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Thursday, 5 September 2013

Life of Women after marriage in India.



“The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind.” - Kiran Desai


My life has changed completely in the past one month. I now carry the heavy weight of “Mrs” before my name and this weight is slowly shifting into my life as well. I have changed completely. I look different. I live in a different house and city. I have a good life here. I am married to a loving and caring husband and I have super awesome in laws.  I am surrounded with love but that doesn’t stop me from missing my family. Every night I see their faces in my dream.  

Every coin has two sides. Similarly, marriage has two sides for women in India. I am not showing you the brighter side of our marriage today. Few days back my husband came to me while I was cooking lunch for us in the kitchen. I got to know from him that he has booked tickets for our North India trip on Nov and we are going via Kolkata. We will be staying in Kolkata for one and the half day. our flight will land in kolkata at 10pm . And then day after tomorrow we would resume our journey for north India.  I was so happy to hear about this "kolkata"piece of information as my parents’ also lives in Kolkata.

My happiness was turned into shock and disbelief after seeing my husband's reaction when I inform him that I will be staying with my parents in that 1 day.  My husband told me that “I need to take permission for that”.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  His words broke my heart. I need to take permission to live at my own parents’ house for 1 day? 

I am just not wife and daughter in law. I am a daughter too.  what i am today is because of them.  I lived with them since i was born. They were always beside me whenever i needed them. They spent many sleepless nights when i had fever. They spent all their money to fulfill my wishes and now I need permission to stay with them for 1 day? This doesn’t made any sense to me. When will this change? When will India change its attitude towards its women?  When will we start enjoying rights to equality? will a job provide me an opportunity to enjoy equal rights or rules will remain unchanged for women in India ?

27 comments:

  1. Was your husband saying you need "his" permission to stay at your parent's house? If so, were you able to talk to him about it? To help him understand your point of view?

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    1. Yes, thats what he meant but everything is fine now. He got my point ! :)

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    1. Sorry couldn't publish your comment but thank you so much for your support Helena :)

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  3. Unfortunately what you have just described doesn't only happen in India, it happens in several countries in Africa and even here in the US. "Ask permission" like you're a child or something:)

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    1. yeah ...hope things change for women all around the world...Thanks for reading my article Nicole :)

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  4. Thank you for sharing the other side of marriage....I'm glad you are a frank person and wish to show the realities of marriage and that it is not always a fairy tale and that it is something we need to work hard for to maintain balance and love at the same time.
    I really hope this concept of thinking changes,I find it so strange and wrong to believe that men assume we should not bother to see our parents and yet they cannot leave their mommy's side or question leaving their family,not even for a second.
    As much as we respect their parents to raise a a good son, they should also understand we as daughters have been raised by parents too and need to be equally respected.
    I'm sure, as you say your husband, is a good man, I'm sure he will understand if you talk to him. :)
    Think about it this way, in the far future if you both be blessed with a lovely daughter, how heartbroken it is to see her take permission to see you both when she is married in the future, it's a rule that needs to change,we are the generation now, we can still do that! :D

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    1. Completely agree with you , Nikki :) Thank you so much for reading :)

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  5. It is a difficult situation you are in, most people from western countries would not be able to comprehend how an Indian lady might be controlled.

    If I were you I think I would ask him politely for his permission, not because I think you should have to but because this might be the easiest course.

    Thank him considerably if he grants it to you, and accept it if he does not, however you might want to sit down with him later and explain to him that you will be a much better wife if you are happy, if you were sad and crying all the time, and he loves you, he would also be sad, therefore making it in his own best interest that he makes you happy....if he loves you that is.

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    1. I am lucky to have a wonderful husband .He really loves me actually :) He got my point and now our relationship is fine again. But most of the women are not fortunate like me. I hope they are able to raise their voice for their rights. Thanks for reading my article, Scott ! :)

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    2. I guess you are getting it wrong. Eventhough I completely disagree with him expecting you to take his permission for that, I do want to point out that what PBScott seems to understood from your post about the situation is wrong. It is not as bad as PBScott think it is. PBScott seems to think that the women in india needs to take permission for everything - which I certainly disagree with. I would also like to agree that most of the educated and modern families in india no not operate that way. It could simply be the case of her husband being able to communicate his point in a wrong manner, and that made it sound so dramatic. However, I also want to point out that there are some uneducated people who expect that they take permission and act as if they are servants. which is not right.

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    3. I am totally agree with this. I don't understand why women need to take permission in each and every field. I know me and my husband both are staying in Kolkata and my parents and In-laws are staying in Odisha (But Different place). We used to go every alternate weekend to my in-law house . The journey was pathetic every time as it is not just the direct bus or train .. we have to change 2-3 mode of transportation each time. If any day i asked my husband that i am tired by so much travel then a big fight will start. But if opppsite happened if i asked my husband to visit my parents place yearly once, that he always ask me to take his parents permission, and always say we should not be going there as last year only we were there. Both of us are working in a top most MNC company in INDIA, still his thinking is that i have to take everyone permission even if we are going for a trip or my parents house.As per him women , even if they are physically tired, always meant to cook, take care of everyone. And if you raise your voice then he just need divorce.

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  6. It sounds like you both need to have an urgent conversation on roles and responsibilities. You need to clarify what you can and can't do and why. Communication is key when it comes to marriage and things need to be put in place early before things get out of hand.

