“This world is an open arena of infinite possibilities. Restricting ourselves with blind faith or illogical beliefs is a deadly sin.”
Though these stories are inspired by real events, all the character names used in this story are purely fictitious and do not intend to harm any sect of people & their emotions.
Year: 1849 | Age: 16
The sounds of the heavy rain and thunders resonated across the remote village of Rajasthan. The smoke outside the home welcomed the people coming from long distances.
“Sati was the name of the wife of Lord Shiva. Sati’s father never respected Shiva and often despised him. To protest against the hatred that her father held for her husband, she burned herself. While she was burning, she prayed to be reborn as Shiva’s wife again. This did happen, and her new incarnation was called Parvati.” A priest was reciting the story from a book.
All the relatives were engaged in the story and waited to perform the final funeral rituals of Pratap. Rajeshwari, wife of Pratap was locked inside a room with her family, discussing how to proceed further according to the norms. Rajeshwari who was donned in a sari was trembling sitting in a corner as she consciously understood the imminent step. She was trying to convince herself but was finding it really difficult. Her parents couldn’t control their tears watching their own daughter in such a helpless state.
Rubbing his tears, Mr. Sharma who was staring at her daughter, turned aside and spoke to his wife. “Its time… hmm… everyone is waiting outside. They will start building doubts if we delay it further.”
With her voice trembling, Rajeshwari begged her parents, brothers, and in-laws. “I want to live my life papaji. I don’t want to die.”
“Sssshhhhh!!! What are you talking Raji? Everyone is going to hear. Don’t do that.” Mr. Sharma, said rubbing the constantly flowing tears.
“Papaji! Please save me. I don’t want to die.” With mounting fear, Rajeshwari begged her father to save her but she didn’t know that her father was never a superhero that she thought he was, but just a slave to the tradition, who cannot go against the norms to save the daughter he loved.
“Even we don’t want that beta, but this is our tradition and nothing is more important than our tradition. We cannot deny nor override it. We have to follow.” Mr. Sharma was heavy on his heart when he was trying to console his widowed daughter towards Sati. “And what are you going to do when your husband is dead? You lost your soul the moment he is dead, it is only your body that is left now. It is our tradition, and your duty as a wife to submit yourself to the pyre of your husband to dissolve in him completely.”
“This doesn’t feel good papaji. Can you not see that I am shivering? Tell me, why should I even do that?” Rajeshwari questioned out of utmost fear.
“To show everyone that your life is only for your husband! That you are committed only to your husband Raji. So that later no one can doubt your integrity.” Mr. Sharma replied with mounting frustration towards her daughter as they are already worried that she might let their status of the family down in front of everyone. “If you don’t, questions will arise and our family’s reputation will be at stake. People are going to talk about our family. They are going to question your character and integrity which will be a stain on us. Our family reputation is everything for us Raji and you know that. We won’t be able to take that beta, we are all going to die if it comes to that.” Mr. Sharma was headstrong about convincing her.
Hearing this from her father, Rajeshwari was shattered. The only hope she had was blown away into thin air. The person who saved her through her entire life was consoling her towards her death. The parents were blinded by their own fear of drowning in the thoughts of the people.
“Ma- Mamm-Mammaji, please, save me. I don’t want to die.” She broke into tears when she had no other option than begging her mother.
Tears in her eyes, Mrs. Sharma said “We cannot override the tradition Raji! We are for tradition and we need to respect it. This is how it has been happening for centuries and this is how it will happen.”
“How can you guys even let this happen to me?” Rajeshwari yelled with every inch of innocence, fear & anger. “I don’t want to sacrifice my life for Pratapji. And even if I have to, that should come from within papa. Not by force. You know what? We should be worried about what people would say or judge if I have murdered my husband. They would then have every right to prove us guilty… But if that was a natural occurrence, why should we feel the same guilt as if I have murdered my husband?” Rajeshwari was slowly gaining her courage to speak out. “And don’t you know that this practice has been declared as illegal? Why are we still following it? Yes, my husband was everything to me, but I have a life too which I don’t want to sacrifice just because he is dead.”
“How dare you!” Mr. Sharma slapped her hard. “Is this how we raised you? Where did you learn all this? Our tradition is above the legal system and it is everything. Do you think our elders were fools?” Mrs. Sharma started crying hitting her head with her own hands. Seeing this her brother went to Raji and said. “I beg you, sister, don’t ruin our family reputation, please! Don’t force us to do this by forcing you” Rajeshwari lost her strength due to the fear and was shivering like never before, seeing her own people.
