An email: He did not want me to be “more” educated than he was.

Sharing an email… the email writer explained at the end of her mail why she thought this email should be shared. I agree🙂 Tagged this email – ‘bravo’
Dear IHM,
I’m a 23 year old ardent fan of your blog. I wanted to tell you about my own experience  with a relationship and if you feel it could help young girls, please share it on your blog.
I was 17, just done with high school, when my friend for three years, ‘K’ asked me out. I too had feelings for him and it all started. By then he had shifted to the US with his family. So it was a long distance relationship. I was alright with it because I’m not the kind of person who believes in going out hand in hand to prove my love. He too wasn’t of that sort. What was cute to him before we got “committed” (if that’s the term I can use), was no longer cute. He had a lot of issues with me if I wore jeans or sleeveless tops or cut my hair or had male friends or spoke in a language that isn’t “brahmin” or mingled with relatives from my mother’s side. (My parents had an inter caste and inter lingual marriage and I have always been taught to “never” discriminate people on the basis of their caste.)
I, being the only child, was very emotionally attached to this guy. It was hard for me to let go off him. I knew he was the wrong guy for me. I was scared to be termed as a “bitch” by friends, ’cause that’s how people around me were.
1) At 17, it’s wrong to see someone.
2) Even if you do, he has to be the one you marry.
3) If you don’t, you’re termed a “bitch”.
I had my engineering entrances lined up. I had prepared day and night for the IIT-JEE. He had issues with me going to IIT – the reason he gave was that he didn’t want me away from my parents. I said, ok, I’ll go with *** exam and get enrolled in *** college in our city. He had issues with that also. He then said, he did not want me to get into a co-ed college.
I said ok, fine! I mentioned another “women’s” college. Then came the actual reason. He did not want me to be “more” educated than he was. I didn’t pick up a fight then and said, let’s see what happens. (He was in his final year of engineering then).
Once, while discussion about my parents, something about dowry came in. And I proudly told him how my father denied taking dowry, which was a very essential “custom” on my mother’s side. I also added how my father keeps telling that he wouldn’t marry his daughter to anyone who asks for dowry. (Yes, I wanted to make it clear to him😛 )
Hell broke lose.
Cutting the fight short, these were his exact words, “If you don’t bring in dowry, then imagine what kind of a burden you’d be to my family, because I anyway don’t want you to work”
Too much for an 18 year old girl to think about? I don’t think so. At 18, if she has the right to vote for the largest democracy of the world, she can chose whom she wants to spend her life with.
I had to decide to let go off him that very instant. It wasn’t easy for me.
There were occasions when I went back asking him if we could sort it out. He laid of a few conditions for me, which included that I bring dowry, flunk atleast one semester (I have been an honor roll student right from my LKG), stop talking to male friends, etc. In short, I was supposed to be his toy.
I sent him one message in reply to his nasty mail. “F*** Off”.
I have never spoken to him after that. He keeps stalking my face book profile. He tried obtaining my contact number through a lot of mutual friends. He tried calling up my parents (They had the same numbers). But I always was faster and cleverer than him. I blocked him from everything, dad and mum’s phone, cousins and mutual friends ids, my ids and my life.
I now have a very understanding man in my life, someone who can never be compared to him and I’m happy.
Why did I want to share it with you?
Because of one particular post that I came across in your blog about a 15 or 16 year old who got dumped because she refused to have sex with her boyfriend. I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time but just couldn’t gather everything and put it in words. I guess there are more such girls out there who need to realise that their life will be much better after walking out of relationship which do not bring joy to them.
Lots of Love,
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71 thoughts on “An email: He did not want me to be “more” educated than he was.

  1. This is how such guys should be treated – with a swift kick in the butt!
    Also, I find it pretty amazing how the relationship changes once the initial euphoria subsides and we come to the basic questions. Why are people so clichéd?
    IHM, such posts will give courage to a lot of girls. I am glad that you are sharing them.🙂

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  2. Sensible head on sensible shoulders. Kudos.

    ““If you don’t bring in dowry, then imagine what kind of a burden you’d be to my family, because I anyway don’t want you to work”

    This had me fuming. “I” don’t want “you” to work. So get the money from “your” parents so “you” won’t be a burden to “my” family. What twisted logic.

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    • Thank you Shailji…The only thing that came out of my mouth was “Hah!”, cause words just failed me when I read those words.The heights of audacity- Block all the ways someone can live well and then call them a Burden!!! Oh That was Soooo Rational!

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      • Sometimes it is just someone with fat fingers using a smart phone with a touch screen or an ipad or other tablet computer to read the blog.
        The two thumb icons are rather close and if they are not careful, they press in between and the wrong signal gets sent.
        It once happened to me and I sent out a thumbs down instead of a thumbs up.

        Felt miserable and guilty afterwords.
        By the way, I am not guilty this time.

