Friday, June 23, 2017

Do Women Treat Daughters and Daughters-in-Law Differently...?

Sometime ago  I met a lady at a family get-together. 

The lady’s daughter-in-law was dutifully following her all around – like the lamb in the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb  

“Of course my son and daughter-in-law stay with me in our house I believe in the Joint Family System...” the lady said – when someone asked the lady where her daughter-in-law lived. 

A few minutes later  I met the lady’s daughter and her husband (son-in-law of the lady).

I knew her in-laws – they lived in Sadashiv Peth. 

I asked the lady’s daughter: 

“So – how is Sadashiv Peth...? I lived there in the 1960s when I was a small boy...” 

“I don’t live in Sadashiv Peth  I live in Aundh...” the lady’s daughter said. 

“Oh – so your in-laws have shifted to Aundh...?” I asked. 

“No – my in-laws stay in the same old bungalow in Sadashiv Peth – but I stay with my husband in our flat in Aundh...” she said. 

Later – I asked the lady: 

“So your daughter doesn’t stay with her in-laws...?” 

“No. No. My daughter lives in her flat in Aundh. I advised my daughter to stay separately – so she can enjoy her freedom – her in-laws are very old-fashioned – especially her mother-in-law – she will make my daughter’s life hell...” the lady said. 

I smiled to myself at her double-standards and hypocrisy: 

The Joint Family System was good for her daughter-in-law 


The same Joint Family System was not good for her daughter

And – I remembered a story I had written sometime ago.

Sometimes – Truth is stranger than Fiction – or rather – there is a very thin line between truth and fiction.

Read on...

HYPOCRISY – A Story of Double Standards

Part 1


“Is everything okay...? You don’t look well...” I said to the “Techie” girl in my office.

“I am okay, Sir – I am just feeling tired, that’s all...” she said.

“Tired…? Well – work has just begun…”

“My tiredness is not work-related, Sir…”

“Tell me – what is the matter…?” 

She said: 

“Sir – for me – it’s the long commute to work that wears me out – it takes me nearly 2 hours to get here to Hinjewadi from Kharadi.

And Sir – in the evening – you know how bad the rush hour traffic is in Pune – it sometimes takes me 3 hours to get home. 

And then – even at home – there is so much work to do in the house – cooking, housework etc 

I have to cook in the morning – and then again in the evening – sometimes I feel that I will collapse due to the exhaustion…” 

I said:

“Why don’t you shift nearby…? 

There are plenty of flats available in Wakad – just a 10 minute drive from Hinjewadi. 

You will easily get a good 2 BHK flat on rent well within your HRA – and it will be convenient for your husband too – his factory in Chinchwad is also a 10 minute drive from Wakad. 

In fact – there are some flats available for rental in my society – I will ask around – or – if you want – you can even buy your own flat in Wakad – I will find out…” 

She said: 

“Thank you, Sir – but my mother-in-law will not allow us to stay separately…” 

“Really…? Why…?” I asked her. 

She said: 

“Sir – my mother-in-law says that she believes in the Joint Family System…”

Part 2


Three years later – I met the same mother-in-law – yes – the very same mother-in-law of my erstwhile “Techie” colleague.

She was the same woman who believed in the Joint Family System.

By the way – I had changed my job – and – I was now working for another “IT Software Company” – also located in Hinjewadi.

Call it coincidence – but the woman’s daughter had recently joined my new company.

And – like her daughter-in-law – her daughter was also a “Techie”.  

It was the company anniversary function.

The woman’s “Techie” daughter had come along with her husband – and she had also brought her mother and father along. 

The woman smiled at me. 

(She was the same woman who was the mother-in-law of my earlier colleague – and  the mother of my present colleague) 

I introduced myself. 

I told the woman that I had earlier worked with her daughter-in-law in my previous office. 

I said to the woman:

“So – like your daughter-in-law  your daughter too must be having a tough time commuting to work to Hinjewadi from the city every day…” 

The woman said: 

“No – my daughter lives in Wakad…” 

I said: 

“Oh – your daughter lives nearby in Wakad...? 

So  her in-laws” – your daughter’s in-laws – they live in Wakad – is it...? 

The woman said: 

“No – her in-laws live in their house in Model Colony – which is too far from her office…” 

I was baffled.

The woman made her daughter-in-law commute every day from Kharadi – which was 30 kilometers away from Hinjewadi – whereas Model Colony was only 15 Kilometers from Hinjewadi. 

Yes – Kharadi was much further away from Hinjewadi – than Model Colony – where her daughter’s in-laws lived. 

So – I said to the woman:

“Model Colony is not that far away from Hinjewadi…”  

The woman said: 

“Actually – it is not that. 

I did not want my daughter to stay with her in-laws – they are too old-fashioned

So – so I told my daughter and her husband to buy their own flat and stay separately…” 

Surprised at her answer – I said to the woman:

“But – I thought that you believed in the Joint Family System 

Didn’t you make your daughter-in-law stay with you as a Joint Family…?” 

The woman said: 

“That is different…” 

I was astonished  so I asked the woman: 


What do you mean different…? 

You force your daughter-in-law to stay with you as a Joint Family” 

But – you tell your daughter to live separately from her in-laws as a Nuclear Family…? 

I just don’t understand your views. 

Do you believe in the Joint Family System”...? 

Or – do you believe in the Nuclear Family System...?

Please tell me clearly – do you believe in Joint Family System” or Nuclear Family System...? 

The woman said to me:

“You won’t understand these things…” 

And – she quickly walked away. 


Yes – I don’t understand these things – I just don’t understand the hypocrisy.

As a mother-in-law” – she believed in the Joint Family System” 

She wanted her daughter-in-law” to live under her command – and – she expected her daughter-in-law” to serve her... 

She did not want to give her daughter-in-law” any freedom...

But – as a mother – she believed in the Nuclear Family System” 

She wanted her daughter to live separately from her in-laws

She wanted her daughter to enjoy her freedom ...

I don’t understand why women have double standards – one yardstick their daughters-in-law – and  another yardstick for their own daughters. 

Dear Reader: 

Please tell us what you have observed around you. 

Do Women treat Daughters and Daughters-in-Law differently...? 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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1. This fiction story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Abridged and Revised Version of my Story HYPOCRISY posted online earlier by me Vikram Karve on January 25, 2016 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal at url: and and  and

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