‘Paraya Dhan’

A girl child in any typical Indian family hardly experiences a sense of belonging. She is always thought to be someone who will get married and go away to join someone else’s family.

All her life,she is trained and taught about how to become an ideal bahu (daughter-in-law).

As the little girl follows this rigorous curriculum towards becoming a perfect wife, she is made to feel that her real home is her in-laws’ home. This ideology creates a disconnect between the child and the environment that she is presently living in. She might conceal her problems to depict that she is capable to handling those on her own.

This upbringing sometimes brings fatal consequences. When a daughter is dealing with an abusive relationship, she is bound to hide it from her family worsening the suffering for her. She is convinced that her parents will not empathize with her, and will ask her to adjust and wait for the things to get better. She is more concerned about the society’s perceptions of her parents rather than her personal well-being.

The little girl has to be prepared to be an ideal daughter-in-law rather than growing up into a strong independent lady. She has to show to the world how great she will turn out to be when she grows up.

A girl may be excellent in academics and other fields but her cooking skills are perceived to be more valuable than her aptitude.

Many would claim that times have changed, and parents are encouraging their daughters to pursue their careers. However, for most, it is always work and household chores. If she can’t manage the house side by side, it’s better she quit her job.

Which one is really her home? Her husband’s house or her parents house?

This tradition of daughters leaving their homes is an underlying reason for Indian parents’ not wishing for a girl child. She is never going to be there for them when they grow old. So, they wish to bear a boy child, whose wife will become a glorified maid for them. That is why daughters are termed as ‘Paraya Dhan’ in Indian society. We all have witnessed the people feeling pity for the couples with no sons because they are apparently going to face a troublesome retirement.

Many might argue that now with the metropolitan lifestyles, both husband and wife leave their parents. But that does not relieve a girl of her responsibilities towards her in-laws. The same accountability is not visited on the husband towards his in-laws.

Living with your husband and in-laws, and feeling lucky and blessed to be a part of a new family is an amazing feeling unless it is not voluntary. Similarly, staying at your wife’s place and building a great rapport with her parents is equally rewarding and it does not make you insensitive towards your parents; it does not make you a subject to be frowned upon by society.

Husband should acknowledge the fact that his wife too has a family and hence he should take the initiatives and efforts to fulfill his duties towards them. When responsibilities and duties are balanced this way, it creates a bigger room for a happy married life.


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