Change?

The father says she can study but she shouldn’t work. Working women are not the family’s tradition and tradition are sacrosanct.
I say who are you to decide whether she should work or not? If you are getting her an education only to get her a good match, I suggest you don’t. Let the engineering seat go to someone who will really use it. But then you decided what she will study, where she will study, who her friends will be and what she will wear, so yes, it makes sense to you to decide if she can work or not.


The NRI says things look good but his parents insist that the horoscopes must match for a marriage to take place.As per the family’s tradition nothing proceeds unless the  horoscopes match perfectly.
I say if that’s as forward thinking and global you are, you aren’t forward thinking and global enough for me!

The mother says its for  her 20 year old son to date a “wild” 16 year old Christian, just so long as he doesn’t ever intend marrying her. Marriage, whenever it takes place, would have to be with one who qualifies- a “homey” Brahmin from a “good” family. He can have his fun in the mean while. What had he to lose? He’s the boy after all. The girl’s parents should worry.
I say I have no words. If you think its alright for your son to have a “good time” with someone else’s daughter because he wouldn’t ever have to bear the consequences, I think you need a paradigm shift. That’s how things work in your world but that’s not how they should work. Your son is as responsible for any action as that girl. If anything, more so- he’s older. And I can’t believe you are actually bringing up your child that way- to be so disrespectful toward women. Its so disgusting I don’t know what to say.

The mother-in-law say she doesnt expect her daughter-in-law to give up her job just because she’s married her son.  She has accepted the trend of the naya zamana.  She doesn’t care if she works full time, just so long as she makes two types of breakfast to meet the fussy family’s needs before going to office and comes home in the evening to prepare another two types of dinner, cleans up afterwards, indulges in chit-chat to keep her entertained in the evening and then spends time to help her child finish up his home work. It isnt just the immediate family. The odd relative that drops by on almost every weekend must be shown the best hospitality as well. Paid work is all fine, but she can’t ignore houseworkand commitments to the family, can she?
I say its unfair to treat your own  daughter like a queen when you treat someone else’s daughter like a maid. A human being is a human being, whether born to you or not. How can you differentiate between two  and be so guileless about it?

The employer says we don’t have too many women in the team because of  the work we do- its too demanding, women don’t stick around long enough, don’t cope too well.
I say we don’t give the facilities required, we don’t make adjustments to accommodate family needs, we don’t pay enough, we don’t care.

They say the times have changed. I say we are fooling ourselves. Tell me just what has changed.


Note: the matter for the post has been collected from real life conversations or incidents that I  have encountered that have left me shocked and upset. Yes, I am as disappointed with the world as you are. Do we really need to keep discovering it as we grow up? Childhood oblivion was bliss. Literally.

39 thoughts on “Change?

  1. I have a friend who comes from a traditional agrawal family… interestingly his mother insisted that my friends sister be married in a liberal household.. where she can work (she was a computer engineer) where she can wear any clothes etc… however when it came to looking for a daughter in law.. they got an educated girl… but she must do the sar pe odhna of the saree… she must not sit in the drawing room when the sasurji sits.. !! and she must never wear anything but a sareee… !!!!!!
    double standards are so easy to spot.. just look around…

    I am like flabber gasted… how can a lady do such a thing to another lady… even more frustrated with my friend who wont take a stand in his house… !!!
    taking a stand doesnt come easy,hitchwriter..not to most ppl at least..

    • woman herself is womankind’s biggest enemy, i think… and that is sad and sick..
      yes, thats one way to look at some of these situations we keep encountering…

      • Imagine when we were to go for a 31st night party they would come to our house and then seh would change and go for the party.. !! coz he inlaws wouldnt allow her to go out in those dresses you know… !!!!

        and this happens in educated families !!!!
        i think u shd tell the in laws to take a hike or something…

      • hitchy I know a family where the inlaws this and yet would proudly say see she respects us so much she wont do these things in front of us

        blah

  2. You are right, there are stereotypes still raging strong but there ARE changes around us. My mother in law hates to see me cooking and wants me to hire help for cooking. She feels I need to spend more time to myself and with the kids instead of sweating out in the kitchen. I insist that I want to do more of cooking.
    Just an example.
    im sure there are other eg.s like ur mum in law…but have u seen how few and far between they are?

