The Quote -

"Nope, I don't really have anything new to say. but then, I always have something amazing to tell about things that you already know!!"

-Muthu

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Definitely Dowry – A Short Story

Dowry - The definition

Money, goods or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage. It has a long history in Europe, South Asia and Africa. Being a conditional gift helping the husband to discharge the responsibilities of marriage, its practice more or less disappeared in Europe in the 19th and 20th century. However the practice grew in South Asia where in some cases delayed or insufficient dowry has made some young wives the victims of torture and sometimes death by the in-laws.

The snap-



The Story:


He slowly opened his eyes, waking himself out of the final traces of slumber and found his hands instinctively reaching out to his side to his newly wed wife. The warmth of her sent a tingle through his skin and just as he lifted his head of the pillow to see whether she was asleep or awake, he felt her hands ruffle through his hair and simply smiled. The room was bathing in the morning’s golden sunlight- warm and lustrous thrusting life into every thing it touches. She got up, walked up to the window and stood there looking outside, the light bounced on her and exploded into a million rainbows. He took a deep breath savoring the loveliness of the morning on his wife and thanked his lucky stars that he got married to this lovely lady, as he got behind her and slightly brushed his lips against her cheek kissing her.

It looked to him as if she was deep in thought and like any new husband ready to impress his wife in a jiffy, he asked her what was on her mind. She looked into his eyes, gave a slow sad smile, then said “Nothing, it was just something I was thinking”

“Something huh???”

“Yeah it’s ok. It’s no big deal”

He stood there looking at his wife ordering some tea through the room service telephone, totally bewildered and stumped, unable to understand why she just blew him off without any answer. He must have stood there for a while; she looked at him, tilted her head as she always does when she questions him and quipped “What?? Why are you staring like that??"

“Nothing, it’s just that I was wondering whats keeping you so lost in thought…….”

She simply sat down at the tea table without showing any intent of responding to the question. What are men supposed to do when they met with such indifference while talking to a girl? After all men are logical creatures, who would rather understand quantum mechanics than the workings of the mind of the fairer sex. Without an inkling of an idea on what to do, he did the right thing, he simply waited for her to answer.


Exasperated with the long silence, he started to contemplate on breaking it with some idle prattle, just then the tea arrived. Eying his large tip, the room service who brought the tea pot gave a big smile and after making sure that the couple did not need any other thing, he left the room as deftly as he entered. The tea was tepidly warm and refreshing. He inhaled the aroma and started to sip it. It gave him something to do rather than to stare at his wife who doesn't seem to acknowledge him.

“Have I been sold to you darling??”

He chocked. Her feminine voice, so calm yet sharp in an morbid manner churned up his insides, rattling him. The tea along with the words and the tone that she delivered them, it couldn’t have been more bizarre. When kicked in the balls by a girl, a guy though in pure torturous pain rarely responds violently instead he simply stands there wondering what in god’s holy name did he do to deserve this. It was in such a state of poetic pity, that the newly married husband was left with.

Women are invariably comfortable with monologues especially when they need to speak their heart out. They just need someone who would listen. Someone who would listen to them seriously, then chide them with a smile and a kiss for thinking things in such a silly pretext.

“It’s the dowry that keeps bugging my mind. I don’t really see the need of it, in the least the reason behind it. Well, it’s not like we are in medieval ages, it’s the 21st century and for heaven’s sake I earn as much as you do. It hurts me plenty to know that I have just been sold to the best bidder. How else can I put the money and property that you and your parents got out of mine? How more pathetic my father could have been blaming the society when I asked the same question to him – Am I being sold?”

She then gave a sardonic smile and brushing away a few strands of hair that were falling to her gloomy eyes; she looked at him and quipped like saying the punch line for a bad joke. “And you know what the real fun part is, not even a single soul understood me, even barely listened to me”

After a second or may be two, he stood up from the tea table and went to her, laying his hands on her shoulder he kissed her forehead, and looking deep in those dark raven black eyes, he said in the most empathizing voice “I understand”. Blossoming flowers drenched in dew were put to shame as her eyes turned moist and she kissed him as if it was the most natural thing to happen and overwhelmed with gratitude, she quipped “Thank You”. He couldn’t have been more understanding.