        Regards
        GV

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    • Me too. That alone was enough to say F*** off ! It is not twisted logic, it is straight logic if you see – the guy is not willing to take any responsibility and also can’t handle a responsible spouse too.. make her depended on you for lifetime and also squeeze everything from them..

      I has this gr8 idea to tell my sister’s to really really study hard (in 1980’s – today’s world is very different) in a very conservative society so that they could stand on their own. Once you have that- we can stand any a** holes like this. This used to be my mantra at all times, and probably is the first best step for any girl/women to live a respectable life.

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  3. For a moment, I was afraid to read till the end….I was afraid to read that the girl thought this was ‘love’ and went along. Aaah! Brave girl, clever girl!

    I cannot for the life of me explain the absolutely decadent attitude of some youngsters. I shudder to think how hideous their families must be – for them to have grown up with all these views.

    It reminds of an incident at work, where a small group of us had gone for a boring, mandatory ‘team lunch’. Food was ordered, and quite naturally, it was shared – 2 sides for 3 people and so on.

    So I reach out to take spoon of some side dish when this bachchu stops me. He says, ‘I’ve not taken it yet.’ Being a decade elder to him, I did not understand what he meant. I served myself and passed on the balti to him. And he did not touch it. He says, “I’m a brahmin, and I had ordered this exclusively for myself.” The table went quiet. I laughed and told him, “Kiddo can you go check if the chef is a brahmin. And while you are it, can you find out where all he’s scratched his body while preparing this dish?” I wanted to sit down with him, and patiently tell him that I’m more brahmin than all his family put together; I wanted to tell him that being brahmin is a state of mind – ah hell. What do I care? Why should I teach him stuff that his parents have failed to teach him? All I said was, “Next time you bring religion on the table, and try to put anyone down, you are out of employment.” At least that ensured he kept his thoughts to himself.

    Once again – dirty socks in the mouths of morons who preach about ‘indian family values’.

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      • KMKH – exactly. This one was a young buck, well-read and just fresh out of an REC + MBA. Goes to show once again that academic qualification is not a measure of depth of character

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        • Seriously? Ugh! The MBA should at least have taught him enough diplomacy to keep his regressive attitudes to himself, if nothing else!

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        • If I had a thousand bucks for every BE/MBA qualified young gun who lacked the most basic people skills, the most basic ethical standards in relationships (business or otherwise), I’d probably be able to afford that Ferrari I’ve been eyeing.

          People think academic qualifications are a cure to regressive mindsets. I think that’s just bull. Doesn’t work that way.

          I’ve met post-doctoral fellows who think women shouldn’t work outside the home, I’ve met senior partners at huge law firms who hesitate to promote women to higher positions, I’ve actually met a WOMAN who holds a master’s degree in criminal justice, but thinks a victim’s dress is to blame for rape.

          Education is a slice of the pizza when it comes to your character, but it’s ONLY a slice. Nothing more.

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    • LOL! I love what you said to him…Thats the thing that most dont get “Being Brahmin is a State Of Mind” so it is for every other Varna there is…and most of us are a combo, I am a brahmin when I get into the teaching/learning/thinking/analyzing mode, I am a Kshatriya when I stand up for/protect others or myself or when I lay the law in my home, I am a Viashya when I go buying the things I need after doing comparison shopping/ or make financial decisions, and I am a Sudra when I clean my home/do the laundry/give into negative thoughts…But over all I am what I should be at any given point. Thank heavens for that flexibility.

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      • Mysoul – so true! Whenever I’ve celebrated Janmashtami, I’ve had friends from other faiths come over, partake the prasadam with all the dignity, and even participate in the puja. To me, that is being a brahmin – that openness of mind and heart.

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    • @Sumana
      I was both amused and shocked by this fellow’s gaffe.

      If he was so caste conscious while eating out, he should have sat separately at his own table, ensured that the restaurant did not serve non veg food, ensured that the cook belonged to his own caste, insisted on being served on a banana leaf, and also followed the pre and post meal rites prescribed per our shaastras.

      Did he do that?
      This caste snobbery that some of us occasionally exhibit disgusts me.
      I have had my share of experiences like this too.
      Will keep them for another day.
      Regards
      GV

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      • @ GVji, I have had people who told me, that they wont drink water, have a cup of coffee or come into my home because they are Brahmins and we are non-vegetarians. I didnt ask, but what exactly does the plant need to grow? what of all those dead things in the soil that feed a plant? All that nonsense, just because we eat different things on the Wheel of life. Most forget that it only changed form, whether we eat meat or veges only, its still Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen we are consuming.

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        • Mysoul, some Brahmins are traditionally non-vegetarian–Kashmiri Pandits, Bengali Brahmins and Maithil/Shrotriya Brahmins from Bihar have always been non-vegetarian. This is well-understood by everyone in those regions but not everyone knows this in other regions. So I’ve been asked by many people, how can you be a Brahmin if you eat non-veg? It is pointless to go into a lengthy explanation, so i mostly just laugh it off, but sometimes it does become annoying.

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        • Pardon this off-topic reply to Mysoul’s comment

          I agree with Mysoul.

