A book of standards against which to measure
No deviation from rules could they envision
This strict adherence was something they did treasure
From the way one should look and dress
Down to the shade of skin that was acceptable
Only the right mannerisms could impress
Them, after all they were so respectable..
Needless to say, accepting an outsider
Was not something they could easily do
The newcomer first had to pass muster
With them, and their impeccable standards too.
Now a daughter-in-law for such a household
Has to be a daydream from heavens sent
She should be strong and malleable (God bless her soul!)
With infinite capacity to be molded and bent..
So they searched everywhere, high and low
“Too fair”, “too dark”, “too garrulous”, “too shy”
“Too smart”, “too gauche”, “too highbrow”
They had their notions, don’t think they didn’t try..
One fine day, then, the young-blooded man
Fell prey to Cupid’s mischievous dart
Then, forgetting the “rules” of the clan
He married a woman quite different but smart.
Of course she was opposite in every way
Defied every norm they had perpetuated
Mocked at their prejudices every single day
While she pretended that she was motivated
To mold herself in the image they desired
But gradually she made them change their minds
So skilfully she did it that they just got tired
Of trying to remember their prejudices blind
So they accepted her in their hearts and their lives
And proudly announced what a gem they had found
Who fit like a glove in their home just like other wives
Their pride swelled up more, they threw more weight around.
When you ask her how she accomplished this feat
With a sly smile, she will be happy to explain
That prejudices are opinions without any feet
Turning them around involves not much pain
You need no evidence to prove your case
Just a skilful rearrangement of words in a way
That they are convinced their rules are in place
Let them believe that they still hold sway!
P.S. This would be the image of the “Bhartiya Nari” they have in mind…