The moment you think of MILs you’ll surely remember those saas-bahu serials. I’m not talking about them. I wanted to write about my MIL.

When I first saw my, then would-be MIL, now MIL, I was sure she belonged to one of those ‘dreadful’ category. She has huge eyes and a piercing look – a perfect combination for ‘villain’ saas. The first time I met her, she asked me a couple of questions and I answered them and then turned all my attention on Arvindh. The second time I saw her was when my wedding got fixed. There were too many people around and neither of us spoke to each other. That night when all of them were returning home, she gave me a piercing stare, like she was judging me. I just smiled back. My opinion of her being monster-in-law was further bolstered.

After that day, Arati and me had a lot of discussions about her. But my mom was of an entirely opposite opinion. My mom had interacted with her a lot more than I had and insisted that she was a very sweet lady. I even told Arvindh that his mom looked very strict and stern. He started laughing and he said his mom was the sweetest thing on earth. Well, all children will say that about their moms.

My next meeting with her was on the engagement day. On that day I had decided to go and speak to her. Actually it wasn’t a decision – it was an order – by none other than my mom. After a lot of thought on what to say, I finally said that the saree she selected for me was good and I liked it a lot. There was a wide genuine smile on her face. It felt good.

Soon after the engagement we (parents n myself) went to Bombay. We stayed with my in-laws, much to my dislike, for a couple of days. She was really sweet then. She asked me what all I like, my favourite colors, etc. Even then I was very uncomfortable with her. But one thing was for sure, she was no longer the monster-in-law for me.

During the courtship, I spoke to her only a couple of times. After my wedding, we went to Bombay for a couple of weeks. I really missed my parents then and when they came to Bombay for the reception, I cried like crazy in my mother’s arms. After my parents left, my MIL asked if that if there was any problem, asked me if Arvindh misbehaved with me. She was really concerned. That really touched me. I realised how wrong I was about her! She was a wonderful person.

Over the couple of years I have got to know her a lot. She is the most innocent person I have ever met in my life. She also knows the art of taking care. Really, we all take care of people, but she is one step ahead. She really goes a mile farther to make life comfortable for me. Sometimes, when I look back, I think I was too quick to jump to a opinion about her. Mom-in-law not monster-in-law!