Like any bride, Sudha was too excited to begin her married life; it was happily arranged wedding and the best thing her in-laws had no objection about her job albeit they were extremely happy with it. Yes few new things came as surprise to her; but then it was expected from her to accept her new lifestyle and house traditions! And she tried her best to get accustomed even if it was about authorizing her in-laws to manage her finances .
Her husband Nishant was the only son with a young sister and everyone in their family was working, and living happily in the flat they own in West Delhi. But they were peculiar about every single penny being spent in the house and his mother used to take count of everything including the possession of all debit and credit cards. It looked like as if the entire family was in some kind of mission to accumulate money. Being from a middle class family herself she knew the hardships and how difficult it is to survive a metro life but this was some surely kind of craziness. Each morning they (she and Nishant) used to get a fixed amount from the parents that could help them meet their daily expenses; that included the cost of auto-rickshaw ride and bus fare. Even buying a bottle of water or road-side ‘Chole-Bathure’ was out of the picture when they were getting their daily tiffin boxes packed from home.
“Isn’t it the best thing that the elders in the house are keeping a check on the un-necessary expenses and taking care of essential things while we are busy at our respective jobs?‘, her husband explained. She silently nodded and wondered how come this guy was able to convince his parents to spend for honeymoon, ‘looks like he deeply begged to them’; she laughed back at her thought and moved on!
Today was her birthday and for the first time she felt shameful about this day because her purse only had a INR 50 note in-total and no debit card inside, it was in the custody of her Mother-in-law. She heard her colleague’s giggles that was apparent now given her misery situation. She felt herself like a road-side poor girl who desperately wanted to eat a piece of cake but with no coins in the torn pocket! Back home she had falsely hoped for a surprise and that actually was; plane staple food, 2 lines of blessings and 2/3rd bowl of unsweetened Kheer ( Rice porridge). “Beta, we can never understand why we Indians like to these ‘phirangi’ chocolates on birthdays and anniversaries; for us they are nothing more but a poison”, justified her Mother -in-law and everyone nodded around. With a freezing smile she kept fuming inside and wished herself the most pathetic birthday party ever!
After the dinner she asked Nishant, ” are we really poor or we have big loans to repay, or have we lost everything”? Nishant hadn’t expected such an question from her; ” Oh, what are you saying Sudha; this is part of our house rules and we all follow them ever since I remember and isn’t this so good. We save so much money that can help us in the near future or when we will have our kids”.
“Kids, like in this kind of setup; are you crazy?”; she wondered.
“Be sensible Sudha, even you aren’t from a five-star family; stop over-reacting”; replied Nishant and walked away out of the room.
Sudha stood their stunned, what has she done; she asked herself. She hadn’t dreamed about this kind of life. She called her mother to settle her mind but the best advise came only in the terms of meeting her new family’s expectations, ‘ don’t annoy your husband‘; that’s what she could summarized.
Few months passed away and Sudha kept on trying and adjusting every single day. She hid her Performance bonus and requested HR to release it in the form of cash but they refused. After much requests she got her amount in the form of cash card but atleast she had something for her own and she was happy. The other day while returning from work all of a sudden she fell down unconsciously on the street; her friend from office took her to the nearby hospital and informed her husband.
“What’s was the urgency to took her to such an expensive private clinic, it was not even a 24 hours hospitalization that can be claimed under the corporate mediclaim; who is going to pay for the bills?”
Sudha could only sob inside, she was feeling bad for herself. Even when Nishant entered the bedroom, he looked worried. But instead she was fazed, how to announce him about her pregnancy? She turned back and soaked her face completely on the pillow; that was the longest dark night that she ever remembered ; but somehow she survived and slowly dozed off.
Four months later, Sudha was returning back from the office, Nishant had promised that he will pick her up today from office for a movie together. ‘Looks like his mother took the pocket-money back’ she laughed and tried his phone but he didn’t responded back. It was already dark so she decided to board her bus but it was too crowded. She began to gasp and soon found a back seat, within a minute had passed and she noticed someone nibbling right below her shoulder; her breathe dried away! She got up quickly and walked out of the bus at the next stop.
She was all in tears, she opened her wallet and found just a INR 20 note in it. Never ever in her life she has felt so helpless, actually never! Throughout her life she had acted like a dotting daughter and now striving hard to be a good wife and daughter-in-law but this kind of setup; that was way too much! And it was dreadful to imagine her child in the same situation like she was that day; she dialled Nishant but again no response. A message on her phone popped up” Sorry Sudha, Mom is very angry at us, we should have known that Friday night movie tickers are costlier than the weekdays, so let’s postpone the plan; next time”.
Something sparked on her mind and she stood up ; ” there won’t be next time now”. She called an auto and went straight to her mother’s house.
As a bride, she tried to meet their expectations but as a mother; she had to take her ‘call’.
Guys if you are still wondering, this is a true story of one of my friend who decided to step down and refused to go back to her in-laws. In our society while most of the marriages are arranged; the families also want to take in-charge of their children forever even if they have turned grown-up adults! And with marriages, this pressure directly hits the new bride and can destroy her happiness for the entire life.
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