Marriage – the Great Indian Scam

Again IHM set me off. Her very insightful post is the catalyst –

The stages in a woman’s life

1. Birth

Mubarak Ho Jee, Laxmi padhari hai (Translation : Congratulations, the Goddess of Wealth has taken birth). Every one smiles and laddoos are distributed. But the grins are muted, since most parents know that this Goddess of Wealth has come to not shower wealth on them but to wipe out their bank balances. They have to feed her, clothe her, educate her, and then dower her and pack her off to her in-laws. It is a thankless labor. Now if a son had been born, they would have had a dhol wala beating the dhol outside the nursing home, the laddoos would have been of desi ghee. They would have looked forward to his chola (the day the infant is clothed in new clothes) when all relatives would feast. The baby boy’s mundan ceremony would have been lavish, just like a mini-wedding feast. And the expense for all this would not pinch them ever …. After all, the son has been born!

2. Childhood

The fond parents dress up the girl in nice lacy frocks. She is discouraged from shinnying up trees or playing boisterous games. Scarred knees and competitive sports with other kids will make her assertive. Assertive girls don’t make docile brides. Instead subtle programming of the girl commences. She is gifted dolls. (Wish they gifted dolls that peed and pooped so that the girl would have a good idea as to what she is in for!). She is encouraged to love them. If she makes tea, lavish praise is bestowed on her. Of course she is encouraged to excel in school. After all, she will have to help her kids with home work. Besides these days grooms like the additional salary the wife brings home. Oh if she has excess energy, she will be enrolled into Bharat Natyam or Kathak classes. It makes the girl graceful. Boys on the other hand, can run around the colony, play cricket and hockey. They can raid the guava tree for fruit and play marbles and fly kites. If they get into fights and come home with a blackened eye, mothers will defend them. They normally are too tired to study by the end of the day. Never mind, boys will be boys.

3. Teenage

The day the girl gets her first period, the mother goes into depression. Swear she does. She is terrified. The father is tense. All the boys in the neighborhood scare the poor parents. They start clipping her wings. Curfew is imposed; the girl needs to be home during day light. She is encouraged to stay at home, learn how to cook, sew. At the very least, she needs to know how to make one dhal, one sabzi and boil rice. She is taught how to stitch on a button on a shirt. Now they start verbally programming her, “Beta these skills will come in handy when you get married.” And the other favorite of parents “Who will marry a girl who does not know how to ……” No one thinks of teaching a boy any skill to get married. He is a boy, after all. All he needs to know is how to pee standing up. And of course how to earn. For that he is being sent to school and college.

4. Higher Studies and Career

If a girl wants to take up a career oriented course that is non-traditional, she is discouraged. Hell, she is even discouraged from pursuing a super-expensive course for her higher studies. The argument is, “We will have to spend so much money on getting her married, so why?” Her brother can, after all, he is a son. The same road block is put up when she wants to pursue a demanding career, especially one that entails late hours and traveling. “It is not suitable for girls” is the argument. Why? Because it is hard to find husbands for such girls.

All through this scam, perpetuated by the family on the hapless girl, she has been programmed to see marriage as the ultimate goal in life. She is also programmed to see her parents as the ultimate sacrificing gods who are providing for her, feeding her, clothing her and even giving her an adequate dowry for her marriage.

Never does it occur to the poor sacrificial lamb to stop and consider:

i. Her brother got more liberties than her.
ii. He got to go to a more expensive college
iii. He got a car/scooter/motorcycle and she had to make do.
iv. She had to cook, learn how to help her mother alongside her studies. Of course it came under the guise of learning how to run a home. Wasn’t that manipulation? Wasn’t that unpaid service?
v. They, (the parents) have spent equal if not more on the son of the house. So what is she supposed to be obligated about?

5. Marriage

Most girls are extremely happy when they are getting married. Why not? This is what they have been programmed for since birth! The dolls, the tiny kitchen sets, the darling little ovens and pretty frilly aprons etc etc., were all not so subtle hints to what their lives hence forth was going to comprise of – being kitchen slaves – oh okay, lets be politically correct and call them home-makers. And they are just in their twenties. Poor innocent darlings, these sacrificial lambs!

