Proofs of Marriage

“Ek chutki sindoor ke keemat tum kya jano, Ramesh babu? Eshwar ka aasirwad hota hai ek chutki sindoor, suhagan sir ka taj hota hai, ek chutki sindoor, har aurat ka khawb hota hai ek chutki sindoor…”

Excuse me! I Beg To Differ. This is  Crap.

“Why haven’t you applied sindoor*?” was the first thing my ex colleague and friend (A) asked after seeing me for the first time since my marriage.

“Congrats Madame.” says a lady from Chemistry Department while her eyes take a swift glance at my forehead.

“Now that you are married, there ought to be a change in your appearance” says another.

“When is your marriage” another ex-colleague asked. When I said that I got married in Feb, the response is “Oh!!! No sindoor??”

These are some of the questions and advice I have to bear for not applying sindoor, for not decking up like a newly wedded, for going to work dressed in salwar suit just like before and for not being traditional. :(

I had replied to A that why should I only adorn signs of being married and hence  a sort of warning to other men – “back off! I am married and unavailable” when there is no such married sign on my husband? Later I learned that A had commented to another friend that I have become arrogant after marriage!!! :shock: :shock: To others I replied – “I just don’t like applying it”.

Firstly, call it one of my quirks but I just don’t like applying any sort of powder material on my face. I don’t get a tilak applied to my forehead when I visit a temple. I don’t play Holi..the last time I celebrated the festival was in class 2. Similarly, I don’t apply sindoor. Second is the reason I mentioned earlier. In my opinion, I see this custom as illogical, unscientific and an inequality among Indian men and women. Not to mention toxic and  carcinogenic.

“Why have you not worn the white bangle**? Wear it at least for 6 months.” advises my friend A.

“Wear the iron bangle***. It is for the welfare of husband” pleads my mother.

What will happen after 6 months? What difference does it make if I wear only the red one and not the white one which by the way is a fragile thing?  What about the welfare of the wife in Indian customs? I refuse to do something out of such beliefs.

I wear only the red bangles because one bangle in each hand is the limit of my comfort. I have writing work to do in my job – both at desk and on blackboard. I don’t like bangles making sound while I do that.

“Now that you are married, you can wear saree. Why don’t you?” is another question,though not that frequent.

First of all I think salwar kameez is the most “decent” dress of all. Also I feel the most comfortable in it.  Saree is a graceful dress but I am against it being labeled as a compulsory dress for married women. Any woman can wear it when and if SHE likes.

This reminds me of a recent incident. A good friend of mine got engaged recently for arranged marriage. Her fiancé told her that she will have to wear only sari after marriage. Few days later, she discussed with him after which he gave her the “permission” to wear salwar suits but only after 2-3 months of marriage. :roll: :roll:

This friend of mine has no problems with words like “allow” or “permission” with reference to personal decisions as to what to wear. She doesn’t have any problem with wearing various “symbols of marriage”..in fact she wants to do all that. A lady has written in a post “The vermilion powder, commonly known as ‘sindoor’ is used by married Indian women not only because of the traditional values and honour attached with it, but also because it adds a certain glow to the face.” :roll:

Many other women hold the same view,but I don’t. My friend likes being the “typical married Indian woman” but I don’t .And that is my point in this post. I am not here to give reasons or explanations of my acts. My point is that if someone likes to follow some custom, they should by all means!! But they should never try to impose their beliefs on others who don’t agree with such traditions and customs, without any solid reason. Not wearing symbols of marriage doesn’t mean that I believe in the “westernized way of living”.  Questioning beliefs on grounds of logic and equality is a part of who I am. I can not follow or believe blindly anything.

For me, being married is something  you feel from heart. The commitment marriage symbolizes  should be deep-seated in one’s conscience and should not depend on external “reminders” like sindoor, bangles, bichiya etc. And if these ornaments serve the purpose of protecting a woman and sending warning signals to other men, then that is a shameful and ridiculous (not mention futile)  reason to wear them.I don’t agree with the need to prove/show to everyone that I am married.

Above all, live and let live. As simple as that. :| :|

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Sindoor (Vermilion)- It is a red powder  which is traditionally applied at the beginning or completely along the parting-line of a woman’s hair or as a dot on the forehead. Sindoor is the mark of a married woman in Hinduism.

