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: pexels.com)

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.
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