Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Say No To Dowry

Marriage is an entity of benign omens and configurations made in the heaven, performed on the earth. It’s a gracious threshold to unification of two souls and of two families. As a prime religious ceremony, its zenith lies in a father’s courage to give away his piece of heart, his daughter in a poised and sacred alliance to another man as her better half. Also known as “Kanya daan” in Hindu wedding, it’s the father of the bride that offers his daughter for marriage on a promise that the groom shall perform his duties as a husband according to the vedic(religious) hymns recited during the ceremony. For a father indeed this is a moment of peak emotions as he fondly remembers the time when he cuddled his little daughter in his arms, rode her on his strong back, was swept away by her fascinating innocence, hugged her when she had a nightmare or a problem just to see that little girl leave to a different destination one day! It must take a father’s breath away to give away his child with such deep feelings and subconscious fear for his daughter’s wellbeing in her new life.    

From invoking loud chants to seven divine circuits of the holy fire (as in Hinduism), marriage is an inception of blushing emotions and a moment of coy as the bride and the groom decide to walk their journey together. With being betrothed comes a great responsibility on the couple to fructify a relationship based on mutual support and love. This elemental feature is the hallmark of being wedded to conjoin and be inseparable. Also known as ‘‘exchange of Vows” or “Saptapadi’’, these are seven significant steps in Hindu rites that defines marriage as an institution based on spiritual bond between the bride and her groom. It’s here that the couple vows to each other a healthy relationship, prosperous living, righteous lifestyle, happiness, harmony and faith, creating a family together, longevity of their marital relationship, and of being true and loyal to each other in order to sustain their companionship. 

If these are the sacraments we preach and practice over centuries in India then 

Why does the holy fire turn into a bride’s pyre? 

Why are some newly wed brides estranged, silently suppressed, emotionally harassed and in worst cases abused and burned to death?   

Is the idea of marriage today companionship or a competitive sale? 

Has education and urbanization taught us nothing at all?

Is being religious, devotional to god through fasting and pilgrimages taught us to suck a father’s blood through dowry if he wants to see his daughter settled and happy? 

When shall we cease inequalities between daughters and daughter-in-laws that cause us to be intellectually, emotionally and religiously immobile to practice what we learn from holy prayers and scriptures? 

Are those people who are ready to bargain their son today, also ready to bargain their own daughter tomorrow? 

If there is a price tag on an individual, is there a bargain for bruised emotions too?

Is being educated professionally, belonging to a good family, being raised with values just not enough for a girl to be happily married? 

Is it moral to ask for dowry in a smart, intelligent way and then later proclaim that ‘we didn’t ask for anything, we didn’t get any anything’? 

How would it feel to lose a young, lively and beautiful daughter? How would it feel to hear her cry, sob with pain? 

What would it be like to face a crisis that haunts most fathers and daughters in India? 

If Dowry means “stri-dhan”(gifts given by parents to their daughter, a property of the woman, her share of her parent’s wealth) then why is she tormented and trampled for her own wealth? 

Can India contain the benefits of globalization if its daughters are strangled by a social evil?

Who should be blamed for this?

 ......the parents of the girl, the girl herself, the in-laws or the society and our state of mind that forces us to such immoral acts through its injurious social comparisons? 

These are some questions that certainly dismay parents in India and abroad as their daughters turn marriageable or are in a marital relationship. If we still wait for someone else to be a Spartan to “say no” to dowry, then who shall be the first one to break this vicious cycle?

Today it’s happening to someone else’s daughter. Tomorrow it could happen to you and your daughter. 

Just think about it! 

Let marriage remain a social institution, a spiritual unification and not a daunting auction. Say No To Dowry.

Copyright (c) 2010 - present Dharbarkha.blogspot
Video Courtesy: http://www.youtube.com/user/BarkhaDhar

Monday, August 9, 2010

Barkha Dhar’s Blogs On Social Issues Is One

It was last year in August that a feeling spawned a thought that gave a cause to my life. In beats of my heart and the drops of the saline that moistened my eyes lay a compelling emotion, which was like a blaze of light amid darkness. It was at this very moment that the stylus of my creativity burst into sparklers that imbued me with the spirit to do something. That is when Barkha Dhar’s Blogs On Social Issues went worldwide. 

For this past year my blogs have been my efforts that have shaped into deeds. They embody my intent and heed to experience life deeply as also differently. This journey indeed has sufficed the thirst of my soul. It has also led me to the idea that mindful cleansing is as important as the morning shower. This campaign of hope has also helped imbibe that change is not an ingredient of life but the essence of living not just for ourselves but for others as well. Such shift clocks in when inertia dies. 

Looking back at this day past year is like smelling the fragrance of fresh flowers in a pot that leave a scent to fill the space with an aroma, which is much stronger and sweeter than a dash of Channel. In this eloquent attempt of the past year, I thank god for showing me the route to repose, for giving me the opportunity to hear and be heard. My earnest and utmost thanks to my dearest husband who like a sire recognized the hidden me. His contributions are like the chords of an instrument that give melody to my life. I thank him for being who he really is, a wonderful father, a loving husband and a wise and kind person. 

Thank you also to fellow bloggers who have been nothing less than a momentum for raising awareness on important issues to help create change. Many thanks also to my critics who may not agree with my viewpoint. Well that is why they are my critics! In my view, however even if a slight change in self, as also in inspiring others has or can make a fraction of difference, then I at Barkha Dhar’s Blogs On Social Issues has had a conscientious and a purposive life.     
Thank you all for your time, support and encouragement in this eclectic relationship on the blogosphere. 

Copyright (c) 2010 - present Dharbarkha.blogspot
Photo Courtesy: Barkha Dhar

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Gift Called Life

A zest for breathing in and breathing out is what we call life. Its exquisite motley lies in living it with maximum resonance to realize its immaculate glow. As a keepsake of memories and a prose of emotions, life is a journey through time. Its magnificent opus lies in changing from autumn to spring, in rhythm and beats, in dancing to joy, in the aura of abode, in playful and innocent enchantments, in finding your love and espousing it, in being a mother, in working together to work it out, in playing your part as an adventure of cheer and glee, in being confident of your abilities to bend your flaws into potential strengths, in trying to score deftly with each past failed attempts. So let’s raise a toast to life for not living it alone but celebrating it together to move with its flow to live in now. This drive called life however shouldn’t limit here. It may begin its opulent journey now by sharing our blessings with others, unveiling humility to give hope to others on this mystical route to tranquility and Karma. 

As Gautam Buddha said, “So let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful” for this eternal gift called life.

Copyright (c) 2010 - present Dharbarkha.blogspot
Video Courtesy: http://www.youtube.com/user/BarkhaDhar