Thursday, March 20, 2008

Getting Married, Part-V

(Continuation of "Getting Married Part-IV")
A girl leaves her home to spend the rest of her life with a completely different/new family. She adjusts her life style, her dressing, her working hours etc. to suit her new home. Yet she is not the bakra here! Only the guy is bakra!

She has to forgo her professional career if they decide to have a baby. Yet the guy is the bakra!

After marriage is there any change in the way a man lives? Not much, in fact the change is almost negligible! He still continues to get up at seven… gets a ready cup of coffee and breakfast once he gets ready… His clothes are readily pressed for him as always… Even after he returns from office, he gets to watch his favorite TV programs…

How about the girl? She is expected to cook, wash and clean and take care of the family… She is asked to do things that she has never done before. She has to manage home and office… Yet the guy is the bakra! How mean! Why is life so partial!

Bhavana and I are having our lunch together when I see the wedding card of her friends. It says: “Sanjay weds Sarika(alias Gautami)”

“What’s Sarika doing?”
“Who’s Sarika?”
“Sanjay’s fiancĂ©e.”
“Oh! You mean Gautami?” she says, “She’s a school teacher. Actually, her name is Gautami only. But according to Sanjay’s horoscope, he should marry a girl whose name starts with an S. Only then he will be wealthy.”
“So? So, she has changed her name for him?” I ask.
“Oh no! He has asked her to change it to Sarika,” she replies and adds, “In fact, she did not want to change her name at all. But her parents insisted that she will never get a better marriage proposal; so she had to change her name.”
“Bad! Very bad!” I exclaim and add, “Very sad too!”

In general the girl’s surname changes after her marriage. In fact, after her marriage, Bhavana prefers to be called as Bhavana Dubey, rather than Bhavana Sharma. One day, I asked her, “Why did you change your name after marriage?”
“That is our India tradition, dear,” she said and continued, “One day, even you will change your name.”
“Do you like being called Ms. Dubey rather than Ms. Sharma?”
“Yes, of course!””Is your husband called Mr. Sharma?”
“No,” she replied in a shock, “Why will Vinod be called a Sharma? He was born in the Dubey family.”
“But you were also born in a Varma family not a Dubey family,” I argued.
“You don’t seem to value Indian traditions.”
“It’s not like that. People do not wish to change something that has been continued for ages. They don’t want to see a change. They don’t want to be singled out and pointed out. Or sometimes, they have been brainwashed to such a extent that they accept all the norms of the society without any question. If someone goes against these general norms, he/she is called arrogant.”
I got so angry that day that I stormed out of her cubicle. But now, changing of surname seemed so small when compared to changing a person’s name. We have been called by a name since our birth, it is the same name that we see in all our school certificates and ID cards, and now all at once, it is printed differently in our wedding card. It’s so sad! Why are we forced to change for someone else? If Gautami was interested in changing her name, it would be fine, but this change has been against her wishes. I pity at the plight of most of the girls in the society.

(To be Continued in "Getting Married Part-VI")

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