Sunday, February 13, 2011

Marriage on the 'credit' cards.



This post is about a cousin of mine who’s about to get married sometime in April. I was really happy for her when I saw her engagement pictures on her Facebook profile. Everything and everyone looked so bright and colorful and sparkling. They were pictures of a typical Indian engagement. There was food, faces that had so much make up on they looked like dolls made of pancakes, flowers and lights and family members flashing wide grins posing besides the bride-to-be and groom-to-be. Sequined, heavy lehengas and resplendent sarees were predominant in most of the pictures. But only yesterday I came to know about the hideous truth behind all the glitz and glamour. Her fiancé’s parents actually asked my cousin’s parents for diamond and gold jewellery, a brand new car in return for getting their son married to her. AND they also want them to get their house refurbished. Wow guys. I’m so impressed I want to applaud. What an easy way to make money.

I’m amazed, nay, I’m absolutely awestruck at you for having the balls to shamelessly announce your demands and keep them in front of the family who’s giving their daughter to you. It’s difficult enough for her parents to get separated from her who they have looked after and adored and loved for all these years and on top of that you want them to fulfill your selfish, pathetic, materialistic desires. Seriously, WHAT world are we living in? I was under the impression that these things ceased to happen somewhere in the 90s. Clearly, I was wrong. Apparently, dowry is still prevalent in many parts of our country.
It’s almost like parents sell their own sons, rubbing their hands wickedly with a gluttonous glint in their eyes. “Oh you want your daughter to get married and find a well off husband so that she can live a happy and safe and secure life? Well, then, out with the moolah!” It’s like a goddamned trade! Buy and sell. Pretty girls, less dowry. Ugly ones, oh good, let’s get rich.

The older and plain-looking the girl is, and the more desperate her parents are, the easier it is for them to extract money out of them. It’s not like their sons look like Brad Pitt. In fact, if he is so okay with his greedy parents extorting money out of the girl’s parent’s pockets, then he doesn’t even deserve her in the first place. I cannot believe how brazenly lustful for material goods and money people can be. Frankly speaking, I was surprised my cousin’s parents agreed to get her married in such a family. But I’m sure they had their reasons. The guy’s parents very cleverly stated that they have to maintain a standard and they want a lavish five-star hotel wedding. Yeah right. Some standard.  

Her parents are under a lot of stress and pressure because they are scraping off every penny that they had saved for her since the day she was born. I’m talking lakhs and lakhs of hard-earned money that they would have to depart with, in order to buy things for THEIR family and THEIR house just to get their daughter married to THEIR son. Tell me, HOW is this fair? Why do you even need to blow up so much of money just to get, um, married? I mean people actually invite so many people (half of them they haven’t seen in years and many of them they don’t even know) and feed them. Err, hello? In our community, and according to the religion we follow, dowry is completely banned and there is a strict budget we have to stick to and limited guests we are allowed to invite. This makes so much of sense. Fine, you’re getting married. Yay! But what’s the point of it if you squander so much of money away that you’re left with very little to enjoy? Pretty absurd, if you ask me.

Such is life in India. While we boast of long-lasting married couples and closely-knit joint families, we conveniently forget to reveal the ugly side. The revolting social evils that lurk behind in the shadows of these iridescent, glossy facts that we so convincingly choose to believe.

I’m suddenly reminded of the Govinda song we so loved to hate, “This ‘happans’ only in India.”

11 comments:

  1. nice read, i like the way you exposed the raw thinking of ppl, for ex :- Pretty girls, less dowry. Ugly ones, oh good, let’s get rich.

    so what r u thinking of doing about the same..?? :)

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  2. Ms.Sensibly-Silly Girl...! good writing... yet again! especially the tone - "Fine, you’re getting married. Yay!" hehe... crazy woman!! kudos! :D

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  3. @GP: Errrm, express my deep hatred towards such stuff :P

    @Smriti: You make me feel all warm inside! Thanks! :D

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  4. @Astha - anytime girl!! but going by GP's comment... i think merely writing about this "E.V.I.L." ain't enough... kuch bada karo-- bhook hartaal par baith jao... Sonia Gandhi ko fone-vone lagao...!! (right, GP?) ;)

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  5. Well expressed anger!! but, this is a deep rooted social evil and it might take centuries before it is completely eradicated ...
    The girl's family is also to be blamed here ... if the boy's side is making such silly demands ... why do they have to meet them? why cant the bride to be herself revolt against it??

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  6. Because sometimes there are circumstances she has to succumb to. She and her family are helpless. And the boy's family take advantage of their situation.
    I'll explain everything to you when we talk.

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  7. i am sure i will counter argue :p

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  8. is this the same astha who once said..
    shit man mujhe nai karni ye choti wali shaadi main toh badi wali karungi nd sabko bulaunngi.??

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  9. speechless!!! its a shame 2 se where v indians r headin...i don wanna hold back by sayin that my family does not do it..even when my own sis got married v gave almost everything a man makes in life time.... v shld seriously take a step n promise ourselves that v ll never do such a thing

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  10. @Kanupriya: I was a kid :P

    @Nitesh: Glad that we all feel the same way!

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  11. Selling love n your CONSCIENCE for money n materialistic benefits is the lowest level one can stoop to.

    I am just wondering, to such guys n their parents, what would be the definition of 'Love'?

    As you said Astha, it is certainly some food for thought, about India boasting long lasting (marriages) n closely knit families.

    We are lucky to be brought up in normal families that value n respect love.

    Manu

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