“I understood where this is going. See Raji, If you are going against the tradition, you will see all of us dead. You decide. Is it only you going into the pyre? Or we three? This is not just a matter of your life, it’s the matter of all our lives, our integrity, our honor. If you refuse to carry this tradition and live your life, then it would over our dead bodies.” Sharma said to Rajeshwari and then turned to his son and said. “Get the poison beta, we shall all have it and let her live her life in joy.”
“Go ahead Raji, get our blood on your hands and live your entire life.” Rajeshwari’s brother added.
Year: 1959 | Age: 14
“Mom, I want to talk to you about something important,” Arundathi said knowing that her dad, Mr. Sharma was Listening to her.
“Important? What is that about?” Mrs. Sharma asked.
“Mom, the point is… I am feeling nervous.” Arundathi took some time to gain the courage to tell her parents. Her hands and legs were shivering,
“It is very common before the marriage beta, go back to sleep.” Mom couldn’t understand while dad already had a fear mounted expression on his face.
“No, I mean I am feeling nervous to discuss this with you.”
“About what?” Mrs. Sharma asked while dad grabbed a slight idea of what she was about to tell. She could sense his fright turning into fury.
“Hmmm… I don’t know if I should tell you this… I don’t know if a daughter can actually expect this from their parents… I don’t know if a woman should be doing this. I am not sure but I just wanted you to know. Hmmm….” She took a deep breath. “Mom! Dad! You always told me that a woman’s life is only for a man. First to the dad, then to the husband and then to the children. You have always told me that women must learn to adjust and compromise and should not go against a man. I don’t know how far it is true, but I don’t want to marry now mom.”
“What the hell are you talking? You want to stay like this forever? You already started to menstruate and have become a woman now.” Mrs. Sharma was shocked.
“No! I will marry mom, but not now, maybe five years after,” Arundathi replied.
“Who’s going to marry you at that age? And what will you do staying with us until then?” Mom asked.
Ahem-ahem! Mom, I want to become an artist. I love painting and I want to work on them.” Balancing her fear, Arundathi blurted out finally.
Her mom immediately held Arundathi’s hand and pulled her inside the kitchen.
“Have you lost your mind? A woman pursuing a career? Your dad is going to kill you if he gets to know that. In our culture, a woman is not supposed to go out and work. Don’t you know that? Didn’t I teach you that?”
“I know but mom, I love myself when I express my thoughts through paintings. I wanted to pursue painting. I am just 14 now and I don’t think marriage is something that would enhance my life. I don’t think I’ll be happy marrying that boy you chose for me. I am not ready to take the marriage responsibilities at this point in time and give up on my interests. I feel lively when I am doing what I love. I, in fact, fall in love with myself.”
“What’s wrong with you Arundathi? I don’t understand what you are talking about.” Mrs. Sharma was confused. “See, listen to me. There is a difference between a man and a woman. Try to understand that. You are already 14, we have chosen a boy for you, get married and start your life as a dutiful wife.”
“Aren’t you aware of this mamma? child marriage has been declared as illegal and we are not ought to perform this act.”
A huge thud sound and her ears went numb for a moment. Yes, that was a hard slap on her face from her father. With fastened breath and shivering face, Arundathi stared at them in the utmost fear.
“I will kill you if you utter another word. I swear I’ll kill you.” Mr. Sharma shouted at his daughter and then turned towards her wife, rushed towards her saying “This is how you raise a girl you idiot!” and slapped her hard.
Arundathi wanted to speak but the fear took her over so much that the voice went numb. She was trying hard to explain them. Her breath turned fast.
Bending towards Arundathi, her dad warned her. “Didn’t Khanna Saab marry her daughter off at the age of 13? Didn’t Kapoor Saab get his son married at the age of 15? Our tradition is above the legal system. Do you understand that? See Arundathi, get this straight into your bighead. This is not a matter of your life or your interests. This is the matter of our family’s status and reputation. The creation that would grow in your belly has more value than the creation growing in your brain. Get that into your mind. You don’t know what the consequences will be after that. People will talk the worst things about us. They will question our upbringing. No woman in our family ever went out and pursued their interests. You are born a woman and you have to be that. A woman has only one job to do. Look after the family and raise children. If you don’t want to be that, then you will see us dead.”