    These are few and will not let us think that things have changed. But gradually things are changing. However, the real life instance that you have quoted are indicative of worrisome trends that reek of double standards of people.
    its double standards as well as the resistence to any change… we are wat we are and we refuse to change…god only knows why..!!

  3. Another example… I had some relatives of my wife coming to my house as they happened to be visiting the near by mandir in Ujjain…

    they being NRI’s are a lot more religious then us… after they visited their share and came to drop by for an evening and were going to stay over night at our house… now now… they were going to stay at a daughters house so they coaxed us into eating out.. and then they didnt notice that it was self service and pay and order restaurant.. so when they realised that no bill came and that I had already paid… they were like shocked and a scene ensued to pay me…
    oh yeah, my great grand mother was stuck up on that…if i remember correctly..i was really small but i think i remember her having issues with this sort of thing..u shud have asked u know.. just to see their reaction!!

    later my wife told me they went to eat out coz they wouldnt eat at a daughters house… and I really had a big urge to tell them to pay me money for sleeping in our house…
    but they were relatives na not parents!! i thot that “rule” applied only to parents!!obviously i was wrong..!!

    thats how we have changed… !!!
    sigh.

  4. There is a TV serial ‘balika vadhu’ which i download on youtube and watch regularly..it is disgusting to see some things they show and even to think that such “rudivadi parampara” exists still in parts of our country…
    i have heard of that one.. never seen it but i have lots of colleagues who watch it regularly..
    But I have seen the change at my home, at my in laws and also at so many homes in my surroundings..I am not turning blind to what you have picked up but being optimist here. Its a slow process! it may take generations perhaps but i do see some change.
    yup, i like the optimistic approach.. i have been saved from a whole lot of this crap that happens.. but when u see or hear things like this in quick succession,it upsets u and makes u wonder how much has really changed..

  5. Sadly even I have seen people living in Dark Ages! There is this schoolmate of mine who was friendly with a guy of a different religion. As usual parents threatened her and made her break off with him. They matched her horoscope and got her married to a nice guy. They were happy but after 3 years her husband died in a bike accident leaving behind a 1 and half yr old kid! I dont know how they missed this in the horoscope! They is another friend of mine who changed her name because her kundali wasnt matching with her boyfriends. It was the 1st time I heard that kundali is read based on the name. Thankfully they are happily married 🙂
    honestly im myslef just waking up to the horrors of the horoscope.. i really dint know ppl are so stuck up on it… i am not saying it totally pointless.. if u have faith in it, i respect that.. but how can u let it rule ur whole life? u have a mind too, dont u?

    My friends sis has to do all that you described in the 4th para. Her husband refused to speak up so finally she took a transfer to Poona. She used to return on Friday and leave on Monday morning after cooking for the entire family! Apparently husbands family didnt want to let go of her salary since she had brought less dowry!
    its disgusting how much we expect women to work n how little we appreciate their contribution..

    Dont know when things will change but I hope they do!
    like a lot of ppl said.. its changing..slowly.. but sometimes it feels like it isnt

  6. Oh everything that you have listed here happens.. And it happens all around. Little has changed.. If anything, women do even more that they used to – because now they have to balance work and all those thousand and one expectations that the society has of her.. Yes, she is being educated – but when it suits her parents.. yes, she is ‘allowed’ to work – as far as nobody else is inconvenienced.. And even today, in-laws are unhappy if a girl is born – esp if the second child is a girl ‘too’. Sad na? I know things are changing but for some people its changing way too slowly.
    judging from most of wat i see, its not changing at all..n if it is, its too darn slow..

