Married Indian women are nothing short of the Perry the Platypus lifestyle. Normal by day, and spies by night. Well, not spies, but it's just as exciting.
We know that the typical Indian wife is the epitome of sanskaar and parampara, or at least that's what we are conditioned to believe.
While most of us believe our mothers and aunts do these duties from day to night, the truth is that they manage to live dual lives.
One which appeals to the in-laws and her husband, and another where she does what she likes. Confused? Let us help you out.
Some married Indian women, told us about this dual lifestyle they craft for themselves and their stories are fascinating.
"Oh, being married is a task. I mean sure I love my family and kids, but it can get super exhausting. There's so much to do and take care of, that I barely get time for anything else. And then keeping up with all these traditions like fasting gets difficult. My in-laws live with me so it's harder for me to have some personal space." Jiya, 34 told us.
"But, on the weekend, I have a kitty party! We're a bunch of 8 ladies who meet for drinks, play board games, gossip a little, and just forget about all our responsibilities. But, my husband and in-laws don't know about it. I tell them I'm going to my friend Ritu's house, and that's where they think I am every Saturday." she finished with a sheepish smile on her face.
Many women hide their whereabouts from their family just so they can have some peace of mind, and time off their stressful responsibilities.
Heena, 27 shared her little secret with us - "My entire household is vegetarian, and even though I live only with my husband, I can't cook any kind of non-vegetarian food in the house even for myself."
"Every Sunday, Ravi (husband) goes to meet his parents, and he's usually gone for two or three hours. Fifteen minutes after he leaves, I order some butter chicken or mutton biryani and devour the taste. I finish it before he's back and dispose the containers outside the house. If he finds out I think he'll freak out, but I enjoy this little ritual I have with myself."
The fear that entraps married Indian women to think at least ten times before they do something is what keeps them from taking part in doing what they like.
"I used to paint a lot before I got married, I loved painting with watercolors and color pencils. Still scenes and landscapes were my go to. I got married when I was 31 and it's been 4 years since. In the first year of my marriage I barely got any time to paint, and everytime I started, I was interrupted by something or the other." Kajal, 35 reminisced.
"By the second year of marriage I was frustrated. I couldn't really do any of the hobbies I took interest in. My husband was supportive of my painting, but I had so much work and responsibility not just at home but also at work. I never had the time. But now, I tell my husband that i'm going to meet my parents, which I do, but I just sit at their house and paint."
"It's usually over the weekend, and I need some space from everything so I prefer to go to my parents' house instead of staying home with my husband."
Basic things like working on hobbies becomes difficult for these women but working out a little scheme helps them act on these hobbies and make their lives a little better.
"I am a huge fan of wine. When I was in college, I remember my friends and I took a trip to Sula vineyards, there were four of us and all of us were excited. I had so much wine that day, I was very happy." Komal, 27 remembered.
"When I was 25 I got married to Jatin, my husband, and it was great. We shared the love for wine among many other things. But, as the years went by, it became difficult to bond over it. We went for a lot of wine tasting and wine making events, but now we barely do."
"His parents have no idea that I drink, and they would be very mad if they found out, but Jatin has been very nice about it. From last year onwards, I started making wine at home! I didn't have time to go to any events after Vivek, my son, was born. I had him at 26 and honestly, all hell broke loose."
"But every month, I start fermenting wine and it honestly brings me so much joy. I do it when Jatin is at office so it can be something that's only mine to enjoy. A little selfish, but I really like doing it by myself. I bottle it in empty wine bottles from before and Jatin doesn't know about it. I feel like a secret agent, mixing potions when my husband is gone!"
The Indian marriage system is very male-oriented, and Indian women have to go through a great deal of labor to maintain their marriages. But, the secret dual lives that they live give them a sense of liberation and identity, which makes it a little easier for them.