My mother-in-law – not my mum yet like a motherly figure

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My mother-in-law. Sweet yet disciplined. Caring yet assertive.

I really don’t know how do I describe my bond with her. I am close to her but yet there’s a distance between us.

For me, she is my husband’s mother & I respect her for that. I never interfere when she is with my husband. Nor I pester my husband to know  about what they talk about when they are together .

When I am with her, we do joke about our husbands.  We do share a laugh & light moments.  Yet, there are a few things she expects me to do. Keeping my hair tied in the house is one of them.

She feels a married woman should keep her hair tied in front of other family members. She is not exactly superstitious but she is a little orthodox.  But she is liberal as well.

She allowed me to work after marriage despite objections from other family members as the family traditions in my husband’s family doesn’t permit the wives of the house working after marriage.  But not only did she allow me but also supported me as well.

Before my pregnancy, I had to quit a couple of jobs in quick succession due to different circumstances,  she stood by me & even asked me not to blame myself for what happened.

When my pregnancy was detected, she & my husband were the only ones to ask me if I wanted to proceed because I became pregnant in less than a year of marriage.

When I decided to come to my home town,  Delhi  for my delivery,  cried as if her  own daughter was going away from her. She is in Delhi now,  visiting me for a few days . She  is complaining to my mum about how careless I can be but at the same time praising me for how I managed my & my husband’s home as well as work.

She is even going to be there for my baby shower ceremony & my delivery.

She doesn’t exactly pamper me like a daughter is but she showers me with a lot of love as I am the youngest daughter in law in the immediate family.

I don’t love her as much as Iove my mum but I adore & respect her alot. She will never become my mother but she is the closest thing that I can feel to my mother in an unknown city where I have no known relatives besides my husband  & his family.

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My singing concert in the Bathroom! 

22nd June, 2017.

Around 8 am in the morning.

I had to visit my gynaceologist for my routine checkup & I was getting ready for the same when disaster struck!

The bathroom latch refused to budge as I found myself locked! I panicked! I just didn’t know what to do! Here I was, 7 months pregnant & locked in my bathroom, with my entire household completely unaware of my fate.

I thought to scream, that would probably make everyone realise that I am locked in my bathroom. But even as I opened my mouth to shout, I found myself singing! I am trained in classical singing but I had never sung in the bathroom! This was my golden chance!

“Mujhko iraade de

Kasmein de, vaade de

Meri duaaon ke isharon ko sahare de

Dil ko thikaane de.”

That felt good! That actually felt good! I continued singing.

“Naye bahaane de

Khwabon ki barishon ko

Mausam ke paimaane de”

Suddenly, I heard a knock on the door. It was my mum. “Yashu, are you alright? Why are you not coming out? We are getting late!” she said even as my elder brother & his wife asked my mum to relax.

Meanwhile, I was singing the following para.

“Sunn raha hai na tu

Ro rahi hoon, main

Sun raha hai na tu

Kyun ro rahi hoon main

Sunn raha hai na tu

Ro rahi hoon, main

Sun raha hai na tu

Kyun ro rahi hoon main”

“She seems to be locked inside.” I heard my elder brother’s wife. “Yashu, what are you doing?” my elder brother asked even as my mother was freaking out! “Yashu, move aside I am trying to bang the door so that the latch will loosen & you can open it.”

Meanwhile I was distracted by the latch movement even as everyone outside was asking me to check if the door would open now. I tried & succeeded! The door opened.

The moment I stepped out, my mum nearly pulled my ear & said, “Tere saath hi aisa kyun hota hai?” “Manju (My elder sister) aur Tanu (My elder brother’s wife) ne mujhe itna pareshaan nahi kiya jitna tu kar rahi hai! (Your elder sister & elder brother’s wife have not troubled me as much as you have!) Ab chal, jaldi se naashta kar le, Hume late ho raha hai.”( Now come & have your breakfast quickly, we are getting late!)

My mum left even as my elder brother looked at me in an amusing way & my sister-in-law hugged me & asked me if I was ok. I just smiled.

As I sat down to have breakfast, I heard my mum telling my sister-in-law & elder brother “2 bacchon ki maa banne waali hai lekin harkatien abhi bhi baccho jaisi hain!” (She’s going to be a mother of twins yet her behaviour is still child-like!)

Finding Tammy….

“Everything happens for a reason.” – Sonal


Can two women who are best of friends be soul mates? Can two women who have same likes & dislikes, have similar life events & pattern too?

Everything happens for a reason. Yeh mein nahi kehti, Sonal kehti hai. (I am not saying this, Sonal says. )

I met her accidentally. Yet, I remember it as if it was yesterday. I was tensed. She was smiling. What started as a formal conversation, was the beginning of an unspoken friendship, a lifetime relationship.

