An Open Letter To The Newly Married Indian Woman

Dear aunty (get used to the fact that people will now call you aunty), it is great to be newly married. You feel love all around you. The excitement, the adventure, the thrill of it all.

Its been only a week of your marriage.

Every time you see him smile at you, butterflies start fluttering inside your stomach. You really don’t mind all that teasing.

A newly married couple. (Photo:

You have started packing for your honeymoon now. That one glorified trip. That once-in-a-lifetime trip, so much so that any other trip you take as a couple can only be a second honeymoon and never match up to the first one.

Now comes the third month of marriage.

Your mother-in-law has slowly but very firmly started telling you what her son likes/dislikes, how to pack his bags, what to give him for food, etc.

You have just come back from office but you rush to the kitchen to help your mother-in-law in serving dinner. Your mother-in-law has been kind enough to do the cooking for you (if this is the case, consider yourself amongst the luckier ones).

You see your husband sitting in the chair after office glued to his mobile screen in utterly comfortable clothing.

You need to seek permission from your in-laws for visiting your parent’s house and they will ask you, “how will your husband manage without you?” Well, the same way he has been managing for most parts of his life.

Dear girl, know that the above things will happen in your life in whatever form or intensity. But they will. Understand that in the name of responsibility, your freedom will be curbed.

All the debates against patriarchy that you use to vehemently participate in will now make you feel like a hypocrite. Anywhere you complain, you will be answered with “this is not even a problem, you will have to do this much,” or “now you are a married woman, don’t run away from your responsibilities.”

There will come a time when you will blame the men in your life, your parents, your in-laws, marriage as an institution and society at large.

Also realize the harsh truth that your parents whom you hold on a pedestal will do the same thing with your sister-in-law. And the circle will go on.

Illustration: wakefielddavid/Flickr.

The men of our country will keep saying statements like:

“I will allow you to pursue your career even after marriage,” and the women of our country will continue to swoon.

“Oh, he is so progressive!” (Why would I need your permission, though?)“Why do you need to go to your parent’s house now, my mother is ill. Would it not be better if you could stay home and go later?” (You said it yourself, my mother.)

As we commemorate yet another women’s day, let us grow up. Let us start dividing chores. Let us say out loud that my parents are also your responsibility, why don’t you come with me to stay with your in laws for some days, they might start liking you more.

Let us start asking questions. Let us not be afraid of going out with friends without our husbands (we can have different set of friends).

Let us leave the kitchen dirty, the clothes unwashed and the house a mess, for if it takes that to make your life sorted, so be it.

Let us be a wreck and shake some mind sets.

Featured image for representative purpose only.
Featured image source: jasleen_kaur/Flickr.
Similar Posts

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below