A tale from Indian village: My door ke rishte ki bhabhi called me. Son of one of her relatives got married recently. Young village boy barely out of college pushed into the “sacred institution” even though he wanted to study more and get a job first (only gals are forced… hell yeah!!) So…eventually he got married to a girl …one among two sisters only. In first one month of marriage itself she created quite a ruckus n left d home saying she wants to stay at her parents place.
Boy..ofcourse had no choice given the one whoz barely raised his voice for his choices ever. She leaves. He waits. She doesn’t come back. He waits. He calls her to come back. She refuses. Families get together and try to bring her back. While coming back she fights with the boy again midway and her ‘jeeja’ affectionately takes her back. The love showered by her on jeeja is unusual for the boy.
He ofcourse again barely has the wherewithal to find out more of this affection. Now it’s been months that the girl is at her home. My bhabhi has been updating me on the case and asking what to do. Today she called me and said the girl has declared…neither would she come back, nor she would divorce him nor she would let him marry again. The family is clueless. The mother keeps crying. The boy has no idea what to do.
After giving regular piece of advice to bhabhi – to just sit and see how things go, record their threats blah blah I asked bhabhi if these kind of tantrums are common there. She tells me it happens and happens a lot. But people are not so educated and fear courts and police so don’t speak. She then asks me something I have no answer to. “So many women are behaving so rudely with their in laws and husbands. They want to just go wherever they want to without anyone asking them a question. We have so many women now in village who have become fighters for women. They would just listen to a woman and go and fight with the man’s family. But where does the family of a man go if she is wrong? ” she questions.
Her helplessness is palpable when she asks me how much would they have to pay if the girl eventually decides to divorce. I tell bhabhi it depends on how much she asks. She tells me the family is almost hand to mouth and if she asks anything, they will have to sell their land – their only source of income. I ask bhabhi why would the girl be happy staying at her parent’s place. She discusses the jeeja connection and i again become silent……
The common perception created by media is that in our villages women are oppressed the most. Rarely does TV media actually go and cover stories from villages unless it’s a case like Badayun or that of Rohtak Sisters. We all know what really happened in both the cases. Cases of men suffering is an uneasy digest for media even in urban areas….i can only wonder if someone would be remotely interested in cases as mentioned above. These little blogs are perhaps the only way some atleast some stories can be shared…..will update when i hear what happened in this case!