Sometimes, I actually wondered if it was real. If two women could actually be so similar & have similar life pattern, but everything happens for a reason she says.

She is my emotional support. She is one of my pillars of support, most importantly she is family.

Words are actually failing me here. Maybe you should see us together to see to understand what I mean. We are like two long lost sisters who have been reunited by destiny.

She is one of the very few people whom I cling onto emotionally. My pregnancy has brought me even more close to her.

Yes, she knows me in & out. The comfort level I share with her is such that I can cry in front of her, share my deepest fears with her.

She’s the friend that I never had. Even Vintua (my best friend since childhood ) knows. Now if this isn’t special then I don’t know what is.

Time fails us collectively. Probably time is a forgone conclusion for us. Yet, its relative. I don’t know how else to describe it.

Yes, we quarrel too. We may have differences of opinion but that’s only to make us realise that we are two different individuals.

But the similarities are just too many. We often laugh when we imagine our husbands getting envious of us. But both of us remain devoted to our husbands & our families.

I keep telling her that one day when we both will be old women & sitting together, worrying about our children & perhaps criticising our husbands, we will realise the gravity of our relationship.

Yes, there’s more to write but not now. Somethings are best unspoken but I’ll wind up with what I feel.

Thank you Sonal for being there. Thank you Sonal for being a part of my life. Thank you Sonal for understanding me. Thank you Sonal for being yourself. Please don’t ever change.

Looking forward to the day when we both dye our white hairs together & make fun of our husbands.

Everything happens for a reason. Yeh mein nahi kehti, Sonal kehti hai. (I am not saying this, Sonal says. )


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I, Me, Myself….

“Why doesn’t Yashodhra speak? Your elder bahus speak non-stop. Is Yashodhra told to speak less by her jethanis?” One of our relatives asked my mother-in-law even as I deliberately looked away trying to divert my mind by trying to pretend as if I had not heard anything.

“Woh aisi hi hai”. My mother-in-law looked at me & changed the topic. It was then when my mind went on a rewind mode.

Until I was 17, I was a typical Delhi girl. Vivacious, chirpy, extroverted & someone who would give it back to people if & when needed.

A couple of dark chapters put me in a shell where I failed to come out from. Which left me with two emotional scars that still haunt me.

From battling depression to being labelled as my mum’s xerox copy to people’s expectations of me to go on & become a perfect woman just like my mother.

Who says that I have had a perfect life so far?

Being married off to a completely new city where I had never been to or have no known people to a nightmare of an incident where I once again battled the great depression. Is being an attractive woman a curse I still ask myself as I look at myself into the mirror everyday.

Amidst all these chaos,  in the middle of a phase called life,  I  experienced one of the most or perhaps the most beautiful thing on earth.  Motherhood.

Its simply amazing how two little bundles of joy give me unparalleled joy & happiness every moment, every day.

I have battled my worst fears, my worst phases,  my emotional scars that were inflicted to my physical self & the worst possible scenarios where I was treated as if I’m their property.

Just when I thought life isn’t fair, I was compared to my mum at every single step. I went against the so called advises of relatives, well-wishers etc & chose Arts as my mainstream instead of medicine. Yet, the comparisons between me & mum never died down.

Fast forward to my wedding where my parents chose me to get married to my dad’s childhood  friend’s son based in Mumbai. I had given up my aspirations to become an actress & was working in an ad agency based in Noida. I always thought that I would be married off in Delhi only but no. Fate wanted me to get married in an unknown city where I had never been to. Yet, I didn’t complain.

From finding myself in an affluent family dominated by men to trying to adjust in an unknown city called Mumbai, I found myself at the receiving end once more. I was asked to shut up & kajoled with compassion to never feel that it was my fault.

But why would it have been my fault in the first place? Just because I went against the tradition of a family which said that no married woman of the household will work for financial gains? Orthodox yet traditional as my mother-in-law likes to put it.

So, just when I thought I was finding my feet & identity in my married life – I became pregnant. I resigned from my job in my 2nd month due to complications which were because I was carrying twins.

14th week of my pregnancy & I lost my father to a sudden heart failure. I was rushed to Delhi but only told about it 2 weeks later after all the final rituals were over.

I found myself new friends in other new moms even as many of my childhood friends distanced themselves from me as they found my pregnancy a distracting factor in their professional lives.

Today,  I’m a mother to 3 month old twin boys who are my life. Who begin & end my day with love.

Mein aisi kyun hu? Mein aisi hi hu. & I, Mrs. Yashodhra Kunal Dahiya, will not change for anyone in this world.