This is a true account shared by a young boy who would think hundred times before getting married now. They say a bad experience scars a woman forever. What about a Man? Isn’t he scarred forever? HE IS. Not only emotionally but financially too. All this because of our laws that presume a man guilty no matter how innocent he might be. Read on how a marriage that never happened left a man scarred forever………..
Almost a year back…
I respected girls, and I respected the institution of marriage. I always tried to be a better guy and always looked at good examples, as to how to treat your life-partner. I always thought that I’ll give my best to that relationship. But later.. It turned out to be bad for me.
My parents were looking for a girl for me, and we got introduced to someone through an acquaintance. We met the girl, and her family. We never believed in dowry so we didn’t ask for it either. My parents also respected the girls family and were very supportive everywhere. I belonged to a middle-class family (now by god’s grace we are in upper-middle-class) and had seen the struggling time and the girl was relatively from upper middle class. I was honest before everything was finalized. like while talking, I clearly told her that we manage expenses carefully and do not overspend. She said she can manage easily and she also values money and doesn’t waste.
The courtship period started. We started chatting and talking on phone. Slowly as we got comfortable talking to each other, the girl started asking for stuff. Stuff as in, valuable gifts. She indirectly told me that she needs a laptop. Then she started hinting about mobile phone. And one day she clearly asked for it. After discussing with my parents, I decided to gift it to her, on the day of engagement. My parents said it is okay, husband has to manage expenses so it is okay to gift. I gifted her a very expensive phone. I do not spend this much on phones even for myself, but I spent for her.
Next week I went home and got some time to spend with my parents. I got to know from them that the girl’s mother has been asking for a lot of jewellery lately. (In Indian marriages, the groom’s family is supposed to gift gold jewellery to the bride). I was surprised to see that my parents had spent much more than we could afford. I know financial capacity of my family and I know how many savings would my father have used to get this jewellery. I objected. I wasn’t comfortable with the way girl’s family was demanding valuable stuff. But my parents said that I am their only son so they want to do their best. For them, it was like once in a lifetime thing, so they accepted it.
We were now 3 months away from the wedding. Their came another bill from the to-be-bride’s family. Total amount *** Lacs INR with a list of items that they wanted to buy with that amount. We have a tradition that the groom’s family buys clothes for the bride but we were not prepared to spend so much as they demanded. We were already spending way beyond our capacity. It did not stop here. Whenever I expressed myself at all of such huge expenditures she used to ridicule me, my mother too and call our family named. I felt really humiliated but did not know what to do as things had already been fixed.
If all this wasn’t enough, the family exchanged the jewellery we gifted to them on engagement. As they thought it wasn’t great. I had had enough and felt really pissed after seeing all this. We brought the mediators in and informed them of what was going on.
They called up the girl’s family to discuss the matter further and guess what. The girl’s father brought 30-40 people of his family to my place and started creating a scene on the road in front of our house. He started yelling that we were demanding dowry and abused my parents and my family in front of everyone. We had all the proofs that it is we who had spent so much till now and that they were lying but, that’s the day I realized how biased our laws are. I realized even if we are innocent no one would listen to us but to them as soon as they even utter a word about dowry. I had to keep quiet and bear all the abuse along with my family. Everyone else also advised us to do so.
The relationship had of course soured. Though everyone knew who is at fault , the girls father was pleaded to calm down. Why? Because if he had filed a case of dowry, my parents would have been behind bars in no time. He dragged the matter for 60 days and threatened to file a dowry case every day. Every day in the morning he would agree to have a peaceful meeting and by the evening he would change his mind. My parents ran for their life for 15 days, as he had threatened to do physical harm. The worst of all was that I couldn’t be with my parents during this time, because he had threatened to harm me too, if I come to my home. At last, they took *** Lacs INR for compensation, in the name of engagement-ceremony bills which was not even half of the expenditures they claimed from us.
We had to give in to avoid the trauma of a protracted legal battle where he would have married off his girl easily to someone else while I would have remained with a scar of dowry seeker until I came clean from the case. I never thought marriage could be such a horrible experience. I never thought this could happen to me. I wanted a life partner but somewhere I think it’s good that this happened, at least I got to know about the laws of my land that leave no option with a man to prove his innocence even if he is not at fault. An ‘FIR’ seems like a very simple thing to people, but those papers can cost someone his and his families life for no fault of theirs.
This chapter of my life is over. But the Nightmares remain!!!
Disclaimer: This is a true account. The person who has shared this story can be reached if requested. He did not want his identity to be revealed in Public. If you wish to share your story with us, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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