**Married Bengali women wear a pair of shankha pola in each hand — white bangles made from conch shells and red ones made from acrylic.

***Married Bengali women also wear an iron bangle (sometimes covered with gold) in left hand.

P.S. Thats me in the first photo and my wrist in the second. :)

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125 thoughts on “Proofs of Marriage

  1. Hmm…it’s interesting how in India there is always that perception that women must be ‘different’ once married. Like you need to have a big sign saying “I’m married”. Being a south Indian, mum didn’t have to wear sindoor…but I remember how she can never not wear a bindi. Even when my mum wears jeans, she will apply a tiny bindi so apparently signify she is married in addition to the mangalsutra. I must say I like the western world tradition when it comes to marriage…both partners wear a ring and that’s it.

  2. I know what you mean by this…when I got married I was dawned upon with these things too…but I stick to my choices…all this decoration only when I’m wearing a saree and going to attend a function OR when I want to OR feel like ! Not JUST because i’m NOW married ! WTF !

    So what should husbands do to keep themselves decorated all the time,eh ? I know these are all traditions..no complains… problem is when these traditions are being forced upon on an individual who may be is of a different thinking tank team ;)

    Touchwood for my husband belongs to my team !

    • I swear!
      I sometimes wear sindoor as part of my very little ‘make up’ while wearing a traditional style salwar [i still cant drape a saree by myself!!] because it adds a totally different look: but that’s it!! NOT to show anyone I’m married!

      And yea, like you’ve said, T=thankfully, the husband’s always on my side ;)

  3. Imagine wearing a sari and going to the office everyday…..i know and have seen a lot of my female friends, complete with hennaed hands, bangles, red salwar – kurta and laden with jewels coming to the office – and i used to work in a very reputed IT company……but then, each to his own.

  4. People are so bound by crappy perceptions and alike :roll:

    Believe me, most men – esp those in urban areas – hardly notice whether there’s sindoor and/or bindi or not. But again, rural India and a portion of urban one too don’t look keen to get rid of such mechanical/showing stuff :-/

  5. Ironic, isn’t it? The way men assume they can dictate terms to their wife just because they are married? But they would never change a single thing about themselves irrespective of what the wife in question says or does. These are just some examples of gender-biased customs and rituals. Do it by all means, if you feel like it but please refuse if you don’t!

    You are what you are and your husband probably loves you for that precise reason! :)

    • I hope this type of tradition should be stopped since begining. No need to show off during marriage. The bride should wear jeans and kurtas which looks decent and as they wise. Moreover, devotion, dedication, simplicity these are the in built quality of human being. People in india simply celebrate the poojas only to wear new cloths and to have a great treat that days.Not to worship God. Its a fact. In this decades, hoping betterment for the family and for the society is immortal. I support, men should wear something which can resembles that they are married.

  6. I just feel like asking why did you have sindoor applied to your forehead in the wedding ceremony then if you feel so against it or rather if you are not comfortable with it, eh! ;) And by the looks in the photo, it was a lot of it which was applied, no? :P And those white dots above the eyebrows, I think they’re made from some powder as well, right?

    Its not that I don’t agree with you on doing what one feels comfortable with & not having things imposed but yeah I felt like asking after seeing the photo! ;)

    Btw, that link you put on the word toxic, that’s utter crap! I mean if someone eats something which is not meant for eating in the 1st place then ofcourse they’re gonna get sick. Body lotions & cold creams etc are for applying on the skin, eat those & you’ll get sick. Soap is for cleaning the skin, shampoo for hair, eat those & you’ll definitely get sick! So if someone is stupid enough to eat sindoor then is the tradition at fault? I haven’t heard or read anywhere that sindoor is meant to be eaten or used in edible items!! I even wash my hands with soap after a puja whenever I apply sindoor or roli (as its called here) to the deities etc.!! Sometimes people take leave of their senses & just blindly follow whatever someone tells them without bothering to think! No sympathy with those people!!

    • I was getting married in the traditional way!!! thats why!! It isn’t that I loved doing it but there were reasons. And in Bengali marriage sindoor is applied by a gold ring by the husband from the forehead. Thats why it so much. And trust me I didnt want all that make up done too. But as I said there were reasons. I find your “feeling to ask” this point weird as anyone would understand the situation and not argue with this as a point!