After a few cherished seconds of cuddled warmth, she gave him a peck on the cheek and went to the bathroom to shower. He moved about to the balcony and after a few seconds of thought, rang up his father in law from his mobile and was greeted by his sleepy voice. After the usual chit chat, the newly married son in law stammered more than a little bit trying to find the right words. “Actually……..I called to confirm……… whether you credited to my account ……… that money you promised”

“No, not yet. I was thinking of transferring it to you in a couple of days. Why? Is there any problem? Are you guys doing OK?”

“Yes of course we are fine. Well, the thing is……. It would be good if it’s done by tomorrow and please don’t let her know that I requested this of you. I mean………. you know her. It would upset her”

The father in law answered with the most empathizing voice “I understand”

The son in law was so overwhelmed with gratitude, that he simply quipped “Thank you”. After all he couldn’t have been more understanding.

47 comments:

ABHISHEK SiM said...

"After all men are logical creatures, who would rather understand quantum mechanics than the workings of the mind of the fairer sex" - Applause! Applause! Applause!

The end was very ironical. Why am I not able to accept that it could be true?

Sowmi said...

hey wonderful post after a very long time :)

for collecting dowry groom's parents say "We've spent so much for his studies"...

Even we spend so much of money for studies... Guys are ready to pay dowry for that??????? if we ask where guys will go?????? huh??? am furious actually....... i am ready to marry a guy immediately, if he pays me 3lacs as dowry (money i spent for mba and cwa)

Rane (The Orchid with All Shades Pink) said...

my hands are itching to go and slap the 'husband' here in question, not for taking dowry as much...but for that phone call and timing of it.

and you are a genius!

Rane

Anu said...

great way of putting it,muthu...yes, it has to be the guys who refuse steadfastly to accept dowry...... how is it possible to curb such practices unless we overcome this sort of greed?

Netika Lumb said...

OUCH!!
The end was morbid. But you know what made this story memorable(and trust me I am never going to forget this), the END!!
Had the end been typical; portraying the guy in good light, I would not have even thought about it. But the atypical will never be forgotten!

And BTW, it's not always as easy to keep a women happy with a "I understand" and a Kiss. Some women are difficult to please. My saying this is an obvius statement to make but it is also the truth!

muthu said...

@ ABHISHEK SiM --

hmhm-- there are of course guys who are coming out of blindly following the so called customs and accepting dowry as another norm of the society...

But I think they are too scarce when compared to the majority of male opportunists who just go along with the stride of the society -- to claim themselves good money....


thats why I made the ending ironical....

:) cheers.

muthu said...

@ Sowmy --

Yup, I can see what U mean....

people who say they claim dowry for the money they spent on the bride groom's education are the just bullshitting themselves and all others around them to get their hands on some dough...

hey, you are one great gal, any guy would be lucky 2 have U ??

& marriage is not abt money. so why make money a issue in it???

what say??


:)

muthu said...

@ Rane (The Orchid with All Shades Pink)

hmhm-- U are right....

the timing -- shows that-- the husband though, he showed like he cared to his wife was just reminded abt his dowry money -- when he heard her troubled thoughts....

& yeah, I second your thoughts of slapping...


cheers... :)

muthu said...

@ Anu --

hmhm-- it's like you said...

People are not interested in customs and stuff, they just want to continue the tradition of dowry mainly b coz of the money they make out of it....

What I cant really fathom.. is how women live with it. ie after being married with giving ridiculous amount of dowry.....

Sorry, But I just cant accept it.

I sincerely hope things to change...

muthu said...

