Recently, a video surfaced on the internet, where a bride was gifted a baby feeding bottle as a prank by the groom's friend, on the day of the wedding.
In the video, it's clear that the bride is visibly upset by the gift, and she even flings it aside. But the reaction of the crowd is extremely opposite. From raucous laughing to blatant cheering, the crowd believes they have pulled off the ultimate prank.
But is this really something to joke about?
It's no secret that in a patriarchal society, women are not treated equally. Right from their birth, they are boxed into stereotypical, societal roles and little to no importance is given to their personal dreams and desires. And this is exactly what this 'prank' proved.
The joke plays on the fact that right after marriage, a newlywed couple should think of having children. And this sentiment is not only flawed but intrudes on an idea that should be private to a couple - the desire to have a child.
The phrase "good news" as a euphemism for pregnancy has become so common, Bollywood made a whole movie on it. But it's good news, only if the couple, and especially the woman, want to have a child.
But in Indian societies, more often than not, couples have children because they are expected to. Not because they want to. And it's the woman, who is often saddled with the complete responsibility of raising a child and putting her life on hold.
Marriage does not equal motherhood. And cracking jokes on a wife's expected role being all about bearing children is not funny. It never was. It was simply a tool to reinforce regressive practices and misogynistic beliefs. And it's time we retire them from practice.