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Four years back from now.....That day I was sitting in yellow sari with matching jewellery, in decent makeup and of course my fav ornament my black and purple specs that I found after searching the whole market in the city. I usually wear lenses with sari or in any function but today I chose my specs. Mom entered the room and asked me to go and meet the boy's parents. I was about to step out of my room that my uncle stopped me and asked me to put my specs off. He said the guest might think that I can't see things so I wear specs. I was like "Really ?One wear specs only if they are blind?or if I wear specs, is it something I should ashamed of?" But I didn't uttered a word and handing my specs over to my cousin I went there to display myself to the people came over to judge me if I was a 'bahu' material. Their son was nowhere there because it was an unspoken rule there that first it is the parents who should like the girl then only the boy has to meet her. Anyway I went there and greeted them. They asked me a few questions about my education, hobbies and nothing much and asked me not to feel nervous and be comfortable.
Everything went fine that day as I got selected for the next round of that "ldki dekho process" . Now I had to go through another round of my display which would include in the judge panel the boy( the main judge) his parents again and the other members of their family as well like his 3 sisters, his brother in laws, their kids, his few of uncle aunts etc. a family function you can say. Great! So this was going to be a GRAND interview for me.
After around a couple of weeks that day also came and again I was in the same get up waiting for my round to come. After the formal conversation and introduction of everyone to everyone of both the parties, I was introduced to them. I was already reminded for the specs so I went there without that. This time also same questions from other family members. Since I had a good educational background my parents felt proud while I was answering to them(as they always do).
They were already delighted with the hospitality of my family and gave their green signal that it's a yes from their side as their son liked me as well. After lunch they said that before leaving they must let us (me n the guy)talk to each other in order to understand each other and that we would be more comfortable alone. Aah! At least they said that.. nice people they were... frankly speaking my family would have never initiated that until they wanted to.
Now I was called again to that " secret conversation"(kidding) to take that opportunity to talk to each other in case we have any questions. But this time I was not gonna fake my myself ( deliberately using this term though I was not faking of course). I went there and as I stepped into the room I put my specs on. And there I was, standing before everyone with my confidence, my specs avatar. I could sense the "what's wrong!" expressions on everyone's face. They were about to leave the room in 5 min but now it ended in another series of questions on my specs avatar. As expected like "Do you wear specs?", "What's your power?", "Are you not able to see without specs?" " From how long you are wearing?" and so on. As I was prepared and was used to such queries, I answered. Sensing the situation my uncle managed to ease the situation saying "आज कल तो specs इतना common हो गया है कि डॉक्टर के पास जाओ और वो specs prescribe कर देते हैं..". Everyone nodded in agreement and left the room to let us talk to each other.
But now what? I wasn't prepared for that level. I didn't wanted such things to happen. But now I was there sitting alone with the guy to have an alliance. I didn't have any questions to ask except about his work and company and I had no experience being in such situations. So I allowed him to go ahead. And perhaps he has prepared well for it. He has a lot of genuine questions to ask me and kept telling about himself as well. It reminded me of my viva voce in school. And I kept answering in a very diplomatic way as I didn't want to be very frank with him instantly and also I was not sure which of my answer would hurt my family.( I am good at giving diplomatic answers by the way).
After this viva voce session. Everyone gathered to bid good bye. My dad gave them gifts as shagun.... Everyone was happy. Before leaving they said we will let you know our decision the next day.