Now comes the very modern twist. They are supposed to cook and clean. But then they are also supposed to bring salaries to the home coffers, by working. Now the back breaking slavery starts – they get up in the morning, cook, clean, rush to office, compete with men and women, get back home. On the way, they shop for vegetables, the groceries etc. Get home and get back to house duties.
And then they have kids ….. They could not opt out of marriage, how can they opt out of having kids? It is what they have been programmed to do – you know have homes, husband and kids!

Even if the husband does not participate actively ….

It never occurs to him to do so.

He has been programmed not to!

That is why I call Marriage the Great Indian Scam perpetuated by parents and society to keep the youth of this country completely unhappy and on edge.

Desi Girl says

Marriages are sold to women in a glossy cover, remember once a woman got married she got to wear good clothes and jewelry that was forbidden for single women.

It gave her a free license to talk about sex and sleep with a man who everyone assumed would love her.

For all these benefits all she had to do was cook, clean, make babies and keep every one happy.

Yes in lieu of her services she is provided a roof over her head, food and protection from other predatory men.

I agree up to a point …

I have seen non-desi men happy single and solvent. I have seen non-desi women happy single and solvent too. Folk who want to get married get married. Others don’t. And the folk who get married because they want to – are happy with their choices too. If they are not, they get divorced … with no stigma attached.

We seem to have a crab mentality. Crab mentality is defined by Wikipedia as

Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase “if I can’t have it, neither should you.” The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless “king of the hill” competition (or sabotage) which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise. The analogy in human behavior is that of a group that will attempt to “pull down” (negate or diminish the importance of) any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of jealousy, conspiracy or competitive feelings.

This term is broadly associated with short-sighted, non-constructive thinking rather than a unified, long-term, constructive mentality. It is also often used colloquially in reference to individuals or communities attempting to “escape” a so-called “underprivileged life”, but kept from doing so by others attempting to ride upon their coat-tails or those who simply resent their success.

I feel that Indian parents, who have been pushed into such a situation by their parents – perform the same disservice to their off springs. Which is why they want to get their kids married young – so that they cant see through the scam and put an end to it.

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152 thoughts on “Marriage – the Great Indian Scam

  1. Pingback: Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…? « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  2. you know i always thought you should only get married if you actually meet someone you want to spend your life with. The way Marriage works in our society, its more of a social obligation than anything else. I am 24- lets get married, Been married for two years, lets produce a kid. Does anyone actually pause to think – Do I really want marriage, do I really want kids ???
    I think its the social pressure that makes the parents behave like they do !

  3. I do completely agree with the post, however I do defer on a part. Boys also are not at liberty. We are expected to choose a girl approved by whole khandan, with nophysical or mental preference whatsoever

      • Ideally I will have no expectations from my son and will accept and respect every decision he makes. The complete family expecting something from me since childhood is like hoping water will run in straight direction when you spill it on floor.

      • ROFL, damn true. Children chalk their own path, and if they are not allowed to, they will spend unhappy lives. Why dont parents have the confidence in them that they will make correct choices which are in tune with their own natures?

    • Yeah, it is funny, ironically so. But then not so new. There is an age old saying “Shaadi ke laddoo, jo khaye vo pachtaye, jo na khaye vo bhi pachtaye” (You’re damned if you eat those laddos, damned if you dont)

  4. “They, (the parents) have spent equal if not more on the son of the house. So what is she supposed to be obligated about?” So true.
    I feel the parents too are victims of social conditioning.

  5. Talking of describing marriage as this glamorous event, I have heard parents say “You do all that after your marriage with your husband; not now”. “All that” = travelling solo or with gal pals, partying with friends, going for a day out, having fun wtc. The girl is made to believe that once her husband comes into her life in the form of knight in the shining armour she will have a better life than what she has now with her parents!

    May be yes, but there is a huge ‘may be’ attached!

  6. oh ya! And when the male children (adults, that is) go out of state or country alone to study or whatever..they dont even know how to cook a simple meal and wash their undies.
    Atleast this thought has to be there while training the men too.. while getting free services. I hope atleast people from this generation change on this “crab mentality” (its such a perfect term). I am not even sure if such parents are aware of what they are doing. Common-sense.

    There should be like button on the comments like they have in FB 🙂

    • Please state your reasons for disagreeing. What do you disagree with? Just the fact that women are subjugated or are the lesser sex? Or that marriage is heavily tilted in the favor of men. For women it is slavery? Do state your reasons and I am prepared to explain my stance

  7. Wow, super post…Its just what I had in my mind after I wrote that post on Womensweb, but didnt have the power to write so powerfully 🙂
    Infact, Rituji if you look at NK you will realise this is how she has been programmed to grow up..its sad but somehow I have a feeling that this is how she is going to bring up her girl child as well 😦 Like I asked earlier, why do people want to get married…is there a particular reason for that?

