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The mother-in-law: The other woman in your marriage
A book that every daughter in law should read 'The Mother-in-Law - The Other Woman in Your Marriage' by author Veena Venugopal. Every bahu has a story to tell - and it?s about her Mummy Ji.

In this witty, acute and often painfully funny book authored by Veena Venugopal and published by Penguin India follows eleven women through their marriages and explores why the mother-in-law is the dreaded figure she is.

Meet Deepa, whose bikini-wearing mother-in-law won't let her even wear jeans; Carla whose mother-in-law insists that her son keep all his stuff in his family home although he can spend the night at his wife's; Rachna who fell in love with her mother-in-law even before she met her fiance only to find both her romances sour; and Lalitha who finds that despite having had a hard-nut mother-in-law herself, she is turning out to be an equally unlikeable Mummyji.

Full of incisive observations and deliciously wicked storytelling, The Mother-in-Law is a book that will make you laugh and cry and understand better the most important relationship in a married woman's life.

Here are some startling facts:

  • Pentheraphobia is the fear of mother-in-law
  • In India one out of every two women who start their careers drops out before she gets into middle management. The career woman is a no-no in the marriage market. Even in 2014, most mothers-in-law want for their sons, a wife who will stay at home and cook and clean. In a recent case, the Supreme Court had to specify that a daughter-in-law is not a housemaid.
  • The North Indian Mummyji is a veritable fashion police. She specifies and supervises what the daughter-in-law is allowed to wear. No skirts, no jeans, no t-shirts are pretty standard diktats. The South Indian mother-in-law is more vague, she mostly makes some generic statements about "appropriate dressing".
  • Surprisingly, religion and caste aren't big issues anymore between urban mothers-in-law and their bahus.
  • What equal rights? In a survey of men in Brazil, Croatia, Rwanda, Mexico and Chile and India, only 16 per cent of Indian men said they considered it their responsibility to share the household chores more or less equally. 86 per cent of Indian men said that the responsibility of changing diapers and looking after the children were entirely their wives'.
  • All India Mother-in-law protection Forum is the first ever social forum created to protect the rights and interests of the Mother-in-law.
  • The saas-bahu genre of Indian soaps is now about fourteen years old, worth Rs 200 crore and has audience in countries as far as Serbia and Kenya.
  • Women who live with their mothers ?in-law are three times as likely to have a heart disease compared to women who don?t. (Source: a study of 91,000 women over a seven year period in Japan).
  • The chances of a successful marriage increase with every yard of distance between the married couple and the mother-in-law (Source: Italian National Statistics Institute).

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