Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ghost of an Early Arranged Marriage - A Documentary Film

The CED(Centre of Education and Documentation) had screened a documentary named "Remembrance of Things Present" directed by Chandra Siddan. The documentary movie is about the story of young girl who is married off at an early age(16 yrs) , who then divorces her first husband and then goes abroad and re-settles again. The film goes about showing how the girl (now a lady) comes back to India, to her family and copes up with the past. How her family reacts to her new life and her accusations of ruining her life by marrying her at an early stage. I have divided the post into 3 segments. In the first segment i have said what the movie was about, in the second segment i have said the reactions of the protagonist's parents about marrying her at an young age and finally my own views and opinions about the parenting role in a child's life.

The film starts with the protagonist(Sudha) coming to India after 4 years, after having married a second time to a person who she meets while studying abroad. She is anxious and knows she has a lot of things to discuss with her parents and her daughter,Shruti, who she had left back in India before going abroad. Her brother Ravi had married and now they have a daughter 1 yr old. She is happy to see that her family has accepted her without making a much issue about her second marriage. Yet she is unable to forgive her parents for ruining her life by marrying off her at an young age. She recounts her childhood days about how happy she was and how promising her future looked to be. Her parents who were first generation urban dwellers had a modern outlook. She had studied in a convent and always stood first in her class.

Just when all things looked promising she got engaged to a guy 10 years older than her(She was 13 when she got engaged). She couldnt believe that her father who she thought had a modern outlook couldnt know that it was wrong to marry her daughter at an young age.. After 2 and half years she gets married to the guy who is a lecturer in a academia.,.They move to an isolated government quarters where there is no one to mingle with. Her husband,Ishwar is not strict and encourages to continue her studies. She does her bachelors through distant learning, but still feels she missed out important part of her life... The only friends to her during that times was her love for literature which she had cultivated in her school time.

She confronts her mother about marrying her off at an early stage. Her mother could only give excuses and justify their reasons for marrying her off. Her mother tells that she(Sudha) didnt object when she was engaged. Sudha tells her that she didnt know what it was all about because she was too young to know about all these and she couldnt object because she wouldnt be listened to anyway. She recalls how her mother had told her that "You dont ask a chicken's permission before cooking it". Then she discusses with her father about his reasons.he says he did what he believed was best for her. They had got a good match and they thought it would do her good. She tells him that she had her own aspirations but he ruined it by marrying her at an early stage. He tells him not to discuss more of it, and he did it only because he thought it was right. A funny thing to note her is that Sudha makes a note of her friend Hema who had gone on to do her medicines. Her father tells her that Hema's father passed away because of worries about his daughter's marriage.

The interesting thing to note her was how her parents defended their decision.,. And it also showed how much a child has his/her own emotions and feelings. Very few parents understand that and encourage their childrens to take decision about his /her life. Most parents are of the opinion that what they do is best for their child and the child has to do what she/he is told to do. Nothing wrong in that, except that if the child is involved in her life-decision making process, neither the child or the parents have to whine and blame each other later on in life. Also,i wont advocate allowing the child to have complete freedom in choosing her/his life. (which is most prevalent nowadays in our society). There has to be a balance between to the extent a parent can decide for a child(after a certain age)and what role parents play in that. I had read somewhere in which a gentlemen had told about Parenting that the role of a Parent is to inculcate and install a character and principles in their children and then allow the child to do what he/she thinks is right or wrong.

The important thing here is to make the child realize that he is responsible for his life and that he must face the consequences of it. This will ensure that the child learns over a period of time whats best for him and evolves accordingly. Too much of rules and conditions may make the child defensive and too much of freedom may also ruin a child. Blessed are those childrens whose Parents know when to call it off and when to impose.,.

We know a todays children are tomorrows citizens.,. The role of moulding a country begins with moulding the children who make up its components..And Parents who knows this and takes care in doing so contribute a lot towards the society. :)

P.S: I know that i started with a documentary movie and then switched tracks to about how Parenting should be. My purpose in this was to show how Parents treat a child during its initial years will decide to a large extent on what the child becomes later on... The movie description was to showcase an instance in which a rash decision by the parents ruined their daughter's life (even though she was happy now after resettling), she is unable to forgive or pardon her parents about what they did early on. Hence, my point was to stress on the fact that every child has his/her own feelings and when parents start respecting it, start involving the child in the decision process, the Child will grow out to be a mature,responsible citizen.

23 comments:

nivedithasperceptions said...

Hey... found you through Rajesh. Very interesting read... I was kept engaged through out. I wouldn't like to say more cos you've pretty much said everything I wanted to say...

RiverSoul said...

You dont ask for a chicken's permission b4 cooking it

How ironic. Yet how profound

As usual, you have awed me with ur posts.

