Being in the arranged marriage market, I and my friends get to meet a lot of men and it’s interesting to note some of the expectations that they have. It’s fun to talk about these experiences for us, as we are lucky our parents do not see us as someone who needs to be shipped off to sasural, and so we have full liberty to meet, understand and accept/reject any man. But, not everyone is so lucky, and ‘subtle’ changes that are expected from a bahu, have transformed many a girls with likes and dislikes of their owns into bahus.
So, here is a fictional letter that I wrote some time back factoring in the expectations based on my and my friends experiences…
We LOVE you!
We LOVE how you are independent and can converse with us on various topics and can even recommend us on our work.
We ADMIRE how you get great grades and top your schools and universities, also, at the same time be the life of any party you attend.
We WONDER how great you look when you wear those skirts and jeans.
We RESPECT how you stand up for your dreams and your aspirations, even though everyone told you to give up.
And now that we have fallen in love with you, we want to MARRY you! 🙂
So, now that we are married, will you please stop wearing your JEANS for something more traditional? ‘Cause you know you look fabulous in Indian clothes. Also, please give your skirts and shorts to the poor, after all donations are good!
Why do you need to go out with your friends? And that too Alone? No, no, no, we cannot allow that! We love you too much, what if some gair mard looked at you in a ‘bad way’. We NEED to be there for your own protection.
Oh, and speaking of Gair Mards, why don’t you start wearing bangles, sindur and Mangalsutra, just so that no man would be interested in you, now that you are taken! And We would LOVE the feeling that you belong to us and us ONLY!
You used to make such good Pastas sometimes when we dated! You should start to cook for the entire family everyday, every time any of my family member is hungry? Oh, and as good as your pasta was, our family prefers good Indian meal. We are sure you would learn to make as good Paranthas as you make Pastas.
We just got PROMOTED and our salary is now enough to sustain the household needs and our shopping needs. As we love you sooo much, you do not need to go to work anymore. Stay at home and be the Queen, let us go out and slog off!
Now that you have proved such a GOOD girl and did all that we told you to, lets start a family!
Ow! You are such a good person that even the baby loves you! Why don’t you stay with it 24 x 7 as he is still small? Oh and would you need anything from outside?You see, we are off to have a couple of drinks with our friends and as we are such thoughtful and helpful husbands, we will not mind in a least if you ask us to do some shopping (as long as it’s not diapers or food or cleaning materials, or anything for you or the baby or the house, you would not want our friends to think we have turned into joru ka gulam, na?)
You know you have started to act really different, you are not fun to be around anymore. We just find that you are completely DIFFERENT from the girl we courted so many years back!!
We don’t understand how you could be so unhappy when all we did was love you and care for you?
Look at that neighbor’s wife, look how happy and modern she is, why can’t you be more like her?
Seriously, marriage is so hard, and it’s so hard to figure out women..No wonder we have to make and circulate “jokes” on how marriage is ruining our lives and how our wives made our lives so hard.
Great Indian Men!
The post was previously published here.