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My parents always said I could tell them if I wanted to marry someone, and would stand by me... but when the time came to do so, these turned out to be empty promises.
My parents always said I could tell them if I wanted to marry someone, and would stand by me… but when the time came to do so, these turned out to be empty promises.
Who says there can be heartbreak only between girlfriend and boyfriend?
Well, I used to believe the same, and I guess everyone else does. But my parents broke my heart into these tiny pieces, which I am not able to collect.
I’m a girl of the late ’90s, who is born and brought up in an upper-middle-class family, with 2 elder sisters. Having lived in upcoming metro cities, my parents’ thinking gradually broadened relating to clothes, friend circles, late-night parties, relatives’ comments, and other common things about which parents usually harp on. No doubt there were restrictions, but those were easily molded and adjusted from both sides.
Being the youngest of siblings, by the time I grew up, many of the things which my parents did not allow to my sisters were allowed to me… with time their thinking also changed, and they understood the changing trends of lifestyle as well.
Everybody must be thinking, how could such cool and caring parents break their lovable daughter’s heart? Well, mine did.
My Mom and Dad were always vocal about this, that whenever you are of a marriageable age, if you like someone, please come to us upfront and discuss with us. We would not have any problem unless the guy is not settled, or we are worried about your future being secure.
Not just once or twice, this was a regular thing they said, and somehow, this got embedded in my heart and mind, making me feel quite proud of my parents, of their broadened thinking, giving importance to the human being, his nature, and not his caste.
Both my elder sisters had a love marriage, but they happened to get married in the same caste. Convincing my parents in both of the marriages for some things was required.
I was quite young when my eldest sister got married, so I had nothing much to say at that time, and they weren’t even any problems as such. But when my other sister got married, there were quite a lot of problems. I made it a point to convince my family only because she was happy, and that was the only thing which mattered to me.
Now, it was my turn to get married, and my parents were looking for an alliance as well. In the meanwhile, I got a proposal from a long lost friend, we kind of knew each other but not exactly. He was well settled, a government job, good family background. I thought, what better than if I knew somebody before I got married to him? I told him, let’s talk and understand each other for a while, and if everything goes well, we shall involve our parents.
I had thought that I knew, being so sure of my parents, that they wouldn’t object to the marriage, and would happily accept the proposal. I was proved wrong.
As I mentioned earlier, my parents were looking for an alliance for me, and it was not giving me a good feeling that I was lying to my parents and not speaking to them about what was going on at my end. So I decided to tell them, that very evening. I told them and they did not accept, as the guy was Hindu but not from the same caste.
I failed to believe that my parents were giving importance to the caste rather than their daughter’s liking, knowing the fact that getting married to a stranger makes her scared.
With a bit more of hope, I expected my sisters to take a stand on my behalf and convince my parents, but the strangely, they did not try. Every time my dad spoke with other alliances, my sisters were beside him, but they did not speak up about me, for me, and the fact that I liked a guy was ignored, not talked about, and everyone behaved as if nothing had happened… and that is how I was heartbroken.
I am not saying that if my parents would have agreed, our kundlis would have matched, or that we would have been married… but if my parents would have agreed, I would not have disappointed, which I am today.
I still love them, but a part of me has anger and disappointment towards them, that when they did not mean what they said, why did they even say it? And you know what they still say the same thing outside, might even mean it as well, but not in their house, not with their daughter and sister.
Author’s Note: To all the 21st century parents, please it’s my request to everyone out there, listen to your child’s heart. If they bring the proposal of someone to you, they are considering your expectations to the fullest, and they believe that you will listen to their heart and see the shine in their eyes, which have dreamed of a happy future with their loved one. The girl or boy you make your child get married to of the “same caste”, does not gives you surety of a happy future, then why not get your kids married to someone with whom at least they are sure of living a happy life!
Just like me, I have many of my friends, who failed to get married to someone whom they like/know/love just because their parents have put the caste barrier before their happiness. Please mom, dad, whose kids will get married someday, listen to their heart, it is full of hope that you will understand them
A note to Self: I will get married one day, will have kids too, but today I make a promise to myself, that I will always support them and trust them with their love, and will give them a chance which I did not get… of marrying someone they love and not being disappointed.
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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