Saturday, September 1, 2012

Quit Your Job Because That Man's Not Good Enough For You

Government jobs are not easy to get in India. It only stands to reason that once someone lands a good government job their parents would be proud and support them right? Not always.

Sanjay had a troubled childhood but is a young man with a bright future. His mother died when he was young but his father worked to put him and his brother through school and get them a good education. It paid off for Sanjay because he landed a really good government job in Chandigarh. It wasn't long before he was buying himself all the nice things he never had before. A new motorcycle, nice clothes, etc. He had his own place, cooked his own food and had a maid to take care of the typical household chores.


Then a new girl, Anita, came to the office where he worked. They didn't run into each other too often but one day some things changed and they got assigned to work next to each other. It didn't take long before a relationship developed. The couple agreed they wanted to get married and decided to seek their parents approval.


For Sanjay it was easy as his dad only wanted his happiness. This wasn't the case for Anita. Her father adamantly denied any chance at a marriage for her and Sanjay. His reasoning? Sanjay didn't have a mother and his salary wasn't enough. Anita wasn't going to accept that and took action to fight with her parents. She stopped eating. Her father then demanded she quit her job. She refused and things only escalated.

Anita's father went to Sanjay's father and told him to keep Sanjay away. Sanjay's father didn't agree and said he supported the marriage. This led to a threat that he would send babu's (Indian version of gang thugs) to hurt Sanjay. This got his father worried and he asked Sanjay to not contact Anita for a while. Anita was distraught and called Sanjay crying and hurt every day. Then her father went to see Sanjay at work and told him if he didn't leave Anita alone he was going to take her away so they could never see each other again.


Sanjay talked to Anita and they tried to keep some distance from each other at work so she could keep her job. She was also going to keep talking to her parents and working on the situation until they came around. Anita's father had other plans. He began bringing home prospective husbands and Anita refused to meet them all. So he forced her to quit her job and held her hostage in their home for almost two months. Sanjay was sick with worry and grief but finally she found a way to contact him again.


They kept talking in secret for a while and haven't seen each other in 6 months now. Sanjay began to feel hopeless over their situation. Then out of the blue Anita's father contacts him and tells him he'll allow the marriage if Sanjay buys land and a house and puts it in her name only. Once the land was in her name he would allow the marriage to happen. Sanjay's not stupid. He refused to do it because he knows that once the property is in her name he would have no legal grounds if the marriage wasn't allowed.

This saga has now been ongoing for 18 months with no end in sight.

Thoughts to ponder:
  • How absurd is it to ask for property before marriage?
  • Has the dowry system been overturned and now the men must pay? (There is a shortage of women in this country that's only getting worse.)
  • Are arranged marriages the death of quality relationships? By quality I don't mean they last forever, I mean where the couple can be happy together and not wind up just being two people who live under the same roof.

3 comments:

  1. I seriously don't get the freaking fuss some middle class make over love marriage, here the girl's parent have the prospect of a good husband with a good work, and a in-law family that has no problem with the girl, probably won't even ask dowry and understands the boy's need for happyness. And you have a backward asshat sticking to whatever skewed sense of duty honor and pride he has and is going as far as blackmailing the potential groom family in a deal that is all meant to rob them of money. And I am quite sure the penal code has no provision for a bride's family harrassing the groom's for dowery as it is not your usual scenario...SICK!

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  2. I couldn't have put it any better than Cyn did. Asshat. I love that word.

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  3. I agree with you. It's really sad how these things happen sometimes. I felt terrible for both my friend and the girl because they are the ones who were suffering. She can't just go get her job back and you know it was a good job. That income could have helped the young couple start their future but her family was so stubborn about this situation. It's crazy to say the least.

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