Tuesday, June 03, 2008

'Gift' too good to resist?

Let me share an interesting anecdote about Bombay.

The Portuguese gave Bombay as dowry to the British when the King of England married a princess of Portugal in the 1600’s. Well imagine if that dowry was not given Christiano Ronaldo might have been a street football player somewhere in Andheri West!!

Jokes aside this post is not about that historical dowry but rather something that triggered while I was about to comment on this post by Anju…A rather long comment I thought I ll do post on the subject which has been intriguing me for sometime...

In olden times, from what I could logically interpret dowry was something which was legitimised in public conscience based on assumption that it is the male in the house who was the earning member and the lady had to bring in her share of expenses from her home. Probably that argument might look fine from argumentative point of view. But what if house keeping or raising kids or cooking food for the family was a paid service…It is not that easy for a housewife to take care of a big house and kids, cook fresh delicacies everyday etc. although we find that it looks so easy from a distance. And c’mon in this era where both men and women work and have to slog the entire day in offices, such arguments don’t count either!! Why do we have put a price on a groom in the first place!!The point is, marriage is not about the groom ’buying’ a bride!

I have heard several quips when asked about Dowry...’Kittiyaal pulikummo?’ or answers like ‘If they offer, I wont say NO’...and the worst answers are like ‘well...they are happy giving me…so what??’. Probably you must already have heard of the new age intelligent techniques of indirectly quoting the dowry by mentioning how much a boy with similar qualifications was offered (not demanded)...A perfectly ‘innocent’ way of asking ...isn’t?

Recently one of my friend got married to his girlfriend…Strange that it was a love marriage where a dowry was given…Although I would blame him, I somehow sympathise with him too... This guy doesn’t himself ask for or expect a dowry, but his Parents and the so called ‘relatives’ do… For his parents it’s the returns of the investment for raising him up...For his parents, it is an important price they need to tell others how much their son fetched!! For them if their daughter were married after paying a huge dowry, its legitimate to ask dowry for their son after all…Poor guy was torn between his conscience and inability to offend his parents… It’s all a sad loop!!

Then there is another story which we doesn’t hear often…the misuse of anti-dowry law…we don’t hear often because the woman are the culprits here.

It comes naturally for us men to think woman are better than us or at least more scrupulous…I mean we think we are bad and there couldn’t be anyone more worse than us! The stories of woman exploiting men by threatening with anti-dowry suits is appalling …Men can be arrested just on the basis of filing a complaint…Woman who do such things are exactly doing what similar men do...a reverse psychological rape!!

I think it is a common misconception that stereotypes men as dowry suckers…I cant believe that we still have guys ‘educated’, ’refined’ and people with ‘broad outlook’ expecting a dowry!! Though ‘MBA’s’ and ‘Ph.D’s’ aren’t reflective of a mans craving for money there are ofcoz people in this world who think that dowry is like blood money…Every time someone takes or gives a dowry we are helping align the chains of a vicious circle where someone somewhere else is suffering for it!
For our older generation, asking for a dowry or getting a dowry came naturally to them. Maybe reflective of age-old traditions or customs. But isn’t the onus on us to stop it some point of time? I just hope that the new parents don’t carry the old baggage of ‘girl is a burden’. Sometimes when I hear from parents of a girl child: - ‘I have to marry her off’, it almost rhymes like they are trying to dispose of something!!
Isn’t it time for our society to move forward from there?
P.S. Sorry if the post sounds harsh..Not exactly in jovial mood today..


Mocha said...

I was really amazed at the tone of the post today. I tried to find sarcastic and happy tone. I wondered what happened till I saw the P.S. Hope u r doing OK. Comments about this funny tradition later. Hope u become ur normal self soon. This is one of the blogs that make my dreary days fill with sunshine. I never comment that religiously but ur tone made me comment

George said...

Mathew, I liked the post , but I disagree with you in the historical perspective. Even in Ramayana , we know that the bride , actually picked the groom ..like we pick shapoo bottles in a super market. For the one that the lady picks , just like for the shampoo ,,there is a price to be paid.
There is only one root cause that make people still pay dowry , that is the groom does not find much difference from the girl that he is marrying from the hundred other girls thats he found in the matrimonial columns. So the key differentiator then becomes money. Some trade offs are also made based on caste , education, family status etc. Anybody who wish to eliminate , this should not throw a tantrum when one learns that his/her daughter is going around with some one.As you rightly mentioned the only guy , who had a second thought about collecting it, was the one who actually was in love with the lady he married. He would not have changed the decisions , even if there was change in the amount he got, because for him , the important thing is marrying the person that he loved and not her father's money. If Indian society has to blame anybody ..it is our culture that tends to keep girls covered up in house. I find this trait in all oriental cultures.When parents open up and accept the decision of their daughters, then the guys will be on run as the male female ratio in India is 800 females for 1000 guys.

