I am a girl from a joint family who has always known the value of relationships. I always expected that with love and affection, I will manage to become the daughter of the family I join from a daughter-in-law. But it all went topsy-turvy even before my marriage was fixed.
I was in love with Rajiv who was from another caste and culture. He hailed from a very good educated family. His parents were in town and they wanted to meet me. I was a bit nervous but also excited to see my second parents-to-be. I was wearing a sleeveless top and told Rajiv that it was probably not a great idea to meet them that day but his mother insisted and said she also wears sleeveless clothes often and so does her daughter, so it’s nothing to worry about. She invited me to just come and meet them. So, I did. Rajiv was sitting outside the room and I was alone inside with his mom and dad.
His mother offered me something to eat and I said No out of courtesy to which she remarked: “In our family, if something is offered by any elder you have to take it.” That tone to this remark was very rude.
That meeting included a steady flow of snide remarks and taunts....after which I told Rajiv that it wouldn’t be possible for me to adjust in his family, so let's just call it over between us before it’s too late. But he gave me lots of assurances that he will support me in every way he could.
After a few days, his mom said that our kundlis don’t match and thus, our marriage is not possible. But Rajiv was not ready to back off and said he did not give a damn about kundlis. Next thing I know, my sleeveless kurti was made the talk of the town. After another few months, they came again to our city and called me to meet them. I told Rajiv to let them know that I was coming to see them but he forgot to tell them. This was not my mistake but guess who was blamed? Of course, Me.
That day, my future mom-in-law you made me feel like I was a nobody. She didn’t answer my greeting and just went to the next room. She would shower immense love upon her daughter in front of me just so she could degrade me
But dear Mom-In-Law, I remember each and every word. The words that stung like knives and seeped into my soul like poison. Noticing this behaviour towards me, Rajiv just rushed me out of his home. Because of her continuous imposition on his life, Rajiv stopped talking to his mother and at that point, I bore the brunt of the blame. She called me, yelled at me at the top of her voice, cursed my parents and so on. Tears just started rolling off my eyes and I couldn’t muster a single word. Moreover, I didn’t know to deal with this conflict between the mother and son. When Rajiv was transferred to another city for work, I was the one blamed for any rash word uttered by him.
This was just the start. One day, his younger sister called me and started abusing me for her brother’s behaviour. I had no idea what she was talking about. There were times I didn’t even let Rajiv know about these issues as there was no one in his family who tried to understand him and I didn’t wanna add to his issues.
He needed me to stay strong and I knew he would break down without me.
In the 4 years of our relationship, her family tried each and everything to destroy it. They were incredibly rude to my parents but we persevered. Even on our wedding day, they tried to create a scandal but if it was not for Rajiv being alert and adamant, you may have succeeded. Finally, we were married. My initial days of marriage which is supposed to be the best time in anyone’s life were like hell. I was treated like a maid or hired labour and treated with a serving of tongue-lashing at the end of the days.
I was made to eat on the floor. I was not allowed to enter the kitchen, not allowed to sit on the sofa and follow restrictions which were seemingly not applicable to anybody else in the house. I was only allowed to eat after my father-in-law had eaten and told to keep my mouth shut.
I finally was able to breathe easy when Rajiv took me away with him. We moved out and life was not much better after either. For 6 years now of our marriage, I have been at the receiving end of a tirade of hate. Rajiv has always advised me to stand up for myself but due to my innate respect for elders, I do not argue with them. But I am scared of the day when my patience will reach its limit and any traces of respect for Rajiv’s mother may go away.
I just pray to god that day does not arrive. But I have a feeling it is on its way…