A scene from an Indian movie:
Daughter (with vehemence): I DON’T want to get married!!
Mother (genuinely amazed): Then, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?!
In millions of homes in ‘real’ life, parents of daughters go to great lengths to scrimp and save all their life for the glory of one day ceremoniously dumping her, with gifts and goodies thrown in, on a strange family (some also call this by the name ‘marriage’!), and heaving a sigh of relief. From then on whatever happens can conveniently be pegged on the all-purpose ‘hook’ called Destiny.
If/when a daughter grows up and dares to question this assumption, parents are amazed WHAT ELSE daughters can do with their life other than opting to take on what is in their eyes, the “ultimate” (and ONLY) career for women. Don’t be deceived by the ‘times have changed’ refrain toted freely by a totally negligible elite few. The truth is, nothing of the sort has happened. Daughters are still expected to grow up, marry, move to the husband’s home and make him and his family her top priority.
Now, if only we could change THAT mentality of those millions of parents of daughters, may be, just may be we will get somewhere.
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©Shail Mohan 2014
True.. that question – what are you going to do just pisses me off.
like marriage is the end-all of things…
When will people in India get out of this marriage and baby-making fixation?
Shilpa Gupte said:
Very true, Shail! If only the mindset could be changed, the world will definitely become a much better place…for Eve!
..and Adam too, He will also have the option to marry or not to marry 🙂
LOL you got that right !! Also to add, we girls need to fulfill some certain requirements (or “pre-requisites”) you can say before marriage in order to be “marketable” before we reach that age. Here’s some things of what I heard: we need to:
1 Become “prim and proper”,
2. Learn to cook/clean and host guests like a expert,
3. Must marry and have kids by 24
3. Follow everything Indian and ONLY that..so basically ban all things that is foreign and limit yourself to a bubble of only Indian things (sheltered life then?). If you are keen in exploring what other parts of the world has to offer, you are going against “culture and tradition” (though keeping some cultural values and traditions are good and should be encouraged, but overall everything is changing and it’s BETTER to have a open mindset)
4. Owning a pet like a dog or cat is a NO NO (?!)
5. Never speak out/voice out anything, even personal opinions as it’s “disrespectful”. Listen and blindly follow what elders say, even if it’s bad and wrong.
6. Make sure you are the best in everything and don’t let others get praised for what they are worthy of.
7. Make sure you have the best saree/clothing and wear lots of gold to show how much you are “worth” for potential suitors.
That’s all I can think of now…but for me, will def break that mold and instill a new mentality where these will realize we can make ourselves much better in the long run. 🙂
It is really a shame how potential suitor’s family is enticed by showing off all that wealth and gold. I am amazed to think how it has never occurred to parents of girls just what they are doing. They dangle wealth and say, “Take my daughter! I will make you richer by so much.”
I totally say we should begin by targeting parents of daughters. Why the hell are they doing the role of agencies that provide helpers to households?
Do you mind if we target my family first? 😉 It’s gonna be a huge battle !
I have heard these dialogues too when a girl decides not to marry(of course this is during the time I was younger, so my generation)
I kept telling them to marry her off before she finishes her graduation…this is why.(How can someone raise a Person and expect them to not have their own wishes?)
Now no rishta(match) wants her cause she cant be bent to fit their home.(I used to get a fit of giggle cause I used to imagine the girl being Noodle like)
She wants her own money and no boy who wants a wife would want her working, I dont understand why she cant give up her job.(I never understood, how a working girl is doing nothing)
pssttt….it seems she had an abortion from a love affair(I never understood how her affair was anyone else’s business)
I have lived a Overhearing Life….havent I? 🙂
Mysoul, indeed you seem to have 🙂
Not much seems to have changed for the vast majority around when it comes to marriage. When I am at gatherings/functions/weddings I am amazed at how the world (in India) at large is still standing at the same spot. The difference seems to be that many more girls are working outside their homes. That’s it. A career has opened up the possibility of a better material life to many and nothing else. Minds still are as closed as before.
A regular Indian girl! said:
On that wonderful thought, I start my day!!! Thanks 😀
You are welcome 😀
Compare the expectations from a girl with those from a boy
X: Our son is not doing anything, what shall we do (wringing hands)
Y: Marry him and everything will be okay. I know a girl……
Probably this is why girls are supposed to marry. For the salvation of good for nothing boys.
May the next generation be different. So much pressure.
Rashid Faridi said:
Reblogged this on Rashid's Blog.
In a world where whatever others do is our business, an unmarried girl is society’s responsibility. By constantly nagging they(parents, relatives, society and all of them) are trying to do the best for the girl. Or so they think!!!
Great post, Shail.
This is why I hate going to weddings. I hear and want to smack their faces. Especially when they turn to me with a smile and say this garbage expecting me to agree…. Why just because I got married? Which by the way they didn’t all approve off.