Macadamia The Nut said...

What I've discovered is that most/some men are happy to hide behind their parent's back and say "Oh, I don't want dowry from you, but my momma, my pappa and my doggie wouldn't understand, Votto do? :("

Pfffffffffft!!! Suckers!

But you know who the bigger villains are? The female-chauvinists a.k.a. the mother's who are convinced that only a dowry bringing daughter in law will be accepted by the 'society'

Dhanya said...

I already left a comment in Anju's post.. You said marriage is not about the groom ’buying’ a bride . I would say it's like groom selling himself to the highest bidder !! It's the girl's side who is buying him.. I have seen many of christian friends facing this issue and feel there is no point in discussing this.. Talking about age-old traditions and customs, only good practices stop at some point of time. The others only flourish !!!

Srijith Unni said...

Hmm.. mathai in a serious mood today.. This is one issue which still will persist for long mainly because there are people who give with pride, people who take with glee. Life you said it`s a vicious cycle where tangentially some people suffer.

Weddings in india are not between the groom and the bride. It is the convergence of the bride`s family and the groom`s family in the august presence of "society". That`s why abolishing this system altogether is so tough..!

Hope you come back to your jovial mood.

Have Fun, Take Care and GOd Bless!

With Best Regards

silverine said...

I think what is path breaking about this post is that it is written by a guy. Thats a start! :)

Dowry was a system created to give the girl her rightful share of the property when she left her home. It was a system created with good intentions. Dont know when or how it became bride price. Like George observed only when parents allow their daughters to choose their own groom will this menace end! Just last week my cousin sister got married to her BF after her Dad said "no" to last minute dowry demands from his parents. The boy fortunately put his foot down when he saw that my cuz sis would not go ahead with the wedding if there was a dowry demand. As a family, we felt really proud of Dad and daughter! I think there are small beginnings like this unnoticed by us....and I hope it becomes a trend! I am optimistic! :)

Jackfruit said...

harsh realities need a harsh blog. :)

but I believe thing are changing for good

silverine said...

p.s Dowry demands happen in all communities. I was treading the politically correct line by using the "Christian" example so that my comment section doesn't become a war zone. :p

p.p.s one helluva post!

docnash said...

So very glad to read this post especially from a mallu who's against "Dowry"...No offense Mathew but Mallus are known to take massive dowry and of course we have the other communities as well....

There are many traditions in our culture that need to be abolished for good...I call them social evils!! Dowry just fuels a person's greed for more....Trust me, it takes a lot to stand up against certain practices and rise above the mediocre....Sometimes it means standing all alone...

My sis and I had to take a stand on many issues we felt were not BIBLICAL but just dumb traditions which made no sense whatsoever....WE received the flak and it hurt...But now after 4 years, we are seeing the fruits....

All those who wanna break out of the mold keep this in mind....you will meet with extreme resistance but don't give up at all!!! Change will take place even it is at the grass root level....

And a big thanks to u Mathew for writing on this issue...I don't agree with the other comments about you needing to be in a better mood! We can't turn a blind eye on these matters......

Caro said...

thanks for writing this post.. i am so not for dowry.. and like u said we aint selling our daughters ya.. c'mon like in today's world parents dont spend money on their daughters for their education... wat i see in this generation is that they dont have the gall to stand up to their parents and say no..if there is sumthin that u beleive in strongly u gotta stand by it..

i know it aint easy...but later on life is a lot better..and i blame it on the girls too who r ready to give the dowry...coz it always takes two to tango...

any guy who wants to marry me let him ask for dowry, will definitely not get the money but for sure will go home with a black eye:)

How do we know said...

Let me tell u sth funny. My husband put his foot down against dowry. He went so far as to say that either the girl will enter this house or the dowry.

His mother was very very dissapointed, but couldnt do much.

And then, MY Parents started giving the emotional blackmail of "We want to do this for you. It gives us happiness to give the small gifts. This is not dowry." Where do "Small gifts" end and "dowry" begins?

There was a threat to call off the marriage from both sides.(the parents, that is).