@ Netika Lumb --

am so happy.... U know what makes me happy -- on writing a story...

the knowledge that it made a mark in some1's heart.

thats my inspiration... my fuel....

:)

OK---

let me ask you something--

answer me from the viewpoint of a gal---

when was the last time some guy listened to you..

I mean really listened 2 you-- on what U are saying, how u feel abt that issue, your pain, your fears and

accepted you as you are....

I dont think many men would do that..

what say??

:?

The Rat... said...

know wat? the system of dowry is still prevalent very much in Saudi Arabia... but only the process is reversed, guys pay to the girl's family to get her hand for marriage... the younger the girl, more the money he has to pay :-)

and hey nice story... but i dont think such a relation will stand against time... he is lying for goodness sake.. :(

preposterous girl said...

OUCH!!
That hurts.. I thought the guy called up to say he doesn't want money now..
Very aptly said "Women are invariably comfortable with monologues especially when they need to speak their heart out"
Mutthu u deserve an applause.. for writting such hard hitting stories..
Kudos Man.. :)
Keep writting.. :)

muthu said...

@ the rat --

thank god -- I was not born in Saudi.... :P

hmhm-- I think it doesn't matter from which party gives the money to which party....

the idea of bringing money into matrimony sucks big time.

muthu said...

@ preposterous girl --

:) thanks 4 the compliments ....

hmhm-- I myself enjoy listening to gals....

my sis, my mom, my aunts & my frds....

they can always add spice to even the most simple things...

cheers.. :)

Swetha Padakandla said...

wonderful!
the expressions are written beautifully

sad about the husband! cruel him.. x:(
but its a fiction.. :P

cheers

Netika Lumb said...

Men easily get bored with discussing 'fears, desires, pain et al' of women. They'll prefer discussing(if at all) their own.Which is one reason why some smart women don't discuss it all. Now, if a women isn't "discussing", then she has OBVIOUSLY not let all strings loose and hence, isn't that easy to understand which implies it gets difficult to impress her.

Sadly, you guys just aren't programmed that ways.

muthu said...

@ Swetha Padakandla --

hmhm -- rather than cruel, I would say that husband s -- an cheap opportunist who is making of money of his relationship....

and thanks 4 your compliments...

cheers. :)

muthu said...

@ Netika Lumb --

hmhm---

Yeah, I have to accept the fact. We guys are not programmed to listen to gals...

But then, it does not apply to all the gals (may be a majority of them), but every guy knows in his heart that he will listen to the gal-- he wants to listen to.

It s what that makes, that particular gal special....


Yeah.... gals are difficult to impress if they don't want to be so. But I think every gal wants to be impressed by some guy. Wants to be swept away by some price charming...

They just don't wanna make make it look like it's gonna be easy...

Right??


:?

The Illuminator said...

Awesome post. I am sure a women understands when men use phrases like "I understand" to satiate their curiousity. Dowry is an evil which is often opposed in words but never backed in action. And the sad part is that majority of our educated population indulges in it!! Great story...

Diya said...

oooh! wow, Y dint you end it in this way... And so he wrote a note leaving her the whole money he was being credited by his father-in-law and jumped off the Balcony!
How preposterous can guys be... Maybe this is an example!

nevertheless, You created a masterpiece out of it, I am certainly at awe of your skills! Cheers :)

muthu said...

@ The Illuminator --

Yeah dowry is a crime done not because of lack of education but done to satiate the greed of people...

Or to satiate the feeling of importance and status in the society...

Thanks 4 your compliments...

cheers..

muthu said...

@ Diya --

Life diya, is in itself a ironic masterpiece..

I always try to give in my story- the most possible ending. the ending that has the best chance of happening....

That makes it gud- I think....


& yeah, guys can be preposterous....

But then-- when guys become like that... Isnt it the duty of U gals to kick some sense into him??


What say?? :?

Americanising Desi said...

do men and discussions go together?
unless it is a sport?

muthu said...

