Auntyji says, ‘Arre wah beta, Sandarbh. This is the sign of a man of today but how will you manage the folks of yesterday’?
Against the flow
Badhai ho Sandarbh. Not just for the marriage but actually for your brave and gutsy stand on this issue. We need more men like you around, puttar, to make the big change we all are waiting for since the time of Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
So dear how are you going to do it? In a country where the worth of the family – not just the boy – is fixed on what he ‘brings’. To go against this deep-set norm will be very difficult and hard for you. So let's plan how you can do it
Start at home
First, find an ally, maybe someone in your own home. See beta Sandarbh – who are allegedly the biggest gainers in this situation? Sadly, your family, your parents, your extended family too. All those chacha chachee, tayj taiji, bua phoofa type of characters. These are who you are up against.
They may shout out at you and may well turn their ire on the girls family too. So call a big or emergency family meeting – as soon as you can and also before all the plans are still being made.
Your parents first. Have a clear talk – communicate clearly and firmly. And help them to come up with responses to the world famous arguments – what will people say, hum logon ko kya moonh dikhayenge, etc. Prep your rally to echo your thoughts and ideas at the right time.
Girls side on your side
Then – with your family, speak to the girl's side. Explain, neither you want to give or take dowry. Assure them, it will have no impact on the girls’ future – you are giving your word. Explain it is not to insult them but rather to stop this awful practice and they must help as well – with no fear, no guilt.
At the same time Sandarbh – make sure you don’t come out looking and feeling like some major dharmatama type – that you have done a ‘favour’. No one’s doing anyone any favours here.
Like I always say there is no mardangi in enjoying something you (or anyone else) extracted out of someone else – as a ‘tax’ for being the ladka. Ladka ya ladki – upar wale ke haath tha na. So taxes, if any, go to the almighty, hai na puttar?
And all she wants is for us to be kind, generous and forward looking. And this action of yours (of not wanting a dowry) has already put you in the lead betaji!
Just take the step dear Sandarbh – hopefully many will join you. And be careful beta, dowry givers and takers are very creative. So make sure you and your friends do enough preparation to stop any len-den.
*To protect the identity, names have been changed.