This does exist, the parents of the bride wanting to do "whatever little we can do".

Twist to the tale, no?

mathew said...

I am doing fine now..It was just that I was getting frustrated about my Parents visit here..It was almost a tragedy yesterday with them not getting the visa..Things look better now!!:-)
And am happy to know that this blog bring cheers to people..

Thanks for the insightful comments..I should have been specific in telling that I meant our Parents generation..Though I differ in the argument
‘groom does not find much difference from the girl that he is marrying from the hundred other girls thats he found in the matrimonial columns’
Wouldn’t that hold true for guys too…What makes one guy stand out from 100 other guys?
I agree that part of the blame lies in our narrow minded traditions which I rather wouldn’t like to call our culture!!
Thanks again for dropping by…

LOL!! It is not that easy to offend parents who raised us over the years..
It is unto us to convince them that those traditions are outdated now!! Hmm...I haven’t see it from that angle yet…

Yes..sometimes I wonder who is actually seller and buyer...Like Anju has mentioned in the comment below it is happening in all communities..

‘Talking about age-old traditions and customs, only good practices stop at some point of time. The others only flourish’ Exactly..How true!!

Well it is hard being jovial all the time...Am a cancerian you know..we sting? ;-D
Yes..we make it all a big public show off…I get miffed at the gaudy weddings around!!

First thanks for inspiring me to write it…
And yeah being politically correct is very imp for a blog like yours ..For that matter our association already has made the blueprint to vandalise your blog!!;-D
Btw your cousin sis did one great thing...hope it inspires others too..

Yes..I guess more guys agreeing to it is a optimistic sign…
I am not really aware of the system of non mallus..considering I find the whole concept repulsive…Talking of Biblical issues that’s one controversial topic in itself…For that matter do follow a sort of my own alternative Christianity not strictly under the purview of propaganda driven preachery…I think it is good to see folks coming out of the mould, it sure will be motivation for the next generation..

Thanks a lot for the extensive comment—

I cant believe any one in the right sense could be Pro dowry...If there is someone I would love to hear on what basis…It is not exactly easy in India to stand up to their parents…In the west the relations between the child and parents are broken already by the time the child hits teenage..Probably meeting up only for Christmas and weddings…Our culture makes the child to have a stronger relation with parents and it is more difficult to say NO to them..It is a thin line where you have convince your parents and correct them in case of wrong notions..

Aah..and btw after that you can write a poem on Black Eyed Freaks!!;-P

@How do we know
I think if we really have a close relation with parents it is easy for us to make them understand and also for them to understand us…Probably the intensions of your parents were good..But like you said its difficult to distinguish between a gift and dowry in the generic sense..

docnash said...

Deeply apologize if I sounded kinda prejudiced about mallus...was UNINTENTIONAL though...about biblical issues being a "controversial topic" I completely disagree...coz the Bible is THE ANSWER for everything (2 Timothy 3:16-17 & Hebrews 4:12-13) I do not say this the Bible says so..... It's us who choose to twist God's Word (real truth) like our first parents did (garden of Eden)....U may completely disagree though....

Did not mean to write such a long comment.....Sorry!! :)

usha said...

"Sometimes when I hear from parents of a girl child: - ‘I have to marry her off’, it almost rhymes like they are trying to dispose of something!!"

- so true!

I just wrote something about it last year, when I got to hear about a friend then, who was in news for the wrong reasons..

I was really really very disappointed in him then.. and after an year now, I get to hear about the real story of how section498a was misused in his case.. but by then, the damage is already done very badly to the person in question.. n the realisation hits me so badly that even I have been one among the crowd who screamed 'stone him!'..

we naturally end up taking the ladies' word for granted in here..

not that im against the stand against dowry.. but this particular instance just bolted me out of my stereotyped notions on dowry.

scorpiogenius said...

It would be very interesting to see how many ladies in our society who speak loudly against dowry would actually go to her hubby's house without a-bit-something with them.

Many women look for a stable and settled man(meaning the one with a heavy purse) and no-one wants to go off with someone who is not well off. You see, money is at the heart of all matters, and unfortunately in today's world we need money to be happy...

Many of the family disputes, both in India & abroad, are directly r/t money..Havn't you heard? If money flows out of the window, love goes out through the door.

This is such a social problem in India, but it cannot be eradicated in 2-3 generations time.. In the middle east the situation seems to be the opposite. Well, there is always another eg to look at in this world..:) lol...

