Marriage is considered to be sacred act in Hindu mythology. Those seven vows that bind a couple into a bond that lasts for lives to come. The vows that they take, promising each other love, devotion and prosperity. What happens when the ‘mangalsutra’ the thread of black beads no longer remains the proof of commitment and love, it becomes just an ornament to adorn woman’s neck? All those vows are broken and the woman is disrespected and insulted every single day. They are no longer the partners for life but just a pair that consist of a dominant and a submissive and that too after the barter. There is this tradition which runs in the roots of many villages in India even today. The higher you pay the better groom you get. When a woman gets married it is in search of the warmth and cocoon that shall keep her safe and help her build their own nest. So imagine when she has to choose that someone on her father’s capacity to pay him, sometimes her choice is not even considered. The groom is this china product the lower the price more unpredictable is its quality and then the game starts of marriage and the bride becomes the toy tossed.
“There are only two types of women-goddesses and doormats”, said Pablo Picasso. When I read this quote for the first time it was insulting I felt. But when you actually get into the depths of those words you understand it talks about strengths. You either fight the wrong or accept as it comes. Because that is exactly what doormat is, it crowns its head with people’s dirt. The irony is the doormat is called dirty in the end and not the feet that stomped on it.
Nitya is from one of those villages, a single mother now she is working in a MNC in Bangalore. She was the daughter of the ‘mukhya’ (village head). She was a fresh graduate and wanted to work for and start a NGO in her village for women development but she was not given a chance. She was shown few men and asked to choose one and who was she to go against her father. But she had a wish; she did not want any trade involved when it came to her wedding. As a result she never got a groom; her father thought lying will be a better option than forcing her into marriage. So she was married to a doctor the one who had the highest bid.
Happy she was that she took a step against the nasty tradition and her marriage was not a trade. How wrong she was! Once as the fate liked it, it slipped from her husband’s mouth that he was paid Rs.50lacs for their marriage. Devastated she left his house with a child in her womb. No point being married to a thing her father purchased for her, she thought. All she wanted from her husband is to lover her for what she is. Two years of their marriage and her father did not spoke a word to her about it. She went to her father after she left her husband to get some answers. But all she got was a justification, because she wouldn’t get a groom otherwise and that is how the society works. She cannot expect more from the people who are puppets of the society, right or wrong they have to follow it blindly. Never once will they think why do we have a society in the first place? Because living like a nomad was no longer possible and we wanted civilization. So if we don’t hunt anymore to feed our stomach then why do we follow the same traditional way when it comes to women?
‘The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power you just take it’, said Roseanne Barr. That is exactly what Nitya did. She took in charge of her life and of the fetus in her womb. Just because few people missed the train to evolution does not mean she stays back. Breaking a two year old marriage is not easy but it was not that difficult too because there was no initiative from her better half to make her stay. The relationship was then like an empty box of sweets, there were traces of the sweet been kept in it earlier but now all that lingered was the smell of it, Which will fade after sometime so there was no point in holding onto it. Nitya did start the NGO she wanted to, she is encouraging young girls to not give into the demands of society and people and raise their voice when it’s wrong. Someone has to start sometime, let that someone be me and sometime be now! She is no longer in touch with her family because she was disowned the moment she walked out of her marriage. But she is happy, she is not around the hypocrites in the name of family and she is free to voice out her opinion and follows what is right. Nitya is enough to be her identity in this patriarchal nation.