By Spoorthi Pema:

Brilliant music, an amazing drive and a wonderful friend to have an engaging chat with. Just a few minutes before this drive home with my friend, he happened to introduce me to this girl he had a crush on. A very sweet and homely girl, who would obviously make a wonderful Indian wife. We were discussing his future with this girl, if they were to start a relationship together. What could possibly be wrong in this setting of two friends having a normal conversation? A friend of mine always tells me that I think in ‘two layers’. I see what most people don’t see (maybe choose not to see) or rather, I read between the lines. I assume this is not acceptable to most, but it is this ‘two layered’ thinking that helps me write my blog.

Indian bride

I could already see her making his family happy with her cooking, and her treatment of her in-laws. She would make a good Indian wife and a good Indian bride. However, the idea of the role of wife that my country holds may not be in agreement with what idea I hold. I could see why my friend has a liking for her, and he seconded that idea too. A perfect match was about to happen. But wait, my ‘two layered’ thinking is yet to come to play here.

In spite of her perfect representation of the ‘bharatiya naari’ (Indian Woman), that our tradition, culture and our history teaches us day-in and day-out, we both noticed and agreed that they had nothing in common at all. Two months of talking and they would run out of engaging conversations for the rest of their happily married life. My friend might be looking for a gun to shoot me right now for writing this blog post, but I’m a risk taker.

So, I inconspicuously asked, “She might make your family happy, but it is you who has to spend the rest of your life with her. Shouldn’t you marry a girl you would really want to spend that life with?”

I got an explanation as to why that would be close to impossible for my friend and I wasn’t really surprised. He went on to say that if he were to ever introduce a girl like me, with whom he had more in common, to his mother and say that he wanted to marry me, his family would be devastated. That his mother would eventually make him choose between me and her. There is a slight level of exaggeration, but you should get the idea that I would not be accepted as a bride in his family.

That was obvious. Let me take the effort of explaining to you why marrying me is such a taboo.

1. I do not know how to cook, and I will not put in the extra effort to learn cooking just because all my aunties and mother’s friends tell me that I need it to please my husband and in-laws. They are grown people, they should either feed themselves or hire a cook. I am not going to be their servant.

2. I will not give up my education, my career or my dreams for the family that I marry into, only because they believe that a woman has to take care of the family while the man and the elders make all the major decisions in the house. I have always been and will always be an independent woman who makes her own decisions.

3. I am spiritual, which means that I am not religious. So, a typical Indian wedding with rituals which do not really mean anything to anyone, is not something that I will be a part of.

4. I will not change my second name to my husband’s second name or submit to the patriarchal setup of our society.

5. I will not, I repeat, I will not jump into a fire like Sita did to prove how good a wife she was to Lord Rama. If my husband can’t trust me, he has some issues.

Now that I started listing out the reasons, I realize that there are so many more that make me a horrible Indian bride. However, I think I will run the risk of never finding an Indian husband if it means that I get to be independent, make my own decisions, live my dreams and most importantly, be treated equally despite my gender.

The concept of gender bias is so deeply rooted in our culture and society that this almost entirely goes unnoticed. Most people do not even see how wrong and discriminating this practice of defining a perfect Indian bride is! ‘Good cook, good looking, fair, does not have male-friends, is chaste, is good at following orders, does not drink or smoke, possibly gives a good massage’ -I feel like Indian women are up for sale. If you do not fit that description, or fight against the existence of such descriptions, you are flawed and not worth getting married to.

Education hasn’t helped this scenario either. The only difference it has made is that the Indian wife is now expected to cook, clean, please her husband and her in-laws, and in addition earn a part of the income. How has the society really changed if independent women find it so hard to be accepted into Indian families?

Being a sweet and homely wife is not something that I am undermining. I know how hard and wonderful a job it is to be a wife and a mother. But shouldn’t this choice be entirely left to the woman and not anybody else? If a woman like me chooses a life that our tradition and culture does not preach, do I make a horrible wife?

If an Indian family rejects me only because I wish to be treated equally and with respect and want to exercise my rights and freedom, then I am happy. In fact, I am proud of standing up for myself. I, in turn, reject them, reject them all from our society. My friendship is something that I will always cherish.I respect my friend with all my heart and truly believe in his talent and worth. Hence, I wish none of my opinions are taken personally. I am an Indian woman who is fighting for a society that treats us equally and gives us the status and respect that we deserve. I know that we have a long way to go, but the fight has to start somewhere, right?

Comments
Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:56 pm August 6, 2014
Vishnupriya
Reply
Author

Hi!
While you are most certainly entitled to what your role would/should be as a wife in the societal construct that has been put before you, I think the points you have listed as characteristics of a good Indian Wife are hardly conclusive. While looking for a daughter-in-law or a wife for that matter what concerns people more is that background she comes from, whether she can cooperate if not sacrifice and keep the family together. While I agree that a lot of people still hold onto the mindset where women aren’t allowed to pursue a vocation or a job because it takes away from their household duties these are restrictions that are put forward by in laws rather than husbands and is prevalent in a very small section of society. As far as issues concerning one’s religious inclination are concerned, no one can force you to follow through religious practices, I’ll be surprised if it even bothers people considering the explosion of nuclear families wear people don’t have the time to say a prayer leave alone hold hawans at home. A big flaw in your argument is even if a girl follows through all the criteria you mentioned you’d never dream off, there is no reason to believe that, that makes her a good wife or a good Indian wife for that matter. Lastly, I couldn’t help but notice that you very clearly point out that you are an ‘independent woman who makes decisions for herself’ and at the same time very vehemently oppose learning how to cook, I’d like to ask you how independent are you when you can’t even learn a skill that gives you 3 meals a day? Why would an ‘Independent’ woman want to be dependent on a cook, isn’t that ironic?

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:14 pm August 5, 2014
Abhishek P
Reply
Author

Here is my reply.

#1
someone needs to cook and it is part of daily life, if not women, then man, or a maid. there is nothing to be looked down on cooking. most people in western society (which is ideal society for most indian youth) cook for themselves, as domestic help (they are not called servants there) are very expensive. the lowest hourly rate for cleaning services is 10$ / Rs. 600 Per Hour which most people cant afford. and cooking maid is even more expensive. so they prefer to do their work themselves using machines.

#2
nobody “forces” a women to give up their education these days. where do you live.

#3.
i am sure you are not spending 6 Hrs a day in meditation, then in what respect you are spiritual. its all hip these days to call oneself atheist or spiritual and not religious. people call themselves these cool labels to avoid all the questions associated with their own religion (which they dont know anyway). when did you even joined any religion to even leave it. and to a certain extend i agree, a lot of ritual are just historical baggage, but then again there is a huge difference between north and south indian wedding ritual.

#4.
In Indian / Hindu society the women dont take name of her husband, it is a colonial / western practice which our forefather adopted 100 yrs back, and later adopted by the indian constitution. since then they have evolved differently, and indain are still looking towards them instead of coming up with some original solution.

#5.
Sita NEVER jumped into fire for Lord Rama, from where did you got this info ? i think you are confused between SITA and SATI. you are mixing a historical figure with a historical practice. and FYI the last SATI case was reported 30 yrs back.

from wikipedia – “Sita sought final refuge in the arms of her mother Bhūmi. Hearing her plea for release from an unjust world and from a life that had rarely been happy, the Earth dramatically split open; Bhūmi appeared and took Sita away to a better world”

To some up thing, you are a typical indian youth, who is having a identity crisis and inferiority complex, as you constantly compare yourselves with western world. someone who is fascinated with the western society, for most people the only access to western society is TV, Movies, FB etc. you think whatever you seen on TV is what western society stands for, where everything is good and people are spending their life in beer bar and coffee shop. But in reality western society is totally different from what is seen on TV, people actually go outside their coffee shop for working and they work real hard.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 11:40 pm August 2, 2014
the good wife?
Reply
Author

It appears to me that your friend spoke of his idea of a wife, and you are convinced that is what is a “good indian wife” without thinking of how a lot of Indian women live these days.

1. One doesn’t become a servant by cooking for one’s family. I am not too fond of cooking, and being a working woman with sometimes insane working hours, I don’t even have the time. but there are some things I make well and cook them for my husband and kid and in laws (when they visit) … I like the praises that I get. Similarly my husband cooks some awesome stuff and if I want to eat something he’s good at … he obliges. How does cooking for your family make you a servant? I agree that it shouldn’t be forced on you, but just rebelling for the heck of it is frankly in my view unnecessary.

2. I am a qualified lawyer and married into a family full of lawyers including my MIL. So no one ever assumed that I would give up my career. but yes, when my husband and I decided to have children, I was mindful of the fact thay my career will take a back seat. I will have to go on maternity leave coz no one else can feed my baby. And for those who can’t reconcile to that idea pl don’t have kids yet. You are not there. It is not giving up your career for the sake of your child … but loving another person so much that it doesn’t seem like a loss. And those who aren’t mums can’t know what that feels like. But I did go back to work when my baby was 6 months old and thankfully have a v supportive husband and family network. On days I am stuck in a meeting my husband makes it a point to come home early. In my case he has taken our child for his doctors appointments way more number of times than I have. The point is … all you need is a supportive family and I know many many families which are like mine. I would frankly like nothing better than to live an easy life off my husband’s money but in my case he has told me he can’t afford my shopping expenses and I must earn my own money if I want to keep that up!

3. I didn’t take on my husband’s name only coz it was too much of red tape to deal with right from bank accounts to passports to driving license. Too painful. But I did append his last name on my Facebook page. What’s the big deal. It doesn’t make me lose my identity. Is my identity only from my name. If you want to get rid of this patriarchal system then why adopt even your father’s last name … do it properly … take on your mum’s last name. Will keeping your last name really give you the equality you want? Wouldn’t that stem completely from your husband and in law’s attitude? My mother and mother in law both adopted their husband’s last name and both of them are two of the most independent women I have ever met. It stems from their families giving them that much importance and equal status. Not from the last names. Latest is women insisting their kids will have their last name. Frankly the child will always be identified as your son / daughter… no matter whose last name he or she carries. So just being rebellious for the heck of it is pointless. Be more secure of the role you play in your child’s life.