    • What bugs me is that marriage is sold to us like the goal of life. It isn’t. It is a milestone that happens when we are twenty or so. We have a lifetime beyond it. So why not focus on that?

  8. Bilkul theek kiha… 🙂

    I have a suggestion we should go back to Stone age .. I bet life was much simpler and uncomplicated in thsoe times ..

    Get rid of society and all that crap …

  9. Wonderful post……

    Just a addition of fair n lovely.If the son is dark the colour doesn’t matter but if the daughter is dark she is given so much advice to change her colour so that she gets a good guy.I heard parents telling that it is very difficult to get a match for there daughter as she is dark and no one likes to have a dark wife. Even though the boys are dark they want a fair women as there wife who can give them fair kids…..

    • You know why that is so? It is because girls are looked upon as burdens and unwanted. So the unwanted has to be sent off somewhere else, and the people who are taking her in have whims, nakhras that have to be appeased. After all, the parents are getting rid of their unwanted burden. It sucks

    • My brother is very fair and he is married to someone who is not too fair. And he had an arranged marriage. Well my sis in law is such a great person that we fell in love with her the instant we saw her and the colour thing didnt even cross our minds ! (makes me sic even to think about it) But there are a whole lot of people out there who think bhaiya had a love marriage and we are simply hiding that fact (otherwise why the hell wld they marry their fair son to a dark girl ) 🙂

      • My daughter in law is a few shades darker than my son. I feel that colour is just genetics, and superficial. She is a delightful girl, very down to earth and balanced. And yes, it is a love marriage. But then one loves a person for his/her qualities doesnt one?

      • I am dark and i remember my mom was not comfortable telling that i am dark when she was looking for boys.Luckily the person to whom i am married is dark and he or his parents never had a colour choice when they were looking for girl for his son cause all in that family are on the darker side…..

  10. Amazing post! So so true!

    I have seen it happen all around, and I think such few girls have the guts to stand up and fight. Those who do… only a few of them succeed in getting something out of the fight.. many just succumb to the whole lot of emotional blackmail crap!

  11. After reading your post and several others before I now realise what fool I am! My parents gave me best of education they could afford, spent more on my education than my brother since I was brighter in studies than he was, never stopped me from going out or never objected on my dressing. Taught me all the skills of household as well to be self dependent on not to train me to get married. Knowing my shy nature they pushed me out of the house alone so that I could understand the world and strictly told me that we are not going to spend a penny on your wedding if at all you want to get married…get a job…get a like minded partner and pay for your own wedding. We will help you if you need us. How blessed I am to have such understanding parents. And stupid me…studied hard..had a good life but chose a partner who has completely controlled me. I am a working women but as IHM had described before with limited freedom. I cant talk to my friends, infact I keep in touch with some of them secretly. I cant talk to my mother often, I dont live with my inlaws but i’m always reminded by my husband that he is doing me a favour by not keeping me in a joint family. But I dont know why I even listen to him. He convinces me to do things his way…to the extent that I only watch TV chanels which he approves of. I am in constant guilt if I secretly try to to watch some movie or chanel which he disapproves, or talk to a friend which he has forbidden me to keep in touch! I dont know why….I am self dependent…earn well (infact more than double of what he earns)….he supports me in my job..but I am reminded to be thankul to him as my job involves global travel..after all which husband will tolerate all this when he is staying home ( I mean in the city) and wife is never home…Even when I travel I have to keep him informed about my every move….and come back to the hotel in the evening and have dinner in the room…so that I dont socialize with my colleagues who are travelling with me. but he says he wants to talk to me and even though I’m away he wants to be connected…he loves me tooo much you know! We dont want kids though married for past 4 years…he supports me but again I have to be thankful and he asks me to be patient with his mom and all the relatives who never leaves an opportunity to taunt me …why should I put up with all this…just because he wants to be a good son and does not want to confess that he is a part of this decision…but at the end of the day he just convinces me that he is doing all this for me and he loves me..and guess what…. I love him too..genuinly.

    I know this comment is out of line..but could not help but realize how stupid I am !

