Friday, April 13, 2012


Dikri To Parki Thapan Kahevay

Long back, during my Jamnagar 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

(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 USA. 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)

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


Anonymous said...

Perhaps you glossed over the fact that daughters do have a responsibility -- towards their parents-in-law -- who are actually someone else's parents. I believe it is a much greater responsibility to look after someone else's parents than your own (because it is difficult to espouse the same feelings for them as for your own parents). When we talk about a son's responsibility towards his parents, it is actually expectations from their daughter-in-law who bears the burden of caring for them. It is true that parents actually expect very little from their sons, they mostly expect it from their daughters-in-law.

And as far as share in property is concerned, daughters practically do not get property from their parents. And what they get from their husbands is anyone's guess, while they do have a right to both.

compassion9981 said...

I dont second the plot up there.
A daughter never has any share of the property.. A property for a daughter is her husband's as well as her parents love which could never be returned as to what her parents have affectionately done for her.

Yes, it doesn't seem right to parents staying at their daughter's house because they feel that it would be a debt for her. It just doesn't seem all settled. In the end, the way daughters could take care and comprehend emotions of their loved ones, sons never do. No matter how much a son is admired, a daughter remains a never changing soul. Even after getting married, she would dedicate her whole world to her parents. Because they are a huge gift bestowed !! Never to be forgotten... More precious than her husband and his family..

Uma Anandane said...

Hi Vikramji,
I am surprised over the fact we hit the nail upon with our posts.In a similar fashion, I wrote a theme Do you neglect your parents ? just weeks before.I also agree upon the fact that daughters do have responsibility over the parents..but how many of them agree ?

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Uma - I read your very insightful post and quite agree that this is a dilemma
@ Anonymous - you do have a point regarding duties of a daughter-in-law

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Compassion - You've got a nice traditional viewpoint - but must we not change and move ahead?

Indian Home Maker said...

Nice post, and I also agree with Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Nice post...but as far as the comments I read share,I have to ask a simple question"How many of them marry a woman without any dowry?? "Daughter's in law are treated with respect only if they come carrying mints(in form of jewels,bankacc,jobs-goers,etc).Also they do almost all your household jobs incl.nurturing a husband's future generations....Is'nt she have a right at-least to take care of her parents when they are old??

Come On Guys....give her some space

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ IHM and Anonymous - Thanks for your views. Well I thought that dowry days are over!

LoveKar said...

The solution to this is to kick the kids out of home when they are 18 and parents save for yourself. All my older neighbors have done the same in USA, and they both are living so happily. Even the kids are very happy on their own, they learn to earn in early age. This is the only way everyone can be HAPPY. Dikeri pun parki thapan nathi ke dikro pun nahi.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Hi LoveKar:
Absolutely agree with you - "Dikeri pun parki thapan nathi ke dikro pun nahi"
It is best to let the kids fly off and expect nothing from them.
Old Age is your own responsibility.

Unknown said...

It is if they do not make it theirs (I mean the kids).... That's the reason in most western countries people are not even eager having any kids. Why plant trees if you are sure they will not be fruitful ever?

Unknown said...

Vikranbhai "It is best to let the kids fly off and expect nothing from them." Thats the reason people here in west have learned to live with pets and they do not even care of having kids, some even consider kids burden ;)

Vikram Waman Karve said...

You have got a point there LoveKar Brand - let the kids fly off and forget about them

Unknown said...

Dikri Parki Thapan or Paraya Dhan because we still belive in KANYADAN and VIDDAI... Kanyadaan is not the root of all evil but it does express the ownership of a person.It represents the giving away of a daughter...not just physically ,but in many other ways. The in laws/husbands assume the life of the new bride belongs to them. She is expected to break/lesson her ties with home and is pressurized to make stronger ties with husband's any and every means. The very fact that most dils in this country have to take permission to visit the family of birth speaks a lot. The fact that the dils most times have very little say in deciding the amount of time they get to spend with parents without seriously effecting her marriage.The fact that the guys parents have some kind of right over the grand children....all that is what Kanyadaan/Parayadhan symbolizes.