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For Every Girl Who ‘Keeps The Family Honour’, That Anxious Week Before Valentine’s

Posted: February 14, 2020

Why are we girls the the keepers of family honour? For us Valentine’s Day becomes a time of intense scrutiny and suspicion from families.

7/2/2020

Dear Diary,

My father suspects that I am “having an affair” because I popped my pimples due to “thinking about my boyfriend”, and the fresh scars are visible on my face.

I mean, WHO on earth says this?! My WhatsApp stays quiet except for messages on “Family Forever” from father himself, and my paternal aunt and uncle passing on news and jokes. My Instagram only has memes on my favourite TV show, leave alone “Hi dear” DMs from random boys.

Not in a mood to talk. Adios!

8/2/2020

Dear Diary,

The cuticles around my nails are so dry that they were bleeding. Father came home from office when I was trying to understand Standard Score Norms. He asked for ginger tea, and I felt some “weird” vibes from him. I got the maid instead to make the tea, and I served it to him.

“Kya soch rahi ho aaj kal?” (What are you thinking about these days?), he asked. I instantly knew that he saw my hands, and I regretted serving him tea. I replied, “Nothing. Actually, the skin around my nails was getting dry. I forgot to apply hand cream because I was studying.”

9/2/2020

Dear Diary,

I was supposed to complete the course of Psychological Testing today, but I am just unable to do that. My heart has been thumping, and my stomach has been grumbling with fear of That Dreaded Anti-Love Marriage Speech, which I thought I would receive any time today. Especially because I overheard father commenting to his brother-in-law, about the marriage of my dear cousin and her husband, who treats me so good as if I am his own little sister.

As per a survey conducted back in 2009 and reported by The Telegraph, men gossip more than women.

10/2/2020

Dear Diary,

Despite of four cups of berry-flavoured coffee, Maggi and taking a day off from studies, I still feel so scared! I just want the floor under my feet to burst open and swallow me inside like it did with Lady Sita.

11/2/2020

Dear Diary,

I very well remember reading that journaling is helpful. Helpful for manifestation of the heart’s desires, helpful to raise your vibes….

Sadly, I do not feel like talking to you. Please forgive me for not writing down the juicy gossip and news, those fantasies and ambitions I might have even now. Father’s suspicious glances and hostile body language have shook even the marrow of my bones. My WhatsApp and Instagram is as usual quiet, not even whispering anything to me.

12/2/2020

Dear Diary,

I AM OFFICIALLY NOT OKAY!

Dear diary, I wish you were a psychiatrist who could save me from being treated like a traitor by my own blood. SAVE ME, PLEASE!

13/2/2020

Dear Diary,

Why are we girls the izzat ke rakhwale of our families, the keepers of family honour? Who has given us this illogical label? What happens to the universal fact of each person being responsible for his or her actions and thoughts, when it comes to India? PLEASE TELL ME!

Is being in a relationship or having a crush on someone a heinous crime, that a father of three daughters would constantly suspect a young single girl of having a boyfriend? And the suspect goes to such an extent that even the movement of the poor girl’s eyeballs are analyzed!

As happy as I feel for lovers spending time with each other on Valentine’s Day, more than that, I hate this day because it lowers my value in front of my parents for no reason! It arouses in me unnecessary guilt for “betraying my parents”, when all I do is just sincerely study at home. Heck, I even had to cancel a meeting with my cousin sister (who is liked by both of my parents) only because I do not want to hear a “Tu pakka apne behen ke saath hi jaa rahi hai?” (Are you really going with your sister?)

Never have I felt THIS anxious, despite being innocent. I just want the 14th to pass so that I can at least take a breath of freedom from scrutiny and hostility.

Image is from the Hindi movie Saawariya

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