4. Ok … so I think this was supposed to be number 3. Strangely for me, I got married into a family of atheists. My husband doesn’t believe in god at all … his funda in life is I don’t stop you from praying you don’t insist that I should. so I was surprised when he agreed through the whole ritualistic marriage ceremony. acc to him it made his dadi v happy. It was more about respecting the wishes of the elders in the family because they are elders. period. and if I were you I would listen to the vows made during the marriage ceremony. the pandit made us repeat the vows … some of which elicited a lot of laughter amongst those present esp those who knew what me or my husband were like …. However I do agree that the vows are a little outdated in today’s social set up where women contribute equally to the household finances and men to the looking after of kids and the house.

5. I would expect a husband also to be faithful. I can’t imagine in this day and age for indiscretions of a man to be ignored.

Does being a good wife … Indian or not … come from the things you seem to have an issue with? Or a good wife is one who keeps her husband and family happy. Wouldn’t that make her also happy? as a good husband would be one who keeps his wife and family happy and consequently himself!

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 2:49 pm August 5, 2014
    Maharshi Desai
    Reply
    Author

    Before you wrote all of this as a comment, Mrs. Lawyer, did you try considering the age of the female who has written this article. You took every point literally and personally. When we are reading something on internet, we must keep a wider angle under consideration. May be you got married to a “perfect” family…that is why you could answer to all her points…but, you are one of those very very few ladies who have got such a privilege. Most the women in India have to give into family pressure and give up on living (their own life) at all!!!

      Harvey Specter
      Posted at 3:49 pm August 5, 2014
      the good wife?
      Reply
      Author

      Dear Mr Desai,

      I have no doubt that I am one of the privileged few to have found a good family. Let us be honest, no one is perfect! However, even if I were to consider the author very young, I think it is even more important to point out that her ideas and notions of a good wife are not entirely correct. One DOES NOT become a good wife by cooking for the family, giving up her career, adopting her husband’s name etc etc. I am not sure further if she’s speaking about the large number of women in India who do not have the chance or opportunity to lead their own lives as per their will. To me it appeared that the author was writing that these are things she will not do and to hell with it if that makes her a bad Indian wife! The important thing for most women is to have a choice not to cook, choice of giving up their careers etc etc. The fact is a large number of Indian women may be cooking because they don’t have the financial option either of hiring a cook. The way the article is worded i don’t think reference is to such women. I may not have considered the larger picture but according to me neither has the author!

      Regards,
      Mrs Lawyer!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:45 pm August 2, 2014
Shreyo
Reply
Author

Confirm me on this….was this article written 25 years ago??
Cause the Scenario isn’t the same anymore out there unless one belongs from a very backward place, in that case my sympathies!!!

This article actually seems like a result of some deep rooted insecurites that led you to go all the way to try and demean your friends love-interest. Honestly, this kind of rebellion was needed some 25 years ago but not anymore, all the things you mentioned are taken for granted
And as for cooking, its a survival skill one must learn, irrespective of one’s gender ie, if you really want to be
“independent”
Living alone, smoking drinking etc etc isn’t all that big deal anymore, everybody does it!!!!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:14 am August 2, 2014
Gayathri
Reply
Author

Hi Poo(That’s Right, your blog is that shitty),

Insecure and not independent woman cry feminism like this. Are you like a 90years old? No woman jumps into fire to prove anything these days, I repeat, No one. Also read Ramayana to understand what is actually implied by the “jumping into fire” incident. So let me get this right, you are an adult and you can feed yourself right and you don’t expect a female cook? do you? you are an adult and employing a cook to feed an adult is another form of slavery. So, You cook your meal and your husband his , I can see how that can pan out. Some woman sacrifice their career because they want to be with their kids, its a choice they make and that is what is being independent. Being able to make choices that matters to them the most.
What I loathe the most about this piece of shit you have written is that, you have zero maturity, no idea what it means by being independent, no clue on our epics and no idea whatsoever what Indian ritual and culture means.Every ritual performed during the wedding has a meaning, instead of writing this blog , try and understand what thought went into that. Take pride in your culture and ancestors. British took over India coz they convinced us to think “Anything foreign is supreme”. Being independent is about being able to raise great human beings or be one to everyone around you,making choices that positively impact people around you, standing up for the right thing no matter what and understanding that love is also about giving. Grow up a bit and stop writing blogs that puts feminism in a wrong light.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 3:28 pm August 2, 2014
    Madhumita
    Reply
    Author

    This is the best reply i have ever come across such stupid thoughts. If a girl wants to be completely independent its best that she doesn’t get married instead of getting married and blaming the other person. As you say following indian cultre,tradition and practises doesn’t mean we(others) are slaves or brainless people who follow it blindly… Being independent doesn’t mean financial independence alone. Marriage is a huge responsibility and commitment and sharing where the two individuals decide which is best for the family.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 9:30 pm August 2, 2014
    Aaisy
    Reply
    Author

    It is sad how you bashed her. Is this how you call yourself independent by abusing others. This is just a view point, why should some one be personal about it??

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 9:22 pm August 3, 2014
    Ramanuj
    Reply
    Author

    Truth makes some people very angry. Bad writing rarely evokes such gutter reaction :D

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:49 am August 2, 2014
HalaMadrid!!
Reply
Author

I would have written 5 reasons a girl would never marry me .

Background Story::I am from a premier engineering Institute earning after tax a 7 figure salary .I am just 21 right now. I am your usual metro guy who loves his novels, knows his football and beer and loves food and booze .I am a technology addicted and quite broad minded.Hell I even have my parents house and some good old stuff.All my family has either done engineering or are doctors.

Now while I was talking to my friend, she was trying to find other people for marriage .I was like why don’t you even consider me.I mean I can’t be that bad.How about after 4 years .I would be 25.
And the reasons I got::
1) I work at a startup.I don’t know when they may fire me or may even close down the entire operations if something happens. (They are famous for having closed down operations in a country in one fine Saturday as they were not happy with the progress).
My job is not a stable one which would dole out the bucks on a monthly basis and may even feed the kids.

2) I may grow out of my job and may quit my job for my hobby.I may even do an MBA or maybe just start my own company.It could be years before I may be on my feet.But I don’t want to be in a marriage where a woman would want a man to provide for her and the kids.We live in a world where everyone is equal.Why should it be expected that a man should be the one bringing the next piece of bread to the family. A wife can do it and kick ass btw.If my wife said that she wanted to quit her job and take some time off I would support her in every step.So should she.

3) I am a person who drinks and smokes a lot.While this may be a deal breaker to a lot of woman.There are still woman who understand that a person needs the nicotine. I mean for God sakes how should it even matter to my future wife what liquid I am taking in .I would never oppose my wife .She can drink and smoke as much as she wants.Its a liberal society.

4) Even I don’t want a crappy fat Indian wedding spending lakhs of money on a diamond ring and expensive clothes.For guys usually wear suits and I made a pretty awesome one in college.I am in no way a spiritual person and frankly who would want to spend so much money on a function. I am not even spiritual. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

5) I would love to have servants who would cook food.We would even have a chaueffuer, a gardener and a chef. And we would be staying alone and would not meet my parents and sister in law.Hell we won’t meet any relatives.We will go out on Fridays gwt drunk and enjoy life to the bliss.It would be even better if my wife knows how to roll. (I meant not the rotis) .Life would be so awesome. It would be awesome, receiving expensive gadgets on anniversary , my wife paying all the bills (if I am out of work).

If I was not educated enough I would never have thought about it.I thought guys were just a CV where an IIT or an IIM is all that mattered and earning millions of money for the family.To invest all the savings and be ready to sacrifice for the children. Then I asked myself are we just robots who have to be attractive, be always confident, fight for the jobs and provide for our family.If a girl chooses me on my education and of all things like money and looks.Shame on her .I am better being unmarried
My wife wouldn’t need to change her name after marriage.She can work and go after her career.Infact I will support it and I can do what I love to do.She doesn’t have to cook.She can smoke as much as she wants.She is the independent modern woman who wants to earn a lot of money , drinks and smokes (who likes smoking alone.We could share and my love could have the golden puff).Well I am pretty sure I may never get such a pretty awesome wife but are all my demands ill logical.I want it to be equal.We guys our more than sperm giving, bringing money and why should we sacrifics our lives.We have an equal share and I would rather stay with my family than do a job that keeps me separated from my family.Why would I sacrifice my personal relationships for a career.When I am about to die will I remember the time I spent with my kids or the files I had to work on so that in the eyes of society I would seem man enough to provide for my family.What type of society do we live in.I want and demand equality.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:22 pm August 1, 2014
Vineeta
Reply
Author

This bullshit is for middle class, marry a guy with money and a few generation of educated people. Even being a stay at home wife and mother will be a more luxurious and respectable option. In my family for instance my cousin brother’s wife was scared to adjust in a new family but we know that she is an Ivy league graduate and a career woman so my aunt compliments her when she wears dresses and thinks very highly of the fact that she has a great career. So when she freaked out on karvachauth to ask what is required of her, my aunt just said ” See if you want to really keep it then keep it and since you have to go to work, don’t do it the filmy style. Drink water, have tea and fruits throughout the day!” So don’t marry a poor guy, they are the ones with the least to offer and the most to demand with hypocrite morals.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:59 pm August 1, 2014
Neha
Reply
Author

Hi,

This is quite an interesting article, but has overlooked many facets of changing society and views in Indian society. What you have written does hold true for a section of the society but not for everyone. Trust me, not just guys even in-laws are changing these days. Think of the time your mom got married, and you will realize the difference. The way we are allowed to dress up these days, the freedom we are given, the kind of support we get from our partner’s, our mothers did not get even 10% of it. Since, they have been there and seen it all they are very accommodating.
Its not about an Indian family anymore, its about finding a person and family matching your wavelength. I have been married for seven years now and life did not change much for me until I had a kid. Even then my in-laws were very supportive and we have been lucky enough to pursue a career and take vacations as a couple with our parents baby-sitting the baby. Believe me, I have many such families. Seems you have a limited exposure right now. Please do not form such an opinion about a country like that, it is more about an individual.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:45 pm August 1, 2014
NoBias
Reply
Author

Hi Spoorthi,
I am very glad that you know what you want from your life.
I have seen both traditional side of life of a “General/Average” Indian family and I have seen the more open, westernised side of the life . (Pardon me to use the word western but I am not sure what other way to express my feeling right now). And I know, in my heart, that you can and you will find a very right “partner” for you. I have specifically used the word “partner”, because thats what, IMHO, one should expect out of their spouses. If your husband or wife, dictate anything, then surely he/she is not at all a worthy person to be with. To tell you the truth, you have all the right , infact everyone have all the right to do, what you think is good for yourself.

