Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The suffocation of living in a fish bowl

This piece is about a friend of mine in school. We studied together for 5 years from high school till graduation. She is somebody who is a perfect example of how marriage (or may be your in laws!) can change your whole life, whole personality! How it can construct or ruin you… When one sees such incidents happening around, the belief that a girl’s life completely depends on her next family becomes stronger!
Anyways, let me first give a snapshot of her personality before she got married. Adjectives like bold, brave and audacious are the ones which could define her perfectly! She was a tigress! Nobody in College ever dared to even look straight in her eyes. She was a persona of courage who had the power to stand against the gundas of our college. And the most important characteristic of her: she never used to crib or cry!
But now, now she is completely a different person or rather I should say she is completely contrary to what she was! She got married 2 years back! I called her up on her birthday few days back and as soon as I said ‘hi, happy bday’, she started crying! I dint knew what to do, what to say because I had never seen her this way.  So, I just maintained silence and kept on listening. She would have cried for atleast 5 mins continuously and then, stopped suddenly as if she got to remember that I was on call. She simply kept the phone down without saying anything. Then, I called her up again after a couple of days and asked her the reason. Obviously she was quite reluctant to reveal anything initially. But when I insisted too much, she had to take all that out! What she told me completely astonished me.
For the last 2 years of her marriage, she had been living with her in laws and her husband had been residing in some other city for his job. She had never ever been to her husband’s place. He comes home once every alternative weekend so practically, they had not even spent 50 days together in the last 2 years!
Moreover, she wakes up at 4 am in the morning. Take a bath and finishes off all the prayers, makes breakfast for everyone, serves it, and then clean the utensils. Then, she cleans, sweep and mob the house. Then again, prepares the lunch, give it to everyone and clean the utensils!  Then do some household work, again does the same thing: makes the dinner, clean the utensils and then finally goes to bed! I mean this is what her life has become. And yes, she is not allowed to step out of her house. She has to keep ‘pallu’ on her head 24*7.
Despite of doing all this, she doesn’t have that respect, that love which she deserves, which her sister-in-laws get! The worst was when nobody wished her on her birthday… Her husband never gives her a single penny. In the 2 years of marriage, she has not bought a single thing for herself or her parents!
And yes, needless to say that as a part of custom her parents gifted her (or her in laws!) all the furniture and electronics required in a house and yes, she even got a car in her marriage.
I had no words when I heard all this from her. She, obviously dint mean to criticize her in laws. If she meant to do so, she would have told me all this much before! She was just taking out all that she had kept hidden somewhere inside her!  And she told me all this in simple words, she dint use any harsh word against anybody or anything… She dint even sounded complaining, she just sounded worried and tired! She just sounded as if she was missing someone who should be next to her! This is the greatness of this girl which her in laws are blinded towards!
Isn’t that weird to know that a girl in today’s world has not stepped out of her house in last 2 years apart from being to her parent’s home? And yes, let me mention here that she is well educated and was doing a job before marriage which off course, she is no more allowed to pursue!
But my point is cant her in laws see what they have been doing to her, to her life. Atleast her husband should have realized this! Its so wrong to make a person lead his/her life in a way which he/she doesn’t want to. Its so wrong to control and influence somebody’s life to an extent that his/her complete personality gets changed or infact, gets reversed. And in this case, all this is being done because she is a girl! Her in laws behaves as if they have done some favor to her by getting her married to their son…
Imagine the plight of that girl. How she would be breathing, how she would be living in that house where nobody ever made an effort to make her feel that its her home too.
Its her life, ideally she should live it the way she wants. I believe that there is just one life we get and we should not let it go for people who don’t care for you. It is out of my imagination how that girl is doing so much for somebody whom she doesn’t even love! I am sure she doesn’t love him because one needs space and time to love somebody which her family never granted her! You just can’t start loving somebody without any efforts being made from the other person to make you fall in love with him. Can you?
The mentality of people like my friend’s in laws is abstruse!! May be its too harsh to say but such people are sick! They believe they are still living in some 18th century. They still believe that daughter in laws are bought to be made slaves and they can control their lives as they want! Why don’t they just keep a full time maid if they really can’t handle their household things themselves? Oh, sorry in that case they will have to pay a heavy amount to her for a work of 2-3 hrs and in other case, the maid is fulltime, is  absolutely free and on top of everything, she brings loads and tons of gold, house hold paraphernalia, vehicle with her so this way of hiring a maid is better. Any clever person will opt for the later option! Right?
But the worst is her husband who had married her with the vow to keep her happy always and had made her life hell in just 2 years.
Hats off to her who is living in such a place with patience and is still, maintaining her calm, who has not broke off even after bearing so much!
Seeing her I feel that she is like the fish in a fish bowl that can see the world outside but can’t go out. Prior coming to this bowl, it had an amazing home of a river or an ocean, where it used to roam around freely and then, one day it gets captured and is being put in a small bowl of almost no dimensions compared to its original home! But it becomes her written fate to survive there for the rest of it’s life!  It has to live in that small world whether happily or sadly, a world where there are no doors, no windows to escape, where it has to actually live on the mercy of her master…
I feel terrible to see how her family has changed her life! How this new life of hers have destroyed her individuality, personality and persona. Her family has actually killed her real self. She is now a dummy/ a mannequin which breaths…
Please respect other’s independence and their individuality!  And do not treat people as slaves and servants!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Commenting is Sexy! Do let me know what you think about this post :)