Quote your price, Miss!


In those days in India, parents would not educate their girls or even if they did, girls were only allowed to receive basic education which would help them get by in life. And when they would become of marriageable age, they would be wedded to a suitable groom with a job and preferably, who had at least passed Std. X. The dowry given to the boy’s side would accompany her to her husband’s house. That is, then, men had their pick of the girl they wanted to marry. A prospective groom’s worth increased in direct proportion to his educational qualification and income and standard of living. But slowly, with the changing times, parents began to realise the importance of educating girls and females began taking up jobs which never had been done by a woman before. They began making their mark in different fields. Now, the dilemma that arises is that both men and women are educated: who will be the pride of whose home? Will both be the pride of both homes? To make it simpler, suppose then the girl’s family said, ‘You know my son-in-law is settled abroad. I’m soo proud to have him for a son-in-law!’ So the boy’s side should now  say, ‘My daughter-in-law is the CEO of a big company. I’m so proud to have her for a daughter-in-law!’Or will it be both sides are proud to have both of them? Then why the need for dowry? Dowry was given because it was the price paid to purchase a groom in the matrimonial market. So actually if we go to see, a father doesn’t need to save for his daughter’s dowry. Instead if he invests in her education and helps her grow and become independent and famous, one day a man will say, ‘Sir, she is the best I can get. She will increase the glory of my family.’ And that man’s mother will say to her kitty party friend, ‘Kamla, bad luck she didn’t agree to wed your son. We’ve got her now. She’s the Kohinoor and we are never going to part with her.’

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