The only thing I would like to add to your article is that , please be always clear about yourself. Don’t lie and marry someone and then screw their life as well. I am a victim of such spouse who lied to me during my “arrange marriage’s ” courtship period. Pretended to be something else and just after marriage turn out to be something altogether different. There is nothing bad if both the partner are clear about their path. You can choose to live a life in traditional manner or otherwise, and even if you later disagree, please show some compassion on your spouse even if you change your thoughts later on.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 4:47 pm August 1, 2014
Francis
Reply
Author

Hi Spoorthi,

I am so glad that finally I have found someone whom I can think about having a future relationship with. I am an Indian but hopefully you won’t hold it against me as you believe in equality.

I have always longed for a partner like you who is equal in thinking and behaviour in every way.

If I marry you, I know I will have the best life ever:

- You being a believer of equality will bring equal money into the house for it’s functioning and contribute to all the expenditure.
- With the joint earnings, we shall be able to hire a cook, a maid, a cleaning person and a driver to carry out the tasks of maintaining the house.
- All our tours and travels will be funded by joint earnings by both of us.
- Best would be the dinner dates. We would pool in just like I do with my buddies! :)

There would be other advantages as well: not having to fix gadgets, electricity wires, plumbing issues in the house. not needing to drive. not having to go n buy groceries.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 9:32 pm August 2, 2014
    Aaisy
    Reply
    Author

    I have seen females who earn equal or some times more. Still they are doing all the work wives do for the house. Are you saying money decides the equality in your house? Are you planning to get a partner of equal equity in house? You can have that a man too… Best of Luck

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:52 pm August 1, 2014
Sushant
Reply
Author

Proud to date someone like the girl you described btw.

I would want to write something like this for guys as well. I don’t want to be the one who’s pampering, the bread earning member, the responsible one, the one who has to change his habits and clothes just because she says “if you don’t look good, we don’t look good!” or go shopping, compliment, keep the romance alive, like kids, buy a house or a car, save money.. I could go on and on but you get the picture.

The list is not mine and not related to me at all, the point is, there are expectations in the society for guys as well which I don’t want to do. I don’t even want to get married, a simple loving relationship works for me.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 12:05 pm August 1, 2014
Manoj
Reply
Author

I dont get to meet such independant women who is passionate about their career in real life. I can see only in blogs like this. Some of my colleagues I know does not cook, but they dont do it because they are too lazy and lack passion in career stuffs. Even though I am a Indian boy, I wanted to girl of this character

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:32 am August 1, 2014
Neha Jha
Reply
Author

I completely agree with you on this. Even I don’t like cooking despite so much pressure from people. I think its a great post.
Even I agree with the Ram-Sita thing. People are very touchy when it comes to religion, but, I also think Ram isn’t that worthy as he is regarded to be. And, Sita is not what any woman should be.
Glad someone shared the same view point.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:29 am August 1, 2014
manas
Reply
Author

A simple and straight advice for you. You dont marry a indian, as you have already mentioned being a indian wife does’nt fit you well.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 9:33 pm August 2, 2014
    Aaisy
    Reply
    Author

    hahaha… Oh man what would someone do without your advice????? You are so cute..

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:22 am August 1, 2014
Roma Patel
Reply
Author

Hi Spoorthi – below what my husband reply when i forwarded your blog to him
“Roma patel written all over this

I hope you did not write this…

Wink wink author “

If i would write a blog, this will be my exact thoughts… i have always been so vocal about this that everyone who i know will think of me when they will read your blog. And i am proud of who i am so job well done :)

Simply awesome!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:32 am August 1, 2014
ace20_91
Reply
Author

This is an amazing piece of article. i’m from a slightly rebellious background. i was brought up in a different way and i got to see the inequality in gender all the time. i am of course against it but there is honestly nothing i can do about it. the only thing i can do is to stand up for my own rights.i will not let someone dictate their ownership on me. i am crazy into fitness and sports and intend to make it a part of my life. I aspire to become a fitness model and im sure that based on the amount of clothes i’d be required to wear no indian family is ever going to accept me as their daughter in law. but i don’t intend to please anyone. ive walked through this world experiencing so many discrimination but that didnt stop me from being myself. i have tattoos and piercings and in an indian family that would be taboo. my parents accept me for who i am and i am glad for it. but i will not stop being who i am just for someone else’s dream. i understand that to most there is someday a requirement to marry and settle down but that has never occurred to me. ive always wanted to adopt a kid and have two dogs. and the picture that i have somehow has no man in it. i don’t see anything wrong in that. with all the difficulties in life i am proud of the ‘rebelious’ person i have become.
however i do not deny that there are extraordinary men in this world. i’m not going to distinguish them with indian men because men will be men. there is always going to be inequality no matter what race and religion. Its up to a woman to stand up for whatever she thinks is right. i’m not saying that all women should become rebels. Just do what you thing is right.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:05 am August 1, 2014
butool
Reply
Author

I understand your intentions here Spoo Rthi, but the article is oozing sarcasm. its a different matter to think we are different creatures, but it makes hell lot of difference to put all those amazing wives out there in one little tiny bag of perjudice. I and none of my friends in close circles have changed their surnames . Its so passe now. Regarding cooking and giving up dreams, so many of the guy friends i know take care of the households and have wifes who have passions beyond their marriages. Definitely , humour was your intent when you talked about jumping the fire… but i guess ‘shaqqi husbands still prevail at large. For the female audience who can read this blog , these things are outdated,but definitely not for that girl staying in a small town ,with limited access to internet.
That being said, iam proud of getting over the urge to be some kind of wife..good or bad. I beleive its important to be happy with yourself and your partner with follow. Rest , its not really a bad thing to love cooking or be religious in the ritual way (Iam hardly ) but i truly respect my mom for all she did ! Lastly, glad you put this up for debate because iam sure you knew lots of heated arguements are going to follow. So, way to go brave girl !

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 9:36 pm August 2, 2014
    Aaisy
    Reply
    Author

    Why tell me why butool or whatever your name is? Why do females are so selfish that she does not understand a small town girl with limited accesss to internet is also another person just like herself. Why is it that she can’t dream to have a life just like her?
    You belong to big town or out of Earth … please please you are no better than old aunty in your views..

Harvey Specter
Posted at 12:43 am August 1, 2014
Asma
Reply
Author

Men these days are understanding. Even in laws are very warm and kind. MOST OF THEM :)

Harvey Specter
Posted at 9:38 pm July 31, 2014
Aravindan Panikkaveettil
Reply
Author

Well, coming from a highly matriarchal family in Kerala (both my parents come from matriarchal families) I generally feel that women and men are equals. That said, over 95% of Indians have been brought up in a patriarchal setup. Women in such a scenario are usually seen as property which is handed over to a guy upon her marriage. What surprises me even further is that even within my parents’ community, people are thinking this way! But I do disagree with certain points in this article.

1. Cooking is not a job kept aside for women alone. I am someone who cooks food often and frankly, I enjoy it a lot. I would love to have as my partner a girl who would stand by me and do things together with me. Imagine how cooking would become an art when two people do it together in an innovative manner…

2. NO ONE, I TELL YOU, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE EXPECTS YOU TO JUMP INTO A BONFIRE LIKE SITA TO PROVE YOUR ‘SINCERITY’. If you cant live with someone, just divorce him.

N like many people already said here, the sindoor and mangal sutra are a symbol of subjugation wherein the woman is essentially portrayed as an object which belongs to a guy (such trash)!!!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:29 pm December 21, 2013
rosechaula
Reply
Author

Besides these 5 strong reasons, a woman is after all made to serve her man in his needs so he can suceed but for her own success nobody will help her out. A girl is supposed to make breakfast, get kids to school, make tiffin for the husband, her and her in laws and at the end of the day at 7 pm when she is tired the whole house needs cleanup, all her family members want fresh tea with garam snacks, make dinner, help out kids with their homework, spend some quality time with her inlaws and her husband too. All this she does with so much zest and zeal but there is no one in the house to fetch her a glass of water or share her moment of joys and sorrows. And the biggest surprise she is supposed to hand over all her salary to the in laws. I mean hello? If she wants to buy something, will she except the fact that the earning person has to ask the in laws for spending her own money. This is the taboo that after marriage life will become a living hell. lets turn the tables and expect this from guys, I bet all the ghar jamaais will run away within days forget tying the nuptials for a lifetime with such men.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:14 pm December 16, 2013
Sayli Tomey
Reply
Author

The article to a certain extent makes sense, but it was clearly written without getting the facts straight. i know of a lot of women who are happily married to men who dont expect them to be at their beck and call. And yes, cooking is something which is very enjoyable, that being said, if you are forced to cook for lets say 50 people then there can be an issue. But having a clear a clear cut discussion with your would be husband will sort out your issues and questions.
And honestly, a lot of men today are not that demanding, they have become ‘green men’ as TOI once put it. They are ho more understanding and open and no more shy away from helping at home.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:26 am December 15, 2013
Adya009
Reply
Author

Impose your opinions on others. Tll how intellectual and modern you are and in the last write crap to your intelligence.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:30 am December 15, 2013
Sei
Reply
Author

The post is shallow…talking feminism without really understanding the meaning and depth of relationships is stupid…
I would suggest engage yourself in sensible talks with elder women in your family, or a friend’s mother,aunt whoever you find can understand you… Basically, the subject of the blog is flawed…introspect, think…and then write the same post two years later…with a better understanding…

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 10:17 pm December 26, 2013
    Adya
    Reply
    Author

    Yea, that’s what people generally say. You know what it translates into? ‘talk to me two years later when some sense comes into you and you are doing these things you said you never would.’ People say this because they assume that all this is just ‘rebellious’ talk, when it is something much deeper.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 9:08 pm August 2, 2014
    Aaisy
    Reply
    Author

    You mean elder aunty-women like you??? hahahhaa….

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 9:11 pm August 2, 2014
    Aaisy
    Reply
    Author

    You mean elder aunty-women like you??? hahahhaa….

Harvey Specter
Posted at 12:36 am December 15, 2013
Akshay Bhagwat
Reply
Author

Keeping your maiden name for the sake of convenience is okay. Let’s say you work in a space where changing your name would be a deterrent. Not to mention all the red tape involved in changing every document in your possession to your new name. But not changing it just to make a point is stupid. You shouldn’t get married if you can’t adjust to a simple change in name. And please don’t get started with “Why only me?”. Your (hypothetical) husband has make a lot of compromises too. You just don’t hear him whining!

