In Laws

The relationship with inlaws is a very unique relationship, and can be very different for a woman with her inlaws and for a man with his inlaws. One begins to call a couple as mom, dad, or whatever, when one barely knows them. In India, it is even more queer because a man may have met his inlaws only a few times before marriage.

In India, the man treats his in-laws like he would treat his parents, but they will not treat him like his son. They wont call him by his name. They will call somebody 25-30 years younger with “aap” as a measure of respect !

When the son-in-law comes home, a tilak and an envelope seem to be an expression of love. And if that is not enough, a dinner spread that looks like a king’s feast is laid out.

I can scold my mom, but not my mom-in-law. I can make a joke at my parent’s expense but not my inlaws.

If I am travelling to my parents city, won’t think twice about staying with them, and nor will my friends notice it. But if I stay with my inlaws, friends will say, “in-laws ke saath raha ra ha!”. If my inlaws come to town, they may not be comfortable staying at my home. I know of the extreme cases where a mother-in-law won’t even drink water at the son-in-law’s house.

Such is the dichotomoy of this relationship. And now for a minute, put all of this into the shoes of a woman, and imagine her relationship with her inlaws. And to this, add the filter of the daughter-in-law staying with her inlaws !

My empathy with my wife suddenly shoots up !

Can’t we simplify this all ? Cant we just be friends and not give names to the relationships of son-in-law, mom-in-law, etc……Why can’t marriages come without inlaws at all? Can’t I marry a woman, and not her family ?

About Neeraj Garg

Business builder, Change agent, Entrepreneurial professional, Growth seeker .... describe what I do at work. Personally, sometimes talkative and sometimes silent, sometimes completely engaged and sometimes completely detached. Observe and absorb at all times. Write infrequently, but write straight from the heart. Write spontaneously. Write on all things that peek my interest.
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