The Great Indian Joint Family

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a smart, attractive professional lady.  Her marriage was arranged to one smart attractive professional gentleman.  Together they built their marriage under the huge umbrella of the Great Indian Joint Family.

The first few years were heaven.  They both worked together, went on vacation all over the world, their home had all the amenities that are deemed necessary in the modern day life style.  Then slowly everything began to change.  The lady had more qualifications than the gentleman.  Her annual income was slightly more than that of her husband.  The modern professional gentleman could not take it any more.  So the torture started.  Small things, publically belittling his wife in company, flirting with other women in full view of his wife, making day to day life difficult for her, tantrums if she was late from work …… all that which finally led to her giving up her job.

She got depressed, stopped reading, stopped looking after herself.  She wandered around in that huge house a shadow of her former self.  Other members of the family noticed the change but wondered if they should interfere or not.

This state of affairs would have continued for ever …… the lady sacrificing herself for the sanctity of her marriage, the man a victim of his own ego.  But another lady stepped in.  The Saas.

Her mother in law was not highly qualified, had barely studied upto Class VIII.  She enquired into the reasons for this change in her Bahu.  She even got lawyers home.  She bullied her son to take an appointment with a marriage counsellor.  Threatened to get a divorce for her daughter in law.  It was an uphill task that lasted three stormy years.

It all ended today.

The Bahu has joined World Bank at a very senior position.

Her husband has not made any objections.

The mother in law is quietly triumphant.

She said in her unassuming practical way “Anyaya vekhan vaala anyaya karan vale to vadda paap karda hai”

(The witness of oppression is a greater sinner than the oppressor)

Thank you Madam – you have added to my unshakeable belief in the power of a mother


19 thoughts on “The Great Indian Joint Family

  1. I have seen this happen to one woman and no one came to rescue her. She lived like that, and everybody talks about her story, her kids remember her lovingly, but what kind of life was hers? I was too young then, she was an aunt. So I can truly appreciate this wonderful woman who did not ignore this poor girl. Hats off to her!!! Who is she?

    An aunt of mine. My cousin was behaving like a jerk – and she fought with him for her own daughter in law

  2. Sub-continent, as I see, is going through a diverse change, where the women are being emancipated by the men. But the problem lies in the fact that the man who emancipates woman is her father while the one who is her husband is NOT yet ready to accept her that much emancipated…

    It rings true Afaque. My husband never understood why I needed to work, why I needed to a vehicle to drive, or have my own friends.

    Your story shows an ideal or close to ideal situation where the MIL encourages her DIL. But I don’t think so its a very common phenomenon. Whatever the reason might be but MILs most of the times support their son, usually to get his attention.

    It is not a story – this actually has happened in my family

  3. This is truly an admirable state of affairs! Kudos to the lady who stood up for her Bahu! We need this tribe to increase!…am glad that it is finally happening!….and one big round of applause to You, Ritu for highlighting it!:-)…Good for you!

    All the applause for her, yaar. I only blogged about it

  4. Wow Ritu, Please convey our compliments to her.
    It requires some guts to go against one’s own child-especially when one knows he/she is in the wrong.
    Love is one thing, blindness to the child’s faults is another. This lady deserves loads of hugs from all of us. Please do convey our wishes.

    She is a simple soul. When I showed my appreciation, she was embarassed. In her mind, all she did was be a mother. This is my way of showing appreciation

  5. Standing ovation for the mom! Brilliant work! Rarely do we see a mom siding with the daughter-in-law. Please give my bestest to her! She is one helluva lady!

    Oh that she is

  6. I always believed in the power of women .when you rise above the relationships and look at things as a human being then mostly you get tremendous strength to do remarkable things ,which otherwise are not expected of you .Like taking the side of DIL rather than her own flesh n blood ..I salute the woman in her .Am sure with time your cousin will know that everyone has a identity of ones own before anything else .

    I am sure he realises it, which is why he changed

  7. wow!!! we need many many many women like her…. kudos to her… when u meet her next tell her she has quite some admirers now… it takes immense amount of courage to do what she did usually mil’s just blame the dil….

    It is very easy to blame the DIL. She inspires me with her rustic sense of fairplay and justice

  8. woah this is a one-of-its-kind things i’m hearing! hey ritu do me a favour ask her if she plans to conduct “The Motherly Saas Tutorials” anytime soon.. I can surely get somebody enrolled there!

    .. ok im being a bitch now.. my mil seems like a sweetheart in comparison to the horror stories i’ve heard so far.. but this lady deserves a salute!

    Yeah she does. I wrote about it just to remind me and others that another kind of MIL also exists in this world, rare though this breed is

  9. Sappy, I know, but it reminds me of a scene from Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Amitabh Bachchan’s character (a philandering patriarch on deathbed) tells his daughter-in-law to leave her husband because she didn’t love him. He said she was depriving his son from the probable true love of someone else.

    • A person who is completely in tune with him or herself would, you know. No expectations, a full life and lots of experience would prompt a parent to act that way. Unfortunately, parents in India are all about “My son, my daughter and my expectations from him/her. We don’t live a full life and deprive the younger generation of it too

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