      • Sometimes we do some things for people we love, for their happiness. even if we don’t feel comfortable doing it. But that doesn’t apply for others. I am feeling strange explaining that “why the hell did I have sindoor applied when I was getting married if I dont feel comfortable”!!! I mean is that even a valid point? Its obviously understandable.

      • I know that there were *reasons* & thats what I was trying to get out from you, because you see, many a times women put these things on for *reasons* even though they don’t wanna do it. Its called compromise by some, life’s full of them! ;) And other reason of me asking this was to just pull your leg! :D

        And no its not weird at all that I asked this, ofcourse I’m not a moron, but then the tone in your post above was kinda hard & emphasizing & so I just wondered why a woman like you, who wouldn’t budge from what she feels is right for her & what isn’t, would give in to demands of others on any day of her life, eh! ;) And yes, I know you may feel like I’m a moron & you’re entitled to think whatever you may want to think of others! :D

        • Yes I compromise only for people I love. Not for relatives/just friends/society. yes I am strong headed but can do anything for, I repeat, people I love.

          • Yes, precisely, so what made you think that you were putting on sindoor or any other shringaar for others? If you follow what the tradition says, all this is not for society, no ma’am, the shringaar of a married woman is for her husband, to attract him towards her! :)

            We humans can do many things that other beings can’t & they can do a lot of things that we can’t, like for eg. females of certain insect types release certain fragrances or hormonal smells to attract males when its mating time!

            And ofcourse, the main thing here is one’s willingness. If someone doesn’t wanna put on stuff, he/she shouldn’t be forced to & the person doesn’t need to.

            • Oh please! I disagree!! It is both for husband and society!! and in my case I dont need to attract him with such stuff so when I am asked to do that, its by the society and for the society.

              • Read any text on shringaar & none will tell you its for society, you can ofcourse continue to believe so, no one’s stopping you. And whether you need it or not, its your personal decision, no one else has a say in it (unless you want anyone else to have a say in this regard), thats also a fact. Society asks many things, I just generally keep the attitude of “shove it up your a**” on such occasions, I do whatever I want, society is for people & not the other way around!

  7. I remember, I just got married and returned to my maasi’s place in Delhi and I was walking around in jeans and a bagg tshirt with a dirty sweatshirt. My maasi’s neighbour was saying hello to her and then asks her kiski shaadi hui. My maasi points at me and that neighbour gasps in shock.
    No sindoor, no toe ring, no salwaar and I start laughing.

    My maashi’s excuse was foreign ki ladki hai so sab chalta hai :)

  8. I also had some acquaintances gasping when they saw me sans any symbols of being married, including the woman who had to alter some wedding shopping :)

    These are not choices someone should question. I read a post where these office girls were discussing in a local train how much they tried to explain to their in laws that they find sindoor, bindi and jewelery uncomfortable while commuting in crowded, hot and humid Bombay locals – but they wouldn’t hear of it. I wish nobody was forced to do things just to keep some feathers unruffled :(

    • My in laws try and force the mangalsutra n toe rings on me every time they visit. I’ve given them the ‘Gurgaon is very risky for gold’ and ‘my shoes make the toe rings hurt’ to the truth, that I don’t like wearing them. What do I say. They keep complaining. I keep trying to explain. Never ends :(
      I wish they’d understand that I should do what I like.

      • @IHM , Meira I am yet to appear this way in front of my in laws. :) Don’t know how will they react! My in laws live in Kolkata and I will be in Pune mostly so I guess the clashes will be less.

  9. That photograph brings back memories! The only time I applied sindoor (or rather it was applied on me) was on my wedding day…I had a tough time taking it off the next day…I too don’t wear sindoor or loha and I don’t care what people think…My husband couldn’t care less…

    Amit has it wrong…The sindoor etc. are for society as well as the husband…It broadcasts to people that you are taken, you are now the property of your husband…

  10. Good for you Reema. I also feel surprised at educated women who don’t think there is anything wrong in their husbands “allowing” them to wear salwar kameez etc. Here in the South, where long hair is still a HUGE thing for women, many married women I know, don’t find anything strange in the fact that their husbands wouldn’t “allow” them to cut their hair.