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 9:53 am December 15, 2013
    Imperfect in many ways, yet a very happy Indian Bride
    Reply
    Author

    Well, to be honest, there’s nothing quite wrong in keeping your maiden name… I did…and personally, if you look at the traditional Indian marriage setup, you would recognize that a woman would be making a lot more adjustments than a man, especially if she has to move into his family home. India does have a patriarchal system, and I think a lot of modern women question it rightly as they recognize that there are some inherent flaws in the way it works. IF the potential groom is a liberal and liberal person who believes in the equality of genders, there is no problem, but if he is brought up to blindly follow societal norms without questioning, it could brew trouble and potential disaster for the marriage.

    However, looking at points 1-5 that Spoorthi has made, its interesting to note that:
    1. I enjoy cooking… whether for my husband, my friends, my family and most of all myself. I don’t like it to be under compulsion, as there are days when I am simply too busy, or not in the mood, and I have a simple understanding with my husband that he cooks once a week or more when the mood strikes him, even if it is just breakfast, so that he too shares cooking. Infact, cooking together can be a lovely way to spend time together and do work as well that needs to be done, especially if you put on some nice music :)
    2. I don’t think I would ever marry a man who held a gun to my head saying that everything I did before I get married is now subject to approval or disapproval from his family and is acceptable only under the condition that they think its alright for me to for eg, pursue my career, or education. Why would you ever marry a man like that? Hopefully the prospective groom and I know each other for a while before we get married, and therefore there are no rude shocks. AGAIN, I do believe that not accepting the husband’s or the wife’s family are exceedingly wasteful exercises and lead to nothing but woe. However, that said, there are ways to be able to retain your individuality and yet integrate yourself into each others’ families seamlessly, but that depends so much upon attitude and openness from everyone.
    3. I am spiritual too… but if the guy you want to marry has a different point of view or wants to respect his parents’ wishes, its something that can be discussed bilaterally…else again as in 2, don’t marry the man. We had a lot of discussions on what our own and parents’ stands were on a lot of things before we got married. It helped a lot.
    4. As stated, I did not change my last name either and I don’t think its a big deal. I have guy friends who have adopted their wife’s last name and women who have kept both. That choice is personal and honestly is dependent on the individual. The only person who should be concerned in accepting that decision is the prospective husband, and if he is fine with it, then great… IF he is not, then once again, maybe you would have a lot more ideological differences in the future.
    5. The Agni-Pariksha or firejumping…. Trust is something that builds over time… If you know your fiance before marriage, for a considerable time, you’ve both probably gotten to trust each other, and know each other’s ideologies, thoughts on critical issues and stances. If you have more guy friends and your fiance is fine with it, nothing wrong with it. The truth is that if faith, respect, honesty and trust are pillars of your relationship to start with there is usually no problem. Problems crop up when there is conditional honesty or a need-to-know-basis of information sharing. If you plan on sharing your lives together and still maintain secrecy from each other on critical issues, the marriage will be potentially doomed going forward. To be honest Spoorthi, no one does agni parikshas anymore- thats metaphoric, and as stated before, getting to know each other really well before marriage would be the best way to go. And remember… the honesty needs to go two ways… if cheating is not acceptable to the woman she needs to make that amply clear to the prospective husband as well before embarking on marriage, not sit like a doormat if it were to occur (which happens with a lot of women).

    In addition to the 5 points you made , I do believe that it would be worthwhile to ask yourself if you really need to get married, If you really want to get married, and If you are better off without getting married. Marriage is definitely a beautiful and rewarding relationship that requires constant work and adjustments, as well as maturity, grace and understanding. Each of the two people involved will have their off days and the other would need to be more forgiving on those days. To me, learning to retain your individuality is as important as respecting the new identity of that as a couple as well. Both need to thrive. If only the two individuals grow, the relationship will not get the required nurturing and will invariably collapse. On the other hand, if even one partner of the married couple loses all their individuality, then they’d be so lost that invariably in today’s context it could lead to depression, loss of self esteem, resentment for the other partner who has thrived over time (usually in traditional Indian marriages it was the woman who ‘sacrificed’ everything,but was also brought up to believe this was part of her role as a woman). Couples need to in all fairness talk about this before marriage, know each others’ stances on careers, religion, kids, belief structures, individual roles and finances ideally BEFORE getting married. Most of the time, the problem is that people get married without talking about these things as they’re still basking in the rosy glow of endless possibilities and happily ever after…The true test starts AFTER marriage and the quality of communication between the two partners will go a long way to determine the outcome and the happiness quotient of the marriage.

      Harvey Specter
      Posted at 2:23 pm December 30, 2013
      Tulip
      Reply
      Author

      you have written better than the blogger…

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 1:20 pm December 15, 2013
    adya00
    Reply
    Author

    Of course both husband and wife make compromises. But do we see the man changing his identity? Even today most women are expected to live with the in-laws. And then changing the name too. Changing names was a practice according to which woman’s ownership was transferred to the husband. A man claiming the wife as his property. Why do we still have to so archaic? Its not stubborn, its the right to keep my identity.
    And frankly, I don’t see many men being forced to much things in a marriage. At least to an extent they have more choices than a woman. Why?

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 10:23 pm December 26, 2013
    Adya
    Reply
    Author

    Both the husband and wife make compromises, then why is it only the woman who has to change her name? Our names are our identities. Why should a woman subjugate hers?

      Harvey Specter
      Posted at 3:48 pm August 1, 2014
      Ess
      Reply
      Author

      Sister, if you believe your name is your identity, you are pretty much screwed. You wouldn’t be able to tell yourself apart from from a cardboard cutout with your name on it.

      And as far as, keeping/dropping surnames go, its just a matter of how attached you are to yours. People try to make it look like a matter of principle but its really not, unless of course people skew facts or brandish ideologies.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 2:56 pm December 14, 2013
Rockey
Reply
Author

I am guy, I do cook (pathetically though) & I do expect my wife to cook, not because she’s a woman or wife,etc. Because we’re partners right.. I do it when she can’t & vice versa. & as for the article.. A particular friend of yours seems to have created a framework in which he wants his wife to fit in, which obviously hasn’t appealed to you resulting in an article that brings all men under same umbrella & presumes that only dependent women are suitable to be Indian wives. Chanda Kocchar (CEO of ICICI) is hardly referred to by her family name ‘Advani’ & the last I remember, she is qualified enough to be called an independent woman. You refusing to adopt a guy’s family name is as stubborn as a Guy forcing you to adopt his family name. I see that the empty SITA argument is nothing but a filler…. Yes, there are guys who justify your post & validate the 5-points you raised, but there are also guys who are otherwise & are keen to redefine the term ‘Indian wife’.. Do give ‘em due consideration & a chance to reinvent the term. Danke..!!

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 6:09 pm December 14, 2013
    adya00
    Reply
    Author

    Whoa, your partnership point is okay, but the surname thing, there’s nothing stubborn about not wanting to change your surname.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 6:15 pm December 14, 2013
    adya00
    Reply
    Author

    Deeksha

    3. Wedding rituals are patriarchal. Why is it the father who does the kanyadaan? And why does one have to donate their daughter at all? Have you ever wondered why the rituals have the man marking the woman as his property, the sindoor, mangalsutra. A woman does nothing of that sort.

    4. Give your name a sense of completion? Um a woman’s maiden name isn’t complete? So women who never get married have incomplete names?

    5. Its not at all vague. Sita was forced to prove her chastity. Further she was kicked out when a few people started questioning her ‘character’. And that’s precisely what many men would do even today. Is that justified?

Harvey Specter
Posted at 4:56 am December 14, 2013
Meher
Reply
Author

U R INSULT PROUD INDIAN CULTURE WID UR POST. PLS TAKE 8 DOWN IMMIDIATLY.

Haha. Just kidding. I agree with almost every single point that you’ve mentioned. I personally am actively against the idea of the woman taking up her husband’s last name. I am also strongly against a woman having to give up her career to be at home full-time. That being said, I do not fully agree with point 1. I may be understanding this wrong, but your opposition to cooking seems to come from the idea that it’s something that a woman is always forced to do. If that is indeed the case, you should try it sometime just for your own sake and not someone else’s as it can be a nice hobby to have. I had to learn cooking when I was a student and it gave me a great deal of satisfaction.

On a side note, I came across this article because a friend of mine shared it with me. She said “Dude, this girl is perfect for you. It’s as if you took on a different pen name and wrote that post.” And I replied saying “May be I did.”

Harvey Specter
Posted at 11:12 pm December 13, 2013
adya00
Reply
Author

3. wedding rituals. All rituals make a man mark the woman as his wife. Sindoor, mangalsutra. Mehendi. What does a man wear?

5. Sita was asked to prove her chastity, and secondly, she was kicked out because some people said she is impure. Unfortunately that’s what a lot of Indian men would still do today.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:52 pm December 12, 2013
Rhythm
Reply
Author

Being independent and having a devil may care attitude are two different things. Fine , a woman should not be treated as a servant but cooking for her own family does not earn her this tag in any manner. In laws should be cooperative enough to allow their daughter in law to chase her dreams but that does not mean that , that so called “modern bahu” throws them out of their own house tomorrow . Your mixing two distinct ideas here. You are showing Indian culture and values in a bad light. Some beliefs and norms are definitely need to be changed but replacing them with callous attitude is not right either.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 11:07 pm December 13, 2013
    adya00
    Reply
    Author

    Absolutely no callous opinions have been written in the article. the average Indian wife is a servant, has to cook, clean, raise children, be nice to children vs the father, bear the brunt of father’s words that put everything that is wrong with the children on the mother, and even after all this, she has no say in decisions, can’t even give her children her name.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 4:39 pm December 11, 2013
Pragya Srivastava
Reply
Author

Umm well being a servant and loosing personal freedom have nothing to do with cooking for your husband or taking care of your in-laws. I think you are not mature to find the difference. And yes, no one is actually asking you to jump in fire!

