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Five years ago, I left my parents, my home, my everything to go and start a new life. With a new family. I did not really put much thought into the "family" part of the process. My fiance and I were like minded, I thought the transition would be a breeze. What followed was a cultural shock that I hadn't expected to experience in my worst dreams. It was a classic "wrong number" situation. They had expected a demure, obedient girl who would follow instructions to the T and here I was- educated and opinionated. I could not get myself to digest the patriarchal views held by my new family. The worst part was that they would decide if, when and for how long I was to meet my parents. Over the years, things got worse and we now no longer live as a joint family.
Decked in red, with a heavy heart,
I didn't look back, no tears were shed.
No force in this world, no culture no custom
Could ever come between me and them.
How wrong I was, how naive could I be?
From that morning, a daughter-in-law I was to be.
There was no shortage of boulders,
In the path that now separated you and me.
The few kilometers that earlier seemed so close,
Were now like seven seas.
They asked me to forget everything,
Their house was now the only place I was meant to be.
But they forgot something,
That my heart was still free.
They burnt the bridges,
They demanded respect.
They taught me the ways,
Of how sanskari I was supposed to be.
Day by day, very gently,
I gave voice to my thoughts,
I protested, I questioned,
Why did these million rules only apply to me?
These shackles don't bind me,
Your words don't make sense.
I soar as high as I can go,
I have now dropped all pretense.