Pleasant memories leave a lasting impression in our minds but the unpleasant ones etch a scar in the soul.
After five months of our marriage, I was visiting my in-law’s house for the first time. Just like any other bride, I was anxious to meet my husband’s family but I was apprehensive about the unpleasant circumstances. We had got married against the wishes of my mother-in-law and she had severed all ties with us. This is not how we wanted it to be and decided to take the first step towards restoring harmonious relations with her.
Two days later, we boarded the train to Pune. I stepped in, not daring to look back, lest I had a change of mind and jumped off the train. As the train chugged to a start, I wished I could just keep travelling forever and never reach my destination. I had a sinking feeling and my mind kept wandering until I fell asleep.
“Chai…garam chai…” I woke up to the sound of hawkers selling tea. It was six am. In another hour, we would be there. I tried to divert my mind by chatting with a co-passenger. Soon, the train stopped at the Pune Station. It was time to say a small prayer before getting off.
In fifteen minutes, our cab pulled up outside the house. As soon as we stepped inside the gate, we heard sounds of sobbing coming from inside. My feet froze and my heart skipped a beat.
My mother-in-law stood at the threshold of the house with puffed-up eyes. It was she who had been crying! I was confused and disheartened. Wasn’t she supposed to express joy when a bride came home for the first time? I bowed down and touched her feet but there was no response. Suddenly, a maid came forward with mustard seeds and red chilly in her hands, circled it over our heads and threw it behind us. We were taken aback. This was a ritual that is traditionally performed by the groom’s mother.
There was a cold spell of silence as she escorted me to my room and went away. I sat on the bed, hurt and humiliated. My husband entered the room and sat down beside me. He gently held my hands and said “Give her sometime, everything will be alright”.
“What if she never accepts me?”
“That would be her loss, not yours right?”
At that moment all my worries evaporated. I forgot that I was a daughter-in-law. I was simply my wonderful husband’s bride and the only thing that mattered to me was the intense look of love in his eyes that healed my bruises before they could leave scars on my soul.
There was one thing I decided then and there though! If I have a son and he decides to marry the girl of his choice, I would definitely give his bride a warm welcome, even if I did not like her.