The Tinkling of her Anklets

images-21Her hair falls below her waist adorned by a satin ribbon which arrests her hair in a long plait. Her forehead is smooth with a humongous red bindi placed between her eyebrows. Her nose is always twinkling with a gold nose pin. She smiles with all her heart and radiates pure love. A typical gold chain with black beads hangs around her neck indicating that she is tied in the holy matrimony of marriage. A light clinking noise accompanies her as she wears rainbow color glass bangles. The whole appearance boasts of an ideal Indian woman.  She loves to wear traditional silver anklets which tinkle whenever she walks.

The day she was born, her mother couldn’t be happier, her father beamed after seeing her little one. But her grandparents weren’t happy because they wanted a boy who could take the family legacy forward. They always wanted a boy, so they showed their vexation. Her mother was heartbroken because she was condemned for not being able to give birth to a baby boy.

Days dissolved into years and the baby girl grew into a doting daughter. As a girl she was always told to keep silent and keep her views to herself. She was never appreciated by anyone in the family except her mother. She was an obedient daughter and a hard worker, but never received the love she deserved by her grandparents even after her younger brother was born. She is humble and down to earth. She is sweet to anyone around, even to people who are rude to her. She talks in whispers and is skittish enough to never expose her feelings.

marriageHer family had been waiting to get her married since she was born as it was their ultimate karma. In India kanyadaan is referred as the ultimate karma of parents and that is to give their daughter’s hands in marriage to her future husband. So a suitable groom was searched and without her consent, her hands were hennaed, her head was covered in red veil and she was married.

Her husband’s parents didn’t want her to work, she silently accepted the ban. Her life partner took all the critical decisions without consulting her and she obeyed him. Even after all this, she always remained grateful to her parents for everything. She is the perfect Indian housewife.

Each morning she gets up, does all the chores, cooks all the meals and is at the beck and call of everyone in the family and has no life of her own. She hardly has any hobby left and has a dearth of time to even sit and relax for some time. Yes, she watches the daily soaps and that is it, her only source for some possible entertainment.

She is content with her life of loving and caring for her family. Her children dote on her and her husband loves her too, but are incompetent to understand what she deserves and what she should do in life. He is too busy with his work. Meanwhile, even after so many years of marriage, her in-laws still castigate her for small little things, but she keeps mum about it too.

She is happy with her current life as she has lost all connection with herself. She has no desires for herself but her children. She kills her demands if any by putting her children and husband first. She keeps on sacrificing everything for her family and gets no acknowledgement in return. Of course her family loves her, but is that enough? There was a time when she loved painting but now she doesn’t have time to even pick up a brush for herself.

indian-banglesHer identity is lost in an incessant cloud of nothing. Her only identity now is the ‘clink’ of her bangles & ‘tinkle’ of the anklets.

 

India is a country of rich culture and heritage. The above scenario doesn’t apply to the metropolitan cities but the rest of the country. The country is developing at a crazy speed but there are parts of India which are still a century behind the other countries of the world in terms of the culture they follow. It’s not just India but it also includes many other countries which are lagging behind in terms of the culture they follow.

Girls are still looked down upon. They are considered to be a burden and not given equal stature as men. This happens in the rural India which comprises 60% of the country’s population.  Girls are married at a tender age of 18 and their education is not given much importance. The women are definitely not allowed to speak their minds as the house is run by the men in the family. This is of course an extreme case, but still relevant.

There are millions of women who are extremely talented but are lost in the routine of their marriage because of lack of support from their family. They lead their lives silently accepting the restrictions after marriage. I dedicate this post to those house managers who give all their lives to nurture their family and to those who give up all their dreams so that their children achieve those dreams they once had. But if you are one of them and reading it then please WAKE UP!

Do something about the life God gifted you, you are never late, so if you have a dream and want to achieve it then do it NOW!
NOW is the right time to fly and to break all the shackles that hold you down and stop you from achieving that DREAM.

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32 thoughts on “The Tinkling of her Anklets

  1. I know this life history and destiny. By Western standards it is heartbreaking. India has much to offer the world in culture, and diversity but the fate of women in some outlying areas is hard to live with or understand

  2. It is heartbreaking, but I find it hard to say that Western standards are any better. Here, both sides lose themselves to “the grind.” Children are raised by the system, and our culture constantly drives us further and further from our spirits. Right now the whole world needs help, and speaking out is the best way to start.

    Thanks for continuing to speak up for what you believe in Tanushree! Words are powerful things and often inspire actions!

    • Thank you so much for always sharing your thoughts with me. I am always happy to read your comments.

      I agree with you. If we lack in the area of women empowerment then the west lacks in culture.

  3. Some know the story, some can feel it, some have experienced it to the core, some just read on… let’s say we will change it writing our own new story …

    • We can bring a change. I for one can say that I have seen a huge change in my mother as she was a house wife. But now she is a small entrepreneur. So it depends on your willingness to help :)

  4. But if you are one of them and reading it then please WAKE UP!

    Do something about the life God gifted you, you are never late, so if you have a dream and want to achieve it then do it NOW!
    NOW is the right time to fly and to break all the shackles that hold you down and stop you from achieving that DREAM.

    It’s harder then you may think to stop the circle of thinking………and in my case sometimes you wonder if the “other” life was better.

  5. “Do something about the life God gifted you, you are never late, so if you have a dream and want to achieve it then do it NOW!” amen!
    love what you are doing here. so many wonderful causes and groups out there. nice to know there is a group dedicated to helping them grow. –kris

  6. It’s ironic that girls are considered a burden when in fact they bear the burden of the family. The rest would have to work much harder if the weren’t “burdened” with such self-sacrificing ones.

    There’s a similar culture in many African countries. It’s certainly like that in Ethiopia and Eritrea (and the girls are lucky if they get to wait until they’re 18 before being forced into marriage; some are married as young as 12).

  7. It is not just in India that the rights of women are ignored. It is taking a long time for the patriarchal society to recognise that women have talents and ambitions. I do remember working with an Indian lass here in NZ though. She was born over and was a talented computer programmer. However her parents insisted on an arranged marriage back in India. She didn’t want to go but told me that the whole Indian community here would cut her off if she refused. Last I heard she was in a small rural village somewhere in India where no-one spoke English, and was very happy. I have no idea what has happened to her now. Pretty sad

  8. For some reason, I can’t stop thinking about Echobelly’s “Father, Ruler, King, Computer” song which opened my eyes about some Indian marriages, back in 1994. Reading this extremely well written post was a really powerful experience as well : you are an amazing blogger !

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