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 6:11 pm December 14, 2013
    adya00
    Reply
    Author

    Sita jumping into the fire is a metaphor for the infinite number of sacrifices women are expected to make.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 10:16 pm August 3, 2014
    lakshmi
    Reply
    Author

    cooking for your in laws and husband is a choice, and not a duty. If you do it, you deserve a thank you. You should not be expected to do it. Taking care of your family is again, something you do out of love, within your capabilities. I do not understand why in laws and men feel like this is their birthright.
    It’s being expected to do the above which is problematic, which is pretty much “being a servant and losing personal freedom”. It’s completely alright if you choose to do it. In my opinion, this should be decided depending on the dynamics of the different family members. If the girl does not enjoy cooking, why can’t the mother in law pitch in and do the cooking herself, while she does something else? I am pretty sure, in majority of Indian households, this idea will be considered close to blasphemy.

    With regard to changing your surname, again, it is NOT your duty to do so. At every point in time your name should be your decision, after your 18. If you do not like your first name, change it. If you like your first and last name, keep it. Refusing to change your name is not stubborn. Expecting someone to change their name to yours is being chauvinistic and stubborn – applies to both woman and men who expect their partners to take their last names as a duty.

    The blogger is just trying to drive home this point, although she might have not used the most refined sentences, and is rife with sarcasm.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 4:12 pm December 11, 2013
Deeksha Shukla
Reply
Author

Hi,

Agreeing to most of what you’ve written above, I would differ on the 5 most important points you made:

1. Even if you do not know how to cook, it is not always to please the husband and in-laws. As you say, “they are grown people, they should either feed themselves or hire a cook.” You might chose to do the same for yourself. You are a grown-up individual yourself after all.

2. Marrying a guy is entirely your choice. All this is discussed prior to the alias been finalized. So giving up the education, career and dreams is no more the scenario. Trust me, families have grown practical and they understand that it is the couple who has to take the journey of life ahead in every aspect. So by working after marriage one can always see it as doing her part for her own good.

3. Wedding rituals have nothing to do with religion/spirituality. Those rituals have a meaning and people do understand it. Giving up everything in the name of ‘being modern’ is a reason that has been nibbling on the roots of our values and thus, making it hollow form within.

4. Changing the second name is a choice these days. And it is mainly done to give your name a sense of completion. It is not the patriarchal nature of the society.

5. This is just too vague a point to make. No one does that. There is an option to move out (if you consider). However FYI, the entire Ramayan episode that you quoted here was done because of an entirely different reason. As the Indian Mythology says, before going to the exile, Sita was left with Agni (The Hindu God of Fire). Ram was accompanied by Sita’s shadow. The “Agni Pariksha” as it is called was done to retrieve Sita back to her soul.

So chill, things are not that bad and I would just suggest you to brush up your facts a little. However, holding a strong stand in the society and being independent is every individual’s right. Hats off to you and your courage for standing up for yourself and on behalf of your female counterparts.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 7:54 pm December 11, 2013
    Himanshi Goyal
    Reply
    Author

    Brilliantly Answered. :)

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 12:37 am December 18, 2013
    adya00
    Reply
    Author

    Deeksha

    3. Wedding rituals are patriarchal. Why is it the father who does the kanyadaan? And why does one have to donate their daughter at all? Have you ever wondered why the rituals have the man marking the woman as his property, the sindoor, mangalsutra. A woman does nothing of that sort.

    4. Give your name a sense of completion? Um a woman’s maiden name isn’t complete? So women who never get married have incomplete names?

    5. Its not at all vague. Sita was forced to prove her chastity. Further she was kicked out when a few people started questioning her ‘character’. And that’s precisely what many men would do even today. Is that justified?

Harvey Specter
Posted at 6:40 am December 11, 2013
Anirban Samanta
Reply
Author

I admire your courage and your strength. I admire your views.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 3:18 am December 11, 2013
Archanas S
Reply
Author

Learning to cook ain’t a bad thing after all. If not for the family, at least for yourself. Being independent does not mean you shouldn’t know cooking. Actually knowing cooking makes you more independent. Duh!

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 5:59 pm December 13, 2013
    Ankit
    Reply
    Author

    True.. Learning to cook is a great asset for any boy or a girl. But you do realize that not everyone enjoys cooking. Every girl has different interests, and its completely normal, if cooking is not one of them.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 8:01 am December 14, 2013
    Amita S
    Reply
    Author

    That is so true! I understand that you don’t want to take the responsibility of cooking for an entire family. But you can always hire a good cook. If you know cooking you don’t have to depend on anyone to enjoy your favorite food.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:48 am December 11, 2013
Vidhi
Reply
Author

Your blog is succinctly written, and I agree with most things that you write about. However, I would like to call your attention to one point where you mention that you are spiritual, “which means [you are] not religious.” I beg to differ. We often confuse spirituality and religion to be two interchangeable things, and think one replaces the other, but that is far from the truth. While spirituality leans toward a more individualistic viewpoint and expression, religiosity is often a collective, social choice. You can be both spiritual and religious at the same time. Religion doesn’t always need to mean sitting and praying in front of an idol or image, and partaking in the “typical Indian wedding rituals.” As most people often do, you seem to be confusing religion with ritual. It’s a different thing to say that you don’t believe in ritual practices, and that is perfectly acceptable, but to say that you cannot be religious BECAUSE you are spiritual seems too extreme. Just my two cents.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 11:55 pm December 10, 2013
Bhoomika Arora
Reply
Author

I believe this is way too generalized view of an Indian society these days. It could have been true a decade before, or even 5 years back but in this day and age there are many more people who wish for a ‘good people with good hearts’ marriage. no other questions asked.(i speak from first hand experience) It may not be the favorite yet, but it’s great to know that it’s catching on. Apart from that, others have very nicely mentioned that cooking, cleaning or even taking care of household is not a prerequisite to marriage.I hold the opinion that a marriage works when you WANT to do things for each other.not when you HAVE to.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:54 pm December 10, 2013
Meet Kaur
Reply
Author

exactly my feelings! word to word! I understand the need for companionship. but the very idea of marriage and the endless black hole of expectations it brings along totally freaks me out, Worse, our parents make us feel that is exactly we want, when really it is not. Why does the society have to run in the same old protocols and frameworks for all of us, girls especially who our prospective brides? Like really, I am nowhere close to the ‘ideal’ Indian Bride or wife-to-be but I’m a good human being. I too have certain dreams and aspirations for me and my family. Why should wedding mean shoving all of them aside like they never existed? Arrggghhhh!

Good work at the article though! :)

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:20 pm December 10, 2013
Lipi Gupta
Reply
Author

hey Spoorthi…hi… I read this, say, your awaaz & the first thought that i got was…’ wow! this girl has guts’. I mean it becomes really difficult sometimes for us to actually accept such views publically… let alone to voice them on such a platform with our name attached to it. N being in the same age group facing the same ‘to become a perfect Indian bride” expectations of family(n somewhat of own as nobody wants to live alone forever), sometimes make us forget our own identities. well that’s what I feel(for what its worth). It just doesnt only stresses us out but also, i believe, everybody whose happiness resides with our happiness. But what we people might need to understand that its not a perfect Indian bride that we need to focus on becoming but just a bride, or I should say wife.

1 hey……it might be important to learn cooking to be a good Indian Bride, but to be a good bride you just should have a heart for doing things for him. If you’ll love someone, you’ll do things for him(not just cooking) all the things possible for u, n you wont even feel like a servant after doing them. i m not saying becoz u’ll be the girl, but becoz u’ll be in love.

2 Giving up a few hopes and dreams is not just a trait of Indian brides, but every person across the globe. Sweetheart, nobody has ever born in this world who fulfilled each n every dream of his. We sometimes think narrow and feel that only we are expected to make compromises being an Indian bride, but its not an Indian thing only, hell its not a bride thing only too. If u r leaving ur home for somebody n may be messing up a smooth driven life uptill, someone else is also giving you half of his cupboard(just take the cupboard in wider sense, like life itself) n messing his own. If you r starting a new life there always be some compromises with the old one, doesnt matter if u r Indian or American or any part of world geography.

3 Theres nothing wrong in not to be religious, its part of your own individuality, I have a relative whose in laws are not religious at all, but she is, so she has a small mandir setup in her own room n everybody follows her rules while if they touch it or doesnt lay a finger on it. Belief goes both ways.

4 We sometimes believe the way we see things, but they actually might mean differently. A father handing over the hand of his daughter to groom might seem to u as a patriarchal setup, but for a father it may be a simple message to the groom that she was never alone, n she will never be abandoned. It just depend which way you accept it. Changing the last name depends on u. changing your name doesnt mean changing ur identity. u are u, n nobody can change that but u.

5 n please, nobody asks u jump in fire to prove urself. nobody can prove anything by jumping into blazing fire. so forget it. its not even a parameter.

nobody expects you to get up early, pray in a mandir (or watever prayer place it is) for 2 hours, cook , run to office, work n earn, please your in laws, cook again, then please ur husband, make babies, raise them and die a nameless death.

For ur friend, i’ll say he is dumb to like a girl like u n take home to meet the parents n live the rest of life with ANY-OTHER. He is just screwing with his own life. If u love someone, n she loves u back, you’ll be happy with her n so will be ur parents. STOP CATEGORISING GIRLS IN TO ‘perfect’ n ‘not to make ur parents meet with her’ categories.
And for u, dont try to be Perfect Indian Bride if you think what u wrote are the compulsory criteria. Stick to being a good wife then…….only wife……..bye.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 4:53 am December 11, 2013
    Aditi
    Reply
    Author

    Lipi, your comment depresses me. The fact that so many bright young Indian women actually think like you is what, I feel, is the biggest obstacle in way of progress. Women have been brainwashed into accepting their patriarchal role with a smile on their face.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 9:33 pm December 10, 2013
Ellina Dutta
Reply
Author

I think I m too like u except the cooking part, i cook well.. Not because i have to impress anyone but because i luv doing it.. i take it as my hobby.. and the rest.. everything matches.. but i dnt think i will make a horrible bride.. infact my in laws should be liberal enuf.. i wont give up anything fr my family but ltl copromises can be made.. and rahi baat decisions ki.. its always MY LIFE MY DECISIONS… m nt waiting for anyone to grant me the verdict of being independent.. i myself know i am. n i think dats d way ppl shud be…

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:41 pm December 10, 2013
sunil
Reply
Author

spoorthi………….your interpretations cover only one aspect of various relations between two members of opposing sexes, that being of husband and wife….[the two are related in other ways as brother-sister, aunt-nephew, grand-mother-grand-son etc etc]……..you want to live your way…………why do you make it an ISSUE with that class of people for whom hoping for and being an OBEDIENT WIFE (according to your terms) is an ISSUE………..different people, different needs, different expectations, different interpretations in terms of relations…………..no problem spoorthi, not an issue……….let them think the way they like thinking………….let you think the way you want to think………..they have their lives………………you have your’s own……….THE PROBLEM IS…………..WE START THINKING THAT ENTIRE SOCIETY IS OPPOSING OUR VIEWS…….AND OUR VIEWS ARE SUPREME………….OUR LIFE STYLE IS SUPREME……why are you thinking in terms of becoming a WIFE………….while you know your are sure to become a HORRIBLE WIFE………….it’s your problem…………..

