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Mothers-in-law and Daughters-in-law

by Vimala Ramu
(Bangalore)

Recently one of my friends sent me a joke which ran like this:


A group of young women decided to arrange for a camp with their mothers-in-law to hopefully get to know and understand each other better since relations between them were very sour.


Two buses were hired, one for the mothers-in-law and the other for the daughters-in-law. Unfortunately the bus the mothers-in-law were traveling in was involved in an accident and all the passengers died on the spot.


The daughters- in- law (women being women) shed a few tears but they were all puzzled by one woman who wailed uncontrollably for what they perceived to be her great personal loss. Her friend asked her, "Forgive me for asking, but why are you crying so hard? I didn't realize you were so close to your mother-in-law?" to which she replied, "No we are not close at all, she missed the bus!"



Why is it that the mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are shown as two different species? While the former are painted as ogresses, the latter are always portrayed as victims of their harassment. Don’t they realize that the daughters- in- law of today would be the mothers- in -law of tomorrow? Likewise, the moms-in-law of today had been the daughters-in-law in the near past. In fact, the meekest daughter-in-law of today may be the most aggressive mom-in-law when it is a question of her own son and the vice versa could also be true. Or the m-i-l who looks Ok to one d-i-l may look odious to the other. So, I feel, the m-i-l s and d-i-l s are not two different species, but two sides of the same coin. Moreover, due to the present longevity patterns and earlier breeding patterns, women can be a mother-in law to a young lady while being a daughter-in law to an older one.


Well, talking about the relationships, I was fortunate to have a very sweet and understanding mom-in-law. An acquaintance of mine has a d-i-l who just worships her m-i-l and wears her love on her sleeve. One day she came and asked me, “Look, I don’t like the m-i-l s always maligned. It is as if just being in the position of a m-i-l invests her with all bad qualities. There are good m-i-l s too who have a good relationship with their d-i-l s like mine. Why don’t you start a column in the newspaper where in d-i-l s who are fine with their m-i-ls can write about them. You can edit and publish them”.

Hmmm…, quite a revolutionary idea. But where is the guarantee that the column would run for more than 2-3 weeks? Moreover the ‘praised’ m-i-l s might start flaunting their status, like the celebrities of Mumbai who flaunt their Income Tax raids. The ‘un applauded’ ones might start nagging their d-i-l to write about them too, aggravating an already dire scenario at home.

After going through all this introspection, I decided to leave the m-i-l s and d-i-ls where they belonged, that is at the two poles of the World.

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Mar 13, 2013
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Any suggestion to improve the situation
by: Anonymous

A vibrant discussion. There was a comment on man's perspective. True the husband gets caught in between the two women. When a man no matter how hard a wife tries, if he trusts only what his mother says and views skeptically at anything the wife says, how is the wife expected to react. She feels let down and somehow the love between the husband and wife diminishes, knowing well that her husband would not standby by her. Any comments to improve the situation like this would be welcome both from husband as well wife's point of view

Dec 07, 2011
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Thanks
by: vimala

That's true. For many of the present generation, a dead mom-in law is the best mom in law. I have been lucky to have not only a good mom in law but also sweet daughters in law too.

Dec 06, 2011
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Controversial topic...
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Vimala, hats off for touching upon this very delicate and sensitive issue. "In-laws are outlaws" was a standard quote by someone who'd been thoroughly frustrated by the ill-treatment meted out to her. On the other hand some of my colleagues have only praises for their supportive m-i-ls.

Dec 06, 2011
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Thanks
by: vimala

Thank you Padmaja for visiting and concurring.

Dec 06, 2011
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gr8
by: padmaja

thats absolutely correct

Dec 05, 2011
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arguments
by: vimala

Thank you Isabel for visiting. The moment a boy looks at you, you become a daugter in law and the moment your son looks at a girl, you become a mother-in law. This is inevitable whether there is a formal wedding is there or not!!!

Dec 05, 2011
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Yes, Sneha & Vimala...
by: isabel

Mils and Dils
by: Sneha

Well Vimala, you seem to have nerved up some chords early this morning... A few are fortunate and blessed...and the rest, DAMNED TO ETERNITY!!!
~*~*~*~*~*~

Yes,Sneha... some m-i-l are heaven sent and the rest; E A H!!! :))
But I was fortunate in a way because I have none [ m-i-l died early age of 43].

Oh, Vimala you are one courageous woman! To discuss this touchy matter... Actually looking forward for a continuation [like actual interviews and reactions from unnamed people to protect their privacy...on how both parties reacted and how they resolved their differences etc. etc. It will definitely help others by providing them insights and learn how to act wisely].

Dec 05, 2011
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the fight
by: vimala

Thank you Rajini and Seetharam for your views.

Dec 05, 2011
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Men are to blame!!
by: Rajini Murali

Reminds me of one S V Shekhar's Tamil play - the
m-i-l and d-i-l were so pally, they ganged up against the son/husband. He wished they would fight with each other instead!!!

Dec 05, 2011
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My views
by: Seetharam

Let the differences between ms-in-law and ds-in-law remain where they are. Thanks to these differences, real or imaginary, all our TV serials are surviving today. Good for the TV producers and good for so many women folk who have no other occupation in the evenings.

Dec 05, 2011
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Sure!
by: Sneha

:-) I'd love to take a few examples from the 'good' species of mils for sure.

Dec 04, 2011
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comments
by: vimala

Dear Sneha,
As for the last part of your comment, wait till you become a mom-in-law !!!

Dec 04, 2011
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Mils and Dils
by: Sneha

Well Vimala, you seem to have nerved up some chords early this morning... A few are fortunate and blessed...and the rest, DAMNED TO ETERNITY!!!

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