    • I have a colleague who is engaged and her fiance has told her that no jeans/leggings/afghanis etc after marriage. She is okay with it. Same with hair. I think these women take such things as an expression of love and possessiveness..which gives them a high instead of showing the reality.

  11. I know its kind of wrong to force women to follow a few rituals after marriage but a few of the rituals i know have some scientific reason attached to it…In earlier days it was very difficult to explain these reasons in a scientific way so religious reasons were attached to it.

    the tilak on forehead and The toe ring are a few such examples…the bangles in hand for women is 1 more…it has to do a bit with accupressure…a few accupressure points related to the womens reproductive system are connected to points around the womens wrists…wearing of bangles kind of give those point the pressure it needs and is helpful…for details google will be the best guide..

    i am not sure about the sindoor or mangalsutra for that matter but definately feel that there must be something attached to it…
    if only people stop looking at it as just rituals and look at it from a more scientific point of view we would definately feel that our ancestors werent so much foolish after all :):)

    • I agree to an extent. A lot of things have scientific reasons behind them. But what is wrong is to blindly follow rituals without knowing the reasons. Married women wore lots of bangles and trinkets in the earlier days so that the other people in the new family (joint families were in vogue!) would know when she was coming. But pray what use are the bangles if my husband n I are the only residents of the house?

      • LOL@Meira’s comment [if me and my husband are the only residents]..and yes I agree.. if you don’t know what does wearing all these signs mean..then don’t just blindly do that :)

        Dikhawe par mat jao..apni akal lagao :)

  12. Sis, I was going through your beliefs and the logic behind your thoughts….
    this is really a matter that our Indian subcontinent marriages has got thousands of illogical, irritating customs… You know, Just a year ago, while my elder sister got married, she was so tired at night after so many formalities in the day. While she reached to the home of her husband, she was almost sick. But she had to spend nearly 2 hours outa home for customs that “newly married bride” should wait see her faces in a water-filled plate, to eat all the items (incredible numbers) for the betterment of the new “shangshar” (family) !!
    There were at least 20 more! all those are regional customs and 90% of the customs are applicable for the “bride”. I am just totally annoyed with customs that is “bound” for the helpless bride in a new family which is illogical and disturbing!
    Your scenario is different to be commented from my part I think. It is different culture and religion, and I can’t feel the things like you. But all I can say is, there should not be any customs that becomes irritating and annoying to follow and illogical as well.
    I believe your reasons are right.

    • Sad to hear about your sister’s condition..Rituals are acceptable till they are tolerable which in turn is relative to every person and thats where personal freedom comes.
      Following so many customs, I wonder, which bride enjoys her wedding day?? I didn’t!

  13. The last line is the best !! The message is well conveyed !!

    “This is me and this is my wrist. So back off you idiots or else your face will have the mark of my bangle less wrist” :D :D :D :D

    Arey, do whatever you feel like. Its your body and you have the right to do anything on it. You go girl; I mean woman !!! You see, after marriage, a girl becomes woman, but a man remains a man ;)

  14. My point is that if someone likes to follow some custom, they should by all means!! But they should never try to impose their beliefs on others who don’t agree with such traditions and customs, without any solid reason.
    Exactly my thoughts too Reema.

    LOVE the post. It says a lot of what I feel too.

    Some days I might feel like following some ritual and on other days I might not feel like following the same ritual/custom.
    Doing either of these things shouldn’t make me less or more of anything!

  15. beautifully said here ” The commitment marriage symbolizes should be deep-seated in one’s conscience and should not depend on external “reminders” like sindoor, bangles, bichiya etc.”

    I dont wear sindoor (apart from once a year on karwachauth day and that too because I feel good wearing it)…. dont wear my mangalsutra awlays (its just another piece of jewelery for me if it matches with my dress why not else no), dont wear bichiya and I dont put bindi regularly… all this was a huge huge huge problem when I got married… mil who lived with us will constantly get upset, people would tell me that wear and leave and then put in ur pocket … I say why? we indians pretend too much

    I have very often got comments from people saying that I dont look like a married woman, I only ask them… why is the married woman supposed to have horns on the head? ;-)

    now after 5 yrs of marriage everyone has made peace with the fact that they were never see me as a TYPICAL INDIAN WOMAN always…

    good post reema

    • I really wonder that why do women need to show that they are married?? And even if some women want to then they are free to do so..but if some don’t then let them be too!

