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Why Doesn’t Your Sister Apply Sindoor? Don’t Her In-Laws Mind?

Friends, relatives, community members,... why do people try to tell others what to do and interfere in their lives under the guise of being 'well wishers'?

Friends, relatives, community members,… why do people try to tell others what to do and interfere in their lives under the guise of being ‘well wishers’?

A recent conversation with a friend made me wonder… why can’t people stop telling others what they should be doing?

This was what happened.

Being traditional

Jia: what is Sneha doing nowadays? When is she coming back from Dubai for her marriage?

Me: I think the end of February, but she won’t be meeting us in Delhi. Her parents are not letting her visit here for lehenga despite her brother staying here as well.

Jia: Can’t she convince her parents? After all she worked for 3 years in Dubai.

Me: She said No.

Jia: But she’s a girl of today, she should at least fight a little bit.

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Me: Jia, the girl has agreed to pierce her nose at this age because her in laws said so, she agreed to leave her high paying job to settle in Bangalore for her parents, she even left her ex because he had only a diploma, and she was getting an engineer in the arranged marriage setup. Do you really think she would want to fight? I don’t like being controlled about everything .

Jia: Ohh! Actually I am the same. Even I want this.

Me: you mean someone ordering you for everything?

Jia: I want to be a housewife. I like being able to do work for my in laws. That Sneha is in an arranged marriage even in this age is so unusual and pious!

Me: That’s really good, if you want this. I feel marriage is made pious by the people involved in it.

Jia: This reminds me, why doesn’t your sister apply sindoor? Don’t her in laws mind?

Me: It’s a matter of choice. She applies for rituals, not everyday. No one minds in her family.

Jia: Won’t you apply it after marriage?

Me: I will decide then.

Jia: One should apply sindoor; else how will people know that she’s married?!

Me: But men don’t have this system. I think this should be a personal choice.

Jia: One shouldn’t forget traditions, no matter how educated we get.

Me: Maybe!

I began thinking, why is there a glorification of the rituals? And especially arranged marriage? Doesn’t just a good guy/girl matter in a union?

Control your daughter!

I had another conversation with my mother a few days ago.

Mummy: Jassi uncle was asking about what you were doing. He said that it’s better to do MD and not a job. Also asked about your marriage.

Me: Mummy, I don’t even talk to papa’s friends, neither do you ask about his daughter.

Mummy: yes I know, but since he lost control over her own daughter, he wants your life to be controlled.

Me: He used to tell his daughter from an age as early as 13 that she is allowed to make boyfriends, drink, spend any amount of money, but marry according to his own choice. This was never fair.

Mummy: But now she wants to marry according to her own choice, not fair for poor Jassi uncle. She told him about this at the last minute, after she got a job; and didn’t even give a hint about it before.

Me: She had pictures with the guy all over Instagram with her cousins liking their pics. And perhaps one talks about marriage after getting settled in life.

Mummy: he wants to know if you are on the same path.

Me: Who is he to want to know this?

Mummy: Arre he is just a well wisher!

Me: Well wishers should wish the best, not interfere.

Have you encountered such people like Jassi uncle? Or the famous Sharmaji in 3 Idiots?

Why is there a dire need to control women and deem such women as ‘pure’? Why am I being labelled a ‘bad girl’ for not revealing my love life before getting a job? Why is arranged marriage so hyped up? Why is living on someone else’s terms glorified even now? WHY!!

A life of dignity and choice is all that we need. Period!

Image source: a still from the film Om Shanti Om

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Dr Arushi

Often the test of courage is not to die but to live.. read more...

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