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Niharika was a well-educated, financially independent working woman and her parents had raised her in a liberal and supportive environment at home. She was always passionate about her work which gave her an opportunity to grow and to pursue a successful career yet she loved to be with the family and also enjoyed the chores like cleaning, cooking and shopping for her house. She was married to Anand since last three years. Theirs was a love marriage after which she has been living in a joint family with her in-laws.
Anand, like Niharika was also passionate about his work and also supported his wife fully to pursue her career. He wanted to give her full emotional stabilty so that she doesn’t get burdened with the twin responsibility of working sincerely and also managing the household. This not only raised his respect in Niharika’s eyes but also made her confident about her multitasking skills.
Niharika believed that when a girl comes to her Sasural after marriage, she brings part of her own personality, style and traditions to her new home. If she could mix the best of both her worlds and maintain a balance, it can be the best place anyone can live in.
Following this, she started managing everything by herself and also took minor liberties when it came to family customs and traditions. So instead of making poha and upama every day for breakfast, she started making idli or oats. The weekly fried papads were replaced with healthy snacks. She also changed the position and arrangement of certain furniture.
Anand’s mother Sushila, initially ignored the smaller changes in the house as a one-time event. But when she realized that the changes were happening regularly and moreover her son was happily accepting them, she started resenting them. She thought that her son had become a “joru ka ghulam” and all of his decisions are now getting influenced by Niharika. So, when he disapproved of Sushila’s habit of eating fried papads every day, she thought its Niharika’s thoughts coming out of Anand’s mouth. Whenever he agreed with Niharika’s point of view on a simple family decision, Sushila felt cheated and thought that Niharika wanted to seize her authority. She thought her son never disagreed with her before marriage. It was only because Niharika was such a bad influence on Anand that he was behaving this way.
This adversely started affecting the relation of Niharika and Sushila. Niharika couldn’t understand why suddenly her mother in law was behaving rudely with her and was taunting her at every chance she got. “aaj kal ki ladkiya to apne pati ko apne pallu se bandh ke rakhati hai”. "These modern working girls have no sense of respect for elders, they just want to control their husbands and the family". Such accusations and comments became common.
Niharika tried to explain to Sushila that whatever Anand was doing was his own choice. She ensured that she involved her mother in law in all the family discussions. Also, she sided with Sushila whenever an argument seemed evident. Still her efforts were in vain because Sushila’s thoughts were shrouded with envy, insecurity and anger. Every effort looked useless and there was no solution in view. So much so that one day Sushila blamed Niharika of stealing her son in front of all her family members.
Finally, unable to take it anymore, Niharika decided to discuss this with Anand. Anyways, Anand was already well aware of the situation at home and could understand what both his mother and wife were going through. It was not like he had never disagreed or argued with his mother before marriage. But the presence of a new person in her son’s life was making her jittery and he understood that.
One day he took both the ladies of the house on a dinner. Three hours, six ice creams and thousands of words later, Anand was able to explain and convince his mother that Niharika is only an addition to their family and quality of life. She was not there to grab - but to provide. This meeting turned out to be turning point in her relationship with Niharika which started improving after that.
PS: This is a fictional account of what most of the newly married girls still face initially in their Sasural. Inspite of being well educated themselves and loved and respected by the daughter in laws, some women cant let go of the control over their sons lives. They want their son to come running to their mummas even for their small requirements. If the son disagrees or refuses any of the mother’s thoughts, he is immediately labelled as joru ka Ghulam. In their state of insecurity and resentment, they forget that their daughter in law requires support and comfort level to adjust to the new home. And if their son is providing it, its his responsibility and its nothing to be afraid of. At such time, it can be good for all if the mother in law remembers the below points: