Ranju is a 28-year-old office administrator in Delhi.
Once I turned 24, everyone in my family wanted me married but nothing was working out since a while. My parents and my relatives were dejected. My uncles blamed my parents for allowing me too much freedom to choose. They warned that if something wasn’t fixed soon, the right age to get married would pass by.
So when the next proposal came by, my father agreed to marry me off. Everyone wanted a quick engagement followed shortly by the wedding. I couldn’t understand the rush as we seemed to be taking everything the groom’s family said at face value. No one had done a thorough background check on them.
One day I called my future husband’s workplace to have a chat. I did not get to speak to him but I found out things that shocked me.
I got to know that he had lied to me about his job position. He was employed at a much lower position than he had claimed. I continued cross-checking other details about the family and it turned out that they were not as well-to-do as they wanted us to believe. I didn’t know what to do next.
The wedding day was approaching, everyone in my family was so happy and I didn’t know how to tell everyone about my findings. I didn’t want to hurt my parents but my future was at stake. Afterall, as a girl, I alone could not stop a wedding but needed my family to stand by me.
I finally told my parents about it. They looked at me as if I was mad. They didn’t want to hear anything that would impact the wedding. They just wanted me married at any cost. My father actually asked, “Do you want to put us to such shame? What will people say? Everything is fixed now. So what if he’s not as rich as he claims?”
Calling it off
I was even made to participate in my mehendi ceremony. Everyone was dancing but I was crying. Nobody seemed to care about how I felt. My mom felt helpless and my father just didn’t want to listen.
On the morning of the wedding day, I told my parents, “If you get me married today, I will either run away or I’ll never talk to you or show you my face again; now the choice is yours.” My firmness seemed to strike a chord with parents, finally.
The wedding was called off. The baraat (wedding procession) was asked to go back. Everyone blamed me for the cancelled wedding. After that dramatic incident, I could not handle people around me, their comments and their conjectures about why the wedding was called off. So I left the city soon after.
Three years since
No one still agrees that my decision to call off the wedding was good. I am still paraded in front of prospective grooms in the hope that perhaps one of them who doesn’t know of my past would marry me and I do it hoping that my parents would stop being ashamed of me.
My father still says, “I wish I hadn’t given you so much freedom. You might have been married by now.” I just hope that I don’t wake up one day to regret my actions but can find the strength to live a happy life even if that means that I’d never get married.
Do you think Ranju did the right thing by standing her ground? What would you have done in her position? Leave a comment below or start a discussion on Facebook.