Not a dowry


Sometimes some incidents change your entire perspective of looking at things. They even challenge your beliefs and leave you baffled. Sharing one of such food for thought incident with you:

Last week I received a call from an old family friend who had just shifted to their new house. After exchanging the usual pleasantries I asked her how was she feeling in her new locality? She narrated to me a very recent incident that had happened in her building which had left her with many doubts in her mind.

Here I would like to mention, she stays in a four storied apartment with 8 families residing there. The building is very closely knit, in the sense you can hear your next door neighbour’s TV clearly and sometimes also catch a glimpse of what is happening in their drawing room. Just a floor below her lives a 54 year old lady who is an active social worker with local NGO working for women upliftment. Her next door neighbour is a South Indian family consisting of mother, father and their young son. One particular night her neighbours Mr. and Mrs. Pillai had a heated argument about something in their mother tongue. Though nobody could make out the reason behind it, their raised tones depicted the quarrel which was taking place. 

Source: Google Images

The next day the social worker, let’s call her Ms. Sharma landed up at their place when Mr. Pillai had gone out on some domestic chore. Without waiting for any introductions she started interrogating that lady and told her,’ I know that man harasses you…please just complain once and see what we do to him.’ Now Mrs. Pillai was a God fearing lady and on hearing this she got scared. Looking at Ms. Sharma she said,’ No...No…there is nothing like that at all. It was a family matter, nothing serious. A property dispute going on in the court is pending since last 10 years. You are staying in the building since so long. You also know we never argue about anything. We have been happily married for the last 30 years.’ Not the one to lose out so soon she continued pestering her when Mrs. Pillai’s son Abhinav entered the room.

Now Ms. Sharma’s entire focus shifted to him. She self introduced herself and asked him what he was doing currently. Before Abhinav could react Mrs. Pillai replied,’ He is working in an MNC bank. We have finalized a girl for his marriage.’ Mrs. Pillai was silently thanking God as the topic had changed and the focus was now on her son.  Ms. Sharma’s eyes gleamed as she looked at her and said,’ So everything is sorted?  Mrs. Pillai nodded and smiled,’ Oh yes….I told you, it was one of a case otherwise we are a very peace loving couple.’

Ms. Sharma: No I am talking about your son’s marriage. Have you discussed everything in details with them? (Clearing her throat) I mean the give and take.

Mrs. Pillai was getting confused and had a perplexed look on her face.

Ms. Sharma: Ask at least for a car I tell you. I know you are so naive; you would not have spoken anything about it. It’s not very late even now. Please call and let them know. Arre bhai you have only one son. He deserves the best.

Just as she finished Mrs. Pillai was staring at her fumbling with words when Abhinav intervened, ‘But Aunty…taking dowry is wrong.’

Ms. Sharma: Who said we are asking for dowry. We are asking for a wedding gift. Now which father will not like to give a wedding gift to his daughter? Tell me. A person gets married only once in lifetime.

Abhinav: (Irritated) I thought you work for an NGO which deals with women related issues.

Ms. Sharma: Yes I do. We work against domestic violence against women. See beta you are an only child. You need to look at your mother’s comfort also. In this age how much running around will she do in a rickshaw. She needs a car. Listen to me and call them right now.

Abhinav: (Angrily) I am capable enough to take care of my mother’s needs. I don’t need anybody else’s help to fulfill them. [And he left the room]

Ms. Sharma: (gruffly) This is the problem with today’s generation. They don’t know anything. They cannot even treat their elders with respect. Saying this she stomped out of their house much to the shock and dismay of Mrs. Pillai. 

I was speechless at the other end of the phone not knowing what to say. I was wondering which dictionary or law states accepting gifts from your would be wife’s parents (that too by asking out rightly) is not considered as dowry. This is the common man of our country. Donning a new name they have let the pest called dowry easily exist in our society in its all glory. My friend on the other end cleared her throat to bring back my attention and asked me ,' Now you tell me, how is my new locality?'. The only word I could manage to say was ' Interesting! '

Comments

  1. This Ms Sharma is so known to everyone of us...these species are wandering everywhere and unfortunately they are quite strong in their belief of this so called 'wedding gifts' and are not ashamed a bit to put their demands loud....

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    1. :o)

      So true a statement. Each one of us must be knowing at least one such person around who conveniently puts a mask of 'gift' on the demon of dowry.

