The Untold Short Stories

Everybody has a story to tell. Some stories remain untold in a thousand pages. Some can even be conveyed in three sentences.  Every person we meet, every first encounter, every first impression is a story in itself. Here are ten such short stories that tell us that there is so much more than what meets the eyes.

1. A wise tyrant commonly known as mother-in-law once welcomed her new daughter-in law in her household, and passed on the hereditary wisdom, “A woman’s family after her marriage is that of her husband’s, I do not want you spending hours on the phone with your sister, or visit your mother every alternate day.”

I am sorry, what?” replied the disinterested daughter-in-law, playing with the wedding dress selected and imposed on her by her husband’s sister, “I thought you were talking to your daughter.”

2. “I am a self-respecting man, I will not attend your cousin’s wedding unless I get a personal invitation from his father,” he yelled at his wife, and slammed the door, returning to his bedroom to watch the India-Australia cricket match on the 200.66 cm 3D Smart 4K Ultra HD television set gifted by her father.

3. “Our family is very progressive”, said the proud father. “We allow our women to study further, and build their careers. They should be independent. We are all for women empowerment!”

Everybody at the table nodded in agreement, until he added “After all, today men want qualified and working wives, how will she find a good husband?”

4. She was feeling guilty at work, leaving her sobbing child at school who she forgot to dress up as an elephant. When did she miss to check his diary amidst the cooking, cleaning and client calls?

Back at school, her husband received adulation for being a great father — He showed up to pick him up, first time in six years!

5. “Why the hell are you wearing sleeveless, want to seduce boys in college? Go and change immediately.” He yelled at his younger sister, who was now in tears.

Back in office, he was not able to concentrate on work. Every time he tried to look at the laptop, the shapely legs of the new intern exposed by the short black skirt, distracted him.

6. “You put on too much makeup, want to impress boys?” Jiya made fun of the friend she considered shallow as they pouted for a Facebook worthy selfie.

4 hours and 20 minutes later: only 10 likes.

Jiya thought to herself, disappointed, “No matter how much cleavage I show, the opposite sex does not seem to care.”

7. A double-chinned, voluptuous woman stared at her reflection in the mirror of the trial room and complained to her petite friend, with her hand placed on her navel, “I still look pregnant, Aghh! After 11 months of gymming, since Arya was born….You still look like a model, the way you did in college.”

Thanks”, she replied with a bleak smile, imagining herself with a protruding belly. Her fourth round of IVF had just been unsuccessful.

8. He was glancing through the pages of the matrimonial site for his brother, as he came across an interest sent by a widow. “Why would my unmarried brother marry a widow? We want a virgin bride!”

His wife smirked. Even after four years of marriage, her two abortions prior to her marriage remained a secret to her foolish husband.

9. We do not want dowry, just a Five-star wedding, concise three day functions, decent gifts for our 500 guests, and a 10-day honeymoon in Europe. After all, it’s all out of love for your daughter!”

Somewhere in Haryana, a farmer woke up from the nightmare and strangled his newly born daughter, who he was incompetent to love.

10. He stared at the bald woman wearing a halter top and torn shorts sitting at the opposite table, revealing the tattoo of a phoenix on her leg. “These women have a skewed sense of fashion,” he said to himself.

She smiled sipping her latte. It was the first time since the chemotherapy ended that she felt confident to leave the house.

Why Does Men’s Misogyny Unite Them But Most Women Fail To Stand Up For Each Other?

Men often unite in their misogyny. But women get divided by the same, speaking up against each other in their unwitting support of patriarchy, competing for brownie points of their men. Stop, already!

Read the full article on Women’s Web. Link as follows:

Father of A Daughter Manages To Let Go After Marriage… But Mother Of The Son Cannot?

Father of A Daughter Manages To Let Go After Marriage… But Mother Of The Son Cannot?

There are umpteen stories of mother in law – daughter in law problems. Why is this so when there aren’t so many stories of father in law – son in law issues? The answer will surprise you.

Break-Up Of Bromance – The Latest Fault Of The Indian Wife

Break-Up Of Bromance – The Latest Fault Of The Indian Wife

Wives have traditionally been put second by husbands, after their in laws and his extended family, and now after a bromance too?

Year 2011: A movie titled ‘Pyaar ka punchnama’ had released. After watching it, I had told a male friend how I did not like the portrayal of women.

“Why don’t you protest when all movies show men as villains? Haan? This movie shows the reality of women!”

Read more.

No, Living With In-Laws Is Not The Law. And I Am Not A Criminal If I Breach It!

Please click on the link above to read the full article on Women’s Web.

From DDLJ To Piku: The Hindustani Ladki Ki Izzat Has Come A Long Way

From DDLJ To Piku: The Hindustani Ladki Ki Izzat Has Come A Long Way

Please click on the above link to read the full article on Women’s Web.

Don’t Want To Live With My Parents After Marriage? You Horrible Un-cultured Woman!

I spoke to a man for an arranged marriage meeting. Before telling me about himself or asking anything about me he told me that his parents would be living with us after marriage from Day 1. He said that he wants them around. Not because of any health condition. He just wants to “make them happy.” They feel lonely in their hometown.

For the past eight years, his parents have been  living in the hometown because he was living with a roommate. But  somehow, the moment he gets married, they will become lonely and helpless!

Very politely, I told this man that I would not be comfortable with this set-up. It will be difficult for me to adjust to three new people immediately. I said that during the first few years of marriage, the husband and wife should live alone because they are still trying to adjust to each other.  He then told me that I will be “allowed” to wear jeans and that his parents are very nice people. As long as they are taken care of them, they will not “scold” me for anything.

