I am an educated Indian girl, living in Kanpur. I finally achieved my dream of becoming a doctor and was thankful to my parents for all the support. But this year, on turning 23 years old, everything changed, my father who I thought always wanted me to be an independent girl has started poking me about a doctor guy of the same caste as us and wants to get me married off as soon as I can, as marrying while young is apparently most appropriate.
They are also asking me to start learning how to make rotis, because this is a “talent” that all girls should have and how will I perform the rasam (tradition) of making food in the kitchen after the wedding day (there is a rasam in some cultures for the new bahu to make something in the kitchen for the first time), if I don’t know such things?
I feel betrayed. I feel reduced to an object which was made to be presented as a doctor so that I could be married off to a doctor guy, but beneath all this, my true job is still cooking?
I love a guy, we've been together for 6 years, and he always supports me. He belongs to a different caste but I want to marry him only. He supported me in this but still, I got a hint of betrayal when he asked, “if there is such a rasam in our future, for formality’s sake, you can just make tea or something na? Why create fights in the house for such a small thing?” Small thing? How do I make him understand that I can make a whole dinner for someone, but I don’t want to perform this rasam because it tells me that “I am a girl and this is my job only?” It should not be forced on me.
I just want to ask everyone, why is this “small thing” like a cooking rasam always expected from a girl? Why do only we leave our parents (in India) and the boys happily live with theirs?
Why do we suddenly have to start loving his family and forget about ours? Why are we judged for everything that we do? Why do we have to ignore, compromise, be silent, and always give priority to other people’s happiness more than our own? I love my boyfriend, but even an educated guy like him can’t understand how unfair things are for a girl in this country. I wish someone would understand our plight, I wish things change in the future, for the next generation of women.
I wish this suffocation in the name of Indian culture stops, especially for women.