    Horoscopes, wild belief in Godmen/godwomen.. still happens and in the most ‘forward’ of families too.. Wonder why there is so much unhappiness around when most of us go so strictly by horoscopes and try to keep the gods happy with the most elaborate offerings?
    im not against horoscopes.. u have to put ur faith in something ,right? so if u want to get ur “horrorscopes” read, go ahead.. u want to visit godmen, its ur choice…but it cant become something that dictates every aspect of ur life…god gave u a brain too.. it makes sense to use it sometimes!!.

    Great thought provoking post!

  7. This is such a touching post… and really makes one wonder about the extent of deeply ingrained hypocrisy in our social fabric… I mean everyone has come across smthng like this.. my own sister has been a victim of the so called “tradition” and no else but my parents being responsible for it…
    thank you. yes if we looked around we will all find ample eg.s of what i have tried to put down in words.. we see it around ourselves all the time.. and very often its family,friends,neighbours,workplace,places and people who we are close to and are comfortable in, where we get to see such egs. i’m sure there are lost of victims of “tradition” just like ur sister.. i know of a few myself..

    the sad it is that they aren’t doing anything wrong from their perspective… they always think they are doing the best for their kid.. and this dichotomy destroys the peace for many….
    yaa, thats the thing.. if u ever talked to any one of these people, they’d look at u as if u had lost ur head… no matter how often u tell them n in what words, they believe they are right and nothign seems to shake their faith in themselves…n thats what makes it worse…

  8. I say a very well written post! And damn the mother who is teaching her son that he can play with a girl’s life and emotions as he likes.
    thank you… i just wish she’d realise how wrong that is and change it…

    Its so bad that our society wants women to live a life of pressure and compulsion and live other’s dreams.

    Sadly, people have closed their eyes to such things and I wonder if things will change in the near future..
    i’d like to believe it is changing… even tho its at a painfully slow speed.. may be thats why sometime i cant make out if its changing at all!!

  9. @ father: did he bring his daughter into ths world to maintain the sacrosanct of his family traditions or to raise an individual who is capable of intellingent choices that make her a strong being? why not get a cow instead? education cost saved, plus free milk everday…..
    i love that idea!!!! if i ever have the guts, im gonna suggest a cow to this guy!!!!!
    don’t mind me mandy…lack of logic provokes me to dish out some more lack of logic staements…coz that’s what they deserve….
    dont worry…dish away!!!

    @ NRI n Family: good to have u living outta the country. stay there!
    ooooooooh yeaaaah!!!

    @ mother: when one fine day she will get an unexpected dose of disrespect (which is bound to happen in such cases) she will have herself to answer to.
    it is bound to happen.. and im waiting n watching..

    @ mother in law: *speechless and filled with indignance*
    just like me…

    @ employer: he shud take a look at research once in while, esp those that state the stress handling and crisis management capabilities are higher in women…
    multi tasking too…

    @ the world: its not going anyplace pleasant in particular
    it so isnt..but sadly there isnt any place besides the earth where we can stay..i’d be one of the first to move if there were..

    mandy, i am really upset in these situations we get to see n hear….its upto each one to be able to do what they can to fight all this confindence hampering and restrictive measures by so called “loved ones”
    we try..donno how much we succeed, but we try..

    jesus!

  10. Mandu, These are some of the things happening for ages and sadly! you will find many who don’t find anything wrong in it. I have read blogs where people justify dowry (not Hitchy’s…:D he was being funny) but seriously! there are people who think dowry is okay. Girls should listen and love inlaws more than parents and all such things.
    are u serious?!!? such ppl exist and they dnt shay away from putting their thots in writing on the public domain!!!!!my gawd.. thats something!!!

    Even now, women don’t get equal pay as men for same job. Even now for same job and qualification, men are chosen above women for the same reasons you listed in 4.
    yes, yes, totally.. there is no doubt there.. equal opportunities are a myth…

    Mandu, such things just make you mad and when you argue you will have to listen to a sermon from “elders”.
    been there,done that..

