WHY PARENTS WANT SONS, NOT DAUGHTERS
A DAUGHTER IS SOMEONE ELSE'S PROPERTY
Dikri To Parki Thapan Kahevay
Long back, during my
days, in 1978 I think, I saw a Gujarati Movie called PARKI THAPAN. This film had a very melodious and meaningful song Dikri To Parki Thapan Kahevay sung by Lata Mangeshkar Jamnagar
(Why don’t you click on the video link below and hear this lovely song which I have downloaded for you on YouTube while you continue to read this blog).
The essence of this song, and the movie, was that a daughter is someone else’s property, a “Paraya Dhan”. I find that our mindset has not changed even today after so many years. Yes, today, parents do educate their daughters, even encourage them to take up careers, but once their daughters get married they treat them like a Parki Thapan.
Let me give you an example.
There is an 85 year old widowed lady who lives in the neighbourhood. Her son is settled in the
. Her daughter lives nearby, in the same city. Whenever she is unwell she expects her son to come over and look after her (Why she does not permanently emigrate to the USA to live with her son is a mystery). She prefers to live alone rather than live with her daughter. She has engaged nurses as companions. Yes, the daughter and son-in-law do visit her and try to look after her needs, but the old lady refuses to go and live with her daughter. When asked, the old lady answers, “How can I go and stay in my daughter’s house?” (Whereas it is considered perfectly natural to live with your son) USA
When we lived in Mumbai, my mother used to visit my sister who lived nearby, but my mother never stayed with her even for a night. Whenever she wanted to visit my sister, I used to drop her in the morning and pick her up on my way back from work or my sister used to come over to our place to visit her. Even now, when I once asked her as to why she doesn’t go over to my sister’s place and spend a few days with her for a change, my mother refuses and retorts that how can she live for so long in her daughters house.
That’s why, perhaps, everyone wants a son. Though in today’s world there is no guarantee that a son may look after his parents, but at least the parents have an expectation from the son whereas they have none from the daughter. In our culture it is the duty of the son to look after the parents and the daughter has no such responsibility towards her own parents, though a daughter has a share in her parents property. In fact, I feel women are quite lucky as they have a share in both their husband’s and parents’ wealth and property but no commensurate responsibility.
Maybe I am generalising, but I have observed in the society around me that most senior citizens are reluctant to go an live in their daughters’ homes. The only situations in which I have seen daughters caring for their parents is when there is no son, maybe due to fait accompli.
I wonder when this mindset will change. Till then, it is Dikri To Parki Thapan Kahevay