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  2. duh- taking dowry in any form has become a vicious trap; you know, even if the boy's family don't ask, the girl's family splurges and this put a wrong idea in to many families. awareness & speaking out is the need of the hour !

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    1. I completely agree. We and only we all together can do something about it .

      I have ample examples around me who just say we dont want anything you can give your daughter anything you want. And the parents give everything from a needle to a double bed, cupboard, fridge etc etc saying it is our custom we cannot let our daughter go empty handed apart from the normal jewellery and all.

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  3. For a minute i thought Ms. Sharma was just asking that to cross check and ensure that there was no dowry happening. wasn't it like that?

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    1. Well sadly toffee that does not seem to be the case here. Because she was trying to explain how his mother needed some level of comfort which only a car that too from the girls side could give. And adding to it further on the next meeting she even proudly told Mrs. Pillai what all she managed to get from her daughter-in-law's place and how she should try convincing her son to agree to ask for atleast a car if nothing more.:)

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  4. I can't believe this can happen.. somebody belonging to an NGO can have a view point like that...

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    1. Believe me even I was shocked and angry to an extent that have asked my friendto go and complain against her in the NGO too. But this will end just one such person, imagine how many of these would be around us doing like this and believing it.

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  5. Motivational !Though provoking !Nice write up.

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  6. Well hence the reason why i say a women is sometimes the worst enemy of another women and also the so called people who are working for the better of women dont even know what they are doing .. Ridiculous
    Bikram's

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    1. Ridiculous is the perfect word I guess Bikram. These women don't understand the damage they are doing to the society or perhaps incase they do they dont want to acknowledge it.

      Very sad state of affairs.

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  7. :) Interesting twist in the tale!:)

    Many people pretend to be intellectual and modern but they have paradoxical opinions. You can read an interesting tale here http://tarangsinha.blogspot.in/2010/11/ironic-opinion.html

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    1. Thanks :)

      I agree, on their face they seem to command so much respect but when we see their real colours we cannot stand them leave alone respecting!

      Sure...wl read it soon

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  8. Aaah, me was waiting for u to tell me what thy were both fighting bout n then u tell me tht the women activist is a dowry dudette :)

    Must say, interesting place u live in :)

    fc klove

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    1. Oh yes...a very interesting place don't ask. There seems to be so much happening around me all the while that I could fill books writing about them...he he :)

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  9. Hi


    Very true. Sometimes its better to call it dowry and ask rather than hiding a wolf in a sheepskin and calling it a gift!! Shameful!

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    1. Very true. I don't understand what do people derive from all this. The only logic I can think of is they have fallen into the rut of doing it only for the heck of doing it.

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  10. Replies
    1. Scary indeed it is - the naked truth!

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  11. Doublespeak happens all the while. I'm always a little wary of the motivations of the Mrs Sharmas of the world.

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    1. I agree to you completely...we need to be wary of such people.

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  12. Indeed, its old wine in a new bottle.
    I recently remember a friend saying how marriages are seen as financial bargain in their community. A sad affair of relations.

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    1. Truly a sad affair. Financial bargain being associated with a term like marriage in itself is a red signal.

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  13. hey is this true? a woman working with an NGO advocating dowry? I am very very sad...

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    1. Yes sadly Bhavana it is true. Such people exist around us everywhere

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  14. Wow! That's something to think about. There are so many good initiatives in the country that can help eradicate most of the social ills. But unfortunately, as a nation, we seem to lack in sincerity.

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    1. Yes I completely agree to you. We all need to come together and work on this with complete dedication that's when we might be able to eradicate some of these problems from their roots.

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  15. A very Thought provoking post... !!! Well done !!

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    1. Thank you so much for your appreciation :o)

      Welcome here!

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  16. And people like them exist everywhere they don't mind their own work but instead are very keen to poke into the nose of neighbors irritatingly and i don't understand how an NGO person who works for Woman Upliftment is talking about accepting Dowry?

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    1. I know, I get to meet them all and I am sure each one of us finds them somewhere around us.

      I also found this hilarious and I was so tempted to meet her.But then I realized that it is not her fault, she has been brought up with a certain set of beliefs which will take time to change. Our society as a whole believes in such things and hence the trend continues from one generation to other!

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