Why It Was Worth Being Disowned By Half Of My Family

Posted by Tushar Chaudhary in #BHL
September 13, 2017
Editor's note: This post is a part of #BHL, a campaign by BBC Media Action and Youth Ki Awaaz to redefine and own the label of what a 'bigda hua ladka or ladki' really is. If you believe in making your own choices and smashing this stereotype, share your story.

A boy has a different standard of bigda hua ladka than a girl . But both are based on a simple ‘expectation vs result’ scenario.

I live in Allahabad and I come from Basti in Uttar Pradesh.

This incident happened a few years ago when I visited my family at my village for a wedding ceremony. After a week- long hectic marriage ceremony, the family gathered for a ‘zoo show’ in which the new bride sat in the centre and people came and visited her. Along with this, the people frequently compared her beauty and the money she brought in.

I was sitting and was enjoying seeing the vast variety of people – ranging from a 100-year-old daadi to a 5-year-old girl who seemed as though she’d been taught sharam (shame) before she was even born. I was sitting with bhabhi with my family in close proximity. People were having fun and were discussing about the bachelors who were eligible for marriage. Luckily, I topped the list.

Image Credit: Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Bua – Now sunny has come of age?

Me – Bua, I am 20.

Bua – But you have grown a beard, haven’t you?

Me – So?

Bua – So, you will also get married soon and you are an engineer. (Looking at my mom )
Your son will get a good amount of dowry .

Me – (In my mind) WTF?

Bua – (Looking at me ) Kyu Sunny?

Me – Bua , I am not for sale like the rest of my family.

Bua was shocked, while I stared at her. Mum tried to hush me. My cousin (who was getting married) was dumbstruck.

Bua – But your parents taught you so much and made you an engineer – don’t you owe them something?

Me – Fine. (Looking at mum) Ma, start finding yourself an old age home.

Mum – What?

Me – Now, as you have sold me to a woman, and supposedly, if she says me to send you out of the house, then I am meant to do so – kyu bua?

Mum – Go outside.

I got up and started leaving. As soon I reached the gate, I looked back.

Me – Bua , (she barely looked at me) Mum doesnt need to worry as I am gay. Mujhe ladke pasand ate hai (I like boys).

And I left .

Yes – I was disowned by half of my family. That’s what my mom says.

And I still love the look on Bua’s face which I saw back then.