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 10:36 am December 11, 2013
    LOST HUSBAND
    Reply
    Author

    i agree…its just a rebellion…actually education has changed something…the thinking of women…i am actually mad at my wife coz of which m writing this reply…god knows what goes on in her head…shes a medico n hs a 8-5 type job..shes currently staying away frm me coz she hs to finish her bond in the hospital…n she hs the time to party bt nt the energy or time to tlk to my parents…once i told her b careful while comin bk late at night she sd u also b careful..to that i sd bt u r a girl so m js tellin to b more careful for which she gets mad n tells me that u r so sexist..i never told her not to go, js to take care…even though v stay apart when she goes out with her friends to party she dsnt like being DISTURBED…n if she hd a few drinks n came home late…she cnt talk to me also coz shes tired n i hv to understand..thats the kind of thinking that modern age hs imbibed into women…

      Harvey Specter
      Posted at 12:28 am December 14, 2013
      Bachelor
      Reply
      Author

      Too sad for you Bro. But i think the problem is with you .. You have to give some space to your wife and see . If shes on your track then everything is good. Else she never was .

Harvey Specter
Posted at 7:42 pm December 10, 2013
Imperfect Indian Bride
Reply
Author

Just read the entry, and I thought it was me writing it :) I totally empathize with your dilemma, and as December and the wedding season start, I really have to wonder about the great Indian wedding craze and how terrible of a misfit I am for the tibby (typical Indian bride)..and of course how ironic it is I married an Indian man about five and a half years ago…but then of course he is a non-conformist and someone who knows me really well, accepts me for what I am and allows me to make choices for myself rather than expect me to follow him blindly :)

I think that in general the biggest problem with the male psyche in India is that most men (and women) are brought up believing you have to get married by a certain age and then kick off an auto pilot program for having kids, buying a house and the works…neither one of the couple really give the importance required to growing together, getting to know each other really well, and developing as individuals. They lose their independent identities once married and become a merged couple… therein lies the problem, and then its all about conformity…..and making sure you are doing all the right things and ticking off that societal checklist. Most people who get married at the prescribed age are neither mature enough nor do they really know themselves enough … and the results usually speak for themselves, with kids becoming just a way to cement and fractured marriage and the fragile bond hinged largely upon family pressures.

That said, I do wish you well on finding someone who you can really relate to and who respects you for who you are and accepts you a 100% :)

Harvey Specter
Posted at 6:25 pm December 10, 2013
himanshu goenka
Reply
Author

with all due respect you don’t know India that well. According to me you are one of those people who are smitten by the outside look of an american family style.
today all over the country brides are independent to work. many even join the existing family business. brides cook because they do want to cook for their husbands, or rather girls like to cook for their better halves. its a simple romantic gesture. a mother is expected to be at home because they are the ones who understand each and every need of the child. a father is not cut out for the job – and that’s not society, its nature. once the kids are old enough to take care of themselves, please start working again. now about religion, look around, you will find numerous inter-religion and inter cast marriages. our society, our culture is not bad, its different. if you don’t have your roots in your culture, you don’t have an identity. agreed there are some flaws. but demeaning it and criticizing it is not the solution.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:26 pm December 10, 2013
Keyur Suthar
Reply
Author

Religious Superstitions that prevailed in our Society since Ages has crippled the Community’s Ability to Grow mature and to Develop into a Modern Society.People have been taught since Childhood that HE is Superior than SHE along with other such Nonsense.We need to Teach some Humanity to our Children rather than Religious crap (most of it).Fast for Health rather than you hubby’s long age….etc etc…

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:07 pm December 10, 2013
Ishan Tiwari
Reply
Author

You know who doesn’t make a good husband or wife? One that doesn’t understand compromise and sacrifice. You said you would not give up you’re education for someone well speaking from my personal experience my father gave up his education so he could take care of his family after his elder brother passed away. Being part of people’s life inadvertently means making sacrifices on their behalf that’s how you gain their trust and love. Religion has nothing to do with it. My father is an atheist and my mom a hardcore hindu they never agree on anything and most of the time dad gets scolded at every turn but still at every puja he’s the one arranging everything. About you’re cooking thing, I was 12 when I first went into the kitchen and it was because my mom was just out of hospital after a surgery so my dad was my mentor and I his apprentice and together we cooked meals for the whole family and mind you I am a boy and the reason we didn’t get a maid is because my mom doesn’t like outsiders cooking meal for her. So you see it’s not a one sided deal like you’re article makes it sound.
I accept I have seen a lot of failed marriages too in my life. In most cases the men were bad and they were not bad because they wanted them to cook or be religious or cross the path of fire but simply because they were bad people. Some were drunkards and gamblers some didn’t want to work and live off their wife’s income some feigns negligence towards their responsibility and some are just plain shit but you know what when their husbands failed them their own family didn’t my father has supported and stood up for the rights of my maternal aunts simply because my mother wanted him to so has my mom’s brother because they are his sister and he loves them so has his wife because she is part of his family.
So marriage is not for kids who can’t understand sacrifice and responsibility neither is it for someone who wants to think of it as a goal to achieve or a means to an end. So my advice is that marriage is not something holy, so don’t be afraid to get out of one if all it gives you is pain but don’t just start running from it if it starts asking a little more from you.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 4:19 pm December 10, 2013
Nikhil Puri
Reply
Author

Hi Author, I think you’re just another victim of “I am special”.. All the points you listed above as oto why you’re a “TABOO”…aren’t really all tabooey.. I have known independent girls all my life and they make hell of a good wives as well.But I guess you just wanna sound different to yourself :P. But good thinking.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 10:32 pm December 10, 2013
    Monadhika
    Reply
    Author

    Thanks for posting this ! At least some one agrees these points are childish. I have already been dubbed “anti women” for saying that ! Feminism should not be confused with fanaticism.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 3:41 pm December 10, 2013
chicinpink
Reply
Author

Hello there,
The article above is very interesting but what is more interesting is the sort of comments that people have posted. Clearly , most don’t get the message. I am sure the author does not ask women to stop cooking or stop believing in religion , all she says is that these should not be the only parameters of the society in judging a woman. Also , this problem of gender inequality is not limited to India but spans a much larger geographical area. Apart from the fact that “Ramayana/Mahabharata/Bhagvata Gita” do not represent the culture of India. They belong to a particular religion and just a reminder to many who have posted here that India is a secular country. Let us STOP treating the majority culture as the culture of the country and also open our eyes to the prevalent inequality that exists. It is pretty funny to see women also being against such views.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 2:56 pm December 11, 2013
    Krishna Chaitanya
    Reply
    Author

    I think you are wrong about the fact that “Ramayana/mahabharata/Bhagavat Gita do not represent the culture of India”. They do not represent the present culture of India, but they in in fact do, for the time in which they were written and re written. Further, when you want to categorize that they belong only to a particular religion and not the country as a whole, you just made India history less. Yes they are not muslin or christian texts, but they are Indian texts and hindu texts too. If you don’t call them Indian texts, you are subscribing to the idea that we are not an ancient culture.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 3:35 pm December 10, 2013
Sahil Gangotree
Reply
Author

I’m not going to use exorbitantly large words to sound fancy. I try to keep it simple as possible. Go to the US or Europe or where ever people get married and then divorced like 17 times, each time they find their ‘soulmate’ and then by the time you might be having one daughter or more (considering the multiple marriages), then do tell her how in a marriage, both the guy and the girl has to adjust and no one is perfect. And before even entering a marriage, such a rebellious attitude would just ruin your life.

And by the way, I found the video your twin had done. Loved it ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU3Gg0RE14Y

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 10:30 pm December 26, 2013
    Adya
    Reply
    Author

    Rebellion is necessary for freedom. India didn’t achieve independence by sitting quiet.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 2:27 pm December 10, 2013
Sahal
Reply
Author

To the author:
You are not alone. I have seen lot of young guys who wants a lady like you as their life partner. India is changing, I am one among those. :-)

Harvey Specter
Posted at 2:41 pm April 6, 2013
sachin kumar
Reply
Author

@ monadhika ,india has also become like America now ,here men also dont dere to speak against women,n women r leashing dem with the stringent law favoring women.In every relationship men r being ruthlessly exploited by women …………………

Harvey Specter
Posted at 2:32 pm April 6, 2013
sachin kumar
Reply
Author

u r a kid, grow up,otherwise u ll remain unmarried,u must b in ur teens i can guess ur age………………………..stop doing postmortem of a sacred relationship,ones u get married u ll understand ,if u have such a mentality remain single ,whats the need to get married ………………………..

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 6:29 pm June 4, 2013
    Raj
    Reply
    Author

    I suggest you get married to some nice NRI dulha and keep karva chauth for him. Let others live their lives

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 3:05 pm December 10, 2013
    vidhi
    Reply
    Author

    u seem to be n orthodox typical indian man who’s unnecesserily forcing his views…
    the authour simply is sharing her views and surely dose’nt need any of your suggestions for what she should do in life..

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 4:39 pm December 10, 2013
    Aakriti
    Reply
    Author

    What is your view of maturity?? lets hear that! GET A LIFE first!! and being unmarried is not a taboo, I am sure your maturity doesnt get that! best of luck with life nonetheless. you need Red roses!

