They had to act now, before I grew too fond of my independence, before I began to test the boundaries of my Indian womanhood, set so painstakingly for me since childhood, before I met someone like you. You can understand a daughter’s reluctance to inflict grief upon her parents by her choices.
How can I explain to you why their happiness hinges not on my own happiness and trust in my abilities, but on this meticulous desire to control every aspect of my life, to tie my destiny irrevocably with this man I do not know, and do not care for?
Archeeta Pujari is a 23-year-old Investment Banker.
Cooking, painting, writing and Harry Potter are the great loves of her life!
While my peers learnt about puberty and growing up, I sat alone in the library with my mother’s sharp words that there was no need for me to be learning about such things rang in my head.
I was invited to discos and movie nights and parties, but of course, I could not go.
You have shown me nothing but respect and kindness and patience in the years that I have known you, but know that he will always be preferable to you, even if he demands lavish gifts and all expenses for the wedding to be borne by my parents.
For Indian men have such high standards, unlike men of your race, and he is doing me such a favor by agreeing to marry me. Your parents have welcomed me into their homes and hearts with open arms, simply because you chose to love me.
By virtue of the simple fact that I was born as a girl, to Indian parents, I carry upon my shoulders, the burden of centuries of expectations, traditions, rituals and responsibilities that every Indian girl must bear from birth till death.
I was told that it should be my priority at all cost to stay away from boys, as they would bring nothing but shame and disrepute, and who could recover from that?
If I argued that all my friends were allowed to go, I was reminded time and time again that it didn’t matter; the rules were different for Indian girls, even ones that had no living memory of India at all.
And only an Indian parent has the strength, the unshakable mettle, to put honour, tradition and duty above all else, even an only daughter. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I will always be followed by a billion eyes, and a billion tongues, watching my every move, judging me at every turn, ready to shred me to pieces at the first sign of falter.
For I am an Indian girl, and this is the burden I have been raised to bear.