      • I read IHM’s blog regularly. But I don’t think I’m strong enough to even think about Divorce…as I mentioned before..I genuinly love him inspite of all his flaws and inspite of being unhappy in this marriage!

      • Thanks Ritu. I know you are no Agony Aunt and I don’t wish to bother you with my problems. So in future will keep my comments related to the post 🙂

    • @Neha,
      You said…..but could not help but realize how stupid I am !
      You are NOT stupid you are abused and manipulated in the name of love.
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/how-abuse-begins/
      You said…guess what…. I love him too..genuinly.
      Guess and genuinly in same sentence are doubtful prepositions. Have you thought what is it that keeps you in the relationship?
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/is-it-love-or-addiction/
      No one needs to live in fear. Your spouse trained you how to behave with rewards (his being good to you is a big reinforcement) and punishments (silent treatment, accusations that he is doling your favors, you are lucky to have him etc.). He trained you so well that even in his absence you follow the instructions coz’ you feel he is watching you. Even when he is not around you do not do the things you know he’ll not approve of. He is treating you as his extension not as a person in your self.
      Please seek help. If you are travelling internationally just google domestic violence help in that country then contact the nearest help center. There is help available you need not suffer in silence. Remember you are not alone 8 in 10 women experience family violence in their life time.
      Be safe, happy, healthy and holy.
      Peace,
      Desi Girl

      • Thanks DG. Wish I had referred her to you. I have been thinking about Neha. Thing is that I know what she is going through … but did not know how to help her. Hope she reads it.

  12. Hi Ritu,
    Do you think every marriage essentially has to offer all this crab to a girl? With the change in mindset of males, I feel for many of the girls it can be a dream of having someone who is very initimate close to you all the time. Although I agree that motherhood can be enjoyed without giving birth to a child of your own but then rearing up your own flesh and blood is a different pleasure.

    • Bhabhi, I have nothing against marriage. What I am complaining about is the society’s brainwashing. The effort to make it seem that it is the only goal in a girl’s life. Consider this, a girl gets married in her twenties. More than half her life is still ahead of her. I feel that she should look for more goals and be encouraged to have more goals in life. Shaadi and bacche is not the only important thing.

  13. for now,wrong side of the20s already,dodging marriage.
    i may or may not marry in distant future,but then,
    will a man not opt for a younger girl than old me?
    …would i really want to marry someday?
    & for what-security,society or sex?
    -is not marriage a series of endless compromises to keep off loneliness?
    will people not cast aspersions on me if i dont?
    wat to do,Rituji?

    • Ria, you have to ask yourself the question. Do you want to get married? And what for? I think if it is to ward off loneliness, you are paying too high a price. So you would exchange loneliness for slavery or unhappiness if the marriage turns out to be an unhappy one? For society? Society cares a damn for you? Will it help you in your time of need? You can have sex with or without marriage. I like the institution of marriage but only as a partnership between two like minded people, built on respect and maturity. This marriage between very young kids who go ahead and suppress each other or bully each other, which is perpetuated by society is not something I want to be a part of

  14. I like bengali and south indian culture especially for their matriarchal power,while disliking the ‘punjabi’ culture as sexist-where a girl has to be fair,n ‘ladkiwale’ subordinate.

    tacitly agreeing,I feel like stabbing the gaggle of fat punjabi aunties who hound me to get married at social dos,while i give farcical respect and hopelessly field their intrusion into my private space by judgementally tagging me as the ‘next possible catch’.

    • Ouch! I am a true Punjaban – something you would note about me the moment you meet me 😆

      But yes, men are the lords and masters in the north indian set up, no wonder women like me speak out about it. Uff Punjabi aunties!!! That requires a separate post!

      • Hmm here is another Punjabi commenting – perhaps the north Indians aunties are obsessed with marriage but I think they are not the ones to cower down easily. I know a Punjabi woman whose husband hit her. You know what she did – hit him right back and said sardarji aaj to maardiya. Kal mara to bharta bana doongi ! I swear this is the truth ! we need more like her 🙂

    • @hh,
      Where did you get this impression that South Indian and Bengali Culture is more women friendly than North Indian? 🙂

      North Indian and Hindi belt is treated as mainstream and every thing else is measured against it. South Indian communities are eqaully oppressive of women
      http://wcd.nic.in/research/Domestic%20Voilence-Kerala.pdf
      http://paa2005.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=51618

      Just like Punjabi aunties Bengali Bhadra lok is pokey noses. In Bengal marriage for women was such a big deal that even before 1947 they had dowry deaths

      Majumdar, Rochana. “Snehalata’s Death: Dowry and Women’s Agency in Colonial Bengal.” Indian Economic and Social history Review. 41(1) (2004) 433-64.