He turned towards his wife and said. “I can see it in her eyes, she is not going to listen. Go get the poison.” And then he stared at his daughter. “We will drink it and die and then you go pursue your dreams walking through our dead bodies. Go get what you want with our blood on your hands. ”
Year: 1979 | Age: 22
“What the hell are you talking?” Mr & Mrs. Sharma were frustrated upon hearing their daughter’s interest in taking a divorce from her current marriage.
“You heard it right papa! I cannot stay with him anymore.” Parvathi replied.
“But why? What happened?” Her mom was shivering.
“What can I tell mom? Except being flabbergasted and convincing me to go back, what else can you both do? You won’t understand me at all.” Parvathi blurted out.
“What’s wrong with you?” Mrs. Sharma asked.
“I hate myself when I am being with him. He treats me like shit Maa. He always abuses and slaps me like I am his property.” Parvathi Said while tears flowed out of her eyes.
“You are his property! What are you talking about?” Her mom said.
“What are you talking mom? I am not a property!” Parvathi shouted at her mom. Mrs. Sharma was surprised at her arrogant behavior. Parvathi took a deep breath and continued. “He doesn’t understand me at all. You know it better than anyone, how it feels. I have grown up as a woman of respect. I don’t find a helping person in him at all. We don’t have that compatibility mom.” Parvathi said and turned towards her father. “He doesn’t treat me right papa. For everything, there is a problem. It feels like I am a machine who is made to consume his anger and stress. There is never a day when I felt loved except when he wants me on his bed.” She exhaled. “The span of such love is not more than 2 mins.”
“How dare you talk like that? What kind of drama is happening here at home?” Mr. Sharma yelled at his wife. “Is this how you raise a daughter at home, you stupid moron!”
“I know this is going to happen!” Parvathi lost her patience. “I told you what I am and what I want. Now you guys tell me what should I do.”
Her parents were horrified and confused. They never heard of a word called divorce ever in their family. It was way too heavy an idea for them to understand.
“You got to learn to adjust Parvathi,” Dad Yelled at her. “This is our tradition and you cannot deny that. Divorce is not accepted in our culture. Once married to a man, he will be your world and you are bound to be with him until you die. Don’t you know this? Don’t you think what you are doing is wrong? What will people think about you? What will they think about our family? Wives are ought to do service to their husbands. They have to take care of the house. You have to learn to adjust and compromise. Marriage is holy and saving it is more important than anything.”
“Not more than my life papa. I can’t… I can’t adjust with morons who don’t let me live in peace and harmony.” Parvathi shouted in return.
“You are the one who loved him. You are the one who fought for him.” Dad tried reminding her mistake again and again. “We accepted him because you convinced us.”
“Hmmm, I wish life was certain where we are so perfect that we cannot take a single bad decision at all. But life doesn’t work that way isn’t it papa? Yes, I was the one who convinced you and I was really in love with him. Yes, it was a bad decision, but it was my decision and I own it. We try to be very careful to take a step ahead towards such life-changing moments, but we are humans and mistakes happen. I couldn’t see then what kind of person he was. Now I can. Now since I was deceived, and failed, you want me to hide this failure within and continue with this failed relationship? Why? So that people don’t get to know about my failure? Okay! About our failure? Yes… The person I fell in love with is not the same person anymore. He is exactly the opposite. He showed me a world where he treated me equal to him but now I am nothing but a slave at their house. There is no difference between a slave and me in their home. And I cannot stay with him anymore. It is as simple as that.” Parvathi told.
“What will people think about us? What are they going to talk about us? Do you even have the slightest idea of how our family’s reputation is going to go down? No one is going to support you, neither the family nor your friends” Dad responded while tears were welling up in his eyes. “I did such a grand wedding spending so much of hard-earned money and this is how you repay?”
“What the hell dad? Your money spent is more important than my life and my happiness? What kind of father are you? You really made me feel disgusted. Hmmm… See dad, try to understand, I tried but I couldn’t. And for your info, divorce is legal in India now. People have started to realize that marriages do fail coz there is a higher possibility for incompatibility. And remember this papa, women are not puppets or slaves anymore to always adjust.” Parvathi tried to explain to them. “Mom! I don’t say you have to be like me. You have been bought up that way and you are being who you are. I am bought up this way and I want to be who I am.”
“It might be legal Parvathi, but it is against our tradition which is above any legal system. Why don’t you understand the difference? These kids from their generation have no respect for tradition and culture. They are spoiling everything. See Parvathi, you are very clear, let me be clear with you as well. Our status and reputation is everything for us. And your act of divorce will spoil our reputation. If that is what you are willing to get us down to, I swear on you, we will hang ourselves and die. Go ahead and take your divorce over our dead bodies. Go get our blood on your hands and be happy.”
