Our world, their world

Recently, I met an old friend after almost a decade. After we got chatting about college and common friends, he suddenly enquired, “Do you know Ms G was engaged to one of our friends, Mr S? But, they called off their wedding just recently, it seems Ms G was involved with someone else and S came to know about it. They decided to part amicably; neither of them wanted a fuss. Ms G is going to marry that other guy in June,” he said. “But what about S, how is he coping with it,” I asked. The friend replied, “He was very upset but now he is okay. He will find someone else soon. Is there a dearth of girls,” he shrugged, as if he had said some irrefutable fact. The topic ended with that; I was neither taken aback, nor did I ponder over that story, given that I have been a witness to many such similar incidents.

Today morning, my otherwise cheerful maid appeared a little sombre and worried. After doing the chores for a while she came up to me and burst into tears. “My daughter’s fiancé has married another girl. We just got to know about it,” she said sobbing inconsolably.

My family and I had attended the daughter’s engagement in November last year. The function was a gala affair, much similar to engagement functions that happen in my family. My mom had even remarked, “I am sure she will not compromise on anything, after all, this is her first daughter’s wedding. See, she is going to astonish everyone with grandeur.” True to my mom’s words, more than 200 guests were invited for the function and the dinner was nothing less than a grand feast.

It was shocking to hear about this unexpected turn of events. I didn’t have any words to console her. She was in a pitiful state, as she sobbed out the story in detail. My parents counselled her, saying her daughter was fortunate to have learnt about her fiance’s intentions. Imagine what you would have done, if he married another girl after marrying your daughter. Say good riddance and help your daughter move one, they told her.

It was easier said than done, we all knew. For people like my maid, it all boiled down to their honour. Daughters’ happiness, tears, anguish and sorrow drowned in honour. Now, my maid’s husband is contemplating suicide, my maid has lost all hope and her daughter is totally broken. The incident left me wondering if some strata of the society lived in a completely different world. How drastically do the definitions of honour, pride and humiliation differ among various sections? An event can be perceived in multiple ways according to one’s economical and social status. What is a mere bad experience for one can be a tragedy of a lifetime for another.

In my friend’s case it was about heartbreak and coping with it but for my maid’s daughter it is a tug of war between upholding family honour for the society and her misery.


2 Responses to “Our world, their world”

  1. Situations geographically distanced (or otherwise) are similar, trust me. Humiliation and misery will always be regardless of scenarios.

    Its when I hear stories like these that I thank God I am queer… No offence to those who still believe in Bollywood type happy endings though…

  2. Manindra Prashar Says:

    a really moving….

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