This is what happens when your parents are financially unstable, short tempered, illiterate and get easily manipulated by relatives. I grew up with such parents and my life has been extremely difficult because of them.
When my brother and I were young, we were beaten and abused by our parents, almost on a daily basis. I remember when I was 10 years old, my mom heated a spoon and burnt my hand with it. The pain was unbearable. When I was 13 years old, she threw a pair of scissors at me twice, it hit me first on my hand and then on my back and I started bleeding profusely. My father similarly punished us for our mistakes by slapping us hard across the face, or by beating us with wires, utensils, rods etc.
Because my parents were financially unstable, it was difficult for them to get me enrolled in a college. But somehow my father managed to do so. I remember one particular night when I was in my first year of college. We had no electricity at home and were having dinner in the dark when my mom said, "Your dad has somehow managed to pay your fee right now, but after you get a job, you'll have to return it." I felt so sad to hear this that I started crying immediately.
My mother could at least have let me finish my food first, couldn't she? But as soon as she saw me crying, she said, "Eat your food, there's no need to cry" and went on to tell me how when my Bua started working, she didn't spend a penny on her wedding and saved it all for her honeymoon instead. Everyone else had to contribute for her wedding, including my father. "I am telling you all this so that you don't do the same thing to us," my mother went on.
Next year, I heard the same thing from my parents again. They told me how they had borrowed money for my studies and how I must repay it. This time, though, I only smiled at them and agreed to it. When I reached the third year of college, I managed to get a job during my summer holidays and saved about 20k, but no one appreciated me for my efforts.
I met a guy in college and fell in love with him. Both of us applied for a job after graduation and shifted to Bangalore. We were quite happy together, away from my family and all its troubles.
Even after all this, I had huge respect for my parents because they knew how hard they had struggled to complete my education. So, as promised, I started sending half my salary back home. As time passed, my boyfriend and I decided to get married to each other. After arguing among themselves for months and consulting my relatives, my parents finally agreed for our match. Once my wedding date was finalized, I gave half my savings to my father and kept the other half for myself, for any other wedding expense.
Meanwhile, I went on a trip with my friends, which I had already planned some time ago. But my father and my bua had a problem with it. Even though I had always helped my parents and even my relatives during any financial crunch they faced, I had to hear nonsense from them like, "She is getting married and we don't have any money, but she still had to go on a trip. She does not care about her father, at all."
A week before my wedding, my parents sold our old property and managed to bear all expenses. They spent so much on giving expensive gifts and sarees to my bua, chachi and other relatives. I had planned to wear a lehenga at my wedding and a Cinderella-like gown at my reception. But for each and every thing, I had to argue with my father because he couldn't take any decision without consulting his relatives. It was my wedding but my opinion was not taken into account, at all. Even my mother was frustrated with my father for acting like this. I had to fight over everything. I wanted a candid photographer for my wedding, but my father wanted my cousin to cover it. My cousin had barely done any wedding photography before this and was charging us an enormous 40k for the job, despite having no skills or experience. In the end, I had to use my own savings to employ another photographer.
Four days before my wedding, all our relatives came to stay at our home and started throwing tantrums left, right and centre. My wedding was at 11 am and I wanted to get some couple shots done before the rituals started. I told my parents to plan all rituals in a way that I was left with an hour to get ready and another 15-20 minutes for the photo shoot. I asked my cousin to take my bridal shots at 6:30 am, as we had been asked to reach the party hall by 6 am.
But there was a change in the plan, which nobody told me about and the time for our arrival was shifted to 8 am.
When my bua asked my father why had I called the photographer so early when the timings were changed, he started yelling at me in front of everybody. I was so frustrated that I wanted to run away, then and there. However when the rituals started, none of my relatives turned up on time. As a result, everything got delayed and I was left with no time to even get ready, forget about getting a photoshoot done. And even then, after every 5 minutes, someone or the other continuously ran into my room and asked me to rush things because, "muhurat nikal raha hai."
Everybody knows that a bride needs time and space to get ready. She has to get her hair and makeup done for the most important day of her life and it takes time. But no one at my home understood this one simple thing. To make matters worse, there was nobody around to help me. My cousins were busy taking selfies and didn't give a s*** about me. Thank god for my colleagues who came and immediately started helping me. My relatives, on the other hand, only kept pressurizing the makeup artist to hurry up and finish the job fast. Of course my photographer couldn't take any shots of me while getting ready either.
After a while, my mom burst into my room and shouted at me, "If getting ready is more important to you than rituals, why didn't you have a court marriage ? Why did you waste our money?"
We had a heated argument, right there in front of my relatives, make up artists, photographer and colleagues. Eventually, I started crying. Somehow, all the wedding rituals came to an end and it was time for my reception. I changed into my wedding gown and got ready in twenty minutes, but was still declared late. When I came on stage, my father forced me to apologize to all guests on the mic. Finally after the reception, my husband and I had some free time to get our photo shoot done. I was finally happy, but all my relatives were only sitting back and judging me for wearing a gown.
Soon, it was time for my vidaai, and even though my relatives were too lazy to get up from their seats and bid me farewell, my father forced me to go to each one of them individually and touch their feet. I took a long breath and did as I was told (even though I hated it) and left.
In the evening, I called my mother but she refused to talk to me. Next day, my relatives came to pick me up. When I reached home and finally had some time alone with my mother, she told me why she could not talk to me the day before. It was because after the wedding, all my relatives had returned home to b***h about me. I was deeply saddened to hear all the crass things they had to say about me.
From, "She has become so stubborn since she started working. She was not even listening to her parents, how will she listen to her husband." "She was only interested in getting ready and getting a photoshoot done. Every time we went into her room, she was getting her hair or her makeup done. She didn't even get couple shots with her husband - only single shots of herself." "What was the need to book such an expensive hall? We could have had the wedding in a school, even."
But what hurt me the most was that my father was a part of these conversations and often agreed with them all. When my bua complained that he had let me control the wedding, he replied,"Koi nahi. Kahan jaegi, kabhi na kabhi use meri zarurat padegi, tab dekh lunga mai uses..."
Hearing this, I couldn't help my tears. I couldn't understand how any father could talk about his daughter like this.