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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Question with no answer...

Many a times, I have wondered, why am I doing this again and again to myself. I keep portraying being happy, when in real I am nowhere near happiness. The vacation to India for my grandfather’s death anniversary added the last straw into my level of frustration. I keep ignoring things telling its not your problem, but theirs. Even the advice I got on this was always same. But then, how can it not be my problem, when I am supposed or rather expected to be part of them.

Its after years of my marriage that I knew that my mother in law was never happy with my marriage to his son. But, as it says, once after marriage everything should be ok. Afterall I had always tried to win her approval by giving my best in being a good daughter in law. As years passed by, I realised it was only bringing more negativity into me than any positivity in her towards me. She never liked me involving in “their” family matters and never liked any of the gifts that I would select and buy for her.

Constantly, I got her gifts, which with time, I started giving her an impression were her son’s selection and not mine. I could evidently see the way she flipped in her liking or disliking to any gift as per the person who selected the gift. It hurt, but I was trying to keep it off. As always, my husband took a back step, whenever I needed some sort of assurance or support to not take these things to heart. He kept flipping too, like a tennis ball from one court to another. I kept phrasing him, ‘Na ghar ka na ghaat ka.’ With time, me going to India became so minimal and rare that going to their place was close to none. My trips were always for a purpose and no travel prolonged for more than 3 days; mostly flying in and out within a span of 2-3days.

Anyways, this time, the travel was for 10days. Being the me, I proposed to go to her home and stay their for a day and then I could take my mother in law out for shopping etc (for she was always adamant to ensure that money was spent on her). The plan that I had proposed to her was to go over to her place and stay there and next day to visit a temple a bit away from her house to attend some family function. She said she will come back to me once she speak to her younger son.

Once reaching India, I called her to confirm the plan. Now, she had come up with a new plan that she wanted to be at the temple before 6am to see all temple rituals early morning. This sounded a bit too tricky considering the distance we might need to travel, getting a transportation, getting ready so early in morning etc (especially with the limited amenities that was in their house). I proposed to take a lodging near the temple and so that we could go there the previous night and stay. This would make it easier for both of us to get ready early morning and visit the temple fresh. She agreed and said again that she will come back to me on it.

4 days before the event, I called her up to confirm and to see if I can go ahead and arrange for lodging. She responded immediately, “You go and stay there. I will come with my son the next day. We have no problem getting up early and travelling.” Next statement was shocking more than surprising, “Between if you are planning to meet your mother in law in a hotel, then I am warning you, I will not come for the function.” I was taken aback by the way she put the whole thing in.

As I tried to talk to her, she went on with more of her tantrums and threatening of how a daughter in law should behave. She mentioned how she was accepting me inspite of all the flaws I had (her unhappiness was always for the fact that I came from a family who could offer no riches during marriage). I had had enough as I sternly responded, “If I can come to home and be there, I would surely come. But that will not be for fear of your threatening, but my personal wish. So please don’t try to threaten to make me do things. Same as you said, you don’t have to act any empathy or love to me, I am also no longer obliged to act.” She spat every swearing words she could and cut the call.

I sat there and cried as I saw the years that I had tried to please her and her sons to bring harmony and love in this relation. The whole thing was a failure. To add up,  my husband called to confirm how a daughter in law is expected to behave and whatever they did or did not do, I should be doing everything that the public would expect from me. I realised, this man could never stand up for neither his mother nor wife. He only knew to keep himself safe and his face clean in front of public. Why would I need to accept it again and again. “If there is a single soul back at your home who is waiting to see me, I will go. Can you assure me about even one such person?” I knew the answer and was not at all amused when he said, “It would be right that nobody is waiting for you there. But as a daughter in law, the people will ask why is the daughter in law not visiting and we would need to give an answer.”

I laughed. With a thud, I heard him disconnecting the call when I asked him my simple question. I knew, he would never have an answer…

“All expectations and duties would always be on the daughter in law and her to fulfil them. Isn’t it her right to expect something from her mother-in law? Can’t she expect a least bit of love or respect in return?”

Why can't I expect??? 

A Question with no answer...