Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Surreal Conversation

"I can't believe this is happening in this day and age" - have you ever heard someone say that? I guess it means that when we have progressed in so many many areas, it's difficult to fathom how some things never change. I had one such conversation today

S: I wanted to talk to you. I might have to take some time off from work

Me: Is everything ok?

S: Well, I got my daughter married to a "nice boy" last year and had a very grand wedding, as you know (I went for the wedding. It was indeed "grand"). Everything was fine for a while. And then my daughter's mother-in-law (I'm calling her MIL from here on), started abusing my daughter.

Me: What? What kind of abuse? (I was thinking does it matter?)

S: What else? Dowry, only. I gave so much and I also spent so much on the wedding. But still MIL was very rude and shouting at my daughter and said I have to give her property and whatnot.

Me: You should report her to the police.

S: What's the use? If I do, and she and her son are put in jail for 7 years, then it's my daughter who will suffer. I spoke to the lawyer who said not to do that now.

Me: Hmm.

S: I think if they have a baby everything will be solved. But MIL will not let them. She calls her son correctly at 7.30 pm when he is just come from work and keeps him on the phone. Sometimes she asks him to come to visit her late in the night, and says she has some problem. She says she will throw my daughter out if she comes between her and her son.

(long pause)

S: MIL hit her so much that my daughter had to be taken to the hospital. Whenever the son is at work, MIL beats up my daughter and makes her do demeaning things.

Me: What about the boy's father? What does he say?

S: He's just a "dummy". He just sits there - just a namesake father.

Me: I still think you should report to the police. If more people thought about the crime, maybe it wouldn't happen. When you are scared that they will take their anger out on your daughter, its difficult to see the crime taking place.

S: Anyway. My health is suffering. I wish she will get pregnant then everything will be okay. I hope she does not send my daughter home.

The conflict. Doing the right thing vs. the well-being of your daughter. I can't believe this is an actual conversation I had this morning. S is a high-grade manager, making a decent amount of money, educated. Daughter is educated (with an MBA), and married to a successful banker.

Are you shocked? Or are you saying "Yea Yea This Happens Everywhere"?