Breaking Free From The Chains Of Patriarchy
Her parents felt insecure whenever she made any new friend. She was alone even though she was with her own family. Her parents were strangers to her. They wanted her to be an engineer. But *Geet took up Math honors.
“I was the college topper in Mathematics honors. I ran to my parents with the good news.”
Her dad had said, “You can’t achieve anything by studying Math. Rubbish subject. There is no opportunity. “
Geet broke down from the inside but dragged herself against her parents and started pursuing masters. Soon, she fell in love with a man and introduced him to her parents, but they rejected him right away without any solid reason. The actual reason was perhaps that he was Geet’s choice. An Indian girl is not supposed to select a man on her own. Her mental health deteriorated, she lost her voice temporarily. She had to seek a psychiatrist’s help. She had no strength left to continue her Masters.
As her health started to improve, her family tried to search for a suitable groom. Her parents fixed her marriage when she was 24 years old. It was supposed to be an arranged marriage.
The prospective groom said, “I don’t like the pimples on her face. The wedding photos should look good.” His aunt called Geet to a room privately and checked if she had pimples on any other part of her body. Her family actually assisted the aunt while she checked. Both the family members agreed to get laser treatment on her facial skin. They never asked for Geet’s consent.
She had to undergo that painful treatment against her will.
At this point she got selected for a BEd course. She needed some money, but her parents refused to give her any. She wanted to prepare for government jobs and begged again for the tuition fees. Her parents were in no way going to spend a penny on her career. But at the same time they gave away lakhs to her elder brother for some very important donation. Geet’s would be mother-in-law visited her one day and said, “Our sons work and so do their wives. We want Geet to work after marriage. Get her into a famous institution so that she gets a job quickly.”
That very day her parents gave her a huge amount of money for getting into that famous institution, as instructed by the would-be-mother in law. Fortunately, they were forced to call off the marriage soon.
Geet breathed again. At this point, she got a job offer. Much against her parent’s wishes, she went for the interview. Her parents got extremely worried when she got selected for the job.Now she had a steady job in hand and started going to office.
Everyday the house turned upside down with everybody shouting at her and her shouting back, trying to explain in vain. They completely stopped interacting with her. It was as if she was abandoned in her own house.
One day her parents took charge of the situation and forced her to resign.
She had to leave the job. She had no other way. She could never think of anything without involving her parents. She became alone in this world, imprisoned in her own room. As though it was not enough, she was forced to move to Gwalior. Geet’s mom had two brothers who took control over her life there.
They hacked her phone and laptop and asked her friends to stay away from her. They deleted all her contacts and online accounts. They deleted her identity. One day, in front of the whole family, Geet’s younger brother read out all her private chats and conversations. Her personal diary was taken out and each line was read out aloud with relish and laughter.
Her mother announced, “We should get a virginity test done for her.” Everyone verbally abused her. They used words which a woman would rather prefer to die, than hearing. Her maternal uncle almost hit her.
That night she called the local police station and begged for protection.But the worst was yet to come.
The police did not take her side. The family somehow manipulated the protectors of the law. She was advised by the police to compromise with her family and do what they want her to do.
“I spent days crying alone. I could not accept my situation. What option did I have? I threatened them saying that I will leave the house, expecting that could melt the butter. But no, they knew it was not possible for me to leave them. And it was true. I had suicidal thoughts. I wanted to jump off the rooftop and kill myself.”
Her limit of endurance was pushed. But one day, Geet gathered all the courage she had and left home. She did not run away. She packed her essentials and walked out in front of her parents. Her father was crying like a baby. That could have melted any daughter’s heart, right? That was the reason he was crying. He tried to blackmail her again, emotionally. But Geet knew - it was now or never.
It was time for Geet to give her life a direction. Staying back meant blind darkness. She used all her strength to stick to her decision.
She went to the police station with her family as the witness. She declared in writing, “I am moving to Delhi. I am my own responsibility. If anything happens to me there, please do not bother my parents.”
Ignoring conservative social rules and abusive relatives, she finally stepped out. Geet broke free that day. She had no job in hand but she got a small room and stayed as a paying guest. Armed with hopes and dreams, she started her new life. She was well aware of her talent, her will power. She knew she can provide tuitions or work from home in small companies, till she could land her dream job in a company. Till then, her journey would be full of struggles. But she gave herself this opportunity to struggle and work towards her dreams.
Instead of giving in to fate, she defined her journey herself. A determined woman is the strongest force in the universe.
*Name changed on request.
A*****Restrictions , it kills , greattt writing
S*****Thanks Kavya , Priyanka and Urvashi. Geet has read your comments I am sure!
A*****Very truely explained the situations almost girls suffer from.. This is the harsh reality of our patriarchal society & even too worse when parents do this . A girl should be self depend & should have the courage to take stand for herself whatever the situations be in life..
K*****Geet is such an inspiration to all of us. Thanx a million Shiny Hoque for bringing this story.
P*****Kudos to Geet, becoz she came out as a champion.She is an inspiration to many who just leave their life on Fate. I can't get the fact why parents discriminate among their own child,this is crime. I request every Ladies out their don't accept anything in the name of Destiny. Give wings to your dreams, speak for yourself. Don't let yourself sacrificed for idiotic rules of society