      Where ever there is patriarchy women will oppressed and women will be rewarded for oppressing other women. So it is difficult to point out who is the actual baddie here.
      Peace,
      Desi Girl

  15. inflation is obliquely connected with families demanding a boy child,even if he turns out to be a henpecked husband or a renegade.
    A family with a girl has to be ever watchful.Though one believes girls as spiritual as they’re superior,it is difficult to give away your girl child in marriage. It is after all thankless.

    • What is wrong in being supportive of your wife? In the current scenario, men are scared of even showing a whisper of support – then they are branded as hen pecked! Girls are not spiritual. They are human, just like boys. Please don’t put the female on a pedestal and then refuse her even the modicum of human dignity. And don’t “give away” your daughters, please …. Bring home a son. She is yours and so is her husband. This “give away” concept has caused a lot of misery, even death for women.

  16. Clap Clap Clap

    Standing ovation for this post… loved it from the first word to the last

    this needs to change and as this generation we are the ones who can change this….

  17. a good writer raises questions and a better writer provides answers too.
    what should be the changes in society,so that it becomes balanced and happy?
    A woman would want to earn her own money,yet does feel guilty while leaving a bawling infant at home,bad at missing out on those precious child rearing moments.
    Women should then become housewives and take total control of home,leaving bread-earning to men?now my wife,She feels low asking money from me-her husband.
    Raising two kids,yet strangely feels unproductive at home,mockingly describing herself as ayah sometimes.

    • Women have evolved. We have become outgoing, assertive and thanks to our strength of communication, we have verbalized what we feel needs to be changed. Men have to evolve too. They have to pitch in with child rearing, day to day running of the home. They have to be supportive of their wives even if it means facing up to their parents. Please note, that I don’t place much importance on who is earning what – or if women are working or not. That is solely the decision of the couple in question. What I feel is that cooperation from both the partners in the marriage is needed to make it an equal partnership. Both have to share the duties and the work.

  18. very well written, and so perfectly describes the situation as it exists! I loved reading this. I was an only daughter, so never had to compete with the guys.. did much better than my male cousins, and was actually encouraged, married into a family without too much discrimination, yet even then, i see and feel the social conditioning u talk about… its there all around me, and living in a joint family, its there under the surface all the time, which just makes it worse….but i also do know that its only in our hands to make it better or worse, and more importantly, in what we pass on to our kids…. and am so conscious about it, since i have a son, and feel even more responsible. even as i get him to help me around the house, i can see how he finds it difficult to tell his friends that he helped in the kitchen for instance…. fighting the social conditioning isnt easy!

    • Anu both my sons cook. They even do the dishes and wash clothes if the washing machine is under repair. My younger one has helped me with dusting and cleaning too, when the need arose. That is how I brought them up. In fact my elder one makes wonderful meals, he is a better cook than I am when it comes to continental food and baking.

  19. Another bouncer Ritu, so true.
    Imagine, Ritu, years and years of such treatement towards the girl child has created such a situation in the urban world, and there will be many such stories in the blog world, readers and writers alike.
    This situation must be worse in the rural sphere. Women there musn’t be aware of the word “right” for them it must be way of life. Not just the rural India but also most part of urban India.
    Cooking, cleaning, earning, sacrifcing & being the superwoman must be the right thing to do, must be the dream of loads and loads of Indian women.
    And women like me, who have an army of domestic helps, because they r working with a baby are branded lazy, not that it matters, I couldnt care less because AJ supports me, but how many women have that kind of support.
    Its crazy, the way things are 😦

    • @A, strangely enough, I find the rural women more liberated. They raise their voice against injustice without caring about customs. It is in the urban set up that we suppress the voice of women. My maids come from the near by village. One of them even picked up a jhadu and bashed up her drunk husband with it when he was misbehaving. Cant imagine any one with our social conditioning do that!

      • There is too much social stigma attached to everything. That is the problem with our society and the kicker is ‘You can take an Indian out of India but you cannot take India out of an Indian’ – by which I mean, even if they move out of India, their mindsets remain the same.

