Monday, 10 April 2017
Imagine a girl. Beautiful, brown girl with brown eyes, short but looks mature and has long hair. You can see the dark brown color on her hands... its henna (mehndi)! You find it peculiar because the hands are full... from fists till beyond elbows! But it looks pretty. You like the ornaments she’s wearing. You notice the red lips and the pink cheeks and the kohl in her eyes! Her fingers are full of rings and hands with bangles. You notice the red vermillion neatly applied in her hair and then you finally fathom the reason behind her radiant smile! She looks happy and that makes you happy!
You give her countless blessings and wish her a happy life ahead!
Now, take another instance, imagine all of the above with the girl’s age as only 17! You’re suddenly bombarded with questions in your head. Happiness is all gone now and you’re wondering about her future! And she’s not even educated, doesn’t earn much and in a year or two, she’ll be having a baby in her hands! Why in the world did she do all this? Couldn’t she wait, a little?
Well, here’s a clearer picture now. The girl mentioned above is your maid’s daughter and she’s had everything but childhood! All she’d done her life is visit huge mansions where her mother worked, cleaned their homes, cooked them food, watered their garden, take care of their children at the time when she herself was a child!
What about the school you wonder? They were a large family and obviously they couldn’t afford.
And she doesn’t mind anything about it because that’s what she’s seen around her. Her elder sisters, brothers, mother... everyone worked in houses and made their living. She too was doing the same.
In her family, marriage happened a little early to some stranger, with whom they spend the rest of their life, in exchange for being raped and beaten all night after he comes home drunk and doesn’t give a penny to spend! At least that is what she saw around her.
It will be the same for her as well, just like her mother and sisters!
Between cleaning houses from morning till evening, one fine day she met a boy and fell in love with him. The boy worked in a factory and made decent money. He loved her a lot and wanted to marry her. She knew there were going to be issues about their marriage in the family, but she was ready to fight for her love! It’s better than being married to a stranger who wouldn’t treat me nice, let alone love me, she thought to herself.
She kept the boy’s proposal to her family and the family agreed! The boy’s family didn’t demand a dowry. And there she was... the happily married girl who had come to seek the blessings of the aunties for whom she’d worked all life.
What she realized was everyone gave her advice to work and study but no one was ready to actually help her out. No one would be willing to take that extra step that would make a better future for her. Sure they were right, and she was too young to tie the knot, but then at the end of the day, she was with the man who loved her and had great respect for her.
And guess what, he even wanted her to study after marriage! She couldn’t be any happier!
Do you think happiness is all that matters? Or should one follow the social norms and do things the way they’re done?
P.S: The boy, with whom she got married, was only 18! And he is young, married and Happy!