  16. What you believe or follow is very personal and shouldn’t be forced on you (but not all ladies are lucky enugh that things are not forced on them). If you want to follow a certain ritual it should be when you believe in them! I apply sindoor, bichiya & bindi not because I am being forced to but because I like them! But I wud never force it on anyone and I am also very clear that if I don’t use them then I wouldn’t be apologetic about it & nither would I look out for reasons for not applying them. But then I wouldn’t even look out for scientific reasons behind why should or shouldn’t one apply sindoor because if we start doing that then I would ask what is the scientific reason behind marriage & so many other things we do like celebrating certain festivals! At the end of the day it is a matter of belief!!!

    As far as saying sindoor being toxic is concerned all I would say we all should know which quality product should be used & where!!! By saying it is toxic that’s why it should be avoided is an excuse for me! I have seen my mother using it for ages & I have been using for last 3 years and I am yet to see negatives of it! If I don’t believe in it I don’t believe in it!!! And as u said each to its own!

    I hope the people who have been really irritating you with these questions have read your response to them :)

  17. i dint know ppl were still so particular about these things..being pestered to wear the sindoor to “look” like a married women.. being “allowed” by the husband to wear salwar kameezes…etc… i thot we were well over that prehistoric phase in human history… just goes to show how wrong i am about the world..

    wearing toes rings, sindoor etc etc.. is a very personal thing and shud be left to the person.. if u want to wear it, u wear it (every day, occassionally, watever) if u are not comfortbale with it, u forget about it.. i agree with u when u say committment is much more than external reminders… and yes, there is the issue of it being a rather gender insensitive demand on women…

    that said, i LOVE the red-ivory bong bangles!!!! wat do u call it ?shankha pola?i recommend u wear it(both ivory AND red)… i think u shud wear it as a style statement…wat say ? :0)

    • mandira u know I am not a bong but I sometimes do wear as a style statement ;-) only last week I wore a bong cotton saree, put a round bindi and wore these bangle but then IT WAS MY CHOICE :D

    • I love the bangles color combination and they look good one my wrists..but since my work involves writing at a desk its uncomfortable so i don’t wear them. :)

  18. I always feel that ‘marriage’ changes ‘others’ more than the one getting married, simply because people’s perceptions and expectations change!

    • so very well said!ive been reading all the answers…and i do so agree to the fact that it is becoz others wantr or expect to see you in a perticular way that u are expected to change and deliver the look of being a married woman.ive been married for 27 yrs now…..and when i got married we never had a choice of differing from ur elders…doing so would mean disaster…and as i was studing my way through life in order to gain an education i took it upon my self to ignore the nitty grittys of shakha pola and sindur dislike and concentrate on study because i actually would have to give up study if i complained about my apparel dislike…..as it is i was being given a tough time trying to complete a sound education …coz ghar ki bhahu shadhi ke baad padte nahi hain….kitchen uski sub honi chahiye……..but i fought thru that era and today you girls have to fight thru a different type of bandish…..avoiding marriage signs in a female….becoz the elders want to see you that way…..the elders forget that todays girl goes out to work…earns her own bread and in such a situation being one with her co workers is what is a done thing…esp since the world has become a unit now…..when one chooses a girl you are expected to be an educated working girl and when it comes to having your own say becoz u have a fertile brain u are expected to abide by the rules of the land…in this case elders/society….stinks of hypocritism!i was surprised that scientific reason is being put in as reason for woman having to wear her respective ornaments…in that case this science would or should have been universal…..all countries should have to follow this norm…not only Indians!

  19. we have one life and live the life like you want Reema.. you are doing that…

    It’s up to us to decide what to do… :) :)

    and congrats on the blogadda pick :) :)

  20. “The commitment marriage symbolizes should be deep-seated in one’s conscience and should not depend on external “reminders” like sindoor, bangles, bichiya etc.”

    At my previous workplace, we were having a similar discussion. It started when someone asked me why I preferred not to wear a mangalsutra and toe-rings all the time.