      • You know Megha I find my relatives and cousins who visit India are more regressive than people living here. We have moved on ahead, they have taken a few steps back

      • The thing is raising a girl to be submissive and not standing up for herself in the family will cause her to behave in the same way in the outside world. I think this is why some girls continue to get re-victimized and abused. They’re taking what they taught from their parents “Good Indian girls don’t make a fuss and do as they’re told” well into situations where they need to defend themselves.

      • Yeah, that submissive docile smiling slave – the icon of Indian womanhood, Pshaw! Makes me want to puke. We had other role models … Rani of Jhansi, for instance. Why was the unreal (and historically inaccurate) persona of Sita pushed down our collective throats?

      • @PhoenixRItu-

        In my family, I received mixed messages. When I did stand up for myself or voice my opinion, I was told that I was too manly, b*tchy, and to be a good compliant Indian girl.

        When I acted docile, I was yelled at with “Don’t you know how to be a strong girl? You’re so weak” Either way, I couldn’t win.

        Doesn’t anyone realize how mind-fucking it is?

      • Seems like your parents were confused themselves. Nothing wrong with you … its with the parenting. Have been reading your blog. Am shocked and saddened

  20. Wow. I should probably say I can’t agree more. But then I’m more worried about the issue of my future. Should I involve myself in the ‘Great Indian Scam’ after all? Staying alone seems like a much more attractive prospect.

  21. Hi Phoenixritu,
    Loved your post. Never tired of reading such topics even when told a hundred times.
    And did you miss to mention that parents prefer male offsprings, when it comes to passing down any form of property owned by them…
    On another note, I read your blog from time to time and love your posts and attitude – I have given you the best MIL award!

  22. I just hope that the woman who got married in this post, who slogs at home, works at some office and again gets back home to cook, provide herself bodily to the man in her life – doesnt try to make another sacrificial lamb !!!!

    The irony of the situation is – a mother who was brought up as a lamb, gets ready to make a lamb out of her daughter !!!! Let the attitude change….

    Well written post Ritu…just loved it.

  23. Pingback: Is marriage an overrated institution?? | Shail's Nest

  24. I just hope more and more people read these posts…..these words have lot of power and i hope the society doesn’t behave like a bucketful of crabs…
    🙂

  25. Hi Ritu… nice blog, but my question is is marriage scam only for Indian Women???
    I would not rate the status of Indian men any higher in this specific case for sure. I have seen more men scared or succumbing to Family pressure today ( even educated ones) Since the pressure on them is to get the best, most beautiful, earning but Susheel bahoo from the same community. If the guy has completed the college and does not find himself anything better- idea of marriage is sold to him which btw comes with lots of other benefits.
    we still have lots of communities in India where even men are not allowed to study further because the family wants them to start helping in family business as soon as possible.

    Men struggle to move out of their families even if they feel its utmost tension between the mother and DIL. Since he is the one who does not have to leave the house- he is also subjected to typical sarcasms like JKG..
    i think we just refuse to grow when it comes to marriage!!!!!

    • You hit the nail on the head. Marriage is a scam perpetuated by the society on the younger generation. I don’t think it is easy on the man either – though he is definitely more of a gainer. He gets physical comfort and can lord over his wife and kids. But emotionally he is torn between his mother and wife. Moreover, he has the stress of being the prime provider. If the kids are not ready/unwilling to participate in this ritualized marriage scenario, they should be allowed to avoid it. Why force them?

  26. Loved it completely. great post ritu,
    yeah its so damn right that , in a traditional , indianised marriage a girl is mislead into believing that “marriage is all she needs in her life ” so happy one or unhappy , being married is like a big achievement and so cling on to it.
    BTW , my recent post incidently talks about the “changing mat ” toy ……….I have afeeling you will like it .
    Ritu, pl do read it for me.

  27. Ritudi,
    were you disappointed when you had a son for a second kid?
    the possible changes and adjustments you would have made or had to make.
    surely,your daughter would have been one hell of a bike revving,pepper spray weilding chick oozing with confidence who would take on any man,considering you brazenly flouted quite a few rules in your heyday with magnificient aplomb.
    on the flipside, your sons have a beautiful androgynous side to their personality(a rare find thesedays),pushing boundaries and amalgamating both confident and sensitive
    shade…having both a girl and a boy,my experience has been an enriching bundle of contradictions.

