Even though we are living in 21st century, our society still expects a woman to compromise on every aspect of her life after marriage. It is disheartening to see how society expects even educated & independent women to bow down to the unrealistic demands of husbands and in-laws.
Earlier, Indian women were raised to give up on their dreams, desires, and life after marriage. A girl is raised to accept that after marriage, her life belongs to her husband, in-laws, and kids. But, thanks to changing times and great parenting, many strong and independent women are not ready to give up on their dreams for marriage. And one such strong women recently shared her story with HoB:
“I’m from a small town where the only way of life for a girl is to complete her education and get married. I was in my third year of engineering when I got a marriage proposal. Raised in a culture where ‘marriage is everything’, I agreed and had the roka. My friends warned me that it was too soon, but my naivety got the best of me.
The first 6 months of my courtship were blue skies and sunshine. But as the wedding date got closer, things changed. My fiancé promised that I could work post marriage, but then he dismissed it. While I was with him, I made a lot of sacrifices — right from wearing jewellery that I was allergic to, to changing food habits. And then one day, he said, ‘You can’t sit on the sofa. As the daughter-in-law, you have to sit on the floor!’ In that moment I realized I’d had enough — I couldn’t do it.
Before, all my compromises seemed unimportant. But now, I was painfully aware of everything I had to let go. I had studied so much and come so far — how could I give it all up? So I called it off, and through it all, my dad was my biggest supporter. He told me, ‘You do you, don’t worry about a thing!’
Soon after, I moved to Ahmedabad and lived alone for almost a year. For 6 months, I tried to get a job as an engineer but nothing worked out. I was heartbroken and clueless. I needed to find myself again and did what the movies have taught me — I packed my bags, booked my tickets and went on my first solo trip to Udaipur.
I hadn’t planned a thing — I found a hostel after reaching the city and speaking to the paanwala. He was so sweet, he even came to drop me! I blogged my entire trip — and once I was back, I created a website and started freelancing as a travel blogger. For a year, I did small stints and saved up to move here.
Last July, I went to Bangkok on an all-expenses paid trip. Sitting on the airplane, I pinched myself to make sure it wasn’t a dream! It was so surreal! And just this month, I travelled to Spiti Valley where I got to experience the true culture of the North — freezing in -15 degrees and surviving on Maggi. Yet, I was happier than I had been while I was planning my wedding.
It’s been two years since and honestly, I’m so happy I stood up for myself! Everyday I wake up to a job I love, in the city I love; with no one to tie me down. But more than anything, I feel respected, by others and by me. I’ve realized that no matter what, I can’t sell myself short or compromise on my dreams. That’s the motto I live by now — to not settle and not accept anything less than I deserve.”
At IFORHER, we applaud this woman’s courage to stand up for herself and her dreams. We wish the best for her life & career, and hope her story will inspire many young women to be with someone who lifts them higher, not pulls them down!