Year: 1992 | Age: 28
“Your daughter trapped my son. You better tell your daughter to stay away from my son.” Mrs.Sharma, Pradeep’s mother shouted at Eeshwari’s parents.
“What is wrong in it? We love each other.” Pradeep shouted at his mom.
“She is a widow you dumb! Are you out of your mind?” Mrs. Sharma tried convincing her son. “Look at you, you have no defect in you. You can get a wonderful girl for yourself.”
“Yes and that wonderful girl is right in front of me!” Pradeep said pointing his finger at Eeshwari.
“What is this Pradeep? Marrying a widow is a sin and it never happened anywhere upto date.” Mrs. Sharma was getting furious. “What happened to you? You want to marry a girl who has been with another man?” She said with a disgusting expression on her face.
“A widow is ought to remain a widow for her entire life. How can a woman welcome another man into her life? Do you have any shame?” Mr. Sharma said staring at Eeshwari who was donned in a white sari. “How are you letting this happen in your own home?” He asked Eeshwari’s parents.
While Eeshwari’s parents stared down at their feet accepting it as a mistake, Eeshwari stared up at them straight into their eyes.
“Re-marriage in India is legal now,” Eeshwari said staring at everyone. “Why cannot a woman welcome another man into her life when her husband is dead?”
“What the hell are you talking Eeshwari?” Her parents shouted at her. “Shut your bloody mouth, you moron. Isn’t this enough?”
“Because it is our tradition. It seems like your parents haven’t taught you any.” Mrs. Sharma said. “But we believe in it and follow it.”
“Okay! if my husband is not dead, and I am divorced, then can I welcome another guy into my life? I don’t think you guys will allow that as well.” She spoke confidently.
“Only bitches do that. You seem to be one but we are not.”
“Bitches what?” She exhaled. “Do you think this is all about sexual pleasure?”
“What the hell are you talking? Mind your bloody language.” Her parents yelled at her.
With tears in her eyes, “I am not a bitch. This is about my emotions, not about my physical pleasure. This is way beyond what you think it is.”
“Huff… See, we don’t accept a woman marrying more than one man in her entire life. It’s beyond my imagination. Shiva! Shiva! It is disgusting. A woman is treated as holy and completely dedicated to one man.” Mrs. Sharma said and tried to take away Pradeep from their house. But Pradeep looked at their parents with extreme anger and stared back at Eeshwari with extreme love. Mrs. Sharma didn’t like it and told Pradeep. “Think once again about our family honor and reputation Pradeep. We give life to it and it gives life to us. There is nothing greater than honor. Don’t dare to override us and marry her. You will see the worst phase in your life after that. If you still want to do what you love, go ahead, we won’t stop you, but that would be happening over our dead bodies.”
Joining their hands together Eeshwari’s parents begged Pradeep. “With due respect, please get out of my house.” Hearing this Sharmas took their son and went away from the house. Eeshwari’s parents stared at their daughter feeling disgusting towards her.
Seeing them, Eeshwari said. “Yes, my husband is dead. I have got no life at all. I feel like dying every moment. I feel soulless. But that person poured the soul in me again. Yes, I fell in love with him with a hope that I can live my life again, with a hope that my eyes would Brighten up and lips would widen up. He made me feel what I never felt in my entire life. The importance. I felt I can give him the same. Every day, I feel like living one more day for him and with him. Life is giving me another opportunity to reset and restart a part of my life but your blind beliefs are giving me an option to suffer my whole life.”
Eeshwari’s mother strolled towards her and slapped her real hard. “This is where you have bought us down to; you bitch. If people get to know about this, what will they think? Our entire honor including their’s will be blown away.”
Upon explaining so much, Eeshwari felt lost and she didn’t like the way they spoke. She stared at her parents and said. “You know what? Honor and disgrace are opposites to each other. Hmmm… What do you call a person who does disgraceful things to protect his honor? I am just leaving that to your intelligence.”
“How dare you speak to me like that?” Her mother was shocked.
“Lock her inside. Don’t let her out. She is born to spoil our reputation.” Her father shouted at his wife. He then came close to Eeshwari and said. “I am not accepting this at all. Our family reputation is everything for us. We cannot see ourselves alive without that. Your husband is dead and you got to stay a widow for your entire life. If you still want to go, marry him and be a bitch, we won’t stop you. But that would be over our dead bodies. Go and be happy with him with our blood on your hands.”