But I'm hoping that once the arranged marriage setup is finished in India, then we may see an end to this menace...So, that means, ladies & gentlemen, we will have to live with it...

alakananda said...

not at all harsh mathew. an issue like this does need some harsh/tough views. what began as a good custom (i mean the bride getting her 'rightful' share of the property) over time fell into misuse. proud to say that i come from and married into a family that does not encourage dowry.
unless guys like u take bold steps, that is one evil this society has to live with.
good post.

Mishmash ! said...

"Kittiyaal pulikummo?’ is something I have heard from ppl in my circles too...and some of them really expect dowry..its part of prestige! it is frustrating to see this coming from ppl who try to appear refined and hep...

and then i have come across another rare species who want dowry for their son, to pay off the debts in the family...can u believe that...they expect the girl's father to give them his hard earned money so they can remove their debts, which was a result of their 'kayyilirippu' !!!

Then there is another set, who look for alliances from financially sound families, without directly asking for dowry, coz they know they will get 'it'! "oru penkuttiye ulloo...avaru nannayi kodukkum...pakshe dowry chodichal pennu kittilla", so they dont ask dowry but they know they will get !

Its hightime these things change....but how fast is the Qn...the gravity of the issue might be a lil less with love marriage cases but there also sometimes the guy is helpless coz , as u said, he is in the loop!

Mishmash ! said...

Sorry to take up that much space!

hey...just read about ur parents visa prob....hope they can make it ....is there any option like second visa interview ?

cheer up....may be u can try again :)

Take Care

anN-series said...

dowry-no dowry talks will go on-all depends on ppl's willingness to stand by their principles...only one point that struck me

"P.S. Sorry if the post sounds harsh..Not exactly in jovial mood today.."

why a justification?..i thought the this was your blog....

Sree said...

Dear Mathew,
Reading through this post truly gave me a sense of relief.A man talking about it does make so much difference!We expect change but often forget that it should first come from within.
I often wonder what right do we have as children to demand our parents hard earned money?Anyhow... this is a topic which we can really express/debate a lot in circles.

The thoughts such as yours is a welcome change this generation should multiply.

Anphy said...

The guilt lies on both parties:the guy for reasons u hav writtn here n girl for meekly accepting everythng.I know of a girl who is gettng married soon,wth a dowry of 20 lakhs :O
I dont know how she feels to be reduced to a mere freebie given along wth the 20 lakhs or to see her father struggling.And evn after mrg wont she feel dt she just "bought" her way into his life n feel weighed down by it!

Caro said...

in response to ur comment i wud like to say that first of all we cant generalise the west and say that they all have broken relations with their parents..(coz i have met a quite a few and they have a great family life)

secondly wat i see here in india is that people think that wat ever the parents say has to be right..that aint necessary.. i come from a south indian family too..

many a times i had to stand up for a lot of things that i felt were'nt right... that does not mean that i have severed relations with my parents.. and for me as a christian like my sis said it aint biblical(as regards dowry)..

VIDYA said...

Dowry or no dowry, something has to be done about the Atlas jewelary advertisement like Ornaments of brides today. Its scary, At a recent wedding (u ll find it mentioned in my blog for 'other' reasons) the bride looked like she was going to faint from all the weight of the gold around her neck... gold is an investment and everything i agree, but isnt this an unhealthy trend?
Parents want thier daughter to have te most gold, that once they realise the girl cant wear anymore or she ll need to clone herself, they place the remaining gold in a 'urli' near the bride. (apart from the wierd necklaces hanging on her hair braid.)


and i know someone who Gave thier daughter 4 kg (kg!) of gold.

VIDYA said...

I hope ur 'phase' is over. :)

Neena Padayatty said...

Nothing more to add to the exhaustive comments here...so attaching a link hoping it would bring a smile to u and ur readers...



Deepti said...

Guys hide behind statement like "finacially well to do" .. does a gal having a fantastic job but from a normal family qualify as that .. then the guys say "NO" .. nice post and a great step in the right direction :)
Hope the mood is a lot better now :)

~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~ said...

Whatever PHASE it was, i believe that brought out the socially aware Mathew into th world. I loved the post, esp th part where u told abt how guys justify abt gettin th monies, lik Kittiyal Pulikumo? Pulikilla ennan satyam. But then i don't understand why gals need to be packed off with so much jewellery, property n what not. Even in th so called intellectual society, we find ppl who go for minimalistic dowry, but not completly abandoning it. Kudos to u for coming with such a post. Keep up th good work.

