Archive for September 20th, 2011

This post has been lying in the drafts for quite some time now. I add to it, then delete it. I think of hitting publish and then pull back again. I’m not sure if I should be putting it out here for anyone to read and then I think I should, since I feel so strongly about it.

And then, I just decided to do it today……….


It is funny you know, the way life takes a sudden turn and you are forced to rethink on your thought process. How something which seemed mammoth-like earlier now just appears like dust particles – insignificant! How an earlier humiliation now seems like a miniscule scratch on a well-worn slipper!

Lately, I find myself thinking about and analysing my relationship with my two MILs. This December, I’ll complete 5 years of married life and 5 years of living that life as a DIL, day in and day out. I’ll admit that it isn’t easy. It never was.ย  But life is much better now ๐Ÿ™‚ and there is some cheer in that confession ๐Ÿ™‚

Within a couple of weeks of my wedding, everyone at home resumed their work, except me, who was jobless, the BIL who was studying and the GMIL. A simple chore of asking me to ‘give’ breakfast to the BIL would comprise of the following actions by the GMIL –

1) Call me out from my room.

2) Ask me to take the food out to the other end of the house where BIL was studying.

3) The BIL would refuse breakfast, I would come back and report to the GMIL. She would order me to make something alternate for him.

4) I make something new, take it to the BIL, who would calmly explain that he was not hungry and if he was, he would come and take his breakfast.

5) I report back to GMIL and she would ask me to make him tea. I say he doesn’t want it. She argues that he said that about breakfast and not tea.

6) I make tea and take it to the BIL. He looks at me as if I’ve gone bonkers. No words spoken. I come back and inform the same to the GMIL.

7) She asks me to make him juice, since he doesn’t want tea. I almost start, but the BIL drops by and clearly tells the GMIL that he is in NO mood for food OR drink because the GMIL had already given him breakfast earlier in the morning.


So the GMIL made me run from one end of the house to another for NO REASON!! Till date, I’m not sure what made her resort to such techniques of harassment. There were many more instances, many more harsh words, many more slights and insults. When the twins refused to feed, the GMIL left no stone unturned in letting each and every person, who dropped by for a visit, know about my lack of feeding capability. It is a barb that still hurts. But the wounds are not that fresh now. The healing process is on. Mostly because however sharp the GMIL was towards me, she was the epitome of mushy goodness with the twins. She handled them with tender careย  and that is one of the reasons I could resume working so soon after the twins were born (the second reason was that I couldn’t stand the same comments everyday. Call it hormones or whatever, I found it easier to sob my heart out in the office washroom than at home. Also, I had friends here, people who cheered me up immensely with their jokes and one-liner. Thanks OSD1HT gang. It’s good to know you all). But still, there are times Iย  wonder why she used to say all that, do all those things which could be described in just one word – nasty!!

One of the disciplining rules of my parents was that one should never ever talk back to elders, whatever may be the case. Till date, my parents follow that golden rule. Their parents met their end knowing that their children never uttered an insult towards them, irrespective of however bad they were treated. This behavior rubbed on us, I guess. Because no matter how awful I felt or how low, I could never utter a single word in protest. So if the GMIL thundered at me, I just cowered in a corner (no , don’t imagine that scene. It wasn’t that bad ๐Ÿ˜€ ) . Mostly, I used to keep quiet, take it in, and sob over it later.

I could have threatened to walk out of the house many times. But the one thing that held me back was that the BF is his granny’s favourite. A first-born, much pampered child, the BF is besotted by his granny. A fact that didn’t escape the grand-mater, since most of her attacks occurred in the absence of her grandson!! Since he could not say much to his grand-mother, given her advanced age, he did his best to make life a little easier for me, cheered me up and asked me to do what I wanted to do and not just what she wanted me to do.

Another factor holding me back was the MIL, who turned out to be a complete anti-thesis of the GMIL. So where granny was loud, MIL was silent, where granny was grumpy, MIL was cheerful, where the old lady was dominating, the MIL was subservient. Moreover, the MIL has a sincere penchant for family values, of holding on to family members andย  of letting go of ill-will and bad vibes. Probably the reason she herself never walked out when she was the target of granny’s ire ๐Ÿ˜

The last six months have been trying on our family. GMIL’s accidental fall and subsequent operations, hospitalization and nursing care is taking its toll on us.ย  But the worst affected is the granny herself. Once the roaring lion of the house, she is now barely a mewing cat. I’ll confess here that the devil in me was partly glad that the GMIL no longer poked her nose in kitchen matters (there was a time when she made me cook 6 separate dishes for 6 people!!)ย  or didn’t make me run around like an errand girl all day. In a way, GMIL stopped giving me the accusing looks that she used to give earlier, the look which said that I was incapable of doing anything right! Sure, it was always infuriating……but now that I don’t suffer that fate anymore, I realized that I feel something is amiss. Life isn’t as spicy as before. And because I no longer have GMIL’s interference, I’ve become lax in my responsibilities ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

It comes as a shock really….because there was a time that I wanted the GMIL to stay in her room and not dig into what I do all day. But now since she’s doing exactly that, I hate it!! I hate to see her huddled in her bed, barely talking and mostly being alone. I hate to see the plea in her eyes when she needs to pee and asks for help. I hate to see her barely gulping down a few morsels before she tires out.ย  I hate to see the tears in her eyes as the pain shoots up her leg. I hate to see her detached from the homely responsibilities that were once her lifeline! I hate to see that the twins are slowly distancing themselves from the Big-dadi who was once their savior and idol! There was a time when the twins used to frolic on her lap, climb all over her and she would be giggling just as childishly as them. The twins now barely enter her room, though I’ve told the nanny to make sure that the kids have their lunch and afternoon siesta with Granny. They sometimes refuse to enter her room and I know that innocent as their refusal might be, it hurts the GMIL bad. And it is that hurt resignation which hurts me the most ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Come to think of it, I’m ready to be a errand-girl once again, I’ll cook a thousand dishes if she wants me to, I’ll do all the running around as she wants and am ready to take whatever harsh words she wants to spit out.

But I want the old granny back. Life’s just not the same anymore without her caustic presence. When I tend to her nowadays, she’s very gentle, kind. This has improved our relationship considerably, by leaps and bounds, if I may say so. I can now sit and chat with her without fear. But this submissive attitude doesn’t suit her at all! I’d rather have the fiery tiger any day ๐Ÿ™‚

Please send your prayers and good wishes for GMIL. She needs all she can to muster her strength and walk again.


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