Year: 2008 | Age: 22
“What is his caste?” That was the first question Mr & Mrs. Sharma asked Disha after the shocking revelation of her love. Her parents never expected that she would bring such a situation to them.
“I know you will ask this but he is not from our caste. He is… hmm… He is an Islam follower.” Disha gave them another shock.
“That’s it. This is what was remained to witness.” Mrs. Sharma left into the kitchen for a moment and came back to her again. “It is over! She destroyed the house and the entire family.”
“Mom, I am sure I didn’t do anything wrong. I just fell in love with a guy who happens to be from a different religion.” Disha replied.
“What else is required?” Mrs. Sharma said.
“Mom, but trust me, he is a very nice guy. He is matured, earning his living and takes very good care of me.” Disha said. “I am happy when I am around him.”
“You shameless girl, didn’t you think at least for once about our family reputation?” Mrs. Sharma shouted at Disha and asked her husband. “What happens now?” to which he replied, “What else, it’s over. Everything is finished. Thu… Thu… Thu… this is what you came down to you moron! Thu… Thu…Thu… Of all the guys you found only a Muslim to fall in love with? You didn’t even think about us before falling in love with him? What will people think about us, what about our honor and reputation.” Tears welling in his eyes. “Hmmm… I still remember that day when she was born. She was so small. I raised her with these hands.” Sharma said staring at his hands.
“Please don’t cry dhadha. I can’t see you cry.” Bunty Sharma, Ekta’s younger brother started consoling him. He went to Disha and said. “What are you doing Disha? Do you even understand?”
“What’s wrong with this? He might be from a different religion, but he is well educated, mature enough, he respects me and earns a good living. Nothing else matters to me apart from that” Disha answered. “And he is not so religious in nature.”
“See Disha” Her brother replied. “You might be ahead of time, but our parents aren’t. They won’t be able to take this.”
Mrs. Sharma lost strength in her knees and fell on the bed. Everyone rushed towards her. Disha was getting tensed seeing her mother’s condition. With her shivering voice, “Ma… Mom please!” Bunty was getting furious. “If anything happens to my parents, see what I am gonna do. I am gonna kill him.”
“What the fuck! I said I love him. It doesn’t mean I don’t value my family. They are my parents too you dumb fuck.” Disha replied to her brother.
“Why are you doing this Disha?” Mr. Sharma said. “Where did we go wrong in upbringing you? We have given you everything.”
“Everything?” Disha replied.
“See sister, since they couldn’t accept for the career you loved at that moment and because you said you always feel lonely, we even thought without any hesitation we shall accept the guy you love… even if he is from another caste. But what have you bought at home? This is way too wrong Disha. A guy from a totally different religion? Are you gone mad?” Bunty said. “See, I have seen many cases within my friend circle. Trust me you will suffer. No one is going to support you. Not even your friends.”
“At least I’ll know who my real friends are.” Disha hissed within herself.
“See Disha, we already had a doubt and showed your fortunes when you told me the guy’s date of birth. This is not suited for you. You guys will end up in divorce. That’s what the priest told us.” Mrs. Sharma said. “They said you will die if you marry that guy.”
Exhaling heavy breath out Disha said. “See mom, I don’t believe in this and even if that is true, I don’t want to lose him and keep thinking my entire life that I should have taken one daring step. I cannot take that regret again. I already have that with my career. Not ready to take it with my love again. A person can live with love for a short span but not with the regret forever. It is like dying every second. Rather I live happily for whatever short span I can. I am very clear about this. If I have to marry, then he is the one I am marrying.”
“See Disha, marriage is not about you or your shitty guy. It’s about families and we are not going to support you in this at any cost. If you want to still go ahead and do what you want that would over our dead bodies.” Mrs. Sharma said. “Get us some poison Bunty, we shall have it and leave her to her own choices.” Mr. Sharma then turned towards his daughter and said. “Go ahead and do what you want to. Marry that guy and get our blood on your hands.”
“What happened to all these women? Did they fight for what they want?” Ayan asked his mom with uttermost curiosity.
His mom, Isha, who was telling him these stories, replied to him revealing what happened with all those five women.
Rajeshwari was sedated and dragged by her own brothers to the pyre of her husband.
Arundathi married the boy and soon with her talent, even she died.
