If You Don’t Stand Up For Yourself, You Can Stand Nowhere

Posted: March 12, 2015

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We all make mistakes. We all miss a moment of courage. But how many of us revisit the moment and talk about it? 

There were many things I wanted to share with this new family of mine. There were many confessions to make. In the last few months, I thought a lot about converting them into short pieces of fiction with all the names changed and references hidden in the plot. But I realised that it will never serve my purpose of getting relieved from the burden of wrongs I have done, until they are confessed in first person. Among the many confessions I have to make, this is the most important one.

I have a very beautiful family. My husband works with a multinational company and I take care of our two sons. Our relatives and friends see us as a happily married couple and I don’t think there is any doubt about it also. I love my husband like all the women, around me, who love their men and I have never held back anything, when it came to sharing and caring.

Ours was an arranged marriage and I had no issues about the marriage being arranged by my parents. But there were those unfortunate things, which were done as an inevitable part of an arranged marriage. He and his family, and even my family might have forgotten all of that but these are the things, which have always been in my mental backstage, though they never affected my on-stage performance.

So, the story begins like this. Our parents decided an exchange of five lakh rupees in our marriage along with the total dowry and a certain amount of gold. It was a mutual decision to an extent. My husband and I were very much aware of the facts, but we were not in the state of mind to have done something about this matter. We were not supposed to say anything. So, the marriage took place exactly as per the set rules and rituals. I went to my husband’s house with all dowry and five lakh rupees.

It’s been nine years since that event, but I have to confess that the guilt of that sin never went off my mind even for a single day. I always feel that I could have done something about it. I always feel that even my husband could have done something about it. And you know what, I would have loved him and his family all the more had they not taken all that. I would have loved my own family had they not given all that. I would have loved my husband a million times more, had he taken a simple step against all that and above all, I would have felt far better about myself had it not happened. When this happened, it killed something within me. And it still kills me.

The pain caused from the failure to do our bit can never let us live our life at fullest. That bit, which was left undone by me is here in front of you as my confession. I am guilty of not doing what I thought was right. I am guilty of not believing in my thoughts. I am guilty of keeping mum. I am guilty of not standing up for myself.

And I am very sure of this fact today that if you don’t stand up for yourself, you stand nowhere.

Image of a sad lady via Shutterstock

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  1. That’s an honest confession and I can’t begin to imagine the guilt you must be feeling about this. But, since it is in the past, and that cannot be changed, maybe you can begin by confessing this to the husband and both the families. Maybe that will make them understand the mistake and they will not repeat the same with other arranged marriages in their families.

    You might try to give back the amount subtly, or without telling them- like make a fixed deposit in their names.

  2. Good job! At least you know within that you could have done something about it. Your lack of courage was maybe because of all the pre-marriage jitters and all but I think you have encouraged quite many young women to speak up. I find it very disturbing when well educated girls and guys give in to their family’s demands like these. Its not only girls who need to speak up. Guys too have to, otherwise it would never end. Ours was a love marriage which was not arranged by parents and that makes me proud that we decided to be together without anything in exchange but our love for each other.

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