I am an educated girl and have corporate experience of over 8 years. After marriage though, I faced the harsh reality of the relationship between the mother and the daughter-in-law, something I was unprepared for given the way I had been brought up in a system of good family values. It was unbelievable to see the extent to which someone could express so much hatred towards me and my family. It has been the worst phase of my life where I have constantly been told that I am an ill mannered person and my parents are bad people. Verbal abuses fly at me all the time. However, before writing my story I must mention that I have been very lucky in terms of the person that I married. My husband has always supported me, despite the bad treatment that I have been given by all the members of my husband’s family.
My story begins like a fairy tale. I am an independent and a very homely girl, highly educated yet simple. My marriage was arranged. I left my job as an HR manager to settle down as a good housewife. I assumed I would be able to become a good daughter-in-law with my hard work, the same way that I had achieved success in my professional life.
But after marriage, one of the first things I realized was that the thinking of some people is often smaller than the place that they are from. I have never complained about being in a small place but I would often get troubled by the mediocre level of conversations that I would hear people having around me. I wondered how people still spoke about such silly things in such a fast paced world. The only sensible person and who could understand my situation and connect with me at my intellectual level was my husband.
From my first day at my in-laws’ house, I tried to do all kinds of chores. Household chores, work that I had never done before. I tried doing all of it to the best of my ability but I honestly don’t know what went wrong. After a few days, my mother-in-law started berating me saying that ‘You have taken away my son from me’, ‘Your parents have done some sort of black magic’ and other such unbelievable things. I was abused every day for every thing, and I did not say anything because I thought it may just add fuel to the fire. I did not even tell my parents because I thought that they will feel very bad. However, when the situation went out of control with my brother-in-law ill treating my husband as well, we decided to move out and live on our own in Haridwar. But I don’t think luck was on our side. When we moved to Haridar, we were asked to come and meet them every weekend so that nobody from the ‘society’ shall have an objection. The weekends were used to deliver the venom collected from all possible sources all week.
For the world, my in-laws are very religious people. I wonder how people, who pray and devote themselves to God, can have such darkness in their hearts. They go to temples and speak ill of their daughter-in-laws and the families that they come from.
I just can’t take it anymore. How can I be a part of a culture where a woman prays and fasts and chants and then steps out and abuses and emotionally hurts her daughter-in-law? Is that an indication of being religious? I request all people and sadgurus to spread the word that if you abuse your daughter-in-law, you will never attain peace, or “moksha”. So take care of your daughter-in-law the way you would take care of your own daughter.
I request everyone to fight against this terrible issue. I would request the parents of girls to stop showing off their wealth and giving away things in the name of dowry in order to avoid promoting this illegal act. I would also request all the men to establish their self respect and refuse to accept dowry or anything else of the sort during the course of the marriage.