Parvathi couldn’t resist emotional torture & social pressure. The feeling of loneliness has eaten her up from inside.
Eeshwari remained a widow her entire life in the memories of Pradeep and died old.
“All of them died unhappily…” Ayan felt extremely sad. “One daring step towards what they loved, would have changed their life,” Ayan said. Thinking for a while he asked. “Who should be blamed here mom? The one who wrote the tradition? The one who is following it? who?”
Isha replied. “One thing you need to understand here is that, life then was very difficult Ayan. The tradition was nothing but just the guidelines to lead a happy & secure life. And when everyone unanimously agreed, it turned out to be a rule which was followed by masses. Sati was a logical practice then. When her husband is dead, they inquire if someone is ready to take the responsibility of that woman. And if no one is ready for that, then that is when she conducts the practice. Because women then had no source of living, nor money, nor food. And then the woman voluntarily submitted herself to the pyre of her husband. But today, the situation is different, women are earning their living and their bread. It might not just be the practice of Sati, but child marriage or remarriage or inter-religious marriages. They had their logical reasons behind and it served its purpose and solved their problems at a particular moment of time. Soon, those problems were solved and vanished. Then new problems knocked on their door. New problems are as a whole, a new game and it demands new rules and new solutions as well. But the masses were already so emotionally deep into those old rules that they failed to observe that the need for such rules is over and its the time for some new rules for the new-age problems. And that’s where the real problem started.”
Ayan was analyzing within himself. “So the culture & tradition has never been the same. It has always been evolving with time, but with a lot of friction and resistance… When it is always changing with time, why do people get attached to it so much? Situations changed, but the way everyone was dealing has always been the same. Reviving of their power over the weak through emotional blackmail.”
Ayan’s mother stared at him observing his deep thoughts. Ayan meanwhile opened his laptop and started searching for the articles and Acts. After a while, he understood the sitch and was surprised. “The Sati & child marriage cases are still being recorded across various remote corners of the country. Women are still treated as underdogs without respect. Women’s empowerment is still a questionable entity for most of the societies. The taboo around the divorce and remarriage has not changed a bit. Why is that if someone wants to live their life the way they want, it becomes a problem for someone? Is following the tradition now wrong?”
“Following the tradition is not wrong. Following it blindly is wrong. And forcing that blind faith on someone is an extremely wrong and punishable sin.” Isha said and took a pause. “Always remember this Ayan, if you want to do something that you love, there are many people who will try to influence you because every choice that we make, hurts someone or the other. In order to save themselves, they try to gain power over you and try to influence you to make you do what they want you to do. That’s exactly what has been happening for ages & will continue to happen. So when you are sure of what you love and what you want, don’t look back. Remember, there is someone inside you… and that’s you... before thinking what others would think of your actions, think about what would you think about it… never let him down ever… that would devastate you… If you know why you are doing what you are doing, then that’s called being real. When you don’t know why you are doing what you are doing, then you are doing it based on a belief just because it was told to you in the name of tradition. Most part of the rules that we follow in the name of tradition today is all about blind belief. And remember only Weak people believe… Strong people hunt the answers. As I said, do what you love!! But know the consequences, evaluate it, take a wise decision and work towards it. When you want to do what you love, sometimes the consequences can be as dangerous as death, but it should be YOU who gets to decide if it’s worth it. Dying, doing what you love is always far better than living for a century and regret doing something that you don’t love.”
Ayan took deep thought and said. “I understood mom! But hey! What happened to Disha?” He was curious to know.
“Who is Disha?” His mother asked.
“Who?” Ayan was perplexed.
Isha once again asked him. “Who is D. Isha?”
“My mom! You!” Ayan was shocked.
“Exactly! You know what? Isha went out, bought a rope and a bottle of poison and kept it in front of their family and said DIE… GO AHEAD….” Isha said.
DIE… GO AHEAD! But remember, I am not coming with you guys. Because I have my life to live. It has got a value and I want to take control of my life. I don’t want to be a part of your blind faith. I don’t want to be a Martyr of tradition. I want to be the driver of my life and lead it the way I want. If you guys have any problem, you have the answer that you have sought in front of you. Trust me, it is very easy and that’s what the weak people do. Keep believing in your status, honor, and reputation. When it is down, even you will fall down. Go ahead. But I am not buying your emotional blackmail. Blood on my hands? Open your eyes and see, you are the ones painting them on me.”
“Woowwww!” Ayan Exclaimed and exhaled. He immediately hugged his mother and said. “Mom! You are a hero!”