    • Yes I was disappointed. I wanted a girl. But children – bless their perverse souls … May be my daughter would have been girly and docile – who knows. But I wanted a daughter who would have been a karate champ, biker, brat and a hard core feminist. My sons – I dont know about their being androgynous. They are very comfortable in their skin. They dont feel like they have to be super-male, and they are very much male at the same time. Yes, they arent MCP’s . I would have freaked if they were

  28. Are the parents to blame if a girl is born to them? who asks for dowry? who eve teases the girl in her teenage? who subjugates her and decides her daily life?
    It is people like us, educated and so called modern mindsets walas.
    In fact, women have a big role in this problem.
    Anyways, this problem won’t go in a hundred years….
    Adios.

    • @Anirban, I know it is a problem, and that is why I wrote about it. I would like the women to be assertive and well equipped to keep herself safe. I would like parents to feel secure about their daughters and I would like society to not be intrusive and dictate terms.

      And this is not about men vs women. It goes far beyond that. It is about society vs women’s aspirations.

      I have a big problem with your last sentence. It is this very mindset that you have that I object to. It is people like us that make the society. If we change, so will society. Just 30 years ago, a woman could not have planned on having a career. Working women were looked down upon, they were too forward and fast. Society changed. The same can happen now, we can make it happen.

  29. Loved every line of your post…I like how you depicted every stage of a girl’s life.
    “They could not opt out of marriage, how can they opt out of having kids? It is what they have been programmed to do – you know have homes, husband and kids!”
    This line particularly expresses the whole mindset, a girl has no control over her life, everything is planned for her by others. When the education is enough, when to stop working,w hen to get married, when to have kids!!

    • Yes DG. They are, in fact, taught nothing on how to make the prime relationship in their lives a success. So, at a loss, they try to control their wives by using coercion and force

  30. Ritu, i agree with the crab mentality we Indians have. Sadly many of my friends got married, simply because their parents didn’t want them to miss the so called “marriageable age”. One is already divorced, the other friend wants a divorce but is not financially stable, so struck in the marriage, the third one has married a financially sound guy but he is such a typical husband, no romance or carefree moments in life..all these girls had dreams and today they are bitter about their life. Worst they do not know what step to take next. I mean they are socially conditioned in such a way that, they feel instead of their happiness they have to first make sure everyone around them is ok with their decision and if not they are ready to stay in the rot, till life ends..kabhi parents ke khatir toh kabhi bachon ke liye, ppl are struck in unhappy marriages..Wish parents would take a step back, look at their kids as individuals, nurture them, make them capable on their own feet and let them take the most imp decision of their life, which is marriage. Let each person decide, when and how they wish to get married and with whom..why do they want more and more miserable souls around. yes most girls have a mangalsutra around their necks but its more to show the society that, they are married and now acceptable citizens of the society. Let me tell you men to go through the same process, they too have to marry because of social pressure. When will ppl realise some decisions are very personal and even parents should not interfere..here we let the whole society dictate terms to us..hell, is any one even bothered after someone’s life gets messed up???

    • No, no one is bothered. You know why, because they dont want to admit that they themselves have gone through the similar process and are similarly miserable. Then since majority of the people are sailing in the same boat, they lump it all up and give it a nice sounding term “Yehi hai zindagi”. It is the way of life

  31. “yehi hai zindagi” lol. Aye gal tussi bilkul solaah aane saach khaiye hai:) Saare bande apne naseeb de ageh matha tek dende han. Wish ppl used their common sense and take charge of their lives instead of blaming all misfortunes on their destinies or simply saying, this is all what life’s about, hum ne jhela hai ab tum bhi zhelo.

  32. I have a couple of friends, who are single and depressed because the right match is not happening. But when I try to tell them that it’s better to be single than married to the wrong person-they just don’t get it. It is such a well perpetuated scam!

    • Nice blog posts Mr. Ghosh. I particularly loved the way you could not have a leisurely third drink. Yes marriage does change the man, as well as the woman. Thanks for giving me the links

  33. Wow – well put.
    I’m a 47 yr old white Canadian guy who was dating an Indian woman for about three years and through my limited understanding of Indian culture – I can relate to what you are saying.
    Thanks and take care.
    Joe
    Ontario, Canada

  34. Pingback: How important is it to get married? « sUmTh!nG n NoTh!nG

  35. @Neha,

    1. That was past and in your present you are committed and sincere. That is all that counts. He is no saint, he knew what he was getting into, you did not sham him. Abusers purposefully pick up people with so called flaws or low self estemm so that they can control and manipulate them and then feel big about themselves. Abusers essentially have toput down others to feel better about themselves.

