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Bindi Bottoms
Nimita Pandey Research Scholar, Bengaluru

For the first few months of my marriage, I noted the changes I was expected to make as the nayi bahu. I was excited about the changes I desired - more people to love and greater support in my life – but I despised the rest of the parcel - a conventional lifestyle and compromised dreams. So, I decided to honestly convey my opinion to my newfound family. I chose the direct approach and opened my heart to my mother-in-law. What I shared with my husband’s mother was not just a simple list of my likes and dislikes, but the kind of heart-to-heart conversation that is needed for long-lasting soul connections.

When I returned to my sasural after finishing my research fieldwork in Bengaluru, I waited throughout the day. When the house went to sleep, I quietly entered my mother-in-law’s room and sat by her side. Holding her hands warmly, I revealed to my mother-in-law several of my personal characteristics and quirks.

I cannot stay still while talking. I sway and swing during conversations. Upon seeing something funny, I can’t just leak a measured smile. I jolt with laughter and do a full size ROFL. When I love someone, I can’t wait to express it. I hug and tickle the person I love. Upon achieving something worthwhile, I am not content with just distributing sweets. I cannot help but jump out of joy and throw my hands up in the air. When I am sad, I don’t keep it to myself. I reach out to my loved ones and cry like a baby. I told my mother-in-law that I wanted to do all of it with her without any inhibitions, and asked if she would be my partner-in-crime. In reply, I got a hug from my mother-in-law. She promised me that she would give it a shot.


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