Do you feel fortunate to be living in a time when gender equality seems like a possibility?
Do you feel thankful that you have the opportunity to choose who you want to spend your life with?
Do you feel empowered that you are financially independent and professionally successful?
Do you still, in spite of the above, secretly worry if you are sanskaari enough?
Worry no more! For here is 11 step guide that will ensure that you are as sanskaari as a newly-wed Barjatya bahu.
1. On your first night (if that has passed,then on any night), knock at your in-laws' door and pretend to be Goddess Laxmi. It will be very helpful to carry a few golden asharfiyaan (bullions) on your person that proves your credibility. Remember to look benign and benevolent.
2. When asked for your opinion, look towards your husband and coyly smile. Then say "from today my swami's opinion is my opinion and the dust of his feet is my breakfast".
3. Do not go for a honeymoon unless it is a scenic village and you are accompanied by your entire family (from the husband's side).
4. When anyone asks you when can they expect 'good news', (which they will, when you return from the honeymoon), announce you are pregnant. Say that at the age of 13 owing to your unprecedented sanskaari-ness you were blessed with the boon of iccha-impregnation which means you can bear a male child by sheer force of will.
5. Change your name to 'Shakuntala', ' or some such appropriately traditional name that reeks of obedience and submission.
6. At any neighbourhood festival celebration, break into a tandav nritya and say that you learnt this skill in order to defend your family's honour, in case the asuras or the Income Tax Officials were to come knocking at your grihasthi
7. Till the age of 40, channel Kajol from K3G: be very docile and playful and go looking for opportunities to touch your in-laws' feet without their knowledge.
8. Post 40, channel Jaya Bhaduri from K3G. You must develop powers that alert you when your son (sanskaari women don't bear daughters) crosses the threshold of your city.
9. If you run out of conversation in a social gathering, start chanting the Hanuman Chaalisa (what? you don't have that by heart? refer to my yet-to-release-book 'Sanskarism for beginners').
10. At least once every week, watch a Suraj Barjatiya film. If possible watch two. When you have sons, make them watch too. Take notes of good behaviour.
11. When in doubt, sing bhajans.
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