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Both of these title ring a bell to every indian . We generally grow up hearing these titles.
A girl is born as a Paraya Dhan with a tag line “Ladki hai doosre ke ghar jayegi”.
Since the day girl starts understanding this world , her training of being a good girl starts automatically. The rules are laid down.
“You should not talk loudly, you are a girl !, doosre ke ghar jakar aise baat karogi?”,
“You should learn to have patience, you are a girl!, doosre ke ghar jakar ye sab nahi chalega”,
“You should not throw tantrums, you are a girl!, waha koi nahi sunega”,
“You should be adaptive, you are a girl!, warna doosre ke ghar jakar adjust nahi kar paogi”,
“You should know how to cook, you are a girl!, sasural mein jakar kya khilaogi?”,
“You should be well behaved, you are a girl!, doosre ke ghar mien jakar hamari naak kataogi?”
So many restrictions and rules to follow because a girl is a “Paraya Dhan” whose final destination is “Doosre ka ghar”.
A normal indian girl is brought up hearing all this. So at the back of her mind , she somehow feels that her freedom , her liberty to be her own self is all taken away because of the fact that she has to get married and be part of someone else’s family. She unknowingly develops negativity for the family whom she don’t even know. Before even getting married, she develops a perception that her in laws are cruel people who will take away all her freedom, her identity . She feels that they are marrying her so that they get a house maid at home. So, even for the very first time when she meet her groom’s family, she might be smiling but at back of her mind she is thinking that “ look , here are the villains and vamps” ! Here are the people for whom I have been crucified throughout my life. So, the base for her relationship with her in laws is already prepared.
On other front, since the day boy starts understanding the world, the image of his life partner starts getting mocked .
“Why do you want to learn cooking?, biwi ko khana banakar khilayega, Joru ka Gulam banega !”
“Why do you speak so softly?, mard ban, nahi to Joru ka Gulam banega !”.
“Why do you seek permissions?, you are man, if you will be like this shadi ke baad Joru ka Gulam banega”
“You should be aggressive, otherwise your wife will never listen to you, Joru ka Gulam banega !”
A normal indian boy is brought up hearing all this. So, at the back of his mind, he somehow feels that her core job after getting married will be to overpower his wife. His success of being a married man will be how he tamed his wife. If his mom pampers him , relatives will taunt, “abhi kar lo jab tak shadi nahi hoti, phir to biwi ki hi sunega”. So, even for the first time when he meets her would be bride, he might be smiling and being nice but at the back of his mind he is thinking “ look ! here is the wild cat whom I will tame”. She is the one who will try to separate me from my family. So again, the base is prepared for his relationship with his wife.
So now, when Paraya Dhan gets married to Joru ka Gulam, perceptions play their roles. The Paraya Dhan will already have negativity for her new relations. She might not be able to see beyond that. She might feel offended for every normal thing said and done to her by her new relations. If Mother-in-law or Sis-in-law asks to do something in a different manner , she takes it as if they are forcing it on her because they want to change her. And now as Women empowerment is on full swing, the newly wedded girl would want to do everything at her own ease and style. She will not change for anyone because she is today’s generation girl and not an “abla naari”.
On the other hand, Mr “Joru ka Gulam” is all set to overpower his newly wedded from very first day. He is ready to cut the crap right from the beginning. If the newly wedded wife, wants to tell him something she didn’t liked about someone in the family, he is ready with the defense that she is misunderstanding them. He will hear what she says but all will fall on a deaf ear.
Though , may be both new family and the new bride wants a cordial relation but perceptions are so strong that it leads to confusions and create gaps which really take long to mend. Though over the period of time, they both realize that no one amongst them was wrong but they just misunderstood each other.
So, it is the time to shun these titles completely. It is the time that we stop addressing our daughters as “paraya dhan” and stop doing their upbringing from the perspective that they have to fit in to someone else’s family. It is the time that we stop making fun of our boys calling them prospective “Joru ka Gulam” and stop joking about their future life partners.
It is the time that we actually make our daughters strong enough to take decisions and speak their mind rather being entangled in her own thoughts and follow perception about new people she meets. It is the time that we make our sons sensitive enough to understand and welcome the new perspective their life partners bring on rather being stuck in the age old myth that man who listens to her women is not masculine in real sense.
Today , we often hear people saying that "Relations are losing their values" but rather cribbing about our relations , shouldn't we focus on small changes in how we create perceptions in our kid's mind for their future relations. Rather passing judgements, shouldn't we create a base for sensitive and cordial relations. We , as parents for next generation have the magic power to change the future !