After we came home my uncle scolded me to not listen to him but my dad said that's not an issue but I could see his lowered confidence in his eyes. I was asked about my decision. I was perplexed, I didn't know how would I explain my feelings to everyone that though there were no particular reason I can give to say a " no" to him..I could not get the reasons to say "yes" for him as well. Don't know why but talking to him for a few minutes I could sense "not made for each other " feeling. Talking to him I could sense we had a entirely different perception... We had nothing in common, we had a different goals and expection from life, from our marriage. But would that be a justifiable reason for my family? I didn't think so... Even today I can't explain it. To my cousin I told that I don't think we can make a couple. And moreover did that really matter? What if I say 'no' and he say 'yes'. Everyone will try convincing me. But if he say no they will consider it my fate and go on. Though I had so much in my mind that day but I gave a one liner reply to my parents,"Aap log jo thik smjhe". Again a diplomatic answer. When even after one day they didn't call, my dad got tense. After another day they called and what they said we could read on my dad's face. His dad said," Hame ladki to pasand hai.. par uske chashma lgane ko le k hmara beta thoda confusion me hai.. apne to biodata me ye mention kr dena chahiye tha.. par kyuki humne aap se baat kr li hai to piche hatna v shi nhi hoga. Hm apki beti ko chasme k sath accept kr lenge par aapko v hmari thodi help krni hogi hmare bete ko samjhane me.. flat lene me jo dikkatein aa rhi h uski wajah se shi faisla bhi nhi le pa rha.. .Hum guardian uski help kr denge to smjh jaega. Settle hone thodi help kr dijiye akhir apki beti ki hi khushhali hogi...." my dad replied," thoda wakt dijiye intazam krne ka fir main call krta hu." He hung up with that statement (somewhat as expected).
My uncle scolded me again for wearing specs that day. I disappointed my family. But I was not sorry. First time in my life I saw my dad so worried about my specs. I was always a proud for my dad. I always tried to give my 100 % in everything just to see that proud face of him. I had always seen my dad being respected everywhere. But today my uncle said I let him down. Really? Did I? My specs was never created a problem in my life..not in anything. It never botherd me, I was never ashamed of it. And someone out of nowhere is saying it's my flaw that too when two of his three brother-in-law s were in specs. No I was not going to accept that. And I was then came out of my diplomatic answers, with my decision.
I went to my dad, said " Papa, even if they are gonna agree to this alliance, I am not." I refuse to marry him. My specs is not worth bargaining." They tried to convince me,"Beta aise nhi hota hai, wo ladke wale hai hain to thoda nakhre krna apna hak smjhte hain. Family achi hai. Ldka v acha hai."
But this time I was not going to say,"Aap jaisa thik samjhe". I said, "They might accept me with my specs with some additional cash or flat as dowry but can I accept them? No, I can't. I can't respect them who think they were doing a favour on us accepting me as a defective piece just to demand more dowry. I can't marry in that family.. not at the cost of my self respect and it's my decision." My uncle called me stubborn as always.
Then My dad called them and said," Dekhiye cash ka intezam to ho jaega par ab meri beti ye rishta nhi krna chahti...to aap kahin aur dekh lijiye." I couldn't believe my ear just heard that. My dad supported me , he respected my self respect. I hugged my dad. Had they only denied to marry for my specs being the reason I would have no problem with them..In fact I would have been happily accepted that. If they don't want a bride with spec it's their choice and it's totally fine. Everyone has this right to choose. I too have some criteria for my groom to be. Nothing wrong in that. But I can't bargain on that or force anyone to change themselves if they don't feel so. We should either take it or leave it. But bargaining on that as if they are doing a favor I don't feel this right. And this case happens with the guys as well. I witnessed one such case.
There are people with not so fair skin, or with any sort of disability or with short height or it could be anything you may not like or may not feel right but they are okay with it. I just want to request such family, if you can accept someone whole heatedly with what they are, with their originality then only accept them as your family member or your life partner but if you can't or if you have any doubt please please say a straight forward 'NO'. There is nothing wrong in saying no but do not play a negotiation game with them. "Take it or leave it".
We are not ashamed of ourselves, we are no less than anyone with the so called 'flaw' or 'कमी' in them, it doesn't give you right to demand more dowry from anyone...Or to humiliate anyone.. so just stop belittle us.
Thank you all dear readers for your patience reading this article(my experience). I would love to know your views on the same or if you have experienced something like this.