We often come across people (especially the girl’s side) who feel blessed when their daughter/sister/ any girl of their family finds a match whose family refuses to accept even a cent in dowry. A not-so-rare event in today’s times when the law is so strict against people demanding dowry.
It’s quite commonly noted that people fear the very word dowry as if uttering it or even the slightest mention of it would suffice them to be guilty enough to be hanged till death. For convenience, this forbidden term is often replaced with gifts. The following is an account of what actually happened in my life, my marriage and with me.
As you are aware, mine was an arranged marriage. The boy’s family visited us, met me and my parents and once they were satisfied with everything they had in their mind, it was left on me and the boy to meet and decide whether we were happy to get married. The boy didn’t come to meet me straight away because he was overseas at that time and his parents wanted to meet us right away as soon as they had heard about my family looking for a suitable match for their well-educated daughter.
The point to be noted here is, my family and the boy’s family lived in the same city at that time, so both families had gathered enough information about the backgrounds of both sides. Everything sounded fine and the boy’s family agreed to no demands of any sorts (for my parents had made this point very clear right in the start ). An informal ring ceremony was organized before the main event (that was to happen after a while once the boy would return with a longer leave and arrangements for my visa).
All went smooth until the actual wedding day when the boy’s father demanded one lakh rupees (for air travel and other expenses that according to him his son was bearing but should be borne by both parties). That was arranged and the marriage took place and I reached my husband’s home.
Two days after the wedding almost all guests had already left and it was only my MIL, my two SIL (one elder to my husband and married with a baby and the other almost a decade younger to me), my FIL and my husband and myself. Then started the drama that still sends chills down my spine. Screaming and shouting by my FIL stating that the wedding was just ordinary and the dresses gifted weren’t according to their expectations (greed and expectations have no upper or lower limit).
My MIL was upset because she was expecting a gold jewelry item with every saree that was gifted to them. According to her, each saree should have been from a designer collection not costing less than ten thousand rupees. (I found all these remarks absolutely ridiculous for it was my marriage, not my MILs so I should have been the one to receive gifts and not she or her daughters. Secondly, till date has she ever bought/worn a designer saree? or any saree that costs more than two thousand rupees??)
The grumbling didn’t end in a day and the outcome was, all the designer sarees I had brought with me were eyed upon as their future assets. I was trying to adjust and swallow their bitter words in hope that very soon the man I was married to will wake up from his sleep and be by my side. But I was sadly mistaken. In no time my husband joined the team with majority of players and started accusing me for all that his family had to say.
I retorted back and told my MIL and husband, that if they had so many issues and demands, why didn’t they specify them before the wedding? To this I was told,‘ that it was taken for granted as common sense of the girl’s side to gift the in-laws appropriately and generously’. I was shouted at like a stray animal for daring to put on a salwar kameez instead of a saree while in sasural.
Things didn’t get any better at any point. When the time came for me to cook the very first time, the sweet I made was tasted with a look as if they doubted me of adding rat-poison instead of sugar. I was tipped (literally) with a hundred rupee bill by leaving it by the corner of the table after my FIL had finished eating. (I found it very humiliating and downright unacceptable for I myself have never ever treated anyone, not even an animal in such rude and rough way).
The taunting and constant remarks about how their desires for their only son’s marriage were trampled upon by my family were constantly loathed on me, with my husband being the dumb spectator of my suffering. I was an idiot to hope things will get better with time. I was so wrong in hoping against hope that someday when he’ll love me he’ll stand for me, for that day never dawned.
Continue to the next part
The song on my mind: