Well, I am not sure if I can call you ‘Ma’ still now, cause I am not officially married to your son till tomorrow evening. But before marriage, I thought I need to tell you something. Something obvious but important.
Like every normal girl, I always dreamed about my marriage, whom I would marry, which type of person he would be, can I adjust in his family, can I adjust with him, can I adjust with his family, would I be happy, thousands of this type of questions. Eventually, as I had grown up, I understood these ‘I’ need to be replaced with ‘we’: can we adjust with each other, can we adjust with each other’s family and all. Marriage is a both-sided relationship, based on mutual love, respect, and understanding.
But most importantly, which I always wanted, to be in a good family rather than to choose a particularly good person as husband and … to have a particularly good mother-in-law. I believe, everyone inherits some quality of their parents, whether he wants or not, especially of the mother, basic upbringing starts from one’s mother. In a family, unconsciously, women control the family culture mostly; she can grow the sense of the difference between good and bad only if she herself set an example. After a point of time, what grown-up children will choose that is up to them, but planting that seed is important. So, I always wondered, how would be my husband’s mom.
I am coming from a different family and culture; I will naturally have different family values. I would try to cop up with yours but sometimes, would you try to cop up with mine too? Ma, I don’t expect you to be extremely generous to me, why should you? My mom never was. But do not tell others about my flaws, instead, scold me. You have every right to do so. If I come back home at 12 at night, question me, not my husband. If you don’t want me to wear jeans, tell me, do not judge my culture by it. I will never cross the line of decency whatever I wear, and I will try not to appear in front of your relatives on that if that makes you feel ashamed in front of them, I can promise you on that. A particular type of dress doesn’t define a person I hope you will understand that you too can wear whatever you love to.
I’ll be always on your side ma when you fight with your in-laws, no matter how much wrong you are, would you teach me how to make doe softer? I never learned that. Please hand me simply a bottle of plain water when I come back exhausted from work, don’t need to make nimbu pani. I have to work an equal amount as your son does, sometimes more, so I get equal exhausted as your son, sometimes more, as I am physically less strong than him.
I would be jealous of how beautiful you are, your hair, smile, eyes, perfect whitish skin tone; I would be jealous about your voice ma, how you talk, how beautiful you sing, how you walk, how you represent yourself, simple yet beautiful; I would be extremely jealous about how tasty food you can make, extremely unhealthy though and how much you love to feed others. I would be jealous of your grace ma, every single bit of you. Jealous and happy. I would be happy to have you, and ‘your’ son; I would be blessed for our children to inherit your qualities.
After last night bedroom fight I don’t want to seek my mom’s place for comfort, can I cry to you? After a humiliation session in front of all, would you come and tell me in kitchen, ”I know it’s not your fault.” And I would be there for you ma, when you feel helpless about your husband and my husband. After all, we live in a male dominated-society. You can go to bed and relax anytime simply because you want to, I would be happy to cook, maybe I will give you a foot massage too, but please do not make a headache an excuse to put me in trouble when I am leaving for work.
May be I cannot make a perfect ‘bahu’ ma, but I can be your family member. I know how difficult it is for you to hand over all right on your son to another unknown woman, but can’t it happen that you take both of them as your children? Your son would always be your ma, you can be more than assured on that, but I am leaving my everything to be part of your family, and take you as my family, please consider that I too have some right on part of your son.
I would be there for your son ma, in sickness, and in health, I would always love him, but not blindly. If he does a mistake, I’ll raise my voice. You don’t need to support or understand me; just don’t panic to your relatives that I am making your son’s life miserable. I will always take care of your family, or ‘our’ family if you consider so.
If I cannot make round roti, or cannot make roti at all, just have a little patience, or find some alternatives. I always had to study as much hard as your son, never got any extra favor as a girl anywhere, so I didn’t get time and didn’t feel to make perfect roti. What’s the problem if I can afford to keep a cook? Please do not compel me to do anything, I love you all, I will do everything cause I want to, not because I need to.
I could mingle with people very easily from my childhood, naturally, I have a big circle of friends and acquaints exactly as your own daughter and son have. They can come over to my place sometimes as your children’s friends, don’t freak out for that, please. What’s the harm if your friends visit us too? I can make a yummy crispy chili baby corn, you can have a blast with them, I’ll host without any disgusted feeling at all.
If I work ma, please understand a little bit, do not make my life difficult which is not needed to be at all, I’ll also manage the home when you will be outside. I don’t want to rule you, neither do I want you to rule me. After all, it will be our home, together.
Action speaks louder than words. Maybe this letter was not needed at all, maybe it was needed very much. We all know what we think and what we do. I wrote it simply because I wanted to speak to you even before we start to attach strings. No one is perfect ma, but I always wanted you as much as I wanted your son. Now I am a little bit afraid and nervous too about tomorrow; I am entering your world, how would you accept me! Hoping for the best.
Soon to meet, love, ma.
soon to be daughter-in-law