Finally the marriage ceremony is over and the bride wishes to live happily ever after. Nothing wrong in that thought. Every girl grows up hearing fairy tales, prince charming and happily ever after. The stories do portray wicked step mother and step sisters but wait, all the problems shown in these tales are before marriage. Then enters the prince charming, woos the lady and marries her. All problems are gone. What they don’t show are the problems after marriage. So, we girls believe that life after marriage will be a smooth sail. And if any problem comes we will have our own version of prince charming beside us. Let’s get clear, I don’t have anything against prince charming. Infact he is really loving and caring towards his bride. But there are some minor things that you will have to tackle alone at the initial phase of your marriage.
Scene one: Next day after marriage at husbands place, the bride’s new home. A neighbor aunty enters and asks about the belongings that the bride has brought from her paternal home. After getting the description she asks, “only this much?” My son got this amount of gold ornaments, that amount of cash and these furnitures and those electronic appliances and the list goes on. And there are several numbers of these kind of aunties. What a disgusting thought and talk! The bride is educated, intelligent and have a bright career ahead. She can buy all those things mentioned by the aunty. But the aunties don’t care. We are 21st century girls who believe in gender equalities. We believe the society has also progressed and abandoned these narrow thoughts. But guess we are wrong.
Fact one: You could be a space scientist from NASA but if you are an Indian Bride somewhere in your life you must have met with an “aunty.” Shocking reality right?
Scene two: This time the bride’s mother in law is attacked by some extended family member. “How can you chose such an ugly girl for your such a handsome son. You could have got much more beautiful girl than this. My uncle’s brother in law’s son’s daughter would have been a better match.” “Yes she is right,” adds another two relatives. And suddenly the whole clan is discussing how bad the girl looks. “Oh my god she is dark.” “Her nose is tiny and crooked.” Have you noticed how tiny eyes she have? “Just like an elephant’s eyes.” And the praises go on. Most of the times the mother in law will support them and make a sad face as if the bride is not good enough for her son. She may even say that to the bride indirectly or directly. Actually no girl is good enough for their precious little son.
Fact two: You can look reasonably good but if you are an Indian bride, everybody from the bridegroom’s family (including their house maid) has the right to point out your beauty flaws. And if you are a plain jane and do not care being stylish then only God can save you. In some extreme cases the amount of flaws will be so high that it could hurt your self esteem.
Scene three: A distant related grandma of the husband comes for a visit. She says to the mother in law, “Now that the wife has come your son will not be the same. Now she will take away your son from you, from us. Your son will be estranged.” The aunties and uncles supports the grandma. The mother in law starts to panick to an extent that you too start feeling guilty for no good reason.
Fact three: You could be Mother Teresa by heart but if you have married an Indian boy then apparently you are the cunning black magic expert that will separate their precious boy from the family.
Scene Four: You are getting ready to attend an invitation and you opt for Salwar Suit. Your mother in law approved that dress but wait your mother in law’s elder sister has not. “This salwar suit is so out of taste. What will Mr and Mrs XYZ will think about our family. Tell your daughter in law to wear a decent silk saree instead.”
Fact four: You can be the head of a software company and instruct 100 employees but if you are an Indian bride you have to abide by the dress code that the relatives find decent.
Scene Five: You and your husband are discussing about the probable destinations for a short honeymoon trip. Enters the mother in law and says, “Son, me and your dad have decided to go for a pilgrimage and you two should come along.” The honeymoon trip dies premature death.
Fact five: You cannot plan a honeymoon trip just with your husband in India. You have to include other family members to the honeymoon trip, or should I say no honeymoon trip.
Now coming to the survival strategies part, only thing that can help the bride to get through these problems is; they should possess thick skin.(pun intended). They should not really bother about these problems at all. Girls should be taught at home, the tricks to possess thick skin and also how to shut off eyes and ears. That’s all. If the bride can master these arts then that will not stop others, but she will atleast earn the title of ‘good bahu.’ They can opt for other options also at their own risk. But don’t tell me afterwards that I didn’t warn.
All the above incidents are described in general and are applicable for newly wedded brides. You may not be familiar with all of the characters above. But most newly wedded Indian wife will find some characters and incidents similar. If you find nothing common at all then I must say you are really lucky or you are from any of the fairy lands from Disney.