You Don't Deserve Me As A Daughter, Wife, Or Sister If You Can't Answer These Questions For Me

Sangeeta Bhattacharjee Sangeeta Bhattacharjee in Single Women Bad Women on 2 January, 2017

From when I was really young, you taught me to be shy, quiet and demure. You taught me to keep my voice down, never speak my mind. You didn't let me dream big, you told me I am 'paraya dhan'. You warned me a thousand times each day to stay away from guys, and to always think about the family's dignity.

So, why did you go against your very teachings when I have now reached an age that you certify as 'marriageable'. Why did you make me talk to random guys? Why did you make me listen to the guy's banter and ask me to talk less, hear more. 

Why did you not give me the right to reject someone I am not comfortable with? Why do, only you, have the right to reject guys? Heck. Why do I have to ask you if this is 'right'? Why did you blame me when the other party rejects me?

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Why did you tell me that I am lucky that the prospective family will ALLOW me to follow my passion?

Why do I need someone's permission to follow my dreams? Why does my choice not hold as much importance as that of my brother's? Why did you place more value upon the opinion of an unknown person over your own daughter?

Why do you maintain double standards? My brothers can live in or marry anyone, but if I want to spend my life with a partner of my choice, I am ruining the family's name?

Why did my brothers threaten to kill me for their 'honour' when they had promised to protect me on every Raksha Bandhan? I have never come across an honour killing report stating a sister killed her brother for ‘honour’.

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Why did you shun me when I told you I am struggling in my married life and I want to get out of that unhappy place?

Everyone has the right to dream and follow the path to achieve them. So, why did you question my actions only? Marriage isn't only about comprise on my part, so why am only I expected to sacrifice?

You do not even know what I have in my heart, mind. You do not know and you do not care to find out.

To my husband,

I am not a commodity to be purchased from a marriage website just to be put for display in your house. I am not there to cook and clean your laundry for free; if that is all you require, kindly hire a maid.

I am looking for a friend with whom I can share my heart, my love, and my family. I promise to look after your family, but you need to take care of mine too. I am an Indian woman but sometimes I really feel like I shouldn't have been one. In a country where women are prayed to in temples, there are women who are raped and left to die. I live in fear as I do not know which moment I might be thrown acid at or kidnapped and sold into prostitution.

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Unsurprisingly, majority of Indian teens and women up to thirties suffer from depression. But of course, depression is just a mood, not an ailment. And it's just me PMS-ing, right?

I live in a country where the highest court of law dismisses a petition saying marital rape cannot be criminalised as it might ruin the "sanctity of marriage".
Author's Note:

I was talking to a friend the other day and realised how similar her tale sounded. And thus, I am dedicating this to all the parents and brothers out there. This is for all of us. We, who are going through the same dilemma, need to be strong and should power through. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, and sunshine will stream through after the darkest hour.

Editor's Note:

This powerful rant of a woman is hard-hitting. We might say this is not something we experience and that our parents are better than that. But there are a million women in India who still are not allowed to study because that will corrupt their brains or because they are to be 'given away' anyway. This has to stop now. Share this so that the women who do go through these hardships can speak up. If you think they can't, you speak for them. Because I know I won't keep quiet if someone tells me to shut up just because I'm a woman.