@ Americanising Desi --

hmhm---

hard to say.. Yeah when when in groups discuss things that deal with adrenaline and politics mostly...

namely sports and similar stuff...

---- But when each guy is alone, he is different to talk to..

You will notice that he too can listen and he too can share with you his experiences...

Amit Gupta said...

so every one understands but no one wants to change......dats the biggest problem in our society...well narrated....

muthu said...

@ Amit Gupta --

Yeah... people want to make how much ever money they can using the opportunity...

Cinderella. said...

Oh wonderful !

This is so more realistic and truer than most of the stories I have come across offlate.

I love the way you fluidly swept through the setting, I love the way you measured their thoughts, and I love how you put it up, I love it all the more you could come up with something like this !!

Splendid !!

Renu said...

Nice story, but now-a-days not so true. In my family many boys didnt take a single paisa and even then spent a lot on the girl's education after marriage.
Secondly dowry is a bad name, otherwise ..when a boy gets his share in property, why shouldnt a girl get her share? and this is the share she brings to marriage, then only she can ask for equality>

Zabi said...

awesome. expressl of cynicism is real and at the same time unnerving yet touching. Your prose in wonderful..

muthu said...

@ Cindrella --

I am so glad You loves the story......

U know what... I too love this story. :)

hey have you read my other story

"The spring" -- I kind a feel that you will love it..

So, If you haven't, Do try it out..

cheers...... :)

muthu said...

@ Renu ---

hmhm... Valid & sharp points Renu... Nowadays many people are abandoning such practices..

I am glad that your family is one of them.... :)

&

Yeah, If a gal brings the share of her property, then quoting the name dowry is not really an appropriate one...

U are of course right...

Thank you 4 bringing this point out...

:)

muthu said...

@ Zabi ---

Thanks a lot for your compliments zebi...

& welcome to my blog...

Hope 2 see more of you here....

cheers. :)

venus66 said...

I love your write. Wonderful flow.
The message is good too. In Malaysia it is not so true. Maybe there are a few.

muthu said...

@ Venus66-

thanks 4 your compliments..

Am glad that Malaysia stands out in this regards..

cheers... :)

a drop said...

really nice,
I always am furious about this dowry,
but these guys philosophy like you do,but I don't mean you,becoz I don't know you and finally end up with a great ransom.
anyway was very nice,if at all it has changed one heart it would be the best

muthu said...

@ a drop ---

Yup.. I agree with you..

If alone I can make a single soul rethink the process of dowry by my tale, then I am satisfied..

:)

Renu said...

I already read the post and gave myb reaction too.its still the same:)..unless anything is specifically demanded, I dont like naming the traditions as dowry..

muthu said...

hmhm..... sometimes i wonder, what really are our traditions?? What defines our culture? I just hope traditions is something good passed on from generation to generation rather than something that's copied from generation to generation without being understood.

Renu said...

See , both side parents contribute to the welfare of children,but ways are different...

And a little bit of give and take makes the relations sweet and beautiful, otherwise they become dry..

since the girl goes to the other house she takes small gift with her to the family, dont we do the same when we go to friends..its only etiquette..

But yes if girl's side is not financially well off and doesnt want to do, its their outlook and they shouldnt be forced,

muthu said...

yeah, I agree with you. Both the parents would love to be there for their children and yea, relations are about give and take.

But -- since you mentioned it- I couldn't help but bring up one thing. Why is that the women always go to live with the husband's family? Isn't it kind of prejudiced. Wouldn't parents who have girls, love to live with them always!! I am just wondering!!

Renu said...

This is a system devised to run the family smoothly and the name given is patriarchy.

And not many traditional parents would like to live with girls, as its not in our culture, but whenevr needed yes girls are do everything for their parents.

In hindu marriage there is a tradition of doing Kanyadaan, and when one has given something one cant have any right on that logically too...

muthu said...

hmhm........ I think am just not able to make sense of certain things like patriarchy and kanyadaan.

Renu said...

you may google them:)

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