In Defence of the Dastardly Daughter-in-Law

Dear Makers of Indian Soap-Operas:

Hi. For the past several months, I’ve been a daughter-in-law. And I have a confession to make.

I’ve so far not schemed against any of my in-laws. There are no evil conspiracies that I’m hatching at the moment and honestly, I don’t see myself doing so in the near future either. To the best of my recollection, I’ve not thrown water / tea / assorted beverages / screechy expletives in the faces of any women relatives. I’ve not even smiled heinously at them*.


I know that’s terribly disappointing for you guys, possibly even to your audiences. I feel like such a tease: I think I’ve led you on into believing that I’m a genuinely wicked person and then done absolutely NOTHING to follow up on that promise.

And I can totally see why you’d have believed that I’m employed at Hell Inc. in my spare time.

First of all, I’m a city girl. I don’t have the sweet innocence of a maiden raised in the grand old Indian tradition of nipping to the fields to make out with the neighbour boy.

And as if you need more damning evidence, I wear sleeveless clothes.

It’s true. I don’t deck out in sarees as befits a good Indian daughter-in-law. I don’t wear my hair loose with a careful middle parting, and couple that with a simple, understated bindi to underline my fundamentally simple tastes and sweet nature. Of course, I don’t wear eight kilos of gold jewellery and a bindi drawn by Picasso on acid either. But I make up for that by wearing something much worse.


Yes. I know. Sleeve-less tops and denim! Throw in some neon blue contact lenses and I’ll go from Third Associate Vamp to the Big Komolika of them all. But that’s not all.

I drink too.

I can hear the shrieks already. I bet your scriptwriters already have ideas about how I steal my sister-in-law’s baby and pass it off as my own, while I give my own child born out of wedlock to her, while she’s lying in a sedative-induced coma. Maybe I poison a few people while I’m at it.

But I’m not sure if my character’s ready for that yet.

I’ve not started smoking so far, see.

*Actually, I might have, but that’s more my dentist’s fault than my own.

4 thoughts on “In Defence of the Dastardly Daughter-in-Law

  1. It's true. Indian television does lack shows on themes more relatable to the urban youth. I'd like think that that's the reason people watch shows like Roadies. But I'd probably be wrong.


  2. I DETEST the use of the word 'adarsh bahu' in popular media. It is plain wrong. We live with censorship under the guise of protecting religious sentiments and morality – this term here is at the very core of gender prejudice of the worst kind and affects a demographic bigger than any sect or class – women.


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