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Today I was talking to my mother-in-law on the phone when the sad topic of the demise of one of my girlfriend's father came up. Since she was an only child and living in a different city with her husband, I casually remarked that maybe her mother, who is now alone and physically not keeping well, will move in with her.To this, my MIL replied that shifting was not an option as in our society, a girl's parents cannot move in with her after marriage. She continued by ading that a week long stay is ok but anything beyond that is not acceptable.
I have always considered my MIL a very open minded and considerate person but her thoughts on matters like this makes me curious to know whether every son's mother feels entitled like this. You can understand my shock and disdain as my parents have two daughters and my MIL has two sons. So mothering two sons gives her the right to be taken well care of when the need arises and just because my mother received the other set of chromosomes if rom my dad, she is to be looked down upon by the society and pass her days alone and away from her children even when she needs them most.
My parents have given me a wonderful up bringing and the best education possible. They have made innumerable sacrifices so that my sister and I could have the best of everything. When my son was born, it was my mother who took care of us the initial six months. Later on when my son fell ill, my mother, with her very recent double knee replacement, came to our rescue. I know the severe pain she suffered because of us as you must know that knee surgeries require long convalescence period. Both my sister and I was not even present when my mother got operated because of professional commitments.
I am not trying to say that she did something great. Many say it is their duty. My question is what happens when it comes to our duty. I regularly pray that my parents lead a healthy and hearty life till the very end. They are fiercely independent people who themselves will never want to move in with me, maybe even when it is extremely unavoidable. But should there not be an option available if such need arises. When a woman gives birth to a boy, why does she forget that sh1e is a daughter first and everything else next. We are in times when equality between men and women is the leading topic of modernisation. Shouldn't looking after each set o parents also be on the propaganda.
Such mindset as my MIL apparently keeps is the core cause of the frenzy of giving birth to a boy. The sense of entitlement that it is a daughter-in-law's responsibility to look after her in-laws and not the son-in-law's forms one of the most important reasons for female infanticide and other atrocities towards women. It is true that majority of the serials telecast in our country routinely propagates the same, pretentiously validating such neanderthal beliefs. Also, the law has also passed judgements adding fuel to the fire.
My simple message to the parents of sons is that when we do not move back from taking care of you, you have no right to stop us from doing our duty towards our parents. Though a very minor portion of our society has made progress in bringing about changes in the age old mindset of people, major portion still suffers from what I call "son-o-mania". Dear MIL, instead of feeling very proud of bearing sons, realise that you did not make any contribution to it. You did not have the power to choose. It happened. And I married your son to build our life together, not solely to take care of you. Maids can do that. Respect my needs and choices and I will love you.
I have always wanted a daughter but was blessed with a son instead. The first question I asked was Why. Maybe this is why. Maybe I shall be able to bring about the changes through my son that I dream of. I desperately hope so.