And there she laid with the oxygen mask on thinking about what happened with her at dark. Tears rolled down her cheeks without any pause by just thinking about its cause.
She remembered how she said a NO and requested them not to do so. But their fantasies were bigger than her cries and requests. They proceeded without any disgrace. All she could do was cry and weep but there was no one to listen to her on the street.
Their hearts didn’t melt as she cried, they were crude, wicked and vile. They found their happiness, she lost her smile and there they left her dying.
Indian marriages are all about show off and wastage of money. People spend millions of rupees on marriages. Marriages in India are like a business where very little importance is given to love. People here expect you to fall in love after getting married. In India, arranged marriages are more prevalent than love marriages. There are many cultures prevailing in India some of which even forbid love marriages. According to research by Statistic Brain Research Institute, around 90 per cent of the marriages across India are arranged. If you go for love marriage, you’re judged by people and labelled as shameless and characterless.
I’ll give just an outlook of how marriages are arranged in a few cultures in India especially by the family of a girl. The family firstly searches for an eligible bachelor or appoints people to search for an eligible bachelor for their daughter. Also by eligible I mean a person who earns good, is respected by society, has a good family background and obviously looks good. I’ve just prioritized the traits according to the Indian families. They don’t even ask the girl about the kind of partner she wants to spend her life with. They search for a guy according to their own specifications. After that, they look at his pictures, judge him according to his looks, ask about how much he earns and take out a thorough investigation of his family background as if they’re FBI or something. If they get satisfied with all this then they meet the family members of the boy to know more about them. And then, when they’re on the verge of finalizing things, they meet the boy. After that, they give the girl and boy a few minutes to talk alone and then ask them if they’re ready to get married to each other. Just imagine two people who barely know each other are now going to get married.
Parents here think that because they’re older and they’ve seen the world, they exactly know what is good for their children. They think that they know who would be the perfect partner for their children way better than their children themselves.
Sometimes girls even compromise with so many things just to get married to a stranger. They compromise with their career, change their personality, the way they dress up and so much more. All they tell a girl is that they’ve to adjust and compromise after marriage and to me, this sentence makes no sense. Sometimes both the partners are left with no choice but to make themselves fall in love with each other due to family pressure. I do respect the concern of parents regarding their children but just so you know, parents aren’t correct always. I’ve seen arranged marriages failing too.
The Dowry System.
The dowry system has its roots in India since medieval times. Under the dowry system gifts, cash, jewellery, property etc are given by the family of the bride to the groom’s family. Sometimes, after marriage when the bride’s family is not able to fulfil the demands of the groom or his family, the bride’s in-laws even torture her, kill her or drive her to commit suicide. Dowry violence is prevalent in India. The growth of greed by the groom’s family results in the physical, sexual and mental violence against the bride. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 7,634 women died in 2015 – 20 every day – due to dowry harassment. They were either murdered or left compelled to take their own lives. Seeking a dowry has been outlawed in India since 1961 but families still expect them. It is rarely reported as a crime and many families still give and take dowries without even objecting.
It’s weird, but I do have a phobia of arranged marriages. Thinking about all this makes me restless and anxious. Thinking about marrying someone I don’t even know makes me feel uncomfortable and uneasy. I’ve seen people around me who’ve been married for 20 to 30 years or more. Some of the people married are so different from each other and don’t even seem to be compatible but still, they’re married and love each other. And the reason for this is that at their time they were left with no other option but to love each other. They never opposed but agreed silently. So many women at that time killed their dreams and desires because their family got them married and all they were left with was managing household and bringing up children. Unfortunately, few women are still doing it till date.
I might not be completely correct about all this but don’t we learn and acquire from what we see happening in our surroundings?
Depression is one of the most serious issues, so no one should underestimate the seriousness of it. People dealing with it aren’t just sad or lonely but so much more. Depression makes them feel demotivated, gloomy, hopeless, upset and angry. It makes them even start hating themselves. They start feeling caged and fight a war every single day within themselves, a war no one knows about. The void and emptiness they feel eat them up. They get intertwined in their own thoughts and couldn’t find an escape from it. There’s darkness in their heart and emptiness in their mind. All they come up with is negativity and hopelessness. They feel worthless, hopeless and criticise themselves.
I don’t think that people understand the seriousness of mental illness. But it’s high time now, people need to understand that depression is important. It even leads people to death, a death full of sufferings.