PS- Do invite me for ur weddin. Not tht i don't trust u. But still i wanna be ther:)

Sree said...

I have blog rolled you,hope its cool.


W said...

Well, there are two boys in my family and folks tell my parents, "What do you have to worry about? You have two boys!" This irritates me a lot.

Below are few of my reflections on the subject...

You are now worth
This blog contains a few funny conversations about dowry.

Make a Change
This blog contains the story of a friend who had to give up his dreams so that he could pay off his sister's dowry.

mathew said...

Probably I should have made it clear..I meant how many of our believer have incorrectly interpreted biblical scriptures..you and I are agreeing to the same point!! :-)
And ofcoz I don’t have any issues with long comments..It feels always good to read long and elaborate comments..

I haven’t yet got time to check out that post..will do it soon..
That’s another story..we are not tailormade to think that the women could be a culprit as well..

@ scorpiogenius
Another view of the same issue…it is interesting..
I don’t know to say how woman think about the issue as my interpretations of how they view about it comes mostly from other blogs…
Maybe there are still a decent number of woman who look beyond financial security as the sole critieria..I think people look into matrix of qualifications rather than just one…
Thanks a lot for the very descriptive comment..

@ alakananda
Thank you..
Yes..I guess marriage and earning any “rightful” share should be different entities!! The problems is that we made them fuse into one.

@ Mishmash
Those are the really sad people…Don’t they have any qualms in asking!!
Never thought about that hidden motives behind “alliances from financially sound families”.

The gravity could be made less in arranged marriages too if both the guy and girl can take a principled stand…

Btw as always I always like to read big comments…and your long comments are always welcome….
And I am back in my jovial self..The visa has gone through and they reached here a few hours ago!!! Am quite beaming with happiness!! ;-)

@ ann
I know..but I always love to share positive vibes with people..Although my blog is personal fiefdom I feel sad if someone has a frown in the face after reading my post on a given day…Its just like that…

mathew said...

@ Sree
Thank you..I think a good number of guys share the same sentiments..
Ofcoz we don’t have a ‘right’ to parents money…For most of our parents the sole motive sometimes is to give the best for our children and that translates into wealth for their children too…Its never a RIGHT…

@ Anphy
Really sad…I don’t know how they manage to live with that…Do they ever to get to have a frank relationship?

@ Caro
I agree with your points…I should have made it more clear…sorry..
What I mean is that it is not straightforward in India to agree to disagree…!!

I disagree with my parents in many subjects..for example my dad is a disciplinarian school of thought guy which I don’t support….
And when I said Biblical I said in the generic sense….How many of the so called “Christians” are just pseudos..

With gold I put a heavy blame on the girls..;-P
I cant really stand the yellow metal…really..I mean I find it too gaudy…were Swarovski instead!!;-P

That Ad I have seen..just pure horror.!! She must have had a severe back problem after the shoot…
And it aint a phase…I was just feeling frustrated after putting so much effort..and today it has paid off!!!

@Neena Padayatty said...
I have seen this video…and loved it..thanks anyways…

I am on cloud 9 today!!;-D

@ Abhi
LOL!!...Wait let me ask my Slovakian wife if I can marry again! !;-D

It’s a honour!!;-D

Will check out the post soon..
I myself have heard those comments …Isnt it such a sadist remark!!
Thanks for dropping by..

SR said...

@george and Silverine: Should we really care about historical perspective! In the end we all talk. How many of you girls would get married without having some gold on you and how many of you guys will marry without getting something? Face the reality its never going to go away totally

Mishmash ! said...

heyy...thats a great news :) enjoy...have lots of fun and food too :)

silverine said...

@SR: "In the end we all talk"

Are you trying to say that we are being dishonest here and that we are talking and doing nothing? In short you are calling us hypocrites?

"How many of you girls would get married without having some gold on you"

I would not because I like to wear Gold as an accessory! I wear Gold to functions even now! Why should I not wear it for my marriage!

"Should we really care about historical perspective!"

It doesn't matter anyways if you think this is all hot air!

p.p.s And the day we stop talking, we stop walking. Period. I am glad I blogged about this topic!

SR said...

