‘Give me a reason mom’, she said. Myra, don’t make me feel that educating you and fighting for the same was a wrong decision on my part shouted mother angrily.
What makes you say so? She said, just because I have fallen in love with someone who you and your people don’t think fit, doesn’t prove anything. Listening to all this came her father and there was a pin drop silence for a moment after which she said, “Dad please once, for my sake meet him, you will”…” just go to your room,” said her father interrupting her and she saying nothing took herself to her room and cuddled her only the friend left in her own home, her pillow and wept till she fell asleep.
The next day Myra came out of her room and sat at the dining table to have her favorite morning tea in which she had lost all her interest. She lost the taste for everything that did matter to her before. Sitting in front of her favorite cup of tea and staring at the cup she thought about the love her parents showered on her every day till she came up with the story of ‘Paritosh’, the love of her life.
Now all she wanted was to experience his love for her by getting married to him. This dream of her was not at all shared by her parents on grounds that Paritosh was a lower caste individual and that, she should be married by their will, not hers.
She sat there and stared and waited for someone to console her, to listen to her, to become a companion, but to her dismay, she couldn’t find a soul who would want to keep her out of her misery and who would ask her parents to love her again selflessly, the way they did before.
For her parents were teachers in a government school she was left all alone in her house when they left for school till she left for her clinic. That was the time when she used to talk to Paritosh and made plans on how they would elope if they were not permitted to marry. But what? Was it a righteous thing to do? She asked herself looking at the mirror.
For whatever she did or may do, she can’t be so selfish as to flee with her partner and leave her parents just like that. Okay, she fell in love but that is not a decision that we make in our lives, that thing just happens. But to marry or not is a decision that she had a veto on. And she knew that she wants to marry Paritosh with all her heart.
But what of her parents? After explaining and trying to talk to her parents for almost six long months she was shattered for she could not find a single ray of hope by the behavior of her parents, and at times she was fearful as to what in all this rage and situation will be the decision of her parents about her life.
“About her life”, yes you read correctly. This is Myra’s life and that should work according to the decisions she makes for herself, but as an educated girl, she also gave so much liberty to her parents to intervene as she already knew that this has been their way since her childhood.
Starting from her school to the types of clothes she would wear, the type of hairdo she will have, and to the type of friends, she would have, the kind of movies that she will watch, and the variety of books that she will read, all was taken care of by her parents, and now to take such a big step in her life how can she ask of her parents to not be a part of the same. All she asked for was the due consideration of her feelings for Paritosh and himself as a person.
She wanted her parents to look into this without the bias of culture and society that they belong to. She wanted her parents to take one decision in their life without the interference of the societal norms; moreover, she wanted them to at least consider her mature enough to make some decisions on her own.
After all the talks that were going in nowhere, one day, the very first time in her life she shouted at her parents and asked them why did you make me study when I still can’t make a decision about my life on my own?
That all of her studies are useless when her own parents don’t think her to be capable enough to decide what is good and what is bad for her. Now that nothing else worked she found her companion in a notepad that is always kept at her table in her clinic.
She wrote all sorts of things that came to her mind and just tore that paper off and threw it in a dustbin, that way she was at peace with all that was happening and all that she wanted to do and undo.
Now to keep a close eye on her activities she was visited by her father every day at her clinic. This was not enough for her father that he asked her to open her clinic only for two hours in the morning and one hour in the evening and ask the patients in an emergency to pay a visit at her home instead. Everything was acceptable but not this.
She did all she could to get freedom from these timely constraints but all she had in replies was silence and no replies on top of all that was happening, her parents made a commitment to marry her to their friend’s son who was a shopkeeper in the same place she lived. To her, this news came as a horror.
At once she went to her parents to ask for the reason for such a hasty resolution to which her father replied that, her elder sister is coming tomorrow to take her to shop for the wedding ceremony that is fixed to happen in a week. Crying and in anger, she shouted, ‘what made you do this? ‘Why was I not told about all of this? To this, her father came up and belted her which gave her scars on her legs, and said all you can do now is leave us some sort of respect to living our life happily and die in content.
To listen to this from her father took her to a place where there was no escape. She never thought that loving someone and realizing that was so difficult in the world whose very pillars were loved itself.
She couldn’t comprehend the loose ends of every question that she asked from her parents and moreover she could not comprehend what made her parents change so drastically overnight and that how can they be so selfish and consumed up by the desire to try and fit into the annals of the society that they live in.
What happened to those ears that waited for her tongue to woggle? what happened to those warm arms of her father? What happened to that ever comforting lap of her mother? Why is this desire of hers making her parents so uncomfortable who always looked forward to fulfilling her each and every wish? Above all, she couldn’t realize the difference between the “individual for society” or“society for individual”.
All she knew was that she failed her love, she failed her parents for her love, and that she failed herself. For a girl to enter into womanhood like this took a great toll on her mental health from which it was difficult to recover and that her marriage lasted only for months.
She however recuperated and continued to practice and live her life elsewhere, where she was all free. Whatever she did with her life was all her decision and for that she never blamed anyone but she also has something in mind that asks her why all that happened? And what for? what did it give to anyone who was involved or not? Except for the misery and pain that was inflicted on all the people, it gave peace to no one.
Then why do we do what we do? Why can’t we sit back and come up with the resolutions that are in everyone’s favor and above all why can’t we understand that some things just happen and that every feeling of every individual should be duly considered and should be respected?
Whatever she might be doing, the scars on her soul and on those tiny legs, when she ran to her parent’s arm in her childhood will stay forever and ever. These scars will not only form the basis of herself changing as an individual but will also change the way people look at marriage and to what extent the caste of an individual should play a role in this holy alliance.
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