No, people dealing with depression or anxiety are not crazy and those going to a psychiatrist are not mad. None of us has a right to judge and label them that. No one wants to feel left out or unaccepted. No one wants to be treated differently or mocked and shamed for being who they are. But this hypocrite society we live in will never understand this because people are too busy judging, passing comments and bringing each other down.
People dealing with depression need love, care and support. All you could do for them is to listen to their feelings without being judgemental and tell them that you’re always there no matter what. Depression isn’t a joke, and people dealing with it aren’t mad or insane. It is needed to be dealt with patience. Be a compassionate listener to people dealing with it and let them pour their hearts out in front of you and listen to them without judging or calling them crazy. Be supportive of them, motivate them and tell them that you’re always by their side. Tell them how wonderful they’re, what they mean to you and let them know their importance.
Telling them that it’s all in their head or everyone goes through tough times won’t help. They don’t need your solutions or suggestions. They just want to get heard. Meet them, give them a hug, and assure them that you’re there to listen to them. Let them lighten the burden they’re carrying in their heart, mind and soul.
It is completely okay to not be okay. Let us all stop being rude and mean to others instead start being kind and supportive. Let us all stop bringing down others instead start appraising and motivating them. Start accepting others for who they are instead of taunting or disgracing them because we never know what people are going through. Even smiling and cheerful faces hide a lot of secrets within them.
Mental illness is important. It is needed to be talked about. Spreading awareness of mental illness is very important. One is never too late to bring about a change and we together can do it.
Caste system in India is still a predominant factor of discrimination and oppression. It has been prevailing in India for hundreds of years. Caste, in India, plays an important role in defining the identity and social status of a person. There are thousands of castes that prevail in India. According to the Hindu caste system, the Dalits are referred to as the lowest caste. They are humiliated, tortured, harassed, destroyed and even killed by the so-called people of the higher caste. They are also considered untouchable as if they’re impure.
Recently, a seventeen-year-old Dalit boy in a district of Uttar Pradesh was shot dead by four non-Dalit youths for entering in a temple. They shot him while he was asleep. My heart aches at such news. People have made caste a priority and treat it as more important than human life. They feel privileged for belonging to a high caste and oppress the people of a lower caste. There are various norms and rituals being followed in the name of caste and religion which are just leading towards violence and domination of the lower caste. People are losing humanity due to the strong and rigid caste system.
Devadasi means a servant of God. Devadasi system is an age-old ritual that is still being practised in a few districts of India especially in South. According to the devadasi practice, girls belonging to lower caste are forced to renounce everything and get married to a deity or a temple. The marriage usually occurs before girls hit puberty. Devadasis are forbidden to get married again. In recent times, devadasis are treated as sex slaves and men of any caste could exploit them for sex once they attain puberty. Their virginity is auctioned and they are pushed into prostitution. This system ultimately forces young girls to live the life of a sex worker in the name of religion. They are not even provided with any financial help so they start begging to earn a livelihood. No amount of religious belief can justify such atrocities being practised against women. The practice of dedicating devadasis has been outlawed by law and any person performing or participating in this practice is liable to get penalised but it still prevails in some parts of the country.
The caste system has shaped Indian society for a long time. As long as the traditional caste system in India will remain strong, there will be a lower class and violence against them will prevail.
Untouchability was officially banned when India adopted its constitution in 1950. After a lot of struggle to abolish the practice of untouchability, laws were made in the constitution to provide equality to the oppressed class. Article 15 of the Constitution of India prohibits discrimination based on caste and article 17 declared the practice of enforceability to be illegal. Therefore, all people are equal in the eyes of law and there should be no discrimination on the basis of caste. Everyone should be treated equally.
Islamophobia has reached its crest in India. Today, as the world battles against coronavirus which has already claimed lakhs of lives, India battles another threat- hatred against Muslims. Muslims are being detained, arrested, attacked, tortured and boycotted due to the emerging hatred against them. Even amidst the pandemic, Muslim activists, journalists and students are being detained and arrested.
Islamophobia is an issue that India is facing since decades but it took a completely different turn when the Indian authorities announced that they found a large number of Muslims who tested positive for coronavirus as they attended the religious congregation of Tablighi Jamaat. (The congregation was not only attended by Indians but also by the people of other countries). No sooner did this news come to light than the extremist Hindu government (BJP) rulers started giving provocative statements and making derogatory comments nationally against Muslims giving rise to hatred among people. Many of them even called it “Corona Terrorism”. A deadly virus which affected millions of people across the globe, on entering the Indian shores was linked with religion.
