Archana was a young girl of eighteen who was married as soon as she finished her schooling. There was not much to do in the small town where she lived. Most of her time was spent in front of the mirror. She would take care of her skin; comb her hair; try her limited dresses in various styles and smile.

While the girls in the town envied Archana’s smile, her husband took interest in her slim body and her in-laws took pride in her fair complexion.

It was Archana’s first day at her new home. Her husband was fast asleep after a long night but Archana woke up early, took a bath and tried the several new salwar kameez she had received. She eventually decided to put the black one for the day.

“Archana,” a shout came and she rushed out to the living room. Archana touched the feet of her in-laws.
“Women in our home do not wear this. We believe in cultural sarees. It protects the dignity of women,” said her father-in-law and walked away.

Archana hurried back to her room. The girl who used to take at least ten minutes to decide among her five dresses took fifty seconds to select among countless new dresses. She quickly wrapped a red saree and walked out to accompany her in-laws to the temple.

Archana walked beside her mother-in-law while her father-in-law lead the way. People kept looking at the slim waist of the young beautiful girl and Archana could do nothing but look down.

“Who is the girl in red saree?” A bystander asked.

“My daughter-in-law,” Archana’s father-in-law replied with pride