What’s With Indian Men And Their Obsession About Having Only A Sanskari Woman As A Wife?

A girlfriend can be a fun person, but when it comes to choosing a wife, Indian men want only a sanskari woman! Aren't these double standards?

A girlfriend can be a fun person, but when it comes to choosing a wife, Indian men want only a sanskari woman! Aren’t these double standards?

Men don’t mind having a happy-go-lucky female friend or girlfriend, then why are they so picky when it comes to marriage? In the checklist of qualities they look for in the future wife, Sanskari stands at No.1. Is Bollywood mimicking a real life scenario or is it a cooked up Bollywood broth the sells most?

When I was a kid, I was mostly an outdoor person. I used to take walks on the open terrace or make myself comfortable in the balcony reading some book or the other. This went on for quite some years. While I strolled like Your Majesty, a lot of young eyes (of other strollers like me) would fall on me. I didn’t exactly enjoy it, but the experience made me curious enough to calculate the number of suitors that would line up for me when the time comes.

I had a ‘college queen’ image with a bunch of admirers and that confirmed my childhood estimation. I was waiting for that long line not because it would make me feel like a worthiest prize to be won, as others usually assume, but for the opportunity of choice it gives me. But, somehow fate (whether mine or others’, I am not really sure) took a wicked turn. 

Now after 10 years, I went back to those years to check out what actually went wrong. As a kid I was a tomboy with cropped hair and intelligent eyes, always active, enthusiastic, sometimes loud-mouthed and mostly associated with the demonic temper that could be easily kindled. I think I am pretty much the same even today, with a few extra ounces of maturity and manners.

Of course! That is where the problem is. All of those characteristics are acceptable, and sometimes even admired in a kid, but not agreeable in a woman. The men were not afraid to marry in general but dreaded the thought of marrying me. Slowly, the truth unravelled itself. People needed a ‘Sanskari Biwi and Bahu‘ and I didn’t fit the bill. I never felt more sorry for anyone as I felt for such people for having such shallow expectations from the new addition to a family.

Gradually, it dawned on me that India has always been like this. Doll up, only then you’re suitable for your suitor. How did this not strike me earlier? I grew watching Bollywood movies that spewed the same message all this while.

  • Consider Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. It is a brilliant movie with good emphasis on the relationships among teens. And there our dear SRK falls for the ‘Om Jai Jagdish’ singing Rani. Let’s just say he really liked her and treated the tomboyish Kajol only as a dear friend. But in the later part of the movie, he likes the then tomboyish friend in a different way now. And why? Because she has mellowed down and is now in a sari and sari evinces maturity. Oh yeah, and the moment her pallu flies off he realizes she is a woman and she could be lovable too.
  • Let’s see now, Dulha Mil Gaya. I am very sure you don’t know/remember this movie. But, I do and for not-so-right reasons. To impress and to hold on to her already fled husband, Ishita Sharma goes through a complete, unrecognizable makeover. And Fardeen Khan, her husband actually falls for her. All this pandemonium was planned and executed by another woman. And, they happily lived ever after. So, to make a husband love her, a wife must duly doll up engaging his interests, always. 
  • And another SRK flick, Dil Toh Pagal Hai preaches, always choose the shy and silent girl, never the open and frank one. That is why Madhuri has two strong contenders to win her love and poor Karishma has none until Akshay sees her as a plan B and a second choice at the end. No, Madhuri was cute and so was Karishma, but somehow SRK liked Madhuri.
  • Let’s talk about Main Hoon Na. Amrita Rao had to straighten her hair, wear skirts, put on layers of makeup to impress Zayed Khan. To me, her earlier apparel was well fashionable for a teenage college girl and didn’t hide her curves. Nor did the nose ring veil her femininity. But no, ‘Change her’ was the motto. Only her makeover did the magic.
  • Let us forget all of these age old movies, let’s talk 21st century – Cocktail. Saif had a cool, ambitious, funny, young Deepika as a girlfriend. But to introduce his girlfriend to his mother he needed a sanskari woman, i.e. Diana. And his mom totally likes the ideal woman her son showcases. As is mom, so is son. His heart soon swerved away from Deepika and she begs him, literally, to reunite with her, she changes herself for him, does everything Diana does, to win him back. But, he somehow likes Diana. Maybe it is prophesied that Saif will be safe with a sanskari woman.

Why is it that all our protagonists somehow or other, fall in love with Sanskari ladies? There are numerous such movies to quote in all Indian languages with some exceptions, though. India has always been teaching us women to not break rules, have a boundary, do not change and other similar preachings. And, those who follow them fall under the Sanskari woman. Like it or not, they sacrifice stuff for others, they are obligated to serve others, they follow all the rules, they depend on others to show the solution, they wait for Prince Charming, they put others over themselves, they strive to impress others, they duly adjust and compromise to situations and people. It is all the time about others and very rarely about them.

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Movie buffs may be quick to ask, what happened to Anushka Sharma in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi? Didn’t she fall for a funky-looking, funny guy over her husband? Yes, she did. But didn’t she realize beforehand, it is with her husband that she has a divine relationship? No one ever came and reasoned with her to stay with her husband. She realized it for herself. And her husband didn’t remove his spectacles to look handsome or change his wardrobe after her acceptance, he remained the same. His wife gave him the freedom to remain the same. Because to her looks didn’t matter.

Those girls in the movies, actually changed, for good or bad, they made themselves suitable for the suitor, impressed and found their men.

But that is not my goal and I am not going to change.

Image source: youtube


About the Author

Monica Yelkur

I am an egalitarian and strive to see it around me as much as possible. I am an avid reader, a passionate writer and an ardent fan of English language. I like to observe things read more...

10 Posts | 43,329 Views

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