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“Papa, what if it is not a mutual decision? What if I called the shots and Rahul just agreed to it? Worse happens in case of you and Mom. You take the decisions, she agrees.”
In 2019 our beloved writing contest, Muse of the Month gets bigger and better (find out how here) and also takes the cue from the words of women who inspire with their poetry.
The writing cue for July 2019 is these lines from The Marvelous Women, a true portrayal of sisterhood, by Syrian-American poet Dr Mohja Kahf, who is a founding member of RAWI, the Radius of Arab American Writers, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Arkansas.
“All women speak two languages:
the language of men
and the language of silent suffering.
Some women speak a third,
the language of queens.”
The third winner of our July 2019 Muse of the Month contest is Missree Vachhani.
“Why did Preet not discuss such important matters with Ajeet?” growled Grandma Kashi
“If he has no problem, I am fine with her decision,” spoke Rajani.
Kashi was displeased with her lovely granddaughter. Yesterday, she was delighted to hear that Preet and Rahul were visiting India next month for their wedding. Her happiness quickly plummeted when Preet informed them that they shall have a court marriage and have devised a strict rule book for that. They did not want anybody at their wedding other than their parents, siblings and grandparents and there shall be no gifts and pompousness.
Kashi was partly furious with the way her granddaughter had decided to get married. But, majorly, she was raging with anger because of her approach. The fact that Preet took this decision without asking her dad was unbearable for Kashi.
Girls are not supposed to decide anything on their own. They need to consult with their fathers, then later in life with their husbands and then finally with their sons. And, this is not how marriages are supposed to take place. How will the people whose weddings they attended in the past, react to such an anti-social way of getting married? What will Rahul’s parents think of Preet’s family? Why will there be no gifts? Ajeet’s business was financed by Rajani’s father when they got married. As a bride’s family, they should at least gift a car, some jewelry and essential household items. After all, these gifts belonged to their own daughter’s new family. She was determined to convince Ajeet against Preet’s decision.
As Rajani served the dinner, Kashi blurted out her concerns to Ajeet.
“I will speak with her tomorrow, Ma. But, I doubt she will listen to me. You know, she has always made her own life decisions independently,” said Ajeet.
“That is because you let her do that. You should have controlled her right from her childhood. But, you and Rajani were so happy to bear a child after ten years of your marriage that you forgot to raise her properly!” barked Kashi.
“Ma, if it makes you happy, we all will call her and discuss this tomorrow morning. However, I do not find anything unusual with what they have planned,” pacified Ajeet.
As Preet sipped her tea, the Skype’s ringtone buzzed.
“Hi folks, what was so urgent? Papa messaged me last night that grandma needed to talk to me today?” asked Preet sleepily. She had to wake up early once, on a Saturday morning, to listen to one of the patriarchal speeches from her grandmother.
“Beta, why didn’t you take your father’s permission before deciding to go ahead with court marriage? And, what if we want to celebrate our child’s wedding with some parties and gifts? What is wrong in that?” asked Kashi.
“Grandma is so happy that her only grandchild is getting married, so she had planned a grand wedding. But, I am sure it is your and Rahul’s mutual decision.” Ajeet jumped into the conservation.
“Papa, what if it is not a mutual decision? What if I called the shots and Rahul just agreed to it? The worst happens in case of you and Mom. You take the decisions, she agrees. You plan things, she gets along. You yell, she listens. You get angry, she apologizes. You tell her to leave her job, she leaves. You tell her to start working again when we are in need, she rejoins work. Well, at least I don’t treat Rahul as a puppet. It is my wedding and I will decide how I want it.”
“Preet, watch your words,” exclaimed Kashi.
“Listen to me, Grandma. I do not understand what motivates you to be men’s advocate. I do not wish to change your mentality. I just want to live my life by my own rules. And why are you obsessed with the gifts? You are just supposed to give dowry-disguised-as-gifts. And I am pretty sure, you must be having fancy ideas of gifting jewelry to Rahul’s family or furniture for our new home. I and Rahul can set up our lives on our own. Unlike Papa, he has the nerve to refuse the gifts from his bride’s family. If you do not believe me, you can call him right now and propose this idea of gifts. I feel sorry for Papa. Your misogynist raising has made him insensitive towards mom. But, I am glad that his and mom’s upbringing made me a rational and logical person.”
“Beta, please calm down,” intervened Rajani fighting back her tears.
“Papa, I just want to know one thing. How will you feel if Rahul treats me the same way you treat mom?” concluded Preet.
“Dear, I am so sorry.” That is all he could say after a long pause. Ajeet was too guilt-ridden to face Preet and Rajani.
“A real queen wears many hats
Savior for a suffering mother
Adjudicator for chauvinist Grandmother”
This is how Rajani started writing poetry…
Missree Vachhani wins a Rs 500 Amazon voucher from Women’s Web. Congratulations!
Image source: shutterstock
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