywed couple), so you and your husband (even if he is my son) will have to pay. We, as parents, can only contribute in your quarrels and make you people fall in soup but please, expect no other contributions from our side. Who said that we will treat you as normal human beings and give that minimal respect to you? We have brought you as a slave to obey me, serve me, fall in line with someone who is most near and dear to me, and remain silent.”

 And this is how a new bride is welcome by close-minded people in some BIMARU parts of India.

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