@silverine: Seems like you took my comment personally. Nothing personal here as the comment was generic. WE ALL TALK & DO NOTHING. I just had the guts to admit that we all are hypocrites. Lets not dig the past and say it was created with good intentions, Everyone knows it is a menace now and still exists and that too in a larger than life form. Also, being optimistic is good but keep your feet on the ground as reality is something else and hits you like a stick in the butt. You will know that with more life experience I guess.
Agree with Mishmash totally and thats how we all are. We all know these kind of people and talk about them but do nothing to stop them cos' we are part of this society whether you like it or not.

mathew said...

I understand that you have said it in generic sense..maybe out of sheer frustration..

We are not here to prove anything...I dont have to sign a bond paper to say that I wont take a dowry..Every one is not a hypocrite in the world!!

Even wearing gold aint a sin..it is just that when people wear it excessively for all the wrong reasons it becomes ostentatious.

'Also, being optimistic is good but keep your feet on the ground as reality is something else and hits you like a stick in the butt.'

But here we are just trying to change the reality..Someone has to start the change isnt?

silverine said...

@SR:You direct a comment at me and then tell me not to take it
personally! Interesting! :|

"keep your feet on the ground" "reality will kick your butt" etc etc are cliches I know by the dozen and use them too when I have
nothing more to contribute to a discussion and want to withdraw
without losing face! :p

What you have missed totally is that my post and this post and
hazaar other posts and discussions like this are a positive sign that we want a change. It is a sign of dissent. And dissent we all know is what leads to change. So please let us talk and try and create awareness and dont diss us a hypocrites and demoralize us.

SR said...

@Mathew and Silverine: Got me all wrong. When I Said "We" it included me too. You guys started talking "Us" and "you".
I am a lawyer and worked with dozens of Dowry victims(both men and women and sometimes their parents) If I tell some parents who lost their daughter due to this menace to go and read mathew's and silverine's blog post, is that going to make any difference to them. Mathew, you are right I am frustrated cos' I have seen the worst in my professional career and all people do,including me is just talk or become mute spectators. Although I appreciate you being a guy and writing about this issue, that is really rare.
@Silverine: There is no question of losing anybody's face. I guess as a society we have already lost that long time ago. Also if you think anybody pointing out the reality is demoralizing I cannot change your thinking.
To everyone in general: I can write a million posts and think I am trying to create awareness and making a change but am I really?? I am sorry but I am done with people writing about it and "creating awareness" as if nobody knew about this before. Maybe its just me because I have seen enough trauma to last for a lifetime. "I love mankind, it's people I can't stand." :)
SO SAY NO TO DOWRY and keep dissenting. The day 1.2 billion people in India would dissent together there would be a change.

George said...

@sr .. thanks for reading my lengthy comment.
for you first comment on historical perspective and gold.. I would say that historical perspective was cited to show how old the (thus how deep) the tradition runs. I also agree with silverine on gold ornaments. you ,must be positive in thinking that atleast we "talkers" would not say .. I would like to have 1) Rs XXXXXXX (non negotiable in cash ..denominations of 500 and 1000) 2) Car ..preferably .XXXXX etc. Talkers would not be that much explicit atleast ..and I believe thats an improvement.
In your second comment.. I guess you were reffering to the increasing the cost of living as the reality thrash on the butt.For that I would say ..most of the talkers have a generation's saving as a cushion ..both bride and and groom are also well off with improving salaries in India. (Those outside this loop , have still the problem unsolved ) So here also I see some improvement.
On you third comment I agree with Silverine, that dissent leads to some awareness. I also agree with sr that, the internet browsing, english speaking population is not actually at the very worst of the receiving end.
Finally I would say that financially independent women have defenitely better off. So all women folks out there study hard and get the jobs. The Mr Right messes up too much with you, show him the finger. Walkout and dont worry about the kids, you are also a parent, so they wouldn't mind staying with you.

Homecooked said...

This is one of the few things I hate about our culture. I know of my Shetty friend who spent so many years worrying and spending sleepless nights because she knew her parents were not able to meet the dowry demands. And this is the most patient and loving girl I know. Its sad that good qualities are overlooked in preference for money. And I feel dowry is nothing but buying the boy! Its high time people stop taking and giving money when the girls are well educated nowadays.

SR said...

