Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Life inside and outside Kondadaba

One of the few things that I find it hard to believe and accept is that I am so close and involved in the lives of people who still are going about with life as though it is still the pre-independence era. The worst example is that of the 3 dowry cases that I've come across in just 6 days of my stay here... and that too of people I've known as children during my first stint here (10 years ago). One is a girl who helps out in the kitchen, she is getting ready to dish out 1.5 lakhs besides a bike, a TV, and a heavy load of gold!! Another is girl whom I remember used to help her father in the shop nearest to the seminary. She is already working on her own and yet is now looking out for ways to secure 2.5 lakhs as dowry!!! Every time I hear this talk at table or with these persons (or their family members), I feel like stringing up the bridegrooms upside down and extracting their last ounce of blood to sell and procure that dowry demanded by them!! Truly outrageous to demand for such an amount of money.

Another instance was the marriage of our own cook's son... he got married to a girl who is just in her 9th standard! When asked how did every allow this marriage, including the Parish Priest who conducted this marriage, I was told that all documents to prove that she was 16 or above have been procured and submitted... but still, the fact remains!!

Furthermore getting to know the Brothers and their mind set from the confreres and other staff members, I know I will not be able to effect a change very easily since most of them (perhaps all of them) come from similar settings where in their own families dowry, child marriages and such practices are 'normal'. Yet I hope to trigger some reflection in their heads!

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