The very word ‘in-laws’ will most probably put a lump in your throat that you won’t know whether to gulp down or spit out. And me, I’m special, because where most have one, I have three sets of mothers and fathers-in-law. First, the biological set of parents. Then the older uncle and aunt and finally the grandparents. Imagine my situation: I chose my best friend as husband, sacrificed my career to be with him (my own decision) and yet each morning I was out to give the performance of my life and prove why I was the best choice for their son and fit to be their daughter-in-law.
Related reading: Trying to please my boyfriend’s mother
It was a love marriage all right, but it was an inter-caste alliance too, so in the honeymoon period I found myself Googling the new traditions and other intricacies of the new surname I bore. Everyone was assessing and analysing me, examining me 24/7.
A period that I was always terrified of was when twice during the year the older generation observed a week-long fast in honour of the family deity. I had to ensure all the time that my hands were freshly washed and every spice, oil and salt was taken out from fresh cans and not the usual cans of daily use. One evening I cross-checked my entire list of the dos and don’ts and very proudly presented warm yummy food. But to my dismay and shock, I upset my mother-in-law because the casserole that I had served the food in, had been used the same morning to store wheat chapatis, so I ideally shouldn’t have served the food in it.