Thanks George for the improvement factors from the Ramayana age(if that age was ever there)Atleast in 2000 years we managed to be implicit if you want to call that an improvement.
Sorry its just plain frustration in me that just got out because I thought I had the power and education to change certain things but the social system just didn't allow me too. All I got was comments like avalkku vere joli ille? oru raathri kondu naadu nannavumo? etc etc. Even the dead girl's parents did not want to fight the cause. So much for our dragging legal system no matter how hard I tried to get into their thick skulls that it is not for their daughter alone, it didn't work. Implicit or explicit our society always has hidden desires when it comes to material gains. And NO I was not talking about cost of living anywhere, I was only pointing out lack of experiences and reality. one can blog about poverty and hunger but does the blogger actually know what it is? If he or she does then they wouldn't be blogging. Thats the reality check I was talking about. We all blog about issues, get some kudos, feel good that we have done something for the society and carry on with our lives. Isn't that the ultimate truth?
@silverine " Are you trying to say that we are being dishonest here and that we are talking and doing nothing?"
And lets hear what have you done? Don't tell me you blogged and thats enough action.
Sorry Mathew I spammed your comment box.

silverine said...

@SR: "And lets hear what have you done?"

I can’t believe a lawyer is asking this question. :p I can write anything here. I can write that I was responsible for reconsideration of the dowry bill! What’s the point! You have taken a sincere expression of anguish over a social evil like dowry and made it look like all of us making empty noise! None of us made any claims here. We just expressed our frustration and anguish!! That’s all!! There is a lot of pent up frustration here dearie! Can you not see that from the comments and interest generated here??? Let us blow some steam for gods sake! Are you going to deny us that too!!!!

I understand you have had bitter experiences. You could have highlighted that in your first comment to show some of the real problems on the ground. You could have contributed so much to the discussion and we would all have been a little more enlightened to the problem at hand. After all knowing the strength of your enemy is crucial when you are trying to understand him isn’t it? Instead you do the irresponsible thing by dismissing us without even presenting your case!! I think your whole approach was skewed for a lawyer specially when you were trying to prove a point!

I am not debating this further because our intentions were very sincere! If there is any doubt it in your mind! And there is nothing we can do about it. You have to deal with it!

p.s Truce it is :)

mathew said...

First of all sorry if my comments felt disdainful..that was not my intention..

Probably it could have been avoided if your first comment was more clear..As Anju said we all are taking on the same thing..Although this blog doesnt have any kind of readership to boast of, if atleast someone who came across this entry just searching for "Bride-dowry" in google..If someone has some change of heart or retrospection reading this..its well and good!!

Although this caused some misunderstanding, I understand your good intention...Probably your profession entitles you to do something proactive about it whereas we can do is just create some "soul searching" amongst the so called "blogging elite who are not affected by dowry but wouldnt mind"! Atleast someone might think twice!!

I know its not possible to bring out a change one fine morning..And the bloggers dont do it for kudos..its just expression of our heartfelt thoughts written in words..and there are no hidden intentions behind it!!

Truce btw !!:-)

I ll comment later ..Gotta pack bags as I am travelling over the next 4 days..chao!!

Sreejith Kumar said...

Very very strong this time Matts! For a change...

Macadamia The Nut said...

I agree 100%. But trying to convince them is one thing.. and using them to manifest one's 'requirements' is another ball game altogether, innit?

Waise, I believe that 'tradition' is just a hogwash term used to manipulate people into doings things they'd rather not do.

SR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SR said...

@Mathew: Thanks but first comment was intentionally kept short. None of you asked me why I said that. Everyone started being defensive and had their own two cents.
BTW: Hope your parents join you soon.

ap said...

Hope u have re-kindled your spirits.

"May be everyoone is taking the easy way out...like winning lottery!"

hammy said...

[i]’Kittiyaal pulikummo?’[/i]


Pulikkanam. Ennale nannaavu.

I like to believe that the system of dowry is coming down... slowly, but surely. Of course it would be better if the pace picked up.

Ultimately, the fact is that even among people who still practice the system, they DO know at some point that it is not the right thing to do, but end up conjuring self-serving justifications to the same.

It doesn't matter whether the parents do it willingly or otherwise. There should be no obligation from one side of the family that ISN'T there from the other side. Dowry should be strictly out.

Due to the widespread nature of the notion, it is quite impossible for me to sever ties with anyone who asks/gives away dowry. I can recommend and advice. Beyond that, I can't influence other people's acts.

But then again, I can lead by example. It will take more than us, though. It will take a lot of people to really storm the menace away, but it will help. Every guy AND every girl who insists on not accepting the system will contribute to pulling it down.

Priyankari said...

Good post! Unless and until the guy stands strongly against it, even if it means going against his family, the ritual won't stop! Also the girl must revolt. Most of them are all educated and can find their own means to live...So why worry!