      Harvey Specter
      Posted at 4:43 pm December 10, 2013
      Aakriti
      Reply
      Author

      My comment was for oh so learned Sachin Kumar #bytheway

Harvey Specter
Posted at 10:06 pm March 28, 2013
Surabhi
Reply
Author

The second comment (hullabaloo) by someone who is also named, or uses the alias Surabhi is not I. I have written everything I needed to. No more from me.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:25 am March 28, 2013
vishalbheeroo
Reply
Author

I am a guy who strongly believe in equality and my picture of a wife is someone who is fiercely independent and believe in her dreams. Why would she cook? C’mon, I have not brought a servant at home but someone who is my equal and has the legitimate right to disagree with me on more than one count. We should shed our double standards and accept that the world has changed and is evolved.
Cheers
Vishal
http://www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:28 pm March 27, 2013
Spoorthi Pema
Reply
Author

“marry an American or someone from a similar place where women trample over the egos of their husbands in name of liberation and emancipation of women and their husbands are mere puppets in their hands. ”
@Monadhika Inspite of being from a country like America, where great men like Abraham Lincoln fought against slavery and hence RACISM, you are being bluntly racist. Do not judge an entire population of people based on the few that you have men. In my life I have people from over 40 countries, and it is NOT the country they belong to that sets their character, but it is what they choose!…. I have also met a lot of Indian men who agree and support my cause of equality to women. Things are changing. Accept them. Holding onto old customs and “culture” of a country that you do not even live in, will not change the gruesome truth that Women ARE mistreated and denied their equal rights in this nation.

If my mother and my grandmother had chosen to shout from their rooftops to claim freedom and equality of women, the plight of women in this country(That you do not live in) would have been a thousand times better. Now it is inevitable that I do fight for it for me, my daughters and my grand daughters to live free of fear of being suppressed in the name of tradition and culture.

@Monadika I WILL get married and spend my life with a man who understands that I am an individual who is free to choose in a world that is shifting towards Democracy. Because men like these exist!… Regardless of strict rules or not, men are capable of letting go of their “higher position” as husbands and live equally, in a country whose culture demands patriarchy.

Moreover I sense a feeling of disguist when you use the phrase “for sex and other things”, Our indian “culture” and tradition contributed the Kamasutra to the world. Maybe you should be more open to such things that you are obviously not comfortable with.

@Surabhi I totally understand your sentiments. I am more than happy that a woman who understands the complexities of gender inequality that are in our society has a son :)… I am sure that his value for both the sexes is much more than those around him.

Change can happen only with the acceptance of the things that need to be changed!

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 7:28 pm March 27, 2013
    monadhika
    Reply
    Author

    @spoorthi
    Yes yes, you are right. My bad.
    Let’s all vow not to learn cooking.
    Let us all vow never to participate in the rituals involved int the marriage ceremony.
    Let us all vow NOT to change our last name to our husband’s.
    This should definitely create EQUALITY in our country. This should set things right. Of course. Thank you, you opened my eyes!

    PS: I lived in my country for 23 years to know enough about its issues. So even if I have temporarily left it to pursue my career, I will come back to it. In the meantime I know much more about my culture, my language, The Ramayana, The Mahabharata and the Bhagawad Gita and I am not at all ashamed of it. I know much more about my country than a majority of people currently residing in it.

    I am not a racist or a sexist. But I am not a vehement feminist either and perhaps that is your problem with me. I love Americans here – above all for their nature to accept everything about everyone.

    So I accept your views now! I give up trying to talk sense to you. But this article is a nice read : http://www.cs.oswego.edu/~wender/quindlen.html

    It resonates my feelings and thoughts. And maybe…just maybe it will make more sense to you.

      Harvey Specter
      Posted at 6:32 pm June 4, 2013
      Raj
      Reply
      Author

      Look, if you want to be a first-class doormat, then that is your issue. Why force it on others? If you enjoy the anti-women nonsense written in different holy books and love to be subjugated , then fine knock yourself out. I strongly recommend BDSM and books like 50 Shades of Gray to you.

        Harvey Specter
        Posted at 10:24 pm December 10, 2013
        Monadhika
        Reply
        Author

        Just by your reply I can see you missed the entire point. No need to get personal you know .. you can win an argument without maligning someone. Read my first reply carefully and if you still think am “anti women” then the book I would recommend is called “how to improve your IQ”

      Harvey Specter
      Posted at 5:39 pm December 10, 2013
      Nikhil Puri
      Reply
      Author

      I agree with @spoorthi, and @monadhika, Dont get defensive about your views..they are not wrong, It just…calm down..things are changing. Peace,.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 3:42 am March 27, 2013
Surabhi
Reply
Author

Spoorti, I am that bad Indian wife.
An atheist who hates cooking. Especially the day in and day out type. I don’t follow any religious function. I don’t like my husband or any of my relatives that includes my own parents to order me about. I don’t bend over backwards to please any of them. I like my wine and I like to have fun.
In today’s day and age, paternity can be established by a simple blood test, I don’t see the point of men controlling women if that was the only way to ensure property can pass from father to son, bypassing daughters.
There ought not to be pressure to perform karvachaut or varalakshmi Pooja, sumangali prarthanai, kanchaka,and myriad othermisogynistic rituals. If only we treat women well irrespective of their marital status fairly and equally, there will be no use for these religious practices. And nor would there be pressure on men to be the stereotype, strong, stable, provider.

Am I a good wife, a good mother or a good daughter? I don’t know, and I don’t waste my time thinking about it. I do my duties with all sincerity and I love my family. This I know.

Sorry Sruti Shrinivasan, In today’s world, “strong dignified and silent manner ” doesn’t get you too far. You are caricaturing the martyr type women. It has and unfortunately it will be for a long time, in Ulrich words, “well behaved women seldom make history”. That will be the day of liberation..remember, with out protesting at India gate, or taharir square, change could not have been possible. Being strong is a prerequisite for progress, but being silent is not a virtue that can liberate us from the oppression of patriarchy.

Unfortunately, it’s women who like to be the back bone for patriarchy. Especially women like Monodhika. And the really unfortunate part is they don’t even know how they are promoting it. Somehow, I have noticed, women who have immigrated, like from from one part of india to another, or to other countries become even more religious and ritualistic and cling to their roots. RSS and their affiliates have dug deep roots in the west. I am surprised at the number of kids going to RSS sponsored summer camps..

I have women in my family who have abandoned their own ambitions in spite of having a great education to stay back at home, be that perfect wife and mother. They have stayed at home to massage their parents and their husbands and their in- laws ego. Because going out into the world and earning a living reflects poorly on the parents ability to find a good provider, and the also reflects poorly at the husbands own ability to take care of his family. After all , the job of a wife is to make her husband feel, he is the king of her word, lord and master who can do no wrong, and who is perfect in all matters, be it financially, physically or emotionally.

I also have women in my family who have chosen to gingerly step out into the workforce, but come back before their kids get back from school, and face the disapproval of the ever doting grandparents who think she should be at home improving her math skills to tutor her own kids rather than other people’s kids.

And I also know women in my family who are extra religious just to cope with this pressure of being strong and silent types. Yes, religion can be an opium, only an atheist can point it out.

I also know of women who were bindaas until their daughter turned into teens, now they have done an about turn. There is pressure on them to be a good Indian wife, After all, their daughters will be judged according to the qualities of the moms. So it is time to start having those perfect Indian parties, and perform karvachauth with out fail, post it on facebook, and say ” I don’t drink”, or say, ” I am drunk on life” or some variation of these.

I can go on and on.

Spoorti, wish you all the best. My one advise is, learn to cook. If only to ensure quality. No cook or restaurant is interested in your health. Only you are. I am a mother of a son in his early 20s and I give him the same advice.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 4:37 am March 27, 2013
    Monadhika Sharma
    Reply
    Author

    @Surabhi
    “Unfortunately, it’s women who like to be the back bone for patriarchy. Especially women like Monodhika.”

    Well long story short – if given a choice between breaking free, following my dreams without caring for the family I have chosen to be a part of and staying with them, making some compromises to keep them happy -You are right, I will choose the latter. I know I have the power to conquer the world and I have proven this more than once to those around me, so much so that the men I know are scared of my intellect. But it is a challenge in itself to create and run a household, something not at all short of running a company as the CEO.

    I could rip off your argument piece by piece to shreds but looks like I don’t have the time.

    My advice to you and women like Spoorthi ? Don’t get married. Don’t resolve to be something you cannot be. Or better still, for the sex and other things if you really want a thing called the “husband” marry an American or someone from a similar place where women trample over the egos of their husbands in name of liberation and emancipation of women and their husbands are mere puppets in their hands. The men here don’t even complain because the laws for women are so powerful.

    I feel just so sorry for women like you who feel they have to shout from the rooftop to claim their freedom – certainly you have been choked of your freedom all your life. I feel sorry that you do not understand and realize the power of silence. Silence – not tolerance. I can only hope that someday you will get it.

    PS: It is spelt “Monadhika”

      Harvey Specter
      Posted at 6:27 pm June 4, 2013
      Raj
      Reply
      Author

      Hey Doormatdhika Sharma, keep your regressive advice to yourself. Did you know that using the internet by women is against bharatiya sanskriti and will give you impure thoughts ? So off the internet you go!

        Harvey Specter
        Posted at 10:19 pm December 10, 2013
        Monadhika
        Reply
        Author

        @Raj
        You must read the very first comment I made on the page. You calling me a doormat is derogatory and there are a thousand innovative ideas I have to insult you back, I choose not to.
        So instead of resorting to defiling me why don’t you post a sensible reply to my argument ?

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:41 am March 26, 2013
neuronalwiring
Reply
Author

I couldn’t agree more with you. Every Indian woman is different and if you don’t want to be the part of the traditional culture, you don’t have to be. The only point here is, the guy that you find to share your life with agrees with most of what you have to offer, whatever it may be. Well summarized: “If an Indian family rejects me only because I wish to be treated equally and with respect and want to exercise my rights and freedom, then I am happy.”

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:35 am March 26, 2013
Prashant Kaushik
Reply
Author

And secondly, Request you please don’t drag Lord Ram into this male-female fight.

Fire-test was scripted not because of the Lord Ram alone, but to kill for ever, all accusations which could ever be raised about Goddess Sita by the entire mankind. That her Chasity remains proven beyond doubt, for all future generations to come, it was imperative to kill that very doubt on her piousness in the bud. I hold this feeling because I have observed some pervert souls of our times e who speak foul on the character of lord Ram and Lakshman in their dealing with Shupranakha. This can happen today because Lord Ram never underwent such lie detection test. Such degraded would be the character of Kalyug people, was perhaps foreseen during the time of Ramayan itself.

