A wedding day is one of the most beautiful days of the two individuals in their lifetime. It must be. After all the two rational beings have chosen the person with whom they want to spend the rest of their lives.
When I was reading one of the Munshi Premchand novels, Premchand said: "My wife, I have full right over her". I felt offended at that age of my life. How could an imminent writer argue of full right on her wife?
But now, as I have grown up, I think what Premchand said is apt. In a marriage, a partner agrees to be with each other through thick and thin. They share everything with each other and thus, a level of trust, love, loyalty, intimacy develops between them.
Together, they fight over petty issues and laugh at all stupid jokes of one another. Well, it seems marriage is a panacea in life. All this seems so romantic. Alas, it is not so! In our beloved country, INDIA, marriage is precisely or similar to what I have mentioned.
Like every institution follows a procedure of admission, similarly, marriage also has a very vital pre-requisite i.e DOWRY. Oops, I am sorry. Let's not call it a dowry. Some patriarchal mindset people may feel bad since it's their right. A CONTRACT is a better word.
Recently, I witnessed a marriage. The pre-requisite was fixed with profound deliberation as it happens in the case of the nuclear deal between the countries. The two main steps of the process were (a) quantifying the contract (Money to be asked by grooms’ parent shamelessly) and (b) asking 50% payment on the spot to talk further.
I remember the dialogue by grooms’ parents "Pehle 5 Lakh Rupay rakho, phir mithai khilayi jayegi". And it was a well-educated family. This is the reality of our INDIA. The dowry system still prevails, strengthening its roots each day.
And this does not happen because girls are born, (considering this evil, I urge GOD to vanish X chromosome in males) but because some so-called "educated boys" sell off their character for a few bucks, just to be the obedient son of their parents.
The tragedy doesn't end after the contract is signed. It actually starts. After the sucking money exchange, the grooms’ family expects the bride and her family to respect and love each and every member of the groom's family. I agree, what a realistic expectation!
I believe a girl must respect all members and the reason is very simple, do you get it? Try again. Because she is a girl, I am satisfied with this logical answer! And ladkiyan toh paraya dhan hoti hain. The irony is to give paraya 'dhan' to paraya 'dhan' owner, 'dhan' still needs to be paid.
I think this is why it is said "beti na ho toh accha hain".
This is a problem far bigger than I have tried to comprehend. The agent of change, in this case, is sole "Boys". So, next time if you are on auction by your parents, ask the following question to yourself:
1 - Your parents are putting a price tag on you today; tomorrow they can sell your life partner too?
2 - Are you so valueless that you can be easily quantified?
3 - Could you love a person who sucks your father financially under the banner of social custom?
4 - Are you marrying for your parent's happiness? They will die before you; who will love you after them?
5 - What story of marriage will you tell to your kids? A story in which you were sold by your parents?
6 - You might be insignificant to change all marriages based on dowry but what about your own?
7 - Have you sold your self-respect that instead of pleasing a lady to marry you, she is buying you?
8 - Is your life partner ever going to love you unconditionally?
Remember an adage "The world had too many fools and you can remove one by improving yourself."
It is up to you to decide if your marriage, will be a marriage or a contract?