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The pressure on young women to get married – never end a marriage – has dire consequences for some marriages, and lives.
Hailing from a country which heavily breathes on mostly one relationship between men and women, i.e. the fatal attraction, it is not uncommon to find parents searching for an appropriate life partner for their daughter. The times have still not changed in most parts of India, where, as a girl turns 18-23, the pressure gets more and more intense for her to be wed.
No doubt, the metros see a sea change with increasing number of live-in relationships but it’s a fact that this number is not huge. Many a girl is raised with the thought that she have to beautify someone else’s life, primarily her future husband’s. How often are parents seen teaching their girls about their own happiness, about their own peace, let alone the comfort of having sex as per their wishes and agreement?
Next, the wedding is a huge affair. Pomp and show, give and take, the forms of ostentation are numerous. Less are the objections to this style of wedding, and more the cases where the money spent sweeps the floor under the bride’s family. Parents save all their life to have a great wedding for their daughter. Mothers often are seen collecting gold, little by little for their girls. The bride’s dress, the jewelry, the beauty, the sanskaar (values) have to be impeccable but who questions the bridegroom! Just the fact he is a boy spares him of all the horror of evaluation and embarrassment.
Once happily wed, what is the proportion of ‘happily ever after’? How happy a girl now the daughter-in-law is, is measured by her husband’s love for her, the degree of comfort she finds in her new home. But, it is not hard to find as well as not much easier to believe, that a girl raised to be a future daughter-in-law can have her own personality.
How often does she feels betrayed by just the upbringing, the norms of society, the laws of the world, God’s categorization of man and woman….but whom can she question? One day, she just quits or exits the worldly affairs with a note full of questions and the ink reeks of the stench of the life she lived!
Do I belong in your arms
Or in the solace of my being?
Hard to answer
Easy at first it may seem.
Outside the window
the trees stand naked
I wonder if they knew
the green is going to betray them?
Life’s a jungle
Dense, dark and cold
You don’t stand unique
For life to rain dark clouds on.
I wonder every now and then,
If I ask a valid question?
Harsh to predict
How innocuous that may look,
In the lines of her hand
She scratches a name
I wonder if she knew
If the henna colours-on or the future bleeds?
Where do I belong?
Immaterial, trivial, senseless-
A question it may seem
To a whole lot,
‘Cos they often think
Etched in the numerous moments
Your name and my being
Aren’t they one?
Endless trials to find
Yet standing empty-handed
With a heart hollow of love
I decide to take matters
In my custody and
Pic credit: BD (Used under a Creative Commons license)
Originally published at the author’s blog.
Shaifali Gupta is the founder of Media Meridian, a Social Media & Content Marketing firm. Starting
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