    I don’t like the concept of forcibly making someone change, just because she’s married. (Note that the guy never has to do such a thing!). Unfortunately, this colleague of mine (male) got all incensed and said “But the mangalsutra is not just a piece of jewellery, there are certain sentiments attached to it…”

    To which my reply was similar to what you’ve said here: “I’d rather be a good, committed, supportive wife than wear mangalsutra, bangles, bindi and toe-rings, and pretend to be all goody-goody and snipe at my husband all the time.”

    Needless to say, he didn’t get it. Argh.

    PS. Came here through blogadda. Now I think I’ll make a post about this on mine too!

  21. so true Reema! why are all teh customs and traditions meant only for the women and not the men??

    Loved your last para..and Live and let live, is so simple yet so tough to follow.

    btw terrific header. :)

  22. It is very simple to identify a married man. They carry Tupperware to the office. They don’t look cool, or try to look cool. They think they are wise and they only speak philosophy.

  23. very well said…. Marriage is not a chain to tie us to customs… or for that matter no custom should tie us down. We need to follow things wholeheartedly rather than by force… love your post… :P

  24. Totally agree with you on this topic Reema. Gender-biased rituals are simply appalling. It’s self-loathing to live a life without being opinionated, loved, respected and accepted for the way we are.

    BTW, how’s married life treating you and your better half? ;) Take care dear, it’s great to be back to the blogging world again.

  25. Pingback: Three Cheers!!! « My Random Thoughts

  26. Congratulations Reema!! BlogAdda couldn’t have missed this one.

    I agree with you. “Live and Let Live” is the philosophy that doesn’t go too well with the Traditionals. But I think we are getting there, albeit, slowly. And its people like you who are making it happen. So lets just stand tall and watch the world change around us.

  27. Hey..I have/am too faced the same questions time to time from my female and male(too) colleagues..for not displaying any signs of being married..I too have the same opinion as yours..its our choice and our beliefs we should stick to..being married and committed are the feelings should come from the heart..just display will gain us nothing :-)

  28. Decision about one’s appearance should always stay with the person himself/herself unless he/she grants someone else to comment. I also read your discussion with Amit up there. I have endured and so I agree that when a traditional wedding happens, it takes everybody with it, some willingly, some forcefully. You cannot get stubborn there. We almost feel like chess pieces being moved on board. :P

  29. proof of marri..
    proof of trust
    proof of love
    proof of being togethor
    aniruddh

  30. “Later I learned that A had commented to another friend that I have become arrogant after marriage!!!” hahahaha…how typical!!
    and
    ““Now that you are married, you can wear saree. Why don’t you?”” LOL — as if otherwise you cant!

    I totally agree with you, word for word, on this post! All of these and more have been directed to me as well. Hehe, why, I have even been asked “WHY” i got married if i cant wear the sindhoor and the ring and the mangalsoothra at all times.
    Now, i have a revulsion to jewellery. the only thing I like wearing are earrings and a watch (and the bindi, of course!) So, am seldom seen without my wedding ring, and my necklace. In fact, am OK with the ring — but I HATE anything rubbing around my neck…i dont even wear those salwars with a collar!

    Like yu said, i don’t understand why we should “display” our marital status! And yea, a wedding band/mangalsoothra (thaali, in our language)/bangles/decked-in-gold attire does not “mean” one is married; it simply “shows”, i guess. Intangible, invible things like “understanding”, “love”, “commitment”, etc. defines a marriage!

    Well written, Reema!

  31. First time on your blog and I stumbled up on this topic. I couldn’t agree more with what you have written.

    I have been fortunate enough not to face questions or comments like that (mostly!) but once I received a comment from someone which I would like to share here.

    I was having a chat with one of my colleague (he is not Indian). The conversation went on like below:

    A: Ah! you tried to colour your hair didn’t you!
    Me :(Surprised!!) No, I didn’t.
    A: Oh! Comon! I can see that red colour in your forehead. You didn’t do a good job in washing it though!
    Me : Oh That! That’s not hair colour its just a powder we have to wear! A tradition!
    A: Tradition? (Surprised and gave me a look which suggested I should explain more in details!)
    Me: Yeah! In our culture once you are a married woman, you are suppose to were that red powder on your forehead as a symbol of marriage.
    A: Really!!(Extremely surprised) They mark you in RED when you are married!!
    Me: (Speechless)

  32. I agree with you Reema…I myself do not follow such rituals. If it pleases me I wear my Mangalsutra else I don’t.

    Marriage is all about trust and respect for your spouse. Old rituals become obsolete with changing times. What is the point in wearing sindoor and bangles and sarees and then cheating on your Husband.

