Day 115: And yet we never support our girls

Any trouble in married-land and we are already ready with our guns pointed at the girl. H and her married life has proved to me that marriage is invariably a union of two dysfunctional families, one that makes your own weirdeties seem like the better of the lot. It’s also a union where one party invariably makes more sacrifices than the other and they spend the rest of their lives either making up for it or being morose about it.

What is critical for them to realize is that sacrifices are expected, and are justified as long as they are balanced out. I’d like to see the man live in Bangalore for a month, working from here, while building his social circle here. He would understand exactly what H is going through after moving to KL to start her life with him.

Invariably, the woman is expected to make the grand sacrifices, of her economic, emotional and social stability, and is expected to fit in seamlessly into the newfound circles. Any inability or trouble in doing that is automatically deduced as the girl’s disability and poor upbringing. Any leniency or support from the man’s side is seen as him being a pussy or wife-whipped. He himself walks with the superiority of having done a favor, while a relationship is equal work from both ends.

What got me thinking on these lines today was the conversation with dad, when he almost seemed apologetic for his daughter’s temper and the trouble in the marriage. It’s funny how little they had made an effort to see what might be causing the ill mood, the trigger from the other end. I dared him to tell me one instance where the mother of that son would have accepted his flaws openly. To her, he is the unspoilt unpolished diamond from the lines of South Africa. And on the other side, we let our daughter take the stab for everything, even something like marriage that takes a village to run the show right.

The patriarchy was evident when he justified himself by saying, ‘How can I say that the guy is at fault when I’m sitting in his house and eating his food?’ What happened to the part of the meal that his daughter had paid for? I thought the house automatically became ‘their’ house because what is his is hers. No?

That’s why I say the girls should stay home with their mummies all their lives, S. Then you have the comfort of the same bed all along. Aaah those pleasures.” Scotch

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Day 46: Quiet Cracks

Quiet

We walked into the Special School today and immediately knew something was amiss. An eerie silence had replaced the usual cacophony of bawling and yelling. Turned out that the whole school had driven over to the main school, to do a stage rehearsal of the skit. I was excited and dejected, all in one. We hadn’t seen a single rehearsal this far and were hoping we’d see them practice today. Turns out we’ll directly see our skit performed on stage.

With the kids gone, and no constant questions from Jeslyn to worry about, we got a lot of work done on the props today. We colored the car, cut out the scooter, colored its tyres and the seat. I even managed to make little number plates for both before the kids came back from practice, jumping with excitement.

Mum had donated 7 of her sarees that were never getting worn but were presentable. I brought it to the loom so the kids could do their magic and give me 2 big carpets. I’m looking forward to their call in September to pick up my finished product.

Cracks

There was an underlying cold air amidst the three of us through the whole day. While we were able to keep some of the differences aside and work professionally, it was clear that there was a crack in the China and no amount of mending could fix it.

I drove with Ms. RS to college earlier today and caught her up on the Religion’s drama. Having been an alumni of the same program that I am in, she was able to relate to similar issues in her senior batch, her own batch and her junior batch too. I remember, AA was frustrated by the time he reached the 4th semester, and couldn’t wait for the ordeal to be over. Would I be in a similar state in half a year too?

All these data got the two of us wondering if the teachers in the department were catalysts to these discernments in a huge way. A majority of the teachers here are catholics, in a catholic institution, teaching sisters like SrA every year. Say what you might but there’s only so much objectivity they can bring in. Teachers definitely pick favorites early on, their little caddies to run their errands and play administrative staff. I remember this from school too: the popular kids that ran behind teachers with their bags and books. Would you really grade you caddy poorly and continue to expect him to pick up after you?

When bound by their duty to their profession and to their religion, what would the teachers pick first? There lies one key problem in our secular, but not so secular, education system.

Sigh! Why are you so caught up in this religion blah, S? 

Relax. Do your karma. Give me some food. The rest will follow.” Scotch