Monday, April 4, 2016

C - Chandana

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Pa, you have taught me to be strong
You have never stopped me from reaching for my dreams
Ma, you have taught me that being gentle is a virtue too
You gave me hope when I was stuck in a bleak world

But today I see you haggling over dowry 
The price of my freedom for a happy marriage
I see my worth being measured in sovereigns of gold 
And the market value of property to my name

It seems oddly like tallying of a balance sheet 
You see me as an asset, but in their eyes
I'm nothing but a liability, unless I come decked in jewels
But even then what after I turn into an overused commodity?

My looks, my dreams, my values seems to mean so little today
When I stand in front of those so called prospective grooms
Appraising me head to toe, dissecting me with their eyes
My thoughts shrivel up and curl inside with each word they say 

Isn't marriage supposed to be a relationship? 
One based on mutual trust and respect? 
Or is it simply another business arrangement?
You have both taught me it is so much more

Today, please don't be frantic, for fear of my passing years
For the ticking of my biological clock 
I would rather remain as just the daughter that you both love
Than as the trophy wife who was negotiated on a whim 

Someday maybe I will find someone 
Someone who will not be bothered by your bank balance 
Or whether I have mastered the art of making perfect rotis 
So that even afterwards, I can continue to be who I am today 

Without my dreams turning into dust 
Without hopes being crushed 
Where I will be looked at with respect and love
And not just as a bejeweled garish clown or fool...

Linking this post to the A to Z Challenge


  1. What you say is very true. Is a woman's worth quantified by dowry and is marriage the goal ? I love the way you bring out the evils that exist in our society and the biases that women face

  2. I once stayed with this awesome and smart girl whose father was a scientist... She was supposed to go to US for a new role... And the reason behind that she wanted to earn enough to pay her dowry. Such is the situation.. Beautiful write.

    1. That's the sad thing. People, irrespective of their class or education are expected to pay dowry when they get their daughters married off. Let's hope it changes.

  3. beautiful verses... the woes of Chandana can be deeply felt...

  4. Brilliant Aathira. We feel our parents open minded and then this happens. Its heart breaking and they say to understand their perspective. They could understand ours too right ?
    Well said!

  5. I very bluntly call the men who demand dowry as the most shameless people on earth (and by more cheap words). I hate the very concept of marketing the women in terms of monetary offers made.Come on which era are we in? My blood boils for such families who loot the girl's dignity.Time to fight back! Lovely lines girl:)

    Do drop by:

    1. Thank you, Rashmi! I really hope that mentality changes for the sake of our girls.

  6. Slowly but surely, I hope this evil will also perish. we hear of so many brave girls refusing to marry, giving a thumbs down to people who ask for dowry. But if the girl's parents themselves don't see this a wrong, wonder how far a girl can go. Beautiful lines, shows the girl's plight so well.

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

  7. Beautifully penned dear... I empathize Chandana and I hope one day everyone will listen to her distress.

    Visiting from A to Z Challenge... :)

  8. Oh, this is beautiful! I remember my Dad saying, "My daughter is not for sale" when many demanded dowry for my wedding!

    Beautifully penned! :)

    1. Haha :D I have also faced the same situation which is what made me write this. Thank you, Shalini!

  9. The feelings and the emotions are so well displayed in this piece Aathira. It happens with so many girls in society. Parents teach their girls the best of values and set the best of examples for them, but the moment marriage time comes, they forget all their lessons and simply want their daughter to get married, succumbing to the groom's and his family's need. And I specially hate this part.

    Wonderful post, indeed. :)


    1. That's the story in most of the Indian families sadly. Let's hope to be the change :)

  10. How many Chandana's do we come across daily? When will marriage stop being a business arrangement?!

    Well written.

  11. So true Aathira. This has been the situation of so many girls in India. And I love how you brought forth such a wonderful message through the poem.
    Reema D’souza from
    Reem Writes...

  12. Parents give their girls everything and let them grow as bold as anything. But when marriage comes, everything goes abrupt.

  13. Oh yeah. This is so commonplace in the country that it is saddening. :( I hope such Chandanas find their dreams and their dream man without the money or gold stopping them.


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