I was pursuing research in economics from a well‐known university and was leading a happy and peaceful life, when my parents asked me to settle down.
The problem with our society and with families like my own is that we give a girl’s marriage more importance than her career, profession and her dreams. I wasn’t ready to get married, but my family forced me into it.
On 5th February, 2017, I met a boy my parents chose for me at a temple, near my place. It wasn’t a meeting where our families tried to get to know each other. It was more like my interview. The boy and his family kept asking questions as if they were offering me a job, or I was seeking some kind of an employment opportunity with them. I tried to answer their questions, in the best possible manner.
But then, something happened that I won’t be able to forget, all my life.
I have some burn marks on my hand and my back. My father didn’t mention them to the boy and his family because they are hardly visible and he didn’t think they were worth mentioning about, anyway. But he never thought it would become such a big deal with the boy and his family. Honestly, had I known my father had forgotten to mention about them, I would have told the boys’ side about my marks, myself. I am not ashamed of them.
Somehow, though, they came to know of my marks and made a big issue out of it. The boy kept quiet but his family behaved in a typical, narrow-minded, uncivilised way.
His mother and aunt grabbed me and started looking over my scars on my hand and my back. The way they were acting - it made me feel like I had committed some unspeakable crime. I felt so helpless and confused at the turn of events that I started crying. My father tried to talk to them, but they just walked off.
From being a pretty girl, I was reduced to a girl to be pitied. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was not good enough, like I was lacking something. Despite being fine in every other way, I was rejected by a couple of strangers, because of my scars. I can’t even explain how hard a blow it was to my confidence and my self-esteem. It wasn’t that they had rejected me, because I can’t force someone to like me, but it was the way my family reacted to this incident. The way my own family started treating me like I was physically impaired, flawed in some way.
This incident has had a bad effect on my life. Since that boy and his family rejected me, my family has started treating my scars as a disability that needs to be dealt with. They are forcing me to undergo surgery, and since the day I visited a surgeon, I can’t sleep properly or even concentrate on my studies.
The same questions haunt me, everyday. What was my fault in the whole incident? Why does a girl’s appearance matter more than her qualification and qualities? Are my scars such a big issue that no one will ever accept me? Despite being educated, why did that boy not try to drill some sense into his family? Who is responsible for ruining the happiness of my life?
Almost two months have passed but I am still not able to forget all that happened that day. The whole incident is still fresh in my mind, moment by moment. I am trying hard to forget everything but my mind and heart don’t cooperate. Now I will get peace only when I will find answers to my questions.
I wish to God to give me strength and courage to face this situation and help me complete my Ph.D.
These lines express my situation well:
Not all scars show,
Not all wounds heal,
Sometimes you cannot see the pain, that someone feels!