          I am a vegetarian, earlier by custom and upbringing and later by choice and for reasons of health.
          But I have no prejudices against non vegetarian food and readily mix and socialize and also readily eat at the same table as my non veg friends.
          This subject has been debated ad nauseum and no satisfactory conclusion has been reached.
          It is best to live and let live.

          Eat what you wish and respect the preferences of others.

          I am still not clear what exactly is meant by non vegetarian food.
          If you exclude anything of animal origin then even milk and curd should be prohibited to pure vegetarians.
          The food habits of orthodox Jains is impossible for me to adopt.
          (I love potatoes and will not give up Bhel puri!)

          What about an unfertilized egg? Is it okay to eat them if you don’ want to kill?
          Even if a vegetarian claims he is not killing for food, how does he reconcile to the fact that plants have life?
          Merely because they have no nervous system, it is not right to claim that no killing is being done if we eat vegetarian food.
          It is claimed by proponents of vegetarianim that plants don’t cry out in pain and that is why it is okay to kill them.
          But then is is okay to kill an animal absolutely painlessly and eat them?

          What is a human being expected to do in the polar regions where no food will grow? No vegetarian can survive there if he does not carry his food with him.
          Nature has designed it so that one form of life must eat another form of life for survival.
          Each one draws his line somewhere.
          My line excludes Meat and fish and chicken. I don’t run after eggs but don’t make a fuss if cakes and pastries have some egg in them. In my younger days I relished omelettes and bhurjies and during childhood, under doctor’s advice my orthodox mom who does not even eat garlic and onions sued to mix raw egg in a glass of milk and force us to down the drink.She was told our diet of Sambhar rice and vegetables was not enough to prevent stunted growth and she chose to give us eggs to compensate.
          I don’t eat them now for health reasons. I can’t digest them anymore.

          I will stay a vegetarian and allow my non-veg friends their preferences and not preach or moralise on this issue.
          As regards eating and drinking at the houses of others, their caste and religion is farthest from my mind when they offer me food. I merely check if it is vegetarian.
          Regards
          GV

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        • @ scribblehappy, Of course, some Brahmins are traditionally non-vegetarians…Our food habits are related to the environment and food source we live closest to and what is available. There has been proof that if it a survival situation, human beings will eat insects, reptiles or anything that they can get their hands on, or resort to cannibalism too(ever read the Air Crash of 1972 in the Andes, else read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguayan_Air_Force_Flight_571). By nature we are omnivores. But we like to have complicated lives, with a lot of binding rituals and drama so we decided to mix religion and diet, or philosophy and diet, or ethic and diet and make ourselves Unique through our preferences.

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        • @ GV ji, I agree its all about preferences…One funny situation occurred at a friend place. We were having baked potatoes, which my friend grew in her backyard with lots of manure from her cows and chicken…with honey from her apiary. One of the guests said they will eat without the honey, and the reason, cause honey is the Spit from the bees. I tried not to laugh cause the potatoes which she was savoring, was in actuality nutrition sucked from cow and chicken dung…I thought if I thought like her, I would eat the honey not the potatoes😛

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      • In fact, meat eating was not prohibited for Brahmins either, earlier. BhavabhUti mentions Vasistha eating beef (vatsatara – a calf that has stopped drinking milk). And what did Agastya eat when he killed the demon vaataapi?
        In the epic Kathasaritsagara, we see that Buddhism was advocated because it endorsed non-violence. I think that this was a lifestyle change that Brahmins (and many other castes too) made in the course of a couple of centuries.

        However, I must say that I am a strict vegetarian and would like my kids also to stick to vegetarianism.

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    • I’m so glad that the issue of caste has come up- as standing up to bullying/ discrimination on the basis of caste is also a feminist act.
      A very well educated MIL told her daughter-in-law that on the day of the father-in-law’s shraadh, her son’s freshly washed dhoti must not be touched either by the house help or the daughter-in-law- neither of whom are brahmins as it would pollute the garment. The DIL was in shock as it was the first time she had seen this sort of caste discrimination and chauvinism first hand. during the wedding was also the first time she had heard the term ‘Vaishya community’ so often- used for her family. Needless to say, the DIL is barely even on speaking terms with her MIL.
      It continues to shock me in this day and age- especially as the urban propagators of this sort of discrimination continue to hold forth about how caste etc is a problem only in rural Rajasthan/ Bihar/ UP etc, even though the truth is that extremely well educated individuals in states that are supposed to more emancipated such as Tamil Nadu continue to live their caste on a daily basis, in the name of tradition and lineage.

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    • I agree that it is not proper to bring religion to the table. But, I was in a situation many times where people would mix up the serving spoons of non- vegetarian and vegetarian food and saw nothing wrong in it. I ultimately had to make do with fruits, bread etc, which were kept away from the main course, on such occasions. Slowly, I learnt to politely tell people “May I request you not to mix the serving spoons?” and people obliged. It all depends on