    2. One mistake or mistakes (rape, murder, abetment to murder and collective harm excluded) do not warrant a life sentence. You have punished your self enough, may be you have some more stamina left for it. But remember every one deserves to be happy without hurting other people, places or things, planet earth included.

    3. Who are the people you are seeking counsel from? They are the same people who make and break people’s lives with their opinions. They are the same people we complain about all the time, in crowd they make faceless strangers and in face to face interaction they become well wishers. It is these people who proclaim such sentences on women and even justify rape, that she invited it.

    According to their logic, if someone is raped once, the victim can be raped again and again becuase she was raped earlier.

    Did these people place any such “lucky person” tabs on men who had multiple sexual partners and are now happily married to ignorant wives?
    Please seek professional help.

    Think about it logically. You are a smart woman. You know where to seek help, GGTS is a safe space you are always welcome there.
    There is help available no one needs to suffer in isolation.

    No matter what your choice/decision be GGTS and Desi Girl will support you in staying safe and taking charge of your life.

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

  36. totally agree with everything on ur post. esp. the bit on dolls that peed n pooped! I totally agree on that higher education part bit, even if in the worst case, gilrs ends up with a guy who is well educated , apparently of same mental frequencies etc etc, but still comes from an orthodox family and inspite of all this the girl has to , to some extent go through the same ordeal (again worst case) , atleast she will ensure her ‘off-springs’ to be sensible and sane …and hopefully , gradually the world might become a better place for females. a long shot wish…! but the article was well writen !

  37. From a desi man who is happily single and hitherto solvent – I find only one missing argument in the education of a woman part – zyaada pad legi tho usse zyada pada likha ladka doondna padega aur itna dahez hum kahanse le ayenge.

  38. Such lovely prose to describe such terrible truths. Really makes you wonder why the scam continues to be perpetuated.
    I hope mindsets are changing, at least among the educated.

    • Oh no, it isnt … not yet, though cracks in the facade have appeared. But then in a country where people think chowmein causes lust and therefore rape, it isn’t surprising that logic fails to work

  39. Ritu, I agree in many parts with what you have written. I have seen these pressures in society on some women. Trust me, even men are questioned if they don’t marry by a certain age or stay single for longer. In my own family and many other families I know, girls were brought up as equals. All 3 siblings that includes me, my sister and brother are MBAs. We all pursued our careers and still do. I chose my own spouse. We didn’t have any bullshit like dowry. And my sister’s daughter is the most celebrated child in the family. My sil is a doctor and there are no compulsions on her to have babies from any of us. So, I don’t agree that this is just how the society functions for everyone. And, I wish to pass it right on to my sons. BTW, my husband can cook and chips in household chores. He was brought up by a working mom who supports working of men at home and supports me too. And I don’t believe that I am an exception in any way.

    • Rachna, families like yours are a rarity. Most families function in this way. My mother was traditional and I was brought up like this and it made me a rebel

  40. umm..? ok?
    are you being troubled by your parents/family? are they forcing marriage upon you?
    You sound vexed at a very personal level and i am sorry, but i beg to differ!
    while there are some things that i have had to refrain from by virtue of being a girl, life isn’t such a misery if you try be a little mature and look at both sides of the picture.
    I hope you are a teenager just generally frustrated due to hormonal/pubescent changes and start to appreciate life sooner than later. While there are women facing unimaginable horrors in all parts of the world, it is extremely naive of you to call Marriage a scam.

    • Now this is what I call the great culture divide! Come to India honey … (you sound like a foreigner or an E.T.), and perhaps you will get clued on to what we call a scam.

      FYI I am the parent, and no one could force any shit on me. Unlike the hundreds of comments on the thread, which actually do agree that marriage in our country is what I call it, you seem to have beamed in from another zone or planet.

      And … while on my blog … do not try to patronize me. It does not do anything more than want to attack you right back

  41. Haha.. wrong on all counts!
    VERY much an Indian!
    Never been to a foreign country in fact. and i am but an unmarried 23 year old.
    And wow! i must say, very low tolerance level for a blogger!
    All the best though, Ma’am. I am sure your girl child will have a fair upbringing at your hands, and if nothing else, that at least makes me happy 🙂

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