The first thing I heard was a cry. I heard myself crying out loud while someone very carefully cleaned and wrapped me in a warm cloth. I was then handed over to a woman covered in sweat, her eyes gleaming with tears of pain and joy. She kissed me and said: My Daughter! I learnt she was the one who fed me for months, spoke to me and took care of me: My Mother! With my little eyes I saw many people coming over to see me, people saw me and compared who I look like, but then there was one person who first went to see my mother, then eagerly with all his joy, he took me in his arms and kissed my forehead: My Father!
I was lucky enough to be born in a family where girls and boys were treated equally. I grew up learning, enjoying, crying, smiling and appeared to be very understanding provided they give me everything I pointed at. Mother was always there to teach me right or wrong, she made sure I take meals, study well and sleep on time but dad was my real hero. He made sure I eat lots of chocolates, brake toys while I play, demand a damn thing and it was there for me. I grew up very fast it seemed. Time from preschool and primary flew like it never even happened.
As I was the only daughter, I grew up being stubborn. I grew up bold, courageous and as the time passed, I became a beautiful woman. I enjoyed every perk of the living world available for human, not that we were millionaire but somehow my parents managed to make me happy as in they lived my dreams. Definition of parents was as similar as that of a friend for me. We shared a ‘leave a jealous’ on people bond. Father even knew my crush lists but never found a perfect match, so it was time for me to interview some guys for the life match.
After so many No’s, Ok’s I met him and said Yes! I was excited to start a new life, everybody does! Why should I be scared, I am going to love my husband, would live with my new parents but wait, it wasn’t easy. Not easy at all! Everything had changed. My routine, the way I carried myself, my boldness and stubbornness everything was gone. Not that my husband and in-laws were forcing me to do all these but they had plenty expectations from me, they wanted me to be the one who I wasn’t. I just had one expectation from them, I just wanted to be ME.
At times I woke up late, to which my mother-in-law had a bad mood the entire day. My father-in-law wants me drapped in saree wherever I go, which I find uncomfortable. Husband is very loving no question on that part, but I do not want him to know my struggle as he would be sandwiched between me and my war with the time. Then there is the society, who smartly appears for gossip and to add masala in my already burnt curry! I was rarely worried about society as they have dual personalities, what I was worried about is my family. It was just few months and my mother-in-law asked when I was taking leave from job for pregnancy which I had not yet conceived! Isn’t this something which a couple should decide?
It was difficult for me to let go of my habits as a daughter, I thought I would continue to do so here at my husband’s place. Marriage comes with responsibilities but I haven’t learnt them as a daughter, I needed time to understand and get adjusted into new environment. How can you expect your daughter-in-law to do what your daughter cannot do at her in-laws? Change has to happen, women across the world do it, I will do it too with given time and freedom.
It is not easy to get adjusted in a new family, who knows better than you, mother-in-law? This is a request to you from a Daughter: I have left my Parents and the world that I adored, only to live with you the entire life. Please be My Parents and not In-Laws. Dear Husband, I am all yours and you are mine, My life revolves around you. In order to make the life easier, please be my friend and grasp my confusion and saddness. Mom, Dad accept me as your daughter and not daughter-in-law and see the happiness that is bound to come along.
I wrote this letter before I went to my parents house for one of the ritual. I took three copies, kept one on my husband’s pillow, one near the tea jar in the kitchen and one in the News Paper Box. I did not hear a word about the letter till I came back after 2 days. I was nervous not aware of what I did was correct or it’s going to haunt my life forever. As I entered the drawing room, instead of touching my shoulder, an usual greeting by my mom-in-law, she hugged me tightly and to my surprise my father-in-law tapped on my head and said, “ Why are you in Sari today, don’t you love wearing Denims?” While my husband stood behind with a smile on his face and hands holding his ears with a gesture of Sorry!
In months and years, you won’t believe my life changed. They did everything possible for me and to keep the happiness as our permanent family member! They allowed me to study further, I dressed what was comfortable for me, they accepted my faith and beliefs and so did I. As a women I managed to win my parents-in-law’s heart. It is not easy sometimes but with little adjustments, understanding, patience and always smiling face brought me a new life. A life which I will cherish till the end. I am sure now you understand how difficult it for a girl to overcome the obstacles in the Journey from a Daughter to a Daughter-in-law.
P.S: Mother & Father-In-Laws need to accept their Daughter-in-law as a their Daughter!