Neha beamed with joy,at last today her dream had come true,she had got married to her college sweetheart Nitin.Both famlies had opposed the marriage,they belonged to different castes but true love had won over this opposition.Neha knew that now life would be a bed of roses as they had crossed the biggest hurdle and Nitin had supported her throughout.
It was a joint family consisting of Nitin’s granny,parents and younger brother.She knew that they were conservative but with time things would change.But she was in for a rude shock,the room assigned to them had an opening to the backyard and next to their room her in law’s room too had a door leading into the backyard.Her M.I.L had this idiocynsracy that utensils should not be washed in the kitchen but the backyard,and on purpose she jammed her bedroom opening to the backyard,the maid was asked to go through Neha’s room to wash the vessels.They could not sleep in peace.
Her M.I.L wanted her to be awake at the crack of dawn and help with the household chores,inspite of her being a newly wed.Her condition to enter the kitchen was taking a bath before entering.This was irking and Nitin instead of putting a stop,kept mum.
He changed overnight from a lover to a spineless mamma’s boy.In fact if Neha slept a little late,he would be up early and drink his cup of tea with his parents.Neha was upset,seeing the change.
Her M.I.L being the typical orthodox lady wanted the marriage to consummate at the earliest,so she could get her family heir.She invaded the privacy of the couple by giving unwanted advice to Neha on early conception.
If Neha discussed with Nitin,he gave it a deaf ear.Suddenly Nitin was transferred to a different city,since he had to arrange for an accomodation there,Neha had to stay with her in-laws.
Life became hell,her M.I.L insisted on sleeping with her,keeping an eye on her movements,did not allow Neha to visit her parents and relatives.Gave her instructions to don a saree and make up and then do the household chores.Since cell phones had not made their way,she had to use the land line to speak to her parents.The phone had an extension in her M.I.L’s room and if anyone called Neha,while Neha spoke from the main phone,she listened to the talk from the extension.
Letters coming for Neha were scanned and then handed over.Even if the son wrote separate letters to his mother and Neha.She would be interested to read the contents of Neha’s letter.
When Nitin found an accomodation and came to take her along,her M.I.L did a fainting act,emotional blackmailing so she wouldn’t accompany Nitin,she wantea a literate,domestic help.
Nitin instead of putting his foot down,left her for a few months as they had craftily manipulated the whole thing in their favour and convinced him that once M.I.L would be fine they would themselves drop Neha.
Being gullible,he accepted and left,while the eccentricities had no limit,no washing hair on tuesdays,clothes on thursdays,making food with heavy oils,serving granny in steel vessels,no melmoware or china,no eating bread for breakfast,no talking to neighbours,no talking negative with the husband,the list was endless.
Neha fed up with the daily grind tried to get rid of monotony by reading.She being a voracious reader wanted to sit in her room in peace,if she did that she was termed PRICEY,who did not mingle with the family.She was at her wits end.
At last when Nitin called for her,they reluctantedly took her.They hated the couple spend quality time with each other.M.I.L always accompanied them,she being an overpossessive and insecure lady was keen to listen to pillow talk.While Neha’s F.I.L went back,she stayed.She insisted on sleeping with the couple and Nitin being a spineless,boy agreed,which irked Neha.She cursed her stars,why she had married such a weakling.He had no mind of his own and did as the mother bid.
She controlled his every action. The limit was crossed when she did not allow Neha to cook on a gas stove but a coil heater.The place had an electricity problem,so due to low voltage cooking on a heater was next to impossible and if the meal came late,there were tongue lashings for Neha.
It seemed that they had become puppets in the hands of her M.I.L.If Nitin got her gifts,she did not let Neha open them in the privacy of her room,she was bitten by the stinginess bug and felt Nitin splurged unnecessarily.
Neha could not complain to her parents as she had been hell bent to marry Nitin.Her life had become hell,only when her F.I.L called her M.I.l back could she heave a sigh of relief.Nitin became his former self but was never repentant of his actions,he only asked Neha to adjust with his family.