The Bespectacled Mother


Since time immemorial, in the patriarchal Indian culture, daughter-in-laws have been entrusted with the job of carrying the baton of their acquired (by the virtue of marriage) families’ traditions and customs. There is no other way around it. The ‘moving on’ from their parents’ customs to their in-laws’ customs is certain, whether it is immediate or a kind of an induction process in supposedly liberal families. Nobody asks them if the change is making any sense to them or if they are understanding what they are meant to do. The whole point is to do. What if they question? What if they seek rationale? Now, a culture which does not encourage the daughters to question, how can it allow the daughter-in-laws to do the same? It is blasphemy.

Somewhere, a daughter-in-law evolves over the years. She finds her calling. She finds a faith which is open to giving answers irrespective of her bodily being, a faith which places her out of congruence with those indisputable customs and rituals. She has once been chastised and today, her unshakable faith in herself emboldens her to test the familiar waters once again. This time she is not going to sink.


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18 thoughts on “Blasphemy!

  1. Every daughter-in-law will agree to what you have said here. Somehow the other way round is never expected and no one bothers to do it unless told. There may be exceptions but I don’t think so. But, yes, the daughter-in-law has awaken and she will not sink anymore under the burden of expectations which don’t make sense


  2. True, the daughter in law is evolving. While managing to respect her in-laws traditions and beliefs, she adds her own to the family today, making it richer and better. I have seen this with the daughters in law in our family as well as my daughters who have gone to other homes.


  3. I’ve never had the honour (or not) of being a daughter-in-law, Anamika. But I’ve watched things happening on the sidelines with other women. The expectations can be killing.
    And I’m glad I know one daughter-in-law who is not going to take things lying down. Rock on!


  4. Rajlakshmi on said:

    These days there is an understanding in most families, a DIL juggles many roles. But what I have never understood is the insistence of only making the women responsible for carrying forward all these traditions. Let the men take some responsibility. Loved the quote.


  5. I’m probably the wrong person to comment on this, but more power to the ‘evolution of daughter-in-laws’; may she always remain unsinkable and society (and her inlaws /partners) give her the support she requires too.


  6. It’s the status quo that we are unwilling to question and cannot pretend that everything is fine. We need to question this patriarchal mentality! Hope we will be able to change that. I do have idea to write a post on how DIL are taken for granted.


  7. You’re right Anamika. Age old traditions should be questioned if they don’t make sense. Just because something has been a specific way, if it currently is harming a sentiment, it doesn’t have to remain the same. May every daughter in law find the calling and faith which helps her open up.


  8. I believe that you have found your calling and may this lead you to happiness and joy 🙂 It cannot be easy to break free from the expectations, so kudos to you for doing just that 🙂


  9. Beat About The Book on said:

    It is amazing isn’t it how women are evolving despite all the traditions and customs binding her down? That she is able to find her identity even while keeping her values intact is great.


  10. I know what you mean. Do what works best for you cos that is where you will find peace.
    One good thing with me has been my in-laws are even more liberal than my parents. So there is one tradition from my home that I have brought to VT’s. And yes, did I mention we are from different communities? It means a lot to me and I am glad his family has accepted it.


  11. A very positive and affirmative post of how change is sweeping in into our patriarchal mindsets. So much of what we take for granted needs to be questioned and I’m happy to say, I can see that change in varying proportions all around me. More power to those who bring in the winds of change…we’ve waited very long already!


  12. Those words need to be written in a place where we can see them every day: we really are unsinkable. It’s knowing that and believing that.


  13. Three cheers for empowerment!


  14. I found this very interesting. Luckily, I don’t think anything was expected of me by my in-laws. In fact, my mother-in-law was a great cook and loved to cook. She also dealt with whatever my father-in-law didn’t want to. Every once in a while my husband will ask me to do something like call the credit card company and argue one of the charges on his bill and I’ll say: “My name’s not Betty.”


  15. yes, she shouldn’t shrink and miss out on anything. Sometimes you have to hold ground and set your foot to say no. But I guess the generation of in laws are also evolving, I am lucky to have very liberal in-laws.


  16. I like how simply and beautifully you put forth your thoughts, and resolve. I really loved reading my thoughts you put into words.
    I am sure you speak for many silent, and forced into silence, daughter-in-laws here.


  17. Change is sweeping across our patriarchic society. But we still have a long way to go. A lot of things still remain unquestioned or are taken for granted. Your words speak for many others who seldom get an opportunity to express


  18. “calling” yes it is the word. I believe things around you change only if you are willing to change them. Just listen to what your gut says and have the strength to do the required.
    You are absolutely right…


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