Thursday, December 10, 2009

Clipping their wings

A week back I walked into this electronics showroom and spotted a familiar face behind the counter that displayed laptops and computers. After racking my brain wondering where I had seen this girl, it struck me. She was my classmate in school!! I never saw her after board exams and later we heard that she had got married and quit studies after her 12th. I was accompanying a friend who is purchasing her first computer and since I know a little about the same, she asked me come along with her.

My classmate let call her FM, recognized me instantly and shook my hands warmly. Then she attended to us and I was amazed at her knowledge of computers, configurations and other things I didn’t even know existed. Pretty soon she had got us what we wanted and we parted ways, after giving each other our contact numbers.

I have come across many such girls. They belong to a minority community that does not allow girls to study too much as parents want to marry them off quickly as per tradition and also because they feel that they will not get grooms if they were too educated. The girls get married and soon the couple realizes that one income is not enough and the girl is allowed to look for a job. Because of their low qualifications, they end up being sales girls or cashiers. They do not complete their studies after marriage due to kids and other domestic hassles. But most of them were good students, and if allowed to complete their studies, would have been in better positions professionally.

The injustice and irony of this situation is just too frustrating. This is like deliberately maiming a healthy individual to a handicapped life. Wish the parents have the vision to see that their daughters would have to work to support the family like others girls in their community and educate these girls and I wish their prospective grooms realize the potential of an educated wife and do not hesitate to marry educated girls due to ego or inferiority complexes.

Thousands of girls like FM are working as lowly paid workers, all because their parents did not allow them to complete their studies, not knowing that they will invariably have to go to work after marriage due to financial compulsions. This is so unjust that just writing this post has put me in a bad mood!!


scorpiogenius said...

Boys>>>education>>>job... girls>>>marriage>>>house-chores...Thats what still goes on. Can't blame many parents though, they're uneducated themselves and needs guidance to understand how a progressive society functions.

Once at least one of the parents is educated it will change these stereotyped viewpoints.

YOSEE said...

Its a frustrating subject, no doubt. Unless at least one parent makes an effort to see sense, most girls will continue to suffer thus. There's another facet to this. Some "liberal" parents do send girls to college just so that they become "Graduates" ( any , inexpensive bachelor course will do), a qualification needed to attract good grooms ! and it also ensures their kids get admission in better schools !

anishthomas said...

What to say , it is such a sad fact that , even in metros its the same.I have seen many families who are not sending there children(girls) to other minority\management schools and never let mingle with others..

I don't know what to comment on this...except all these things are wrong

Rajesh Mohan said...

Really sad indeed.
What can we do about it ? Probably try and help as many as we can ? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

It is remarkable, rather useful phrase

Jeseem said...

many times it the fear on part of parents, who think their daughter maynot get a suitable groom, that to makes them marry-off their daughters.
its time these girls stoodup for themselves. and high times, guys stop marrying girls before they are fully educated and employed.

and by the way
why is that wide-eyed kitten hiding on top of a santa hat
ans: 'cause silverline and her dogs are running around on the floor below doing X'mas shopping
merry X'mas

cluelessness said...

You know, it is not that I am on the side of parents who are so shortsighted that they cannot see their daughter's future beyond her marriage to a community boy, BUT at some point in life, we all need to stand up for ourselves. Otherwise, it will start with ignorant parents pushing us around, then it will be the ILs, then the kids grow up and start dictating terms....

The minute a woman decides that SHE is responsible for her future from today onwards, and is ready to face a few truths about the kind of people that surround her, she can do something to get herself out of the situation. The results may not be as great as being allowed to complete college as regular students...but it will place her in a better position for sure and then there is that all important self-respect.

silverine said...

Scorpiogenius and Yosee: I see this in this community only actually! Sad!

Anish: That is very disturbing news!

Rajesh: We cannot do anything sadly as this is a sensitive issue due to the community.

Anon: ?

Jeseem: lol! Kitty does look alarmed, now that you mention it!

cluelessness: You are right. I have seen girls reaching breaking points and standing up for themselves. But many are brought up within the confines of home and cannot imagine jeopardizing that safety net.

Sweta said...

agree with u is a sad fact really..thanks for bringing the issue up..!

Shibin said...

your observations are right. And being from the same minority u have mentioned, I am very grateful to my parents for chosing to educate . its not just parents, we have to assure the girls that education changes life.

abhishek said...

Hi Silverine,

After many months, I happened to read your blog again and am glad to find it still here. This post brought up a good point.

Lest you are still frustrated, I wanted to bring up some points, which hopefully will give you some comfort about the girl.

She can still get educated; she can always get educated.

I think we are all guilty of making many assumptions about education. It is truly unfortunate when a person's opportunities are limited because of other people's prejudiced views or because other people undervalue them. Yet, we can never really understand a person till we have walked in their shoes and even then, we cannot be certain. I have met many a woman with scarcely a high school education who are wise beyond their years in ways that some educated women cannot match. Mind you, this is not because education spoils the mind. But it does not complete it either. In fact, a college education is generally a good preparation for a professional career, but not necessarily for life. The tools for dealing with life's challenges are developed either through second-hand, tribal knowledge that we inherit from our friends, elders etc or through mistakes we make ourselves. In that regard, college education does not necessarily give a woman an edge. Having said that, it does have its merits. It confers upon a person the ability to work more independently and generally, allows them to lead more prosperous lives. But does prosperity always translate to happiness? I don't know that it does. In fact, I suspect that there is generally an inverse relationship between material prosperity and happiness because as a species, we have not come to terms with material prosperity. I think many people treat college education as a substitute for life's lessons and eventually find themselves ill equipped to deal with it, which becomes a recipe for unhappiness.

I rambled a little bit here, but my point was that if the girl is mature, knows what she wants in life and has the tools to get there, don't worry about her. Life is very personal, after all.

silverine said...

Shiin: Glad to hear you thoughts on this! :)

Abhshek: What a lovely surprise!! Great to see you here! :) This girls comes from a community that will not allow her off the beaten path, sadly! Cannot say more without courting controversy! :)