It's really good to see such a post coming from a guy :)

Anonymous said...


Mostly agree with the post, except the sorry feeling part for the friend who accepted dowry based on parental pressure. After all, pyar kiya tho darna kya? Please ask him to grow a spine.

How can parents be proud their son fetches some preposterous rate? Unless of course they are pimping him.

N said...

It's not just the dowry part...I have this femaile in my office who is expecting..the other day, she made a wonderful remark..IF I have a boy,then I want him to be very naughty and all..but if its a girl, I want het to be very calm, softspoken...bullshit!I was so mad!!!And we talk of living in a feminist society!!!
And I dont know what to comment on thsi dowry thingi...I got married 6 months back!!!And i made sure whatever my dad is giving me , he gives me, on my name!!! :D

Desert Rose said...

Waw just the right one... and as i read on Silverine's comment, this one coming from a guy, we can really be optimistic about a start !
Simply what we need to get on...today the bride's parents are bidders for MBA / BE / BTech groom..the highest bidder gets the groom whose being sold!
Heard of instances where we have a stylish Mamma of the groom who would rather brag and say "Nangalku onnum venda" as in that's just some style statement and at the other end you'll have them finding out "Ennalum ningalu penninu enthu kodukum" and our Mr. Groom will be throwing around weight in his own sick circle "Dowry ethra nu ariyamo..btw these days the suffix is 'crores'"...sick nerd is happy getting sold !
Neways...i too a an optimist and believe that each and every drop contributes to a better society!

Nanditha Prabhu said...

there is nothing much left for me to comment....
though i feel this dowry thing is inbuilt in the race.... hope things will change with younger minds taking some thoughtful measures...

Mishmash ! said...

y no 'anakkam' here..? some of ur readers are waiting for their weekly dose of humor :D

Philip said...

Pardon the interruption (aana karyathinu edakku chena kaaryam).

Just to let you know that you've been tagged.

mathew said...

@Sreejith Kumar

@ Macadamia
Yeah…I agree that some people use tradition as an excuse just for the heck of it..

@ AP
Thank you…

Thanks for endorsing this line of thought…and I guess your post will help in reaching the message across more people….Maybe we may not be instrumental in eradication it, but we could definitely do our two cents..

Yes..I guess if the girls too take a stand then things would get better..it is the assumption that a girl can be easily convinced into that allows this evil to thrive..

@ cluelessness
I think in reality pyar kiya to darna kya is a good concept…But we cant ignore the fact that parents do a major part in out upbringing and its natural to have second thoughts..

Probably she is stuck in some time wrap..;-P
And your dad did a great job..wish everyone did follow the same.

@ Desert Rose
Nice to see another optimistic person around..but as mentioned in a comment above that it has too much engrained in our society as a so called “tradition”, it is difficult to eradicate this problem..But I too believe that it is little tiny drops that make an ocean..so lets hope for the best..

@ Nanditha
Thanks a lot…I hope so too…

@ Mishmash
Thanks a lot for checking out…I feel extra motivated now!!;-D
As I told before..my parents are here..and we are travelling most of the time..:-)
Will update soon on the trip details..

@ Philip
Hehehhee..But tags are important for me that gets me of bloggers block sometimes..
But I have already done this tag sometime back..;-P

Bindhu said...

"Poor guy was torn between his conscience and inability to offend his parents…" Isn't this another way of saying "Kittiyaal Pulikkumo?"
Dowry would've started as a way of giving the girl her share of family's wealth, which later became a social menace. Even my father was asked to give Re 1/- as dowry to my husband during the marriage ceremony. The priest explained that in olden days land and cattles were given, which is practised symbolically now by giving Re 1/-. We had an Aryasamaj wedding.

Destination Infinity said...

Once I asked one of my clients (In a jovial mood, when we were travelling in his car): "I would like to marry a girl from South Andhra towns. I heard that they come with a good incentive(I joked rather casually)" For which, he replied with all the seriousness - "They come with incentives as well as headaches"

Guys, be careful before accepting dowrys. There are absolutely no free lunches in this society.

Destination Infinity.

Amooma said...

hah, best solution: dont marry. well, not exactly, but its time to stop tihnking of marriage as the sole reason for our existence on earth. that would bring abt a change. for instance, i most certainly have my set of conditions. i will marry with a portion of my folks' assets. but, it wont be to the guy who asks how much. and well, if i cant find such a guy, i wont marry. case over.
ermm. did i wander from the point?