My name is Sowjanya , what I am about to share is personal yet very common to all of us!
Some distance relatives, searching a bride for their son,approached my parents.My parents had never been happier, the best match I could ever get, sometimes they said the kind of match they would never find even if they tried,from a ‘big’ and ‘decent’ family(still figuring out what that means).They felt all their lives’ hardwork was finally paying off, they were going to give her daughter the best life.
My mom said that I was lucky,I would be very happy also they didn’t want ‘much’ dowry,yes very common. Even though they were offered huge amount,property from other families, they wanted me. All they knew was my name,how I look,the family I was born into and probably how much I earn.
For people in villages, career plans are not a very strong reason to say no to marriage, especially to girls.’Not being ready’ is not even a reason. So, I chose something that was more real for my family. I said I cannot marry someone who is willing to take dowry and NO even if it’s his parents asking,not him. I cannot marry someone who is not standing up bcoz it’s his parents.
This went on for a few months,the fight caused so much mental pain for me and my family. My mom decided that she wouldn’t let me let go of my best life for no reason and that she would convince me at any cost.
I did feel like a bird,wings full of power,but a leg chained to the ground, several times in the past,but this time,it felt like someone grabbed the chain and slammed my body into the ground. I hit the rock bottom,despite having so many amazing friends by my side to help me. I almost lost my family and myself in this fight. For a woman who wants to help other women fight injustice,had no clue how to help herself.All I knew was that I couldn’t go back,that I wouldn’t surrender to what was expected of me.
I came out,with a lot of help,support from friends,still fighting but happily. Someone told me that I cannot win this with anger and rage. It’s me against 100s of years of patriarchy and oppression. Our parents just represent that, I needed to be kind to them.