Note: I am writing this elaborately after exchanging a few messages with one of my readers. I have readers from all across the globe who come from different countries and cultures too. It is very important hence, to point out what I felt then and why it felt so uncanny.
Besides, I don’t wish to run a risk where my readers form their opinions based on gueses. If I am wanting all to see my point of view; I may as well express my views completely.
The words now here would speak of what I have witnessed, both directly and otherwise; till then. The ideas expressed may not be applicable to all. I am only depicting what I have experienced watching others.
This is what was on my mind..
Often marriages are “fixed” by the parents
Parents look for a suitable groom/bride and expect their kids to follow. Often mutely and much against their wishes. They may or not be in a relationship with someone of their choice. They often maybe wanting to pursue higher studies; however, girls are only destined to be married, bear kids and become an ardent house- keeper.
They are not allowed to and expected to raise queries or questions upon their parents choice of the “boy”. Why; aren’t the parents supposed to know the betterment of their daughters; them being HER parents and elders?? Apparently, they do have to be dependent on a male body and name too. Their last name is always subjected to change. How hopeless it is to first grow up with father’s name and strike it out with husband’s father’s name after marriage. Oh, that way wouldn’t she become his sister..?
When I say “male body”; I mean to appear sheltered “respectably” across our Society. A woman has to be a shadow or rather be under a man’s shadow; oh no, make that husband’s shadow. Since, father too gets rid of his burden within the first 20 years of the woman’s, I mean his daughter’s life.
And push her to keep up with her in-laws and husband- NO MATTER WHAT. Adjustments, compromises, reconciliations.. unless either she commits suicide (often staged) or keeps her lips pursed, so it becomes her permanent facial feature. Other signs are wrinkled forehead, dark circles and scared eye balls.
Girls often don’t wish to get married
She tries and delays the onset of the arrangement for as long as possible. Read the above pointer again for reasons. And these:
Her identity gets limited to Mrs. so and so. She is not to address her legally wedded husband with his first name. Times have changed and so make that “in public”. Her name changes “again” after her first baby and then she is known as “Chunnu ki mummy” for the rest of her life. Often you would hear the Neighbors and spouses calling her with that name. Eaauuh.
Husband’s house is her Home
While its a lovely thought devoted to better halves; its opposite is just the opposite. Never ever she can then think of coming back to her parents and discuss her issues. One, because her parents would discourage her actively; 2nd, she gets conditioned. She definitely doesn’t wish to become a burden on her parents by going back or even add to their agonies by sharing her concerns.
Her “MISTER” is her only companion
Till Chunnu is born. The cycle begins of living her dreams through him. More often than not, Chunnu is born in the first year of her wedding. Making her a perfect swollen Pear within the age of 25 (thats the upper limit) and for her to become an “auntie” to even a 15 year old girl.
Wait.. I am not pear shaped; neither have a Chunnu around, but was addressed as that till I had rudely pointed out otherwise. This is still happening. Go ahead- you may LOL. My maid is only 27, the next building neighbor who is 28, addresses her as that; since she is still not married. If you know me; then, you ought to be knowing how smart my maid is.
No educated girl marries at 15
Or at 16 or any time sooner. Unless thats all she wants to do; since she is head over heals with her boyfriend. Or hails from a business family; and hence, plays in riches. Or is a poor girl hailing from a family who fall below the poverty line or is an unfortunate daughter of an illiterate villager. Marrying off one’s daughter is still regarded as the highest ritual and the greatest Duty one should and can attend to.
She is (left) completely on her own
Domestic violence is as common as s*x after marriage. Neighbors, friends, relatives; they all “mind” their own business. It isn’t considered a well manner to be a “nosy parker”. Apparently, it’s her personal domestic issue; she needs to handle those on her own. Worse, she has a kid, if not two and also not financially independent.
Last, but not the least, Her “MISTER” becomes her MASTER
*** self explanatory ***
I had witnessed how well mom was treated by dad. I just didn’t want to fall into the pattern..