“Thank you, my dear handsome!” Isha rubbed Ayan’s hair.
Ayan hugged her mom for a while and then he leaned back and asked. “Am I handsome?”
“Yes, you are dear. Because I did what I loved the most. Making you. Not something that I was forced to do.” Isha replied.
-Sai Nikhil Etikyala (Exploracer)
It saddens me to say that Sati cases (forced) and child marriages are still being recorded in various remote corners of India. Women are still considered slaves across many families & societies. The taboo around divorce & re-marriage hasn’t changed a bit. The times have come to change them and take a step towards a modern brighter world.
- Story 1: The year 1849: 20 years after the ban of the Sati practice.
- Story 2: The year 1959: 20 years after the ban of the Child marriage practice
- Story 3: The year 1979: 110 years after legalizing the Divorce Act.
- Story 4: The year 1992: 136 years after legalizing the remarriage Act.
- Story 5: The year 2008: 54 years after legalizing the special marriage Act (inter-religious marriage Act)
References of Acts:
- Sati was banned in the year 1829, https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/sati-pratha-facts-275586-2015-12-04
- Sati Act was again taken into huge consideration: https://wcd.nic.in/act/commission-sati-prevention-act-and-rules
- Child marriage Restraint Act: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_Marriage_Restraint_Act
- India’s forgotten child brides: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2018/04/child-brides-marriage-shravasti-india-culture/
- Indian Divroce Act came into picture in the year, 1869: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/181765931/
- Hindu Widows remarriage Act: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Widows%27_Remarriage_Act,_1856
- The special marriage Act to enable inter-religious marriage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Marriage_Act,_1954
Special Thanks to:
- Nagarjuna Thipparthi
- Kaushik Bharadwaj
- Teja Kalapatapu
46 thoughts on “Martyr’s of Tradition”
Very well written!👏
World is evolving but few unfortunate rituals have fallen behind in the race. There are many such untold real stories which are concluded abruptly with a suicide blackmail. Hope people chose to live and let live with freedom.
Super Nikhil.. very well potrayed..keep going!!
No words to praise you, clean and crispy “how to lead a life” – Do what you love to do✌🏻
Very insightful… Really liked the way you portrayed problems faced by women during different periods of time.
Very well written…exploracer!!
I feel this article must be read by all in this generation..cz few people only knew how to fight with their parents fr what they want like gifts toys luxuries,e.t.c,they havent come across any sufferings as like in the olden days…this might let those people know how women suffered for contiuing their lives..
That’s a bomb bro
Nikhil,the way you have portrayed the problems faced by woman due to over parenting is really heart touching,still there are incident which are happening across different corners of the Nation,hope by looking at these incidents shall expect some changes
It’s amazing how you put your thoughts into words. Very well written.
Keep writing more !
Great job! It is so well written. I had an amazing time reading it. Keep inspiring us more. Good luck!
Just like I quoted the last time, you speak what we feel. I heartily wish that this goes to a wider medium as people really need to be educated from the roots.
My sister is going to get married to a person of a different religion and I know how much I had to fight for her to convince my parents. Hence I can totally relate to this. Keep up your work man and I really wish you keep doing this so that it takes you places. Cheers!
WoW and You did it Again!!! With such precision and great insights very well written like always ..I personally know folks who don’t know what to do with their lives dealing with toxic in-laws and other issues..This is like an eye opener and a great motivation to follow your heart..!!! you go buddy Shine on .!!🙌
That’s so thoughtful Nikhil. Good jod and Keep writing 😊
Very well written and described!! A true picture of how women have evolved over a long period of time.
“Go ahead and do what you want to. Marry that guy and get our blood on your hands.” This line has another level of impact.Shows how women were made to give up on their dreams and aspirations!
A must read!!
Reading through these stories just reminded me that how much do women go through to pursue what they want.
Thanx for writing up these.
Amazing work by Nikhil !
Very nicely written yaar
Really a good writing in this quarantine time which is very thoughtful
Keep it up and hope u write more and more like this which can inspire everyone🤗🤗
Nikhil….. His novel cleverly leave things, out so that the reader’s thoughts could flower.
MARTYR’S OF TRADITION, redifined the changing times in woman life and the sentimental value which families usually carry due to the name of reputation, pride, or so called status….. Each story clearly depicts, at every stage of life how family members(own parents) and in-laws played with daughter or daughter-in-law emotions which drags you in with heart.