Good read, bro
:)

«charlie|thotti» said...

Apart from the discussion about a rash decision, I am sure that such an event happening in urban India is more of a fantasy.

Priyadharshini said...

Atleast your protagonist gets a chance for a new life.There are lot of little women, as young as 13, being married away even today in many parts of rural India, why even tamil nadu.More than education, facilities or anything else children need to be treated with respect by their parents.

sormita said...

u kno wat-d decision(abt marriage) was nt rash but d decision is imposed due to cultural nd social pressure dat every parent nd every family in indian society faces.

Femin Susan said...

Hi………
Absolutely fantastic post! Good job!
Great! Keep writing…….
Good week……… You are Welcomed to my blog…….

Prashant Sree said...

@niveditha: Glad to have you here !! Keep visiting !!

Prashant Sree said...

@RiverSoul: Iam glad you liked it. :).

Sadly,the discrimination against the female childs still exist in some places !

Nivedita said...

thnks for your kind words on my blog.
nice post, ther's so much that goes to making a life..
im a little confused by your profile. you have said that it isnt what lies underneath but what you do that defines you. but shouldnt it be the other way round? and if it isnt- shouldnt your actions reflect what you are on the inside?

Prashant Sree said...

@Charlie: Well, in some cases, the fantasy does happen in reality. Ya, in urban India the probability is very less, yet people are urban/modern in their ways not their attitudes !

mou said...

hmmm...yup, it's true that parents are concerned about us, our future, our happiness...but it shouldn't be overdone...just the one life we have in our hand, pity, that not everyone's lucky to live it as they wish...nice post :)

and thank you for your lovely comment :)

Prashant Sree said...

@Priyadarshini: Yes true.. tats one area which "we"- as a new generation modern outlook dwellers have a job to do... The protogonist is the director of the movie. ;)

Prashant Sree said...

@sormita: I dont mean to say that Marriage decision is rash.,. But marrying off a girl at an young age thus compromising on her future is rash !

Prashant Sree said...

@Femin Susan:Thanks a lot for those wonderful words ! :) Keep coming !!

Prashant Sree said...

@Nivedita: My pleasure Lady ! Iam very much tempted to write another blog to answer your questions.,. Frankly saying that thought just entered my mind and had stayed there sub consciously without me ever questioning it relevance. Yet when i did think about it, since u asked, its because, you can be anything inside yourself , but its what my actions which says what Iam. For eg,i can feel pity on someone or would like to stop crime and injustices inside myself, but if my actions contradict that, like not doing anything when something wrong is being done, or just remain a bystander, then ur actions contradict ur beliefs.,.

Hence, its what the action which in turn defines your self. And yes, i do agree that Your actions are motivated by what you believe, but you are defined by your actions. Thank You for that wonderful question.

Prashant Sree said...

@mou:Yes, blessed are those whose Parents understand and nurture their child !! Thanks for the wonderful comments.,. Keep coming !! :)

Marja said...

Wow I am really impressed with this article but particularly with your insights.
I am a parent of two teenagers and have sent them to a school were they learn to think for themselves. It is very hard to keep balance between what you think is good and what they think is good for them. Sometimes you just have to let them make their mistakes which is the only way to learn when they don't understand your view.
I think that parents in general will do the best they can (although it is not always the best) Love marja

Prashant Sree said...

@marja: Iam humbled by that. Thanks a lot for your kind words :)

Iam sure your kids are blessed to have such an understanding Mom who doesn't imposes her ideas but encourages her children to learn...
Hats Off !! ;)

Reflections said...

Good Post.....as usual a thinking one.
U've posted all sides of it & since I agree with almost every thing u've written, I have nothing to add....

"Also,i wont advocate allowing the child to have complete freedom in choosing her/his life. (which is most prevalent nowadays in our society)."

"Blessed are those children whose Parents know when to call it off and when to impose.,."

The above made complete sense to me.

Thank U!!!!!!!!!!!

Ravi Kumar said...

I know its strange but even I have pangs of confusion about raising my own child when i have one. I liked this "The important thing here is to make the child realize that he is responsible for his life and that he must face the consequences of it. This will ensure that the child learns over a period of time whats best for him and evolves accordingly. "

Prashant Sree said...

@Reflections:I assume i had left something so that intelligent people like you can add more ;). Thanks for your comments :)

Prashant Sree said...

@Ravi Kumar: Yes Ravi, knowing whether we will be a proper role model to our children is something which scares me. The role of a Parent is a very delicate one.

srinath said...

I loved these sentences

"There has to be a balance between to the extent a parent can decide for a child(after a certain age)and what role parents play in that."

The role of a Parent is to inculcate and install a character and principles in their children and then allow the child to do what he/she thinks is right or wrong.

I love to play the role of parent or guide to kids by integrating above two statements.