I told him “No”. He later sent me a text message  wishing me good luck in life, and that he is looking for someone with “family values”!

He also wanted me to “appreciate his honesty” because he told me about his expectation before marriage. I was honest too! Why didn’t I get appreciation for my honesty? He wants a woman to take care of his parents, because it is convenient for him. He gets to be Shavan Kumar by doing nothing for his parents except getting married. I refuse him, so I get to be a vamp!!

I don’t understand why this should be the norm. Let me tell you this is one of the reasons people still prefer to have a son. Because they can live with their son forever but not with the daughter.

When I say this, it is immediately interpreted as a rebellious, uncultured attitude. I want to ask these so-called custodians of Indian culture, are girls’ parents any less old? How come they manage alone? Or since they have given birth to daughters, they are so unfortunate to begin with that we don’t even count them as senior citizens?

Some men and even women say that “Yeah, but any guy with prefer to have his parents around.  If you were a boy, wouldn’t you?’

Some even add, “Why do you even want to get married then!”

This statement is garbage. It reeks with chauvinism, and enjoying the benefits of patriarchy at a woman’s expense. This is how they justify dowry too!

No marriage is not about living with in-laws. People in the western countries also get married. They do not do this.

Please don’t get me wrong. Of course someone should be there to take care of parents in emergencies. In fact, if the parents can live in the same city, or nearby it is great. I know of people who even stay in the same apartment complex but in different apartments. That way, they are there when required and also have their privacy.  Sometimes they stay together for economic reason. Some stay together for grandchildren. Living together can be a great form of support for parents as well as children. I am not saying they should not.  As long as they are happy doing what they are doing, it is none of my business. I know of families where the girl’s parents also stay together.

What I am trying to say is in the Indian set-up, living with in-laws can become difficult because of high expectations. Especially in the initial years of marriage when the relationship between the husband and wife is not even stable. But no, it is not a wife’s moral obligation to live with her husband’s parents and take care of them from the first day of marriage! It is not a man’s birth right to demand it. If she is doing it happily, great. If she refuses, it is okay too. It is her choice. It is difficult to adjust to one person. And definitely more difficult to adjust with more people from another generation, especially when they come with a sense of entitlement and expectation.

I have a request:

Indian men, when the girl you meet at refuses to live with your parents after marriage, you don’t get to shame her. You respect her choice, and find someone else. Please do not tell her that she does not have “family values”. Unless you also want that her parents should also live with you guys. “Respect for elders” and “family values” apply to elders who have borne daughters also.

Parents of girls, please do not force your daughters in to such marriages saying “so and so is also living with in-laws. This is our culture etc”.  You will not be there with her each day to maneuver her way. She will be alone there. Let her decide for herself.

And girls, please know yourself. If you are not comfortable with the idea of living with in-laws, then be sure about this point before you get convinced into such a marriage. It is your whole life ahead.  Later on complaining about it will get you nowhere.


Seeing the comments on the article, about women being equally responsible for such upbringing or social conditioning, I am adding this quote of Ms. Kamla Bhasin. Thank you readers, you always provide the much needed perspective.



She Deserved it!

I think like me most of you knew even before Anamika Majumdar started playing Kaun Banega Crorepati, that she is the contestant who would be winning Rs 1 crore, thanks to news and previews of the episode. Anamika Majumdar was the first contestant of this season to win Rs 1 crore. She is a homemaker from Jamshedpur who runs an NGO called ‘Faith in India’ which uplifts children and women through arts and social awareness. It was not clear to me whether she educates or employs them, but it seemed like she gives them a direction in life by engaging the children in dance, and the women in bhajans while teaching them about personal hygiene. I will update this article once I find out more about her NGO.

I have been writing a lot on KBC episodes lately. People who come on this show are ordinary people like you and me and they reflect societal attitudes. I also feel guilty because these are not celebrities and they are not putting themselves out there to be judged. Therefore, I do not want to make this article about attacking her husband. But here is what happened:

Mr. Bachchan asked Ms. Majumdar’s husband how he feels about her NGO work. He said that it is okay as long as she is able to manage her household work. He added that if he comes home, and she is not there then it may not be so great. Mr. Bachchan asked Ms. Majumdar something like who needs her more, her own kids or the NGO kids. It was a strange thing to ask, and I felt that his only intention was to get the response from her, that she manages both well.

Would a male contestant ever be questioned on how he spends his time and justify how much of it is worth spending on other than his family?

Then there was an audio visual where the lady went on to explain how she finishes all her work of home, and then only she goes to the NGO. She added that initially the kids may not have been used to not having her own around but they soon understood that their needs are being taken care of. Her mother who by the way was very intelligent herself, and answered one of the ‘jodidar’ lifeline questions correctly, supported her daughter.

Ms. Majumdar was beautiful. She had such a sweet voice. She knew the answers. She had great general knowledge. She was so smart that even when she did not know the answer for sure, she could make an educative guess through the process of elimination. She was confident. She was kind-hearted. She cares about children and women who are not her own, and she wants to do something for them. I could not stop admiring her.

I know a lot of women like Ms. Majumdar. They are almost perfect. But forget about being admired, they are made to feel undervalued. They are made to feel guilty and worthless. Often, by a person who has vowed to support them for life.

She said on the show that at one point she had felt hopeless in life, and would speak to a tree for guidance. I do not know this couple personally so I would not like to blow all of this out of proportion and impose my assumptions.

Keeping them aside, I would like to say something to the women reading this:

You are much more than what you may be given credit for. Don’t let anyone define your self-worth. Do what gives you happiness. People will always be unhappy no matter what you do. Might as well do what makes you happy.

And to all men, please value your wife. She is probably doing the best she can. A little empathy and support from you could you make all the difference.

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