‘Do you cook well?’
‘Do you do know how to take care of bed ridden patients?’
‘Are you comfortable doing the household chores all by yourself?’
Questions for a house maid interview?
These were the ONLY three questions asked to my distant relative aged 19 before fixing her marriage.
Two weeks back when I got a call from an unknown number little did I expect that the call will last for hours.On the other end a sniveling female voice tried to explain me how her family is related to mine.In between her gasps I could hear broken words like ‘please help me..’,'their intentions are bad’ etc.
I stayed at one end of the call patiently and silently until she broke her story.
I told her to skip the family tie part as it is not going to matter in our conversation.Poor financial conditions,two younger sisters and unemployed ill-health parents are the liabilities on her shoulders.She works as a sales girl in a textile and the shop owner wants to marry her.He is 35 but the offer which he made for the marriage deal was a tempting one.Comparatively very less dowry,sponsoring the wedding expenses and she can quit the job were the deal attractions.
Now there is dark side for the story.This apparently ‘kind’ man got inside an illicit relationship with the maids (yes,you read it correctly!!”maids”) who were taking care of his bed ridden parents.Now no maids are ready to take up his household works.So marriage is the simplest solution to his problems.
According to her parents the burden of wedding is off and they have time to worry about the younger daughters’ wedding.When he promised to pay her family a small amount every month(which she thinks as a false promise),she being jobless was not a concern at all for her parents.
She yammered about her fate to live her life with a man who is 16 years elder to her.Now she will turn into a self-employed household worker from a salaried sales girl.
‘Though I was earning very less,at least I was happy about getting paid at the end of every month.I have chit funds which I had started for my mother’s Hysterectomy.My parents are happy about the deal and they told me that I am lucky to get married to of one of the rich families in town.Should I suicide than getting married?Either way it is a solution for being a burden to the family;though in the former case I have to suffer and suffocate only for a few minutes.’She asked me.
Unfortunately in our country,girls grow up to become a ‘the’ perfect ‘daughter-in-law’. Indian parents are infected by a ‘wedding dream virus‘. When a baby girl is born,from that moment onwards parents dream about only her wedding.I think the virus is contagious as rarely I can see a parent not talking about this wonderful dream. Why can’t they dream about daughters graduating from a famous university or she heading an organization?
Though boys are not trained to become a good husband,girls do undergo training to reach her goal of the lifetime.
So already we undergo so much of misery while growing up from a girl to a woman.Above that when you need a machine to clean up your life,please don’t see us like fungible goods which you can get in the marriage market.It hurts.Show us some humanity.Please STOP seeing us as marriage market commodities!!
Image Courtesy : http://photos.weddingbycolor.com
Updated on 23/23/2012 – The NGO wing rescued her yesterday