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A Very Special BondAs the evening shadows lengthened, Vasantha hastened her pace. Her father-in-law would be anxiously waiting for her.. A maddening panic would grip him till he espied her walking jauntily up the slope. It upset him considerably – her going out and working amidst all kinds of men.  But his son Kishore had remained adamant. “We need the extra income,” he had said.

The old man smiled warmly as she walked in. It was strange really, this affection he felt for his daughter-in-law.  Was it because she made him feel that he had still something of value to contribute in the shaping of their lives? Or was it her effervescence that always brightened up the place somehow? “So how was the day?” he began. “Super,” she answered and dashed off into the bathroom. When she returned he noticed that her nose looked pink. There was a hurt look at the corners of her mouth.

“What happened ma? Did someone misbehave with you?”
“Mrinalini came to see me,” she responded. He was silent.
“She wanted to speak to me about Kishore. And her son.”
“Foolish girl! Does she think we’ll just hand over our life to someone as irresponsible as she?”

“Appa, we may have no choice in the matter if what Mrinalini has said to me, is the truth. Tell me why did they split up in the first place?”
The old man looked uncomfortable. What could he say when he did not know the truth himself? Drawing in a deep breath, she spoke: “I can’t ask Kishore anything. The man I married is not the man I’m living with. You know, the high point of my life are the evenings I spend with you. The peace I find in our talks reduces the pain I feel each time Kishore ignores me. He’s hardly aware of me.”

Suddenly the door opened and a furious Kishore walked. “Why did you meet Mrinalini without my permission?” “She came to meet me. Besides, who I meet is entirely my business,” replied Vasantha.

Enraged, he came forward to slap her but his father seized his hand.

“In my house, no woman will ever be abused, understand?” Five year old Ashok came running and clung to her.
“Don’t touch my son,” roared Kishore. Feeling suddenly sad for her husband, she whispered, “Mrinalini claims the paternity issue is what she’s going to contest about. She’s even named the father.”

Completely deflated, Kishore looked at her helplessly and asked, “What do you think we should do?”

She gazed at Ashok and kissing him, she answered, “We’ll hire the best lawyer and win. Ashok is ours.”
The old man smiled proudly and said: “That’s my girl.”

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  1. 1 macee

    its a touching article. I wish all father in laws cherished their bahus in the same manner.

  2. 2 Rehana Khan

    It felt good and sad on reading this article. Very rarely we see father-in-laws taking their daughter-in-laws side. The concern for her feelings as well as her safety was touching.
    The husbands behaviour was a reminder that a woman has to put up with all kinds of situations after marriage. Unless she learns to adjust, she is the one who will suffer.
    Marriage is a challenge and those who shy away from it are cowards.


    This is short and sweet story with so much hidden feelings, nice to read the response of father - in - low.

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