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New Age Tamil Girls

March 22, 2017

I am still recovering from the shock of what my aunt told me last week.

My distant 26 year old nephew is a software engineer. Now he is earning 6 digit income every month. But when he graduated, he was least paid. He was making only 15,000/- bucks. Even 2 years back, his salary was around 50,000/- only. Then suddenly he struck luck and happened to join a multinational corporation that started paying him a six-digit pay for which he was rooting for sometime.

That’s because, 2 years back, when he was only 24, his family started looking for an alliance for him. Being an only child to his parents, they were in a rush to see him get married. That’s when they got their rudest shocks. The boy was rejected by girls parents on merely stating his salary. ‘Talk if your son earns a 6 digit monthly salary or drop it’ said the girls mothers mostly. That the boy did not own a car was another big draw back. A simpleton, he did not even own a motorbike to attract girls. He commuted by PTC buses like a saint which worked against him in the marriage market. One more embarrassing or rather hurting query from the girls’ parents would be as to whether after marriage he and the girl would be living in joint family or nuclear family. The boys’ parents were even resigned to let their only son go free and set up a nuclear family not wanting a joint family.

The boy was advised by well wishers to go for a simple graduate teacher and not an IT professional. To his surprise he found that, not many teachers were around to choose from. Chennai girls were mostly engineers or doctors or architects or some such professionals with promising careers. The boys parents expanded their horizons to all corners of the state to no avail.

Finally by late 2016, the boy became ‘eligible’ by the Chennai girls’ ‘standards.’ Not only was he making a 6 digit figure every month, he also had availed a car loan and got his shiny new first car parked right in front of his gate. Yes, he is driving now.

The parents got busy once again seeking the right alliance for their son, now that he had ‘better prospects.’

In a very popular online wedding portal, they registered for suitable matches.

Interviews were skyped I guess. The boy and his parents were able to view girls and parents and talk to them online. There was no more reason to visit each other’s home unless of course one progressed that far.

Now comes the vital part: one girl working for an IT company told the boy and his parents straight in face that she had had 2 boyfriends in the past and one abortion as well. Her parents were by her side when she said these ‘truths’ to her probabl future husband and in-laws because she did not want to hide any facts before marriage.

The boy’s mother was dazed. It came as a jolt to the boy’s family who are not exactly conservative, but are not as ‘progressive’ as the girl’s family either at the same time.

I couldn’t believe what I heard.

Tamil girls have indeed come a long way ….

For centuries of suppressing women I thought, it was payback time now. That the girls’ parents were proud and solidly by her side not regretting or repenting or feeling ashamed of anything speaks of how transformed our society is – whether for good or bad. Whatever said, I still feel women play a pivotal role in our families. It is not a question of about character or ethics. It is about longstanding relationships. We in Tamil say, ‘kalyaanam oru aayiram kaalathu payir’ which means, a (family) marriage is a 1000 year crop (to be harvested and harvested for a 1000 years for benefits). May be ours is such a unique culture, although I hate to play the culture card here. I don’t agree with everything passed down to me by my ancestors but I am old fashioned to a degree I guess (I surprise myself). I rather trust my forefathers’ instincts with an unflinching loyalty in certain things over others.

Men, not women have been at receiving ends as well. Daughters in India are increasingly getting upperhand – unfair at times.

Daughters are eligible for equal share of parents’ estates in India which is right in every sense. But daughters hardly want to take up equal responsibility with sons (their brothers) when it comes to maintaining their parents.

Parents spend equally on daughters’ education. Look at our graduate girls. Parents spend on daughter’s jewelry and wedding many time more over son’s wedding. But what do parents get back in return from their daughters? Why should parents be only sons’ responsibility? Wouldn’t gender equality be applicable now?

Daughters of Chennai have become utmost greedy as we happened to watch in latest Vijay TV episode of ‘Neeya Naana’. In the following video (edited) girls to be married are demanding gifts (supposedly) from their baffled parents. The list ranged anywhere from 80 sovereigns of gold to 3 BHK flats to Casa Grande dream villa to Helicopter drop of bride. Who is seeking dowry now? Boys and their families or girls getting married? As the mother of a boy who is fast approaching marriageable age, it really shocks me to listen to these girls. These aren’t merely dreams. The girls seem to be living in fairyland removed from reality and compassion.

Me married without a single penny in hand and nearly zero bank balance, with not even 5 sovereigns of gold (that too given by my in-laws), without parents. But holding a bank job, being financially independent. Even today our Union Gen Sec whenever he see us girls would poke fun at us: ‘until you girls married, I never knew you could speak a single word! now look at you!’ We also went to college, we also worked, and we also earned a decent income for those times. My monthly salary in 1993 was from 2400 to 2700 rupees I think. In that money, you could rent a home and run a family easily and comfortably in those times. Money had value then.

Looking at how greedy and selfish today’s girls are, I cannot help wondering how innocent and naive we were back then. After hearing about the abortion girl, I am reminded of the numerous times I was offered lift when my bus would be late. Never once I took a ride from men on scooters back home from work. I got a 2-wheeler only after marriage. I and my friends were labelled ‘snobs.’

My friends availed loans to get married. They suffered with their parents when the wedding costs spiraled. We would feel bad when our elders had to face hardship and shame for our sake.

What has happened to our girls? What has happened to Tamil society. The case of my nephew is pathetic. He is shaken by the kind of girls he gets for alliances. He is a bit shy to top it all. Nice fellow. I hope he gets a homely bride who restores confidence in him. He has not yet lost respect for women because he is also seeing his mother and us, his female relatives. ‘Not all is lost!’ says he, smiling.

Let all our children’s dreams come true but there can be no excuse for senseless greed and utter selfishness. The terrible thing is, how Indian women are portrayed by world media: as victims. Yes that is true to some extent in case of the abused, the raped. But the case is contrary when it comes to urban Indian women.


From → Bharatiya Naari

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