“They were not mere words, but reality…!”

“Our daughter-in-law would be our daughter after marriage” – these are the standard words of almost all the parents, especially of mothers of all the boys at the time of their looking for alliances for their sons. Recently, I got opportunities to see these words in real action.

Last week, I attended a betrothal function. The alliance was initiated by Kalyanamalai. They had been looking for an alliance since four or five years. They had even registered with their community association and had sought the help of their relatives and friends in this connection. But nothing happened. And, they registered with Kalyanamalai a few months back. The alliance was finalized within just three months. They were extremely happy. When they came to my office for registration, both Krishnan and Vimala, the parents of the boy told me the same thing – their daughter-in-law would be their daughter after marriage. “Mohan, I’ve two sons and one daughter. My daughter is married and is abroad. My first son is married. My daughter-in-law is more than compensating the absence of my daughter. We want a similarly nice girl for our second son also. I can give you guarantee about her happiness,” Krishnan told me.

And, they got a very good girl for their second son also. Both the parties were very happy with the alliance. And, I was doubly happy that the alliance was materialized through Kalyanamalai. I went to the betrothal function along with my wife. The function was conducted like a marriage in grandeur. Krishnan received us both with so much warmth. The rituals were going on. Krishnan’s daughter garlanded the bride and completed the formalities. Then another girl repeated the procedure. On enquiry, I found out that she was Krishnan’s first daughter-in-law. She had been literally treated as a daughter of Krishnan’s family! If there were more than one sister for the boy, the eldest will complete all these formalities. If there are two, then, part of the formalities will be completed by the elder and the rest by the younger. But here, all the formalities were completed by Krishnan’s daughter first, then repeated by his daughter-in-law next! I saw the literal truth in Krishnan’s words which he uttered to me on the day of registration.

Another incident had also moved me deeply. Ramachandran, a relative of mine was celebrating his son’s marriage in Hyderabad. I could reach Hyderabad only in the morning of the wedding day due to my work load. The rituals were going on. Ramachandran has only one brother, Narayanan. His daughter Sujatha was tying the knot (thaali) in the capacity of a sister-in-law as Ramachandran has no daughters. He has only a son. Sujatha is 27 years old. She has a daughter, three years old. Six months back, Sujatha’s husband Ramesh died in an accident. Sujatha, a widow, was participating in all the rituals. I was moved by the forward thinking of Ramachandran and his family. I congratulated Ramachandran not only for his son’s marriage but also for this act of humanness. “Sujatha is always our daughter. There’s no reason for surprise. I gave her the rightful respect which she deserves as our daughter, that’s all,” Ramachandran replied in a very humble tone!

Ramachandran’s family did a thing which no other person would have dared to do. And, to cap it, Ramachandran was not even conscious of his greatness; he took it as if it were a usual thing! I was spell bound to realize that the concept of ‘Forward thinking’ was literally implemented there without much ado and publicity!