    Someone once argued that it is difficult to change someone at old age so let them get away with everything. I don’t take that argument. People change all the time and even in old age they know what they are doing. Hurting or putting down anyone at any age isn’t right.
    yaa, but they tend to be more set in their ways once they age… they know wat they are doing, but they are so sure they are right that they wudnt want to change !

  11. BTW any idea where Crafty is? She isn’t here to fight for 1st position. Is she on vacation?
    donno.. i think its delegation of work.. HW gets to do the running around and making the first comments!;P

    • @ solilo:
      gee !!!! am here alright….me makes a sad partner! coming at the end of all the scene…like the police in movies (or real life)

      me is swapmed in work n no internet 😐

      @ mandy: !!!!! delegation???!!!!
      hey!!! at least i cheer for hitchy n then I ALWAYS join him for the vicory dance don’t I????

      • on second thoughts, me n hitchy work in shifts!
        so we shud call it division of labour then?;)

        he’s coming first all day long, and in the evenings, me takes over!

        proof lies in comment section of shilpadesh n kisaly chandra!

        tee hee hee!!!!

        *crafty pats her own back…the save was late, but it might just work*

  12. Thought provoking post Mandira.
    all that I wanted to say has already been said by so many.SMitha, Crafty , Solilo..

    Change is coming really slowly..
    too slow for my liking!!
    you knwo the funny thing?
    I am noticing that change is coming in the villages and in the lower income groups of society….while the ones who are supposed to be ‘educated’ are getting more and more regressive..
    i am not very sure if that it true.. i think we are all slow when it comes to change.. but if the rural community is changing faster, im happy..at least someone is!!
    I have no clue why..

    • What I meant was that while such an attitude is expected from someone who is not that educated but what does one say when supposedly educated people consult janampatris and kundalis and what not?
      When educated ones ‘demand’ dowry?
      and talk of rahu kaal and mangalik?

      all the examples that you have given ..I can SO imagine them taking place in VERY educated ‘liberal’ families too 😦

  13. Oh yes Mandy. I know exactly what you are talking about…
    My friend – I have spoken about her plenty enough, who is in an abusive relationship was sent back to her husband so that her parents could visit the USA during her Delivery time.
    And now, the word is that he won’t hit her anymore since she gave birth to a baby boy.
    oh how gracious of him!!!how does she put up with him man?? must be soooo tough!!!

    And the mother talking about the son – very common. I have heard many say this.
    you have? i was very very shocked!!n obviously angry..

  14. Very realistic post Mandy. Things are surely changing but very very slowly, its almost not changing. I know a girl, a well educated friend, who supports dowry!!! Can you believe it? She says its ok to give hefty dowry and then girl (and her family) will have the first say in whatever happens at husband’s house. Because they gave lots of money. So it’s their right to stray into the girl’s household and see how things are working. What a crappy idea, I say. Whoever says she is educated.

  15. what a brilliant post

    kudos mandy

    loved loved it all has been said before I came but nonetheless wanted to appreciate

  16. all of it is true and yet times are changing mandy. what you have to relaise is that ours is almost the first generation of career women! yes, our moms worked, but it was mostly govt jobs and the jazz (where you do get paid equally inciedentally!;)

    and as we face these biases we are bound to make efforts to educate the younger kids and its not just our kids!

    today, even if i MIGHT be expected to do household work, i can tell them to shove it! it helps that i have a husband who doesn;t think its a favour he does by helping at home. and thats what Cubby is gonna grow up seeing! and i hope more kids take right lessons!

    while there are too many who are still set in these ancient moulds, there are many more (than before) who are breaking out of them and being successful enough to inspire and to be emulated! 🙂

    or maybe i cant help being positive! 😉

    cheers!

  17. Mother, do you think she’s good enough,
    For me?
    Mother, do you think she,s dangerous,
    To me?
    Mother will she tear your little boy apart?
    Ooooowaa mother, will she break my heart?

  18. Its true.Not much has changed.And seeing things around me(thankfully my parents are different), I’m really sceptical whether things will ever change.
    And it makes me so mad.

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