Monday, January 24, 2011


During a recent conversation with a very close friend, I asked her how her sister was? The friend I'm talking about has been really close to me since school days. We used to spend hours together in each other's house and I know everyone in their family. Very nice, down-to-earth people. When she got married I felt that it was a little too early, a couple of years more would have been good. But she was happy and was getting married to her childhood love, so I was delighted for her.

Less than two years later she told me her sister's getting married. I was surprised and enquired what was the urgency for? She said it was all unplanned, there were quite a few proposals and everyone had spoken highly of this guy and his family. So her parents felt that they should probably not let it go. That's how everything got fixed. Her sis was still in her final year of college. She was to complete her last semester and then go stay with her husband who was in another city.

Felt sad to hear that her sis is not happy and her parents are worried about her. The In-laws behave weirdly with her. Her Sis-in-law asks the Mother-in-law to overhear what she talks on the phone. The husband never got her a new sim but asked her to use the one at home. It was their first year wedding anniversary last week and the husband didn't get her anything nor did they go out anywhere. Every girl has wishes and expectations. To be treated in a special manner atleast on special occasions. When asked, he retorted saying "I know when to get you what, you don't need to tell me".

She was the darling daughter at home. Every wish of her's was a command. Her parent's spent nearly 12-13 lakhs for her wedding. They are from a normal middle-class joint-family, so that is a huge amount for them. Her parents gifted the son-in-law a gold chain during Diwali. All that the girl's MIL had to tell about this was "A longer chain would have been better".

For how long are such practices going to continue? Is there no end to it? No matter how educated the person is, the family is, such treatment with the girl and her parents still continue. This is a minor case, there are cases much worse and much hopeless. What about cases where the girl is tortured for dowry? The parents are overburdened by the demands from the guy's parents.

People don't have any regret in practicing such systems even today. During another conversation with a friend, he was telling me that in his place if the guy's an engineer, 10-12 lakhs and if a doctor, 12-15 lakhs is guaranteed in dowry.

Our conversation went on like this -

Me: toh tujhe bhi utna milega? (Will you be also getting that much?)
Him: haan (Yes)
Me: aur tu lega? (And you'll take it?)
Him: kyun? humne bhi toh apni behen ki shaadi mein utna diya hai. (Why? Haven't we also given that much during my sister's wedding?)
Me: Koi aur kuch bhi karega, toh tu bhi karega? (You'll do something just because someone else is doing it?)
Him: Arre main thodi maang raha hoon, woh khud se denge. (I'm not asking for it, they will give it on their own)
Me: Toh tu mana kar de. (You refuse)
Him: Nahi, woh mere papa decide karenge. (No, that my dad will decide)
Me: Kyun papa ko bol sakta hai ki yeh bike nahi, woh bike chahiye, par bol nahi sakta ki dahej nahi chahiye? (Why? You can tell your dad which bike you want, but not that you don't want dowry)
Him: Arre, woh aise nahi chalta yaar. Dahej nahi denge toh kya ladki ko ghar pe bithake rakhenge? Wahan phir koi rishte aate hi nahi hai. (Its doesn't work that way. What do we do, not give dowry and keep the girl at home itself? Later on there will be no proposals coming her way.)

The argument went on and he pushed it away saying that I act like Jhansi ki Rani , and my Gandhi vichaar (ideologies) will not work in today's world. It makes me immensely angry, that educated, well to do, working people who can make a difference and put stop to such things, also want to sit back and enjoy the profit. People who can't afford, have to keep their daughter's at home. They don't have a choice, it's shame, humiliation and frustration for them all the way. Such situations is what leads people to go drown their little daughters in the well even today.

I would want to ask all the educated men out there, who took or intend to take dowry, was calculation, profit and loss the only things you learnt in your education system, wasn't moral science and values a part of it??

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