“The creation that grows in your belly has more value than the one that grows in your brain ”
Thank you for writing this !
Well transcripted stories with strong and impactful messages.
Everything that is written describes the best scenario of what women has been facing throughout their lives from the ancient era till present.
Keep it up bro.
Highly appreciate your thoughts and vision.
Your passion to make a difference in the world is unbelievable..You inspire me to be the best version of myself. I look up to you. I feel that more people should strive to have the strength that you exemplify in everyday life. I have never been more proud to know someone and to call someone my role model. You have taught me so many things and I want to thank you…❤👏 All the best
Very nice Nikhil, excellent skill u have …looking forward to read many such from you.
All the very best.
I’m not much of a reader but THIS got me stuck to the content !!! The message here, is filled with emotions. It’s sad that there are still many Rajeshwaris, Arundatis, Parvathis and Eshwaran, but very few Dishas. Hope it doesn’t take a few more hundreds of years.
This is indeed a STRONG MESSAGE to every person and the society. A MUST READ.
I’m proud of you Nikhil !
Beautifully written!! Shows how much the women had to go through and how their dreams were crushed because of traditions!!
Omg. I’m lacking words at the moments. This is so beautiful. This is something that was needed in today’s world. It’s hard to believe yet true that many people go through similar situations even now. Something that all of us can take a moment and dwell upon. It’s beautiful 😍
Excellent read ra! It made us feel the pain. I hope people stop treating women as their properties and let them live their lives. We need writers like you to make people stop and think for a moment. I hope this brings about a change in everybodys’ mind who’s reading it!
I really loved Rajeshwaris story and all others are also outstanding
It’s worth reading, heart touching.. thank you Nikhil for reciting this😊
This is simply amazing and informative nikki mams! I always felt that this topic is something which has been left in the gutter for a lot of time..and now its really nice to see you describe and put it out so smartly and interestingly! You are one of my inspirations and a real role model nikki mams! You make us all proud and i am really waiting for more to come! all the best and hats off to you!
It’s amazing how you put your thoughts into words. Very will written nd described.
All the very best
How Thoughtful of you..!!
The Time You Put in Shows there ,Keep going and I wish u all the best for ur upcoming writings Nikhil
It’s really amazing, heart touching. All the best for your upcoming writing.
Another masterpiece by Nikhil👏👏👏👏
The story is well written and connected. Great job !!!
Looking forward to read many more stories by you🙂
Beautifully written. Great job!
Aww… It melt my Heart… Loved the slang and Dishas character ❤.. Every girl must read… All the very best man…..keep up the good work…… @Exploracer
The story is beautifully written,heart touching and all the best for upcoming writings☺️
That’s amazing! Love the content.
So sad to hear about these past stories. It’s true, following tradition blindly is extremely wrong.
This is still prevailing in different parts of the country.
But really, beautiful write-up. 🙂
Very well written..it made me realise the pain women went through.
Thank you for sharing such thoughts
All the very best.
The action that i can honour you with for this deep insightful article is a heartful bow.
As your thoughts say, let it be the century of 18 or the century of 20, through the passage of time, there might be changes in the way these incidents were looked at but the ultimate victims have suffered the same pain.
The emotions you conveyed through your words have just put out the exact feelings.
Worth a read and also a thought written.
Great work Nikhil!!!
It takes extreme level of dedication and research to put together something like this. Hope you continue to have this spark in you and keep inspiring us.
Always hungry to read more of your content. More power to you 🙂
This is by far, the most heart wrenching story I have ever read. This story grabbed my attention from the very beginning! The storytelling and characters are very, very captivating… Easy read. I can’t wait for the next one from this author. Highly recommended..
Beautifully written Nikhil.
Through the ages, women have time and again dealt with similar issues and are still dealing. But, there are still women of substance in this country and hopefully more of such women will come up.
The irony of outdated traditions still ruling us was very convincingly written in every story.
Waaaow! Just waaaow!amazing work done by you Nikhil
Take a bow man!!
It’s truly an amazing work Nikhil!! I could deeply connect to every thought written in this story.. I recommend everyone to read it.
I hope it makes people realize to stop stressing about what others think or talk and start listening to what their loved ones are addressing and stand by them!
Very well interpreted. The last story brings the hope. Emotions are well conveyed. Very smart Nikhil. Thanks for refering me this amazing thought of yours…
Awaiting for your next story!!
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Its actually a real fact which really need to be accomplished thank you nikhil for providing me such great content i really loved it
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