NaPoWriMo (# 9): Vermilion

She decorated her plaited hair,
with the chrysanthemums so white,
and draped  a sari of colors very bright.
but pasted a plastic smile on her face  fair,
Decked so,she entered the room,
to meet,
prospective in-laws and the groom.
To question her, they could not resist,
To walk and smile..they did insist..
Oh! for God’s sake,
Was she an object to exhibit ?
A car, a house, gold…,
The list just went on..
rose again the Dowry‘s demon…
 for just a pinch of Vermilion!!

sindoor2The mark of vermilion in hair is a symbol of married Hindu women. Also the system of dowry still very much exists even though legally it is not allowed in our country. The groom’s parents demand anything as per their whims…house, furniture, gold, car, cash and threaten to cancel the wedding if their demands are not met. The social stigma of a canceled marriage is so nerve wrecking for those unfortunate brides and their parents that they tend to bend backwards to not alienate the grooms’ side. Though slowly the women are standing up against such injustices and people have changing their mindset, but it still a long way to go..

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