    Hate such rigidity people want to shackle you in…

  33. I wonder if it is Indian men particularly who have these notions. I know of a lot of my cousins who in my eyes were broad-minded and not conservative, always up for having a good time, suddenly turning into men with dos and donts for their wives. As much as I love them, I can’t but notice the double standards. From changing their surname to wanting them ‘decently dressed’ – which in India I guess would mean, keep the short tops and tight jeans away please. And I so loved your observation on the ease with which Indian women use I’m permitted and he does not mind and he’s allowed me phrases to denote personal choices. After marriage is hardly about two people in India, is it now?

    • Yes..Men change their views and beliefs when it comes to their wives. One of my colleagues got married recently. On their way back from honeymoon, prior to arrival of the station, the husband asked her to change into sari and she did!! She was wearing salwar kameez before that!

  34. yeah well it is unfortunate that there are such remnants of Patriarchy still. Anywayz, nice n interesting read !

  35. Reema, you spoke my mind, even I got married in the traditional Bong style but later me and my loving hubby discussed and derived that donning the silly stamps of being married is utter crap. Then on there’s been no looking back. People call me non-chalant as I don’t even pretend in the presence of MIL.. can’t help. My n my husband wear our wedding rings and that’s what makes us happy :)

    The line about Sindoor that ‘it adds a certain glow to the face’ is simply hilarious.

    Loved your post, its the first time I visited your blog.. that too by chance, I’ll surely keep coming back.

  36. Hello Girls,
    I am very happy to read this blog and want to know your opinions about my problems.
    Unfortunately, I have got the person (partner) whose thinking is extremely orthodox. U wont believe that we stay in Europe, I am software Engineer, pursuing PhD in Computer Science and going to my department, everyday with Bindi applied on my forehead. I am FORCED to wear bangles, apply Bindi although am still OK with Mangalsutra. I am not PERMITTED to wear tight jeans, short kurtas and SLEEVELESS where before marriage I wore nothing but sleeveless dresses, capris, tight jeans. And I wasn’t wearing that to attract boys but for comfort. I used the word PERMITTED becoz if I dont do so, I get scolded.. :(…I cannt discuss this with my parents as I dont want them to be tensed for me…
    But yes, I am in lots of frustration, tension and emotionally abused.. :(
    Some times I feel like getting rid off this relation and stay alone for the rest of my life…
    I dont know what to do…
    Please guide me…

  37. forgot to mention some more things…I get scold always if I open my mouth for expressing my feelings, for expressing my enger. I get to hear the statements “Dont you know how to talk with your HUSBAND?”, “how can you say this to your HUSBAND”….”How can you shout on your HUSBAND”…and much more…I am doubted many times for having affairs which is not true…I am completely FRUSTRATED :( :(

  38. i put the sindoor for the first year for marriage and was totally happy about doing it. it was like winning a cup or a medal that i could show off and carry around with me all the time. i was so proud of my marriage….later of course the initial euphoria had sunk in and i was giving in to the demands of a really hectic life of a working mom of two. so the sindoor …shankha pola loha all gave way to the more convenient ways of dressing.
    i never got to change my surname…both me and my husband were too lazy to do that. but I like to call myself mrs. arora when the courier guys wants my signature….and even otherwise…I dont mind people thinking I’m a typical punjabi aunty ji. what I think of myself is more important to me.
    though you said you only care about people you love hence you compromised on your wedding day….for others there seems to be a deliberate effort on your part to let them know how particular you’re about gender equality. from being a rebel (that bengali girls usually are), I’ve settled down in a domestic life….however, even after ten years of marriage, my husband makes tea for me every morning…besides doing half the house work, also makes rotis….(since punjabi are supposed to be good at it), i make rice as I’m a bengali and smart! what I mean is wearing or not wearing the symbols of marriage does not assure equality in a marriage, that is dependent on both the people, and also on how you handle your marriage.

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