“Bhaiya, Sarika will complete her degree next year. You should start looking for a boy now.”, my toxic relative told my father as I was making tea for her. But, this conversation wasn’t new for me. Whenever I came back from my engineering college for few days, all my relatives will swamp our place and recite only one thing – “Ab accha ladka dekh ke iski shadi kardo!”
I am tired of the same old routine words. Sometimes, I want to yell at top of my voice and let the whole city know that enough is enough! Sarika doesn’t want to marry now! But, then, I just take a deep breath and serve tea & samosa to these toxic relatives who want to budge their nose in everyone’s matter.
But, it wasn’t only me who was bothered by such unsolicited piece of advice from my relatives. Apparently, even my father was. So this time, when my relative told my father to find a groom for me, my father, who majorly remain silent and ignore negative remarks, opened up!
And what he said, filled my heart with pride and made me feel like the luckiest daughter!
“It looks like the whole world is tense about Sarika’s wedding more than her own parents. Everyone wants to tell me to get my daughter married. Bhai, my daughter is not an object that I own. Neither I nor her mother can decide and get her married. She is her own person. We don’t own her, that people are asking us to get her married. Getting married will be her decision. Whether she wants to get married; at what age she wants to get married; to whom she wants to get married will be all her decision! Because she is our child not a bonded slave for whom we will take decisions!
And, you know what! My daughter has so much more to achieve. She is top of her class. She is much more than Roti making bride! She can be so much more! She is so talented that I have no doubts that she will make her mother and me proud. And, I think she has enough intelligence to take her own decisions – be it marriage or career! So, why you bother yourself with such questions! Don’t worry, she will be married at the right age! You just enjoy tea and snacks!”
After listening to this, my mother and I exchanged glances! Through our eyes we not only expressed our astonishment, but also shared our respect for my father and excitement for future!
There are no doubts that I am going to make my father proud! There are no doubts that my father and mother would support me in whatever I do! Though these things might sound very trivial to many, but they are not! In a patriarchal society, where women are treated as mere objects that are either owned by parents or by husband, I am blessed to have parents who treat me like a human! In our society, when there are so many women forced to marry when they are not ready, it is privilege to have parents who support your dreams.
I wish many more daughters have parents like mine. And, I just have five words for my father – “Papa, you are my HERO!”