Furthermore, Lord Ram didn’t ordained her as a husband, he did that as a king. The rule at that time was that the queen who spent time in foreign premises, could nt adorn the throne. So Lord Ram had to do justice with the law of land, even if it meant loosing his credit in the women followers.
Lastly, after parting Ram slept on the floor, and denied Himself of all comforts of a royal life, saying that, as a husband he would never give himself a comfort which he couldnt give to His wife.
Such were the high ideals at that time. Both of Ram and Sita. I wonder how many men and women can vow of such responsibility to their spouse.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 6:24 pm June 4, 2013
    Raj
    Reply
    Author

    Allow me (someone who has been accused of male chauvinism despite being vehemently against it) to comment on your points :

    1) Dude, why don’t you learn to cook? No I mena more than Maggi , which isn’t really cooking

    2) Let your wife earn while you pursue your dreams. Hell with the society and it’s pigeonholing

    3) And now Mr. Stereotyped Chauvanist, this is where you really expose yourself. I won’t dignify that misogynistic moron by calling him lord. Ramu had insecurities and he forced his wife to do the fire test. I’d have him promptly arrested if he tried that if I was around. And the rules during his time sucked, good thing we don’t have that crap today in our Constitution.
    Now Mr. Prashant Kaushik , I think you are the biggest demon of this era. So please take an axe and chop off your male organ in order to prove without any reasonable doubt that you are not that demon. Don’t worry, the axe will safely pass through your male organ if you aren’t a demon. I look forward to hearing the results in tomorrow’s newspaper.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:14 am March 26, 2013
Prashant Kaushik
Reply
Author

I am writing this with an inherent fear that I could be stereotyped as yet another male chauvinist. I run the risk of losing credentials of being a prospective groom by many ladies as you. Nevertheless,
Frankly speaking, I could agree with most of the things which you said but certainly not with your 5 points. Infact, I am not as much perturbed about the content of those points as much I am about their tone.

That you have already decided, so firmly, with such confidence, that no matter what you will never learn cooking, is really a troubling thought. To me it smacks of arrogance. Its another thing if my future wife doesn’t know cooking, its even OK if she spoils the dish, but such unnegotiable rigidness on her part will only make me feel abandoned.

I can ofcourse hire a cook, and eventually I will. But what if some day the cook is on leave, or some special days like anniversaries, where in I would love to be surprised by some delighting tokens of love. It doesn’t matter how tasty that food happens to be, more importantly it is her desire and efforts to understand me.

And trust me, its not so enjoying to live upto the expectations which society has from a male. After school, at 17 years, I wanted to drop, join some musical or drama school. But in our society, being the bread earner is not a luxury but a necessity for a man. Many of my female friends could take a break from their career and do what pleased them most. But this facility was not available to me. And I don’t think this was an infringement on my independence from my future wife. Life is all about adjustments and compromises and adaptations. Living the best in the circumstances existing, without cursing them, and keeping everyone happy and blooming.
There are many unpleasing things a male has to do in his life. Like building the house, dealing with the laborers, sweating in the sun to see the construction happening. If you talk of true equality, you must also decide today if you are ready to step in those shoes which may burn holes in your ankles.

Grass on the other side looks greener. I understand being a female would be no less challenging. And it is only the respect for other, for the differences, for the environment around, which can make life a pleasant scenery or turn it into a plot of badlands…

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 5:21 pm December 11, 2013
    Rashmi Kamath
    Reply
    Author

    Umm.. Just wanted to make a point.. On anniversaries and birthdays.. You could surprise her too with a nice home cooked meal you know? Ever thought of that?

Harvey Specter
Posted at 11:06 pm March 25, 2013
Spoorthi Pema
Reply
Author

Exactly!… This deep-rooted gender bias isn’t even recognised as harmful in our country…
Thank you for your opinion :)

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:52 pm March 25, 2013
Monadhika Sharma
Reply
Author

I see what you did there, but my previous comment was posted before you edited your point number 5 which mentioned the “Bhagavad Gita”

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:47 pm March 25, 2013
Monadhika Sharma
Reply
Author

What ?
The Bhagavad Gita tells the story of Lord Rama? Seriously WHAT?? I think you mean the Ramayana.
Clearly you won’t even make a good Indian, let alone a good Indian bride!

I am reading this sitting in the United States of America – an Indian girl who is SUPER ambitious and independent but KNOWS that its a matter of pride to know and respect your culture.
I may not be a fit for the typical Indian bride either, but my Indian values tell me to respect my culture. Here I go:

1. Yes I will not learn cooking to be someone’s servant. But I will not NOT learn it either. I am ambitious and independent enough (right now I live alone and I need to feed myself). But I want to be able to feed my husband on a day he is really hungry and the cook is on a leave. I don’t want to tell him – “Go ORDER SOMETHING!” No. I want to be caring. And sweetheart, THAT is something not Indian, but universal – caring about your husband!

2. Yes, agreed spot on. I am so overqualified right now and I will never settle for a family who does not appreciate this about me. But at the same time I realize that once children will come along, I will need to make some compromises (on my own!) to be able to give them time and care and love that they so much need. I am too narcissistic to believe somebody else will be able to care care of them better than I would on my behalf.

3. Hell yeah, I am spiritual as hell and not religious at all. But it does not hurt my ego to follow certain “rituals” that are a part of the marriage ceremony in India for centuries. I am a very secure and confident woman and following a few rituals that I may not blindly believe in does not make me smaller in any way. I don’t understand what all your fuss is about.

4. I would’t change my second name to my husband’s for practical reasons. I am already known for this maiden name. But I will add my husband’s name to mine and I am okay with making my name longer than it already is by adding another last name to it. What’s next girl? Fighting over whose last name your children will get?

5. Agreed, neither would I. But why would that make me unfit as an Indian bride? And I believe that in a mature adult relationship between two very sensible people, the question of “proving” your fidelity does not arise. Just be sensible enough to find such a man and you are all set.

I am all for women equality and emancipation, all that. But you must remember it is not a war against our culture and rituals, it is a war against the narrow mindedness of the people of India.
A woman is very powerful and potent and can make or break a home. You must realize this power and exercise this to the fullest. While I appreciate your modern views, I strongly disagree with your notion of rejecting everything callously to prove your independence.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 11:20 pm March 25, 2013
    Spoorthi Pema
    Reply
    Author

    It is Probably not very appropriate to say “Clearly you won’t even make a good Indian, let alone a good Indian bride!” about me without knowing me personally at all. But I am always open to comments and opinions, so this bad-mouthing shall be forgotten.
    Talking about it on a personal level, I never wish to be a “good indian” because i have never believed in the concept of conforming to the standards of the society in any way. The same society that defines a “good indian” also judges when people break these social acceptances such as being fat, being poor, being a villager, being homosexual, etc…. we put these rules of being “good” and accepted, that those who don’t belong to these frames, we discriminate against!…. So I have no intentions of being a “good indian”…
    “its a matter of pride to know and respect your culture.” and “my Indian values tell me to respect my culture.”… It is wonderful to know that you respect the Indian culture (What is defined as culture is highly debatable!), but respecting and accepting aren’t the same. We should probably try to understand our “culture” before we respect it. This same “culture” that we are so proud of also promoted and practiced Dowry, Sati, child marriage, Devdasi, etc…. I am not proud of this at all!…
    Accepting faults in our country and the way things work here doesn’t demean or degrade us in any way!… Acceptance is the first step to changing the scenario…
    I am writing this in India, having lived here my whole life.. a part of the Indian “culture”
    But your opinions are welcome and am most thankful for them :)

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:28 pm March 25, 2013
Sakhi Nitin-Anita
Reply
Author

Totally resonate with what you said. I can relate to each of your points and would further like to question the whole idea of marriage as a ‘sacred’ bond when it is nothing but a patriarchal institution designed to exploit women’s labour and bodies.
Also, just as we fight against this whole stereotyping of women (especially potential brides) as docile, caring, etc. we must also raise a voice against how men are stereotyped – as either predators or protectors. And within the marriage context, a ‘good’ husband is one who earns a fat paycheck, ‘spoils’ his wife with material gifts and does nothing more. A man who is inclined to looking after the home and raising children rather than making a ‘career’ for himself is labelled ‘hen-pecked’ and worse, by BOTH men and women. In fact, he isn’t a man at all!
When will we, as a society, learn to respect an individual’s choices regardless of their gender and sexual orientation?

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 11:25 pm March 25, 2013
    Spoorthi Pema
    Reply
    Author

    Exactly!… This deep-rooted gender bias isn’t even recognised as harmful in our country…!
    Thank you for your opinion

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:00 pm March 25, 2013
Shruti Srinivasan
Reply
Author

You are so out of touch with the real Indian woman who wants to break barriers in a strong dignified and silent manner instead of creating a hullabaloo about some outdated practices that people from educated households have long abandoned. Get in touch with reality

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 11:04 pm March 25, 2013
    Spoorthi Pema
    Reply
    Author

    70% of India lives in rural areas, where breaking barriers obviously don’t exist 99% of the cases(with all respect to rural India!)…
    Dowry. Dowry harrasment, arrange marriages, caste system, importance laid on chastity, etc all STILL EXIST!… there are women who break barriers, but that is the exception, not the rule. By accepting this scenario in this country, we aren’t degrading our society, but it is actually a step forward to solving this problem!… Unless we don’t get to the root of gender inequality, women will still be raped and harasses in this country.
    India is today the fourth most dangerous nation for a woman!…
    this is the reality!.. sooner we accept this sooner we can change the scenario….
    truth is bitter, but it is stil the truth…
    All opinions are welcome and respected :) thank you for sharing your ideas…

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 3:11 am March 26, 2013
    rajat
    Reply
    Author

    bang on!!

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 3:24 am March 26, 2013
    rajat
    Reply
    Author

    you are right, woman can be a good wife in a dignified manner, even upper class indian housewives setting a good example in modern times like nita ambani, indra nooyi, chanda kochhar who are professionals and I feel good housewives too. writer’s knowledge about the indian wife is very superficial,she seems like a reveller.

      Harvey Specter
      Posted at 12:59 am March 28, 2013
      Surabhi
      Reply
      Author

      Why so much hullabaloo over being a good/bad wife? I’ve never seen people comment/discuss on how a man could be a good husband in a ‘dignified’ manner. Changing surname and expecting the wife to surrender to husband’s and his family’s needs have NOT yet been abandoned. The author writes about reality. No offence, but you are tremendously out of touch with how things really are, and not the author of the article. Wives are expected to cook, multitask, take extra responsibility of children and end their social life, abandon their independence. not engage in partying, drinking, smoking , while a man is NEVER expected to do such things.

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>