I was speaking to my friend, Gita the other day. She’s in the US temporarily with her husband, Dipak and her 5 year old son, Gaurav. She’s the only daughter of her parents who are now in their early seventies. They had Gita very late; more than a decade after their marriage.
Dipak is his parents’ only son. He lost his dad few years back.
Gita and Dipak have bought an apartment here in their hometown…. a spacious 3 BHK. She insisted on buying a bigger place which could house her family, her mother-in-law and also her parents.
Now, the question arises, are three families too much of a crowd under one roof? Or are they not? Traditionally, a husband looks after his parents when they are old. And a daughter-in-law lends him her precious helping hand. They all stay together in one house.
In Gita’s case, her parents are old and she’s the only one they have. Her point is, why cant she have her parents also stay in the same house as her mother-in-law; so that she looks after them too.
In our group, this became a topic of discussion, rather debate – is it right to have the parents and in-laws stay together? Or is it not?
Can so many people from different relations really co-exist? In today’s world where husband and wife are considered to be at par, a husband still gets to live with his parents and a wife still has to leave her parents. Sometimes there’s a relief if she has a brother – he might look after the parents. Not guaranteed though…
But what if the girl is the only child of her parents? Are there too many options to be considered? Like, keeping them in a seperate house and paying them visits or having a full-time nanny to look after them. The question is, how much of it is practically possible? Specially, when the girl is a home-maker. Will her husband readily pay for the maintenance of her parents?
After marriage, how frequently does a girl really visit her parents? After becoming a mother, the frequency reduces all the more. What happens to her old parents then? Are they to be left alone by themselves?
In the brand new age, if women are considered to be equal to men, why can’t the stone-age traditions also change? If not completely, its definitely possible to make a few amendments, isn’t it?
Is Gita’s approach an apt solution to these problems? Why not? I really appreciate Dipak for going all out and supporting her decision. Right now, she’s happy in the US and both her sets of parents are happy in their own world. But when she shifts back home in her new 3bhk abode to stay with her 3 parents, will they all enjoy the same happiness together?
Only time will tell….