Shikwas of a Saas (Mother-In-Law)


I have known him from the time he was a tiny life form safely cradled inside my womb.

I carried him in my belly for nine months. And from the day he was born, I have been loving him, taking care of him, attending to all his needs so much so that when he would look at me with enquiring eyes I would know exactly what he wanted.

And then came you, my daughter-in-law, and much changed. He, to whom I was the center of the universe till that day, told me that he had found the reason for his life. That he had found you!

It’s so difficult to share ones love dear daughter-in-law, but I did exactly that by letting him marry you.

Today after two years of living with you as my daughter-in-law in the same house, I have a few things to clear up with you.

  1. When I said at the rishta time that you looked like a pretty doll and I would make every effort to keep you like one, I really meant it. I had hoped that you would keep your room all dolled up most of the time of the day and not mess around in my housekeeping. But you did exactly that. You messed.
  2. You wanted your paratha cooked your maika way, and you wanted Him to eat the same. You decided to cook for him, despite knowing that he liked my cooking only. You started poking your nose into many things and let me tell you, it was not appreciated.
  3. I had kept my house my way, all these years and I liked it this way. Then you brought in the colorful chairs from Hala to keep in the sitting area. No way. I liked may soft green couches much and wouldn’t want anyone to remove or replace them. I showed appreciation and liking for what you had got. It was good stuff. But not for my lounge. I convinced my son a day later that your furniture will rot at the hands of servants and frequent guests if kept in the lounge. It was so nice and precious it would be best to make space for it in his bedroom. He is mine. He understood and told you he liked the beautiful set so much that he wanted to keep it in the bedroom. You were so happy. You took it in.
  4. I know you two couldn’t go on an immediate honeymoon as he could get only a two week leave for the marriage. Then you became pregnant and it had to be delayed for another three months until the doctor okayed for you to fly. I tried to make you understand that going to Abbottabad and Murree was fine, but to go to Northern Areas in your condition was risky business. But you made fun of me saying ‘yeh puranay zamanay ki baatain hain, kuch nahi hoga’. (these are old-time stories, nothing would go wrong). How could you say that to me?
  5. Well after your four days stay in Murree and Abbottabad, I had to drink a whole carton of cranberry juice in one day to cause diarrhea and get admitted to an emergency in the hospital. You people were informed and my son cut short the visit to fly back home and attend to me. He still had a week’s holiday and it was so nice of him to stick by my side all those days making sure I had recovered completely.
  6. And you should thank me that I kept you from that dangerous journey because from then on I took really good care of, not letting you get out of bed and having your meals served in your room most of the time, making sure you had ample supply of fruits and juices. I know you gained weight but it was more important to have a healthy baby. And then our bundle of joy ‘Hanya‘ was born. Oh, she was so chubby and beautiful! And she still is. I know that now she is a year old you want to move her to top feed, but then I always remind Hadi, that if he takes her off your feed you will never lose your weight and remain the huge chubby person that you have become since. Being healthy, Hanya, demands more of the feed often throwing tantrums in public. This keeps you most of the time busy with her at home.

I am so happy with this arrangement. When Hadi comes home from the office, we all sit together and have our conversations over tea, while little Hanya pleases all with her cute antics. And you are a major part of this scene. Feeding Hanya in between to keep her in a good mood and bringing in freshly made snacks for Hadi and us all.

Good that you don’t mess anymore. After all, we women together make our home a heaven. As they say ’mera ghar meri Jannat.’