It was an arranged marriage for Sandhya. Like any newlywed bride, she was a little nervous on her first day at a new place. Though her husband seemed to be a nice guy, she was particularly worried about her mother-in-law.
Sandhya was a night owl before marriage and hated getting up early. However, now she had managed to get up at 7. Hurriedly she got out of her bed to prepare bed tea for her in- laws. To her surprise her mother-in-law was already in the kitchen preparing breakfast. “Never mind”, she said to herself, “ I will get up at 6 tomorrow”. She got up at 6 the next day, but again her mother in law was already awake. She asked her, “Mummy what time do you get up?” “We get up at 5″, her mother-in-law replied, “not like youngsters like you these days getting up so late”.
Sandhya felt offended to hear such a response from her new mom. Her father in law was a retired person, while her husband used to leave home for office at 10 and used to come back late. She had managed to get up early only to face the wrath of her mother-in-law.
She decided to prepare lunch for her husband, but her mother-in-law intervened saying “My son likes only the food that I prepare ”.
“At least I can try”, she said. Her mother-in-law agreed and she enthusiastically cooked “baigan Ka bharta”. At lunch, her father in law praised her preparation but her mother in law snapped at him saying, “Salt is less, I would have made it better”.
Sandhya was shattered and wept the whole day. She told her husband about the ordeal, who said that his mother is like that only and it’s Sandhya who needs to adjust.
Years passed and the behaviour of Sandhya’s mother in law did not change, even after she became a mother of a girl and a boy. She felt traumatized all the time and used to cry a lot. Her kids would ask about her tears, but she always used to move away from them. She felt that she has nothing left in her life. She also tried committing suicide, but stopped everytime thinking about her children. She suffered from frequent migraines, hypothyroidism, spondylitis and continuous back ache. Her daughter, Jiya, who was now 12, saw her mom’s agony.
“Dadi is like that mom, why do you bother? Why do you let her bitterness come to you? Ever since I have seen you, you have always been crying. I want you to be happy mom, please for our sake, stop thinking so much. Just live happily for yourself, live happily for us”.
Sandhya couldn’t believe that her little girl had grown so big. Jiya was true. All these years, she had filled her life with negativity and bitterness. She had forgotten how to be happy because of nagging mother-in-law and non-supportive husband.
“I have had enough now”, she told her daughter. “Now, I’m going to live for myself and for you both”.