For those of you women who have already started on the nuptial expedition and for the rest of you who are super excited to embark upon this journey but have millions of questions on how do you come out as an all-rounder, in other words be termed and tagged as the Perfect “Daughter in law”, here is a little news flash, you are never going to be that girl, only because you never can! You can always try but you never can be someone who is perfect in the eyes of every flawed human being around you who is happy to judge you with hundreds of different perspectives, on what a perfect Daughter-in-law should be like. Here is why:
1. A typical Indian “Bahu” is supposedly expected to be Dumb not by birth but by choice
Hey now, you must be a double degree holder to be able to hold the hand of her son, but definitely not more educated than him. You should be super smart to teach her grand children, to pay the bills, to manage the house, take care of household expenditures but not smart enough to back answer your in-laws if they are ever wrong.
You are not privileged to have a opinion on your own about anything that is happening in the house, outside the house, something on TV news, nope, just not allowed as it is not your place, it is never your place to comment on anything literally. Independence and constitutional rights are for the country and not for you.
2. Obedience is not a choice, it’s a way of life!
The moment the mangalsutra is tied around your neck, you are expected to be obedient by default. You obey your husband, your in-laws, your society, your husbands’ relatives and sometimes even the kids in your husband’s family. You obey and obey and obey until the end of time and still somewhere down the line you better get ready to be whipped, scrutinized and screwed if you accidentally fail to obey a tiny detail of an order given to you. This country will expect this type of obedience from you because you signed up to be a Daughter-in-law, and what does a good Daughter-in-law do? She obeys!
3. You become a living fountain of love, affection and selflessness
You are bound to keep a smile on your face 24*7, no matter what has gone wrong with the world. You always smile! Your smile apparently is where your in-laws family respect, dignity and decorum hang. You could have had a massive fight with your husband the previous evening, your in-laws could have made a sarcastic comment about something you cooked that could have made you upset, you can have any kind of physical ailment or it can be bloody PMS that has kept you feeling a little bit off lately but guess what! You don’t smile and the world is going to know that you are not happy in your in-laws’ house, you are suddenly moody, absurd, a loner and you know what that means — you are not a perfect“Bahu” material.
4. You are literally ranked next to Saints and Mythical goddesses
You thought you were just Daddy’s pampered smothered in love, little princess and somebody ties a thread around your neck and all of a sudden BOOM, you are expected to be a goddamn saint with no likes, ambitions, desires of your own. You are expected to adjust to the people around you, constantly making compromises on what you want but not with a frown, instead willingly and happily, you care for everybody around you except YOURSELF. Also, last but not the least you literally become a perfect clone of Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother India or you just can’t be the perfect Bahu!
5. Home is work
Are you ambitious about being successful in your career and then you thought like may be some day I want to get married and try my hand at both – taking care of your family as well as being successful career-wise! If that’s what you thought then you are wrong in the eyes of your in-laws and this society. You can be a good bahu only if you stay at home, take care of your family and do household chores; as being a full-time homemaker is the only job that a Bahu is allowed to take up. If you go out of the house, you apparently are less caring towards your family, you suddenly become disobedient, selfish, arrogant, you lack in your duties as a good wife and as a good mom. You bring your work home every day and thus the children don’t get enough attention. A woman going to work today is unsafe for any woman in this country as rapists are on the loose 24*7.
Also, what kind of husband sends his wife off to work and lets her earn – the incompetent one probably and the one that can’t make enough money to take care of his family, last but not the least a woman who works won’t respect her husband and her in-laws and thus shouldn’t be allowed the privilege of taking up a job. These are some of the very valuable points that many families very comfortably list out as valid reasons for not letting their talented and highly educated Daughter-in-laws not go to work.
Now can you be that girl?
Let me the rephrase the question! Do you want to be that girl? Even if you want to make your loved ones happy, even if you want to make sure that the sweet smile in your husband’s face never disappears, even if you care so deeply about hearing that one golden sentence – “You are not our Daughter-in-law but our Daughter” and if it means the world to you to be tagged as the “Perfect Daughter in Law of the Century”. Do you really think, going through all of the above is even worth the run?
You are as much of a human being as anybody else with desires, hopes, dreams and ambitions. Why would you want to give up on any of that? Here is the worst case scenario, while you are in the race to please everyone around you and make sure that you never dishearten anyone at any point of time, imagine you take a moment to look back at your journey; can you really tell that there won’t be any regrets at all? Life waits for nobody, you get to live it once, the only person you need to please is you and if you are doing that on a day to day basis then give yourself some credit because you are on the right track my friend.
Nothing pays off better than being you and enjoying doing that. Everything from Marriage to Divorce is way over-rated in this country. Don’t let yourself down with what the society thinks of you, don’t give them that satisfaction! Don’t let people stereotype you as a perfect Bahueven if it sounds like a compliment at first, because it has been impossible for women over years to live up to it even if they were at some point tagged as one!
You can be a married woman and still be a horrible Bahu and that is perfectly, completely and a 100% fine in an imperfect world such as the one that we live in today, so relax!
Be proud of the Daughter-in-law that you are, that’s all that matters, everything else is background noise.