“Riya, I think nobody should accept dowry in his marriage?”
“But think once, it has now become more sort of a recurring task in a marriage. How can somebody deny from taking a luxurious car, gold and so much cash?”
“But this whole concept of dowry is wrong?”
“No ways, people give dowry in name of gift, how can you stop taking gifts?”
And then Riya told me something that hit my conscience, “How can you stop somebody from earning return on investment?”
“Return on investment?”, It is a marriage, not a business, got damn it!”, I yelled at her.
“Really? Hardik, nobody would accept dowry but since they spend so much money on their ‘son’ and his ‘education’ and ‘all those luxurious expenditure’, who would say NO when somebody else is giving them their return on investment in form of dowry?”
“And how can you term it as ROI?”
“Hardik, its simple, like we negotiate the business deal before investing, the father of ‘eligible bachelor’ negotiates with girl’s family based on his financial ability vis-à-vis girl’s financial ability (see it as swap ratio). This swap ratio is fluctuated by education, number of girls that have been selected for the bachelor and few other clauses.”
My friendship with Riya had always been covered by the blanket of humour and all funny things. But what she told me today was beyond my imagination. Our talks from getting settled in career, to marriages had finally come to the point of dowry.
Yes, she was making sense, and was slowly making her point extremely strong. We have all accepted inside our minds that dowry is an integral part of marriage. Marriage rituals can’t start till there is a ‘deal’ between two families – deal about dowry, function arrangements and expenditure that has been incurred on other similar marriages within the families.
But, my real concern isn’t this – Come on! Generation has changed, people are opposing this dowry and all? Are they really? No, they don’t.
Riya didn’t stop here, she exclaimed how girls are weak for opposing their families regarding dowry and all this un-necessary expenditure. I didn’t oppose her there even though I found the theory incorrect. Girls are self-dependant today and earn well. They stand on their own feet and have the ability to oppose these customs. But they don’t. why? Because they are still scared of their families and reputation.
But what made me sad was her question, “Why can’t boys take the initiative here?”
And that makes me sad because alas! This is the truth, Successful entrepreneurs, settled managers of companies and even decision makers of companies keep mum when their families make a deal with girl’s family. And the sadder part is, those who wish to become Vishal Sikka of tomorrow can’t take a stand today. Irony! A big irony!
Yes, I know girls need to initiate in their families too, but it becomes a greater responsibility for us as boys to oppose these things – rather eliminate these from root level. Un-necessary expenditures, dowry, acceptance of costly gifts and show-off will have to be stopped now else this beautiful ritual called ‘marriage’ will become the most hated tradition in coming future.