Deceptive Pattern

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge. The story I am attempting to write is not about just one ‘Asha’, but many like her in our society. The trauma and heartbreak her parents go through has been experienced by many more such helpless parents. This story highlights the issue of dowry demands and domestic violence in our society. Today’s post is the first chapter of her story.

Today’s prompt is PATTERN


Write Tribe
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 #1 Monday, October 2 – Pattern


Asha traced the intricate pattern of red welts on her hands; she should have noticed the signs. The henna paste the beautician had filled in plastic cones to decorate her palms for a hefty fee last night had caused a kind of skin allergy. Nothing had seemed amiss when she applied it on Asha’s hands last night but this morning her skin was an angry, blotchy red. Today was an auspicious day; she was getting married to Vilas.

The groom’s family had reasonable demands – a car (swift Dzire), all electrical appliances for the house, jewellery for the mother in law and 2 sisters in law, gold chains for the men in the family (father in law and 2 brothers in laws), branded clothes for the close family members totaling 75 only.

Asha, at 32, was considered too old to be a catch even though she was the Vice President, Marketing at her firm. This marriage had been arranged after a year-long search on the matrimonial sites. The groom’s family was well-to-do but greedy. Their demands started from day one and looked likely to go on indefinitely but Asha’s parents were willing to give in to all their conditions. Having an unmarried daughter at home was cause for embarrassment for them and society didn’t help either. The well meaning jibes and taunts left her parents speechless and shame-faced.

Three months after the extravagant wedding, Asha is back at home. This time she’s sporting different kinds of welts not only on her hands but also all over her body. There are a few black and blue ones too. Her eyes are closed and she has stopped breathing, mercifully.

Sulekha Rawat

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge

55 thoughts on “Deceptive Pattern

  1. That’s heartbreaking, Sulekha. Crossing 30 without being married is considered a shame. How cruel is our society! Such a touching issue well told.

  2. Sulekha, you amaze us, one day it’s a peppy article which is making us laugh loud and then there is another which talks about family values, and this one tops it all, a social cause put up with simplicity. Proud to have known you. Keep up the good work

  3. Gosh! That’s heartbreaking. But this is a sad reality. Wish people would see the patterns early on so that Ashas of the world can live their lives to the fullest.
    A wonderful take on the prompt, Sulekha!!

  4. I had goosebumps at the end of this tale! It’s a sad reality of a countless lives in our country, isn’t it? And, despite being very well educated, career women, they have to go through this torture – mental, emotional and physical – at the hands of the husband, the in-laws and the society…it’s heartbreaking!

  5. Yeah our society is strange with these ridiculous taboos of age and unmarried women; why do we make it such a stigma? What do we put our daughters through to simply live with false pride?
    Veyr well written Su – great start to the problogger challenge!! Cheers

  6. I love the use of the welts in different settings. Nicely done with a poignant story. And I honestly do not understand the whole unmarried over 30 thing! To be honest, it was over 25 when people started questioning my parents about me.

  7. Oh no! that’s sad but reality as well. Marriage after 30, kids after 30, etc. etc are such things that our society keeps a tab on.
    I loved your story-telling Sulekha. The henna and the blue and black. A fantastic start to the challenge.

    1. I know. Parul, I wonder if the same society bothers with you when you face problems after the child’s marriage. It is none of their business when our daughters or sons, for that matter, get married or have kids.

  8. This was just so terrible to read and I can imagine a story of so many women in our country. It upsets me so much when I read such stories of greed and murder in the name of tradition.

    Spectacular storytelling. Very impactful.

  9. That’s the bitter truth of our society. No matter how successful a woman is she will have to face the brickbats of our hypocritical society. I wish Asha had more courage to break free from the pattern.

  10. This is so sad. But, it is really more closer to truth. The pressure to get married in our society is terrible. And she should have backed out because of all that dowry. But again, parents emotionally blackmail the girls to give in. This has left me sad, angry.

  11. “The groom’s family had reasonable demands – a car (swift Dzire), all electrical appliances for the house, jewellery for the mother in law and 2 sisters in law, gold chains for the men in the family (father in law and 2 brothers in laws), branded clothes for the close family members totaling 75 only.” I know there is an element of imagination in it, but the reality behind that makes my flesh creep. We call it culture, isn’t it? I like reading your story and the mission behind it. Well done Sulekha.

  12. She died, how very sad! I hate it how the girl’s parents are ready to do anything rather than let their daughter be at home. I cannot understand how they cannot see that their daughter is doomed in such a home. Looking forward to more of your series Sulekha.

  13. Oh Gosh!!!! I don’t understand why girl’s marriage is so important for parents. She was a successful woman and could have got right match for her when the right time comes. I myself got married at age of 34, and for that support thanks to my parents. It’s an arrange marriage too and They got me the best soulmate

    1. Love your name, Storyteller 🙂 You are right, parents shouldn’t get carried away by what society says. Glad to know about your happy arranged marriage, congratulations.

  14. Oh, this is so sad…on the one hand I am happy she is finally free of this warped world; but on the other, I am really sad because she had so much promise and so much to give…and all the world could see was a 32 year old, too old to be married woman 🙁

  15. Sigh! The sad truth of what exists. One the stigma and pressure on parents when there is an unmarried daughter beyond the age of 30. Oh well it doesn’t matter if she is the Vice President of the CEO for that matter earning well . All That Matters is that she should be married. And why do they succumb to the greed of the groom? I wonder.

  16. Too many such wrong patterns, and that’s very wrong. Sure, there is a lot of wisdom in culture, but things like these are what should be weeded out, and quickly too!

  17. OMG did not realize that the story would be short. But what an impact !!! yes these things happen and should be written about. Thanks for sharing.

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