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A Suitable Girl: The Greatest Scam of Indian Society!

From the time a girl is born, her destiny is sealed and her movements are predetermined just as that little birdie that keeps switching nests until a transient one becomes a permanent one!

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Perhaps that’s the most common scenario for every prospective groom or bride on various matrimonial sites that are all out there convincing how a particular man or woman is the ultimate Mr right or Ms Right that you were destined to meet all this while!

Unfortunately we all give into this marketing gimmick as our society has somehow shaped us to think this way. A man or a woman who aspire to live alone on their own terms are often condemned and made to believe how inappropriate their choice of life is.

‘Marriage is the only road to happiness’??

It is as if a sacrosanct that a man or a woman’s life has to somewhere culminate into a wedlock for that is the only way to achieve happiness. This overrides how professionally established each of these individuals are or how they dream to establish themselves eventually. All their life they have been taught how this is the only right thing to do as it had proved so in the case of the previous generation or the one before.

A man or a woman’s choice is quite limited when it comes to their search for the “perfect” life partner. Well, we wish something as that existed, as all of us get into this bandwagon thinking or rather convincing ourselves that this particular individual somewhere meets all the criteria that has been bred into our heads since childhood. We start associating our happiness or even life goals with this particular individual which sadly robs us of our own aspirations or dreams.

Do we always have to lose ourselves to become the “suitable girl”

The recent Netflix documentary “A suitable girl” directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sarita Khanna traverses through the lives of 3 women, (socially or economically at various levels) who are seen struggling when they are torn between fulfilling their own aspirations while succumbing to the societal pressure of securing a husband!

The documentary brings alive the pain and anguish that every girl must have faced or they eventually face while in their search for the “perfect” life partner. Their individual achievements seem irrelevant on this journey as the measure of being the right fit lies in how beautiful, fair, well-mannered and “highly educated” she is.

This oxymoronic statement reverberates into the hollow walls of our society which are built on foundations of disparity, unnecessary biases and complete misogyny. This parasitic trio breeds within the pseudo customs and traditions that every Indian family boasts of; traditions that differentiate a boy or a girl is evident enough to show what our society is all about. The fake pride in calling a daughter in law their daughter but meting out different treatments while within the confines of one’s home is sadly what life brings us to.

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The show portrays how these women struggle to voice out their opinions which is nothing but muffled noises suppressed by a toxic patriarchy that looms large on our society even in times like these. Acts like “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” become redundant and farcical when all we know is that a girl’s identity eventually becomes synonymous with her husband’s. Moreover as one of the women from “A suitable girl” says, “their respect is now my respect…whatever I do will leave on impact on the family reputation” goes on to prove how futile a woman’s perspectives become let alone her aspirations and dreams.

Why do women need your “permission” to live?

More often than not, it is seen how a woman’s education becomes a matter of family pride when the reality says that this basic right was “allowed” to her. This basic right turned “licence” is often highlighted as something that parents had to either fight or snatch away from the rest of the family or even the society who somehow believe in denying this right to a woman. This scene becomes more dramatic when a husband proudly claims how he “permits” his spouse to continue her job or follow her passion. It is as if a woman should be grateful that her worth hasn’t been restricted to household chores. It goes without saying how existence becomes a matter of stifling breaths!

The show further delves deep into the societal hypocrisies wherein a woman is expected to stash her western outfits on the highest loft of the almirah as if denoting something that’s unreachable at any point of time. She goes on to mention how her mother in law is highly opinionated about the dress code (Saree and nothing at all) which she should indulge in while at home and also makes sure to decide on the colors. She goes to claim how her father in law decides everything that has to happen in the household in spite of the fact that he has been bed ridden for years now-perfectly personifying how indomitable Indian patriarchy remains.

“A suitable girl” begins and ends on a somber yet conspicuous notion that from the time a girl is born, her destiny is sealed and her movements are predetermined just as that little birdie that keeps switching nests until a transient one becomes a permanent one!

Image Source: YouTube


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A dire penchant for words, can summarize my life as “My pen bleeds my life”! read more...

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