Yes, I know that it is not possible to imagine an ideal saas-bahu Jodi in Indian scenario. This is because this particular relationship hangs on a shiny but fragile silk thread surrounded by flames of tradition, society and ego clashes. Modern-day women are more aware of the sensitivity of this relationship and are making a conscious effort to stay in a harmonious mutual relationship. This is why we all must know about these two wonderful women, we will call then Sarla (the saas) and Shanti (the bahu), these names being assigned to reflect their most basic virtues.
Meet Sarla, the ideal saas of 21st century India. She is a teacher in a reputed private school in New Delhi since the past 35 years. An epitome of grace and elegance, Sarla is aware of the latest events happening around the world and is very interested in world politics. However, she makes sure that no political tactics are woven by her relatives to affect her family. She leaves for work at 7:10 am and returns by 2:30 pm. She starts her day by waking up at 5 am and doing an hour of yoga and meditation. Then, she prepares breakfast for the whole family and packs tiffin for herself, her son and her bahu. Soon after, she gets ready and boards her school bus.
The alarm rings at 7:30 am for Shanti, who then prepares green tea with lemon for herself, and chai for her husband and father in-law. Shanti is an IT professional at a big MNC in Gurgaon. She is extremely talented and has a promising career. As she gets ready for office, she makes a simple meal and carefully stores it in casseroles. Then, she gets ready, puts her tiffin in her bag and leaves for work. She comes back by 630 pm.
Sarla gets a hot meal for lunch and she rests for a few hours before the kids return from office. They relish their evening tea together and talk about each other’s day. Sarla and Shanti cook dinner together and dinner time is family time.
Here are their inspiring habits that we should learn from:
- Sarla has raised her son to be independent. “He can whip up a simple meal and knows how to handle household chores reasonably well. Why not to raise sons to be all-rounders?”, she chuckles.
- Sarla doesn’t label any task as a man’s task or a woman’s task. Their household works by equal participation of all family members.
- Sarla doesn’t pressurize Shanti for planning a child. “She has a very promising career, I want her to choose motherhood when she is ready”, she says.
- Sarla encourages her son to take Shanti out for dinner or movie from time to time. “Privacy for couples is important. When they are out, we also get some time for ourselves”, Sarla coyly says.
- Shanti understands the age-factor and doesn’t let Sarla perform tedious tasks like grocery shopping, paying bills etc. “I always ask mummyji if she needs something specific from the market”, Shanti tells us.
- Shanti makes sure that Sundays are spent with her family and she regularly asks Sarla about her opinion on several things. “We even go shopping together. Mummyji knows so many things!”, she exclaims.
- Both women treat each other as individuals and don’t impose their ideas or beliefs on each other. Sarla is a religious woman and follows her rituals sincerely, but she never asks Shanti to do them. “It is all in the heart”, she says. “Shanti is free to do what she believes in”.
The bottom line is that we can become an ideal saas or bahu if we know our limits and responsibilities. Hatred can only be overcome by love. However, the effort has to be from both sides. It is important to understand that times have changed and we cannot expect the same things that have been around since decades ago. Moving ahead with the time is the key to happiness in all relationships, and saas-bahu relationship is no different.