    Sometimes a marriage can make a man feel very powerful and all he wants to do is to know he has the authority to make decisions and keep his family safe and secure. He might not even be aware of what he does that offends you at times unless you tell him.

    He might have been 'suggesting' that you let him know first about staying at your parents rather than him refusing you to stay there.

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    1. He wanted me to stay with his parents. I have no problem with that but I miss my family too. We ( Me and his parents) are going for pilgrimage together next day. And before that we are staying one month together with his parents. So I want to spend that one day with my family.

      Yes, we talked about it and everything is running again smoothly between us . Touchwood !

      Thank you so much for you suggestion and support :)

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  8. Well, I’d like to recommend you a book “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.” Usually, people always don’t mean to say what they are speaking literally. Like, when a woman says “no one cares me. Leave me alone,” she doesn’t mean it literally but instead she wants the man to let her feel cared and supported. And at the moment instead of leaving want a tight hug. I think you’d agree with me. I feel that most of the problems lies in relationship are due to misunderstanding and lack of proper communication. I don’t know much about your background but taking it positively I’d go with PBScott and Rum-Punch Drunk. I don’t think that he meant literally about taking permission.

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    1. May be you're right :) He was not happy about the fact that I want to stay with my family so he said that I need to take "permission "! But yes communication can solve any problems and misunderstandings. Thanks for reading my article :)

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  9. The time has been changed but the attitude towards women in India has not changed. Indian Woman still suffers because she is dependent on others and also due to lack of women empowerment. Women must take part in social activities like Sahara Q Saathi so that they can financially be independent.

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  10. Nice article Shainee...I think women being financially independent alone ,does not solve this issue..because many job going girls are still staying with their in laws and could serve only his husband's family.The only solution is Women standing up and fighting for their emotional rights at least now.It is simply hypocritical for a husband to think that they should stay with their parents even after marriage and their wife should forget her origin of life. According to me concept of marriage ,is budding of a new family and this ritual is done to two adults and not for children for them to clung to their parents again.Its a beginning of a new family ,both of these grown ups should leave their home to raise their new family independently respecting each other in all aspects of their life. That doesn't mean that we don't have care ,love or respect towards our parents ,we should be there for them for all their needs.Both the husband and wife's parents should enjoy equal rights and importance w.r.t their children:).

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    1. So, if i understood correctly, u r saying that this problem is due to in-laws and not the couple themselves? I don't think that living alone is a solution to this problem. A change in attitude is required - not a change in location. However, there are perks to living with in-laws too. They often are helpful in guiding the couple in a proper direction. This is helpful and even required for some couples when they are not mature enough to tackle their own married life themselves, and couple potentially lead their married life to divorce.

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  11. I agree with khancg. Education, money,job, status, etc ... are nothing to do with this. Though u r educated & well settled u will 've the same problem. Better to start a separate life after marriage leaving both the parents. Can meet them on weekends.

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  12. It seems Shainee, u wrote this article in a hurry And then u talked to your husband...or probably your husband got to know about it and our of the relation's pressure you had to take a u turn. ...I might be wrong but the sudden transition from feeling so bad about not being able to meet your own parents to saying that everything is fine ...is a bit difficult to understand....

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  13. very true.......also happens with me several times. Even I never went from last one year. But i usually go to my in laws house which is in same city where my parents live but have to take permission to go there to meet them. Very disappointed facts in India.

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  14. hey hi shainee....it also happened with me in my first year of marriage. i also got disappointed . but now things got changed as time passes. good to know that everything is settled in ur life.missing our family is the worst part of married life.otherwise i m enjoying every bit. all good luck its just the beginning dear. be calm & a good listener to make your marriage successful. bye t.c

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  15. I'm not yet married. But I'm in love with a guy who was in love with me from really long. Because I have started liking him now, there are problems bwtween our families as everyone is confused. And now suddenly because I confessed to his sister that I like him, she is like marriage is not a game, and as my elder sis in law has laid a bench mark, you will also have to stand up to it. You will have to respect everyone and also don't be in fantasies that he earns well and has a flat and all. He is in family business and till he proves himself nothing will be his way. And she asked me to change him for good and make him responsible and don't tell him about this conversation of ours. What do I do? I'm really depressed as my life already was not all that great in past, now when I found someone who loves me a lot and I accept him anyways even though he is outpf my kind of a guy just because he has unconditional love for me.

    Please help. I'm I already trapped before marriage itself?

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  16. Hi!!
    I am also a married woman and I faced this situation couple of times. My husband is very sweet but still a conventional Bengali husband. We live away from my in-laws. In the initial days post marriage he expected that my parents should call his parents up and ask for permission if they need to invite us for dinner/ lunch/ party/ pooja ceremony/ whatever. If i wish to go and stay in my parents’ house for few days, it is advisable that my father takes permission from my father in law. How weird!

    But I am a big rebel!! I never encouraged such things and every single time fought the situation out. Maybe that's what makes me a not so sushil bahu ;)

    Glad I came across your post it took me down the memory lane instantly :))

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    1. I am so happy to know that I am not alone in this and someone like me is also fighting back. All the ladies I met here in Bengaluru till now simply accept everything. Even those who are financially independent and educated. They will say, this is how marriage works here. None of the girl will say anything. You see there is lots of sushil bahus here ;-) ( Thanks I got an idea about my next post). Its time to bring the change and be the change. For it girls like us need to stand up and say "no" even though if we have to sacrifice our "Sushil Bahu" title for this ;-)

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