Friendship with my father-in-law

We wanted to change things but needed a safe space for ourselves, too. My elderly in-laws, Ammi and Papa—the two people we had been most afraid of offending with our inter-faith marriage—became our allies.

The gynaecologist who supervised my pregnancies, Dr Pushpa Sen, was senior to me by a few decades, but she and I had a few things in common. We were both big city women with careers who had married into traditional families in east Uttar Pradesh. Her father-in-law had been a well-known doctor in Varanasi and my in-laws were based in a sprawling village home, 100 kilometres on from the same city.

We spoke to each other candidly about how we changed the way we dress, speak and behave when we visit our sasural—the homes of our in-laws. We shared notes …


Natasha Badhwar

Natasha is a writer, filmmaker and communications coach. She is the author of the popular memoirs My Daughters’ Mum and Immortal for a Moment. Her columns have appeared in publications such as Mint Lounge, The Hindu, Outlook, The Globe and Mail, The Indian Express, the Hindustan Times and Quint.