The anti-Muslim media even called it “CoronaJihad” and this hashtag went trending on all social media platforms. According to Equality Labs, a digital advocacy group, the “CoronaJihad” hashtag was circulated 3,00,000 times. The Indian news channels came up with demeaning catchphrases and completely blamed the rise in coronavirus cases in the country on the meeting. They even called the people who attended the congregation as “suicide bombers” and “corona bombs.” The Indian media profiled the cases on the basis of religion. Muslims were accused of deliberately spreading coronavirus across the country. The outbreak of coronavirus gave the leaders of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janta Party another reason to target Muslims.
Just a few months before the outbreak of COVID-19, the government of India passed the Citizenship Amendment Act. According to the CAA, non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who had arrived in India before Dec 31, 2014, will be granted citizenship automatically. The National Register of Citizens (NRC) which requires people to produce documents of ancestry to prove their citizenship was opposed to be implemented nationwide. It aimed at identifying the immigrants so it was feared that many Muslims who have been living in India for ages would be stripped off their citizenship rights and would be left stateless if they were not able to prove their citizenship. The act was the first time religion had been used as a criterion for citizenship under Indian Law. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also called it “fundamentally discriminatory”.
The result of this act was protests and riots across different states in India. Delhi, the capital of India witnessed one of the worst riots in history. Even in such a sensitive situation, the RSS and BJP leaders didn’t back off in making derogatory comments inducing the supporters of the government to commit violence against Muslims. It ultimately led to destruction and deaths.
India has become an epicentre of Islamophobia. I don’t know when and how will it end. Oppression and discrimination on the basis of religion need to stop. Communalising every incident needs to stop. All religions are beautiful. Muslims are no different. Equality is what we need at this point of time. We need to unite and bring back love, peace and harmony in India.
It’s been long since we parted ways but I still feel your absence every day. Loving you wasn’t easy but it is so much harder to let you go. I don’t know how to cope up with the pain of losing you. I still don’t know how to heal my invisible wounds and fix my broken heart again. Sometimes I feel hurt or lonely or uneasy or broke. But mostly I feel a little of all these. I never thought I’d ever fall in love with someone so deeply and dedicatedly. You always meant so much to me. Now I miss every little thing of yours. I miss your smile, your laugh, your eyes, your hugs, your kisses, your touch and so much more. From our first date to our last kiss, I miss every moment we spent together. I miss you missing me, teasing me, making me blush and telling me how much you love me.
Remember, how you used to say that I completely fit in you when you hugged me? Yes, we did fit perfectly in each other. We were like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle who completed each other. Without one piece, the puzzle is always incomplete just the way we’re incomplete without each other. Your arms were my place to rest. They were my home. I used to forget all my pains and worries when you hugged me. But now I wander in search of a place to soothe my soul. I’m still not able to accept the fact that I won’t be able to go back to your arms to relieve myself every time I get entangled in my own thoughts. I spend my nights looking at your pictures, listening to our call recordings or remembering every moment spent with you. I’ve not slept peacefully in months. I miss our night calls and still wait for your call every night so that we could fall asleep together. I wait for you to kiss me and sing me to sleep. Every night I still dream of you and wait for those dreams to come true every day.
There are times when I cry making myself sick but there are also times when I couldn’t cry missing you. My heart aches for your love and my mind is never at peace. There’s an empty space in my heart now that won’t ever get filled by anyone because that’s your place. You’ll always stay there. I’ll never be able to replace you. I don’t care what others think about you, for me you’ll always stay the best. There’s no one like you. No one will ever love me the way you did someday. Maybe you don’t love me the same way now but I know that somewhere you still feel for me and that feeling won’t ever end no matter how hard you try.
Love, you were a gift to me who brought together my scattered life. You sorted my complicated life and I tried my best to make your life beautiful. Your love was all I needed. It kills me now to even think about my future without you. I might’ve never been the perfect girlfriend but no one will ever love you the way I do.
And right now, as tears roll down my cheeks, I write this letter to you. Love, I know you’re suffering too and I want it to end as soon as possible. I crave for your presence in my life more than anything else. We weren’t supposed to end like this. I don’t know if it’s ever possible again, but all I wish for is a miracle to happen so that everything gets sorted and you find your way back to me.