Sunday, September 21, 2008

Crime and Punishment!

Something happened a couple of weeks ago that triggered a big debate at home. Here’s what happened:

A cousin of mine recently got engaged (the arranged way). Now, this fellow is a few years younger to me and though we aren’t close by any means, I know him as decent, straight forward guy. He is very highly educated and works for one of the very reputed MNCs of India.

When we got to know of his engagement, we all were very happy. Parents and sis attended the ring ceremony, and all of us were looking forward to his marriage in December.

Two weeks back, we got a call from his mother (Who is mom’s cousin) telling us that the engagement is called off. Reason?  It came to light that the girl had an affair with someone in the past and also had a physical relationship. Also, this entire thing was brought to my cousin’s attention by the girl’s ex and when asked, the girl confessed to everything..

When our initial shock settled, everyone at home started giving their opinions.  We were naturally disgusted and everybody concluded that at the very least, the girl should have confided in my cousin and told him everything right when the engagement was being finalized.

When I started thinking about it more seriously, I tried to look at it from that girl’s point of view. I wasn’t being sympathetic to her (infact, I am enraged at her) but the point is that if I were a girl and if I had a (physical) relationship when I wasn’t married, what options I had if the relationship didn’t work?  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it is almost a crime to be involved in a relationship (being a girl) before marriage if the relationship doesn’t work. If I have a failed relationship, it is difficult for me to fall in love again because how would I trust any other guy? So, I decide to go the arranged marriage way where atleast the families or backgrounds are generally known. In this case, while arranged marriage procedures are going on, the question is do I confess about my past to my future husband? If I don’t, I will carry so much guilt (and the risk of him or his family finding out in some way). If I do tell him, what are the chances that he will still accept me?

I don’t sympathize with that girl. She made a mistake and she should face the consequences. My point is that are the consequences that she will face, in accordance with her mistake?  We don’t know, she may already be repenting for her mistake and wants to correct that and lead a more mature and normal life. As a society, do we give her a chance?  

I am afraid not, especially when the person in question is a girl.




PS: While I was raising all these questions at home, Sister raised a brilliant question. She said that if she was engaged with someone (the arranged way) and if we got to know that the boy had a physical relationship with someone in the past, what would be my reaction?

That’s got me thinking. I specialize in asking difficult questions but do I have the courage to answer them?  Honestly speaking, I am still finding an answer. And maybe that explains why we are the kind of society that we are…..



Anonymous Cuckoo said...

Exactly !!! Same thoughts as your sister's came to my mind when I started reading your post.

We don't give any single chance to a girl !! And that's why we girls don't/can't live life as freely as our male counterparts.
And as usual I am raged. Not at her but at the society, at her ex.
Now it's even worse !! Because now everybody would be told about the reason for breaking this engagement, about her past and she has just lost any chance to lead a normal life.

Maybe she had confided in her parents/elders who might have asked her to keep mum for her sake.

To me this looks like a blackmail case from her ex who didn't want her to be someone else's. Could she have done the same to him ?

I just don't understand why it's ALWAYS that the girl has to suffer.
Unlike you, I don't blame her because she believed in love and fallen for it but she couldn't judge the boy correctly, didn't see the consequences but then such a big punishment to her when the other person is roaming around freely ? Aren't mistakes to be forgiven ? Can we ourselves guarantee that we couldn't do any mistakes ?

My heart aches. Permit me to further carry it on my blog.

P.S.- Very thought provoking post. I was missing you.
You busy in being a father, eh ?

10:45 AM  
Blogger Leziblogger said...

I agree.

My point here was not to create a boy V/s girl debate but to highlight our overall way of looking at an individual's past relationships especially when the individual wants to get married the arranged way. I agree the system is biased against girls and I am sure in today's age, most people agree to this fact regardless of their gender.

You said ' Aren't mistakes to be forgiven?'..My point of writing the post is exactly that. This issue applies to both the genders(of course with a varying degree).

That was also the reason why I added the PS. While I was preaching about giving the girl in question a chance, Sister asked me this question and I realised how difficult getting the correct answer is. Because the problem was at such a distance, it was easier for me to take the other person's point of view(the girl's, in this case). The question is do I have the courage to take the other person's point of view if what happened to my cousin happens to my sister?

PS: Yup, fatherhood has given me one more reason to be lazy with other things!!

11:28 PM  
Blogger Mukta said...

why is it a mistake to have a physical relationship before marriage? I mean, I am surprised that no-one's giving a thought to the ex-boyfriend of hers - that cad who had the gall to spill the beans over something this intimate. And I'm sorry but I think that your cousin should have stood up for the woman he was engaged to. Someone made an error in judgment in youth, and THAT can't be forgotten? I don't see why she should be 'forgiven'? what did she do wrong? she was not committed to anyone at the time? except to that worm in the hole who went around spilling the beans...well, I think she's better off without the men she's getting in touch with - the ones who don't have the decency or the discretion to keep matters of a relationship between them; and those who don't have the balls to stand by the women they want to be with. Yep...she's definitely better off without these kinds of men.

Please don't take remarks against ur cuz personally..I am just appalled at the way HE went about things...that is really, really horrible.

2:28 AM  
Anonymous bluespriite said...

I agree with Mukta... You mention in your post that the girl made a mistake and should suffer the consequences.. and by which (I hope) you mean not disclosing her past.
But disclosing it would have meant your cousin wouldn't have agreed to the marriage, reaffirming her faith that she shouldn't have told him in the first place.

Was your cousin marrying her because she 'virginal and pure' (SIC) or because he thought she would be a good counterpart to his nature and they could build a life together?

I don't mean to lean on heavily on your cousin.. but I guess he has behaved how most men behave today and which is exactly why women keep mum.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Leziblogger said...

Mukta: Happy that you have commented!
My thoughts:
-You are very right in saying nobody is sparing a thought for the girl's ex-boyfriend. I won't go into why he behaved the way it is but yes, valid point.
-About my cousin's situation, well, if I were him, my only problem would have been the girl not confiding in me. I don't know what exactly went through my cousin's mind.
-Regarding having physical relationship before marriage, well, it is pretty much a personal choice and decision.Some people(of both sexes) are ok with it and some aren't. Besides, this cousin of my was entering into an arranged marriage where trust is built over time. Personally, I would have liked my cousin to stood up and support the girl. However, if I were him, I would have definitely felt betrayed that the girl who I was prepared to spend my life with didn't tell me of her past.[Of course, the assumption here is that my cousin would have confessed to his past relationships, if any to her in the first place.]

I agree, the girl has just made an error in judgement in youth and that was precisely my objective in writing the post. In fact, we don't know that my cousin is a saint or not so such questions should apply both ways.

Bluespriite: yes, the mistake I was referring to was not disclosing her past.
I am not sure whether my cousin wanted anyone 'virginal and pure'. I think Indian men are getting reasonable and not everyone expects their spouses to not have a past but in this specific case I don't know.

It must have been a big dilemma for the girl on whether to disclose this to my cousin or not and I do agree had she confided, consequences could have been anything. That is exactly my point---In a society, such dilemmas shouldn't have life-altering effects.

6:16 AM  

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