Thursday, August 7, 2014

What if what you think is right, is wrong?

Clause 1: There is a law that the country makes. It is bound by rights. These rights are defined. If someone tries to take them away, you can court the law.

Clause 2: There a law that society makes. It is bound by emotions. And there are no rights, jut to-do lists. They make no sense. And you have to follow them, for no reason.

Case 1: A twenty three year old girl is sitting at home, idly. She can’t go to work because her father thinks she should not. She is obese and her father almost hates her for that. She cannot go out for holidays with her friends because her father does not want her to. Marriage at will is out of question. Now even though all fundamental rights in the first clause are violated, she cannot court the law because clause 2 overrides and overrules everything else.

Sub-Case 1: Given the current situation she is in, she chooses to fight for her rights. That is, revolting against the first social environment (family) she is in. She decides to leave the house, have a job, have freedom, lead a life where she can take her own decisions and have freedom to marry whoever she wants to. Now she is happy because she is doing things that make her happy. But the extended social environment decides to make an interruption. Friends and family of the family will disregard her actions and criticize her for being ‘selfish’. Given the fact that her father almost sacrificed his life and that her mother had been through worse, she should have behaved like a sacrificing Indian girl and obeyed whatever her parents had kept in store for her because even though none of it makes her happy and actually makes sense, it is somehow still the best decision for her.

Sub-Case 2: Given the current situation she is in, she chooses to stay quiet and try to be an adjusting girl. So she doesn’t go to work, and has no money of hers to spend. Every morning she wakes up at eight and wonders what to do the whole day. So she starts watching television because she likes to. Moments later she is scolded for not helping her mother with the household chores because that is what ‘Indian girls’ are supposed to do. At night she is scolded by her father for not losing enough weight that day. Next day she is made to get pictures clicked for matrimonial service, because her family has decided it is the right time for her to get married. Then she gets married off in a family that has a replicated environment, because marriages cannot be inter castes, as supposedly there is ‘little understanding’ between people from different castes.

We live in a world where life’s aim is to please others. Society largely dominates your life. If not, it dominates the lives of those who dominate your life. There is no free will. Personal satisfaction and societal acceptance are two mutually exclusive contracts; you may choose to accept only either of them.

Sub-Case 3: Given the current situation she is in, the girl choses to take the middle path and tries to create a pleasant environment for everybody. So she decides to ask her father if she could work from home. Father accepts the proposal and says she could work for him. Take all the money she thinks she would get from a job, from him. Thus, still lead the life under Sub-Case 2 but with the assumption of having freedom and individuality.

No wonder ‘Hell’ flashes on her phone when there is a call from home.

Now, a brief background of the father: Since he was born thirty years before her, he had a totally different upbringing. Girls were assumed to do the household chores. Men were supposed to fetch bread, and women cook it. Life was simple. Father would know who is the ideal match for their children and would fix the partner for them. It made sense, because there was no social networking. There was no social media or communication network. Their entire life was revolving around two families, their own and their in-laws’. That is why selecting the right ones was extremely critical. Since their fathers had played pivotal roles in selecting the brides, they ‘had’ to do the same for their children. Life was hard the father lived in a single room apartment. In the last thirty years, he had sacrificed everything for his family. So putting the daughter in question to a nice school had to be a tough choice. Now the money was good, yet it was earned by saving rupee after rupee; saving on clothes, food, holidays and fun. With better income, he sent his children to better colleges and universities, where they could get better education.

Now that has offered so much, sacrificed so much for his children, isn’t it only fair that he is not ripped off the joy of selecting the right groom for her daughter?

So where is the mismatch? What has gone wrong? I think the answer to the above question is that the two sides of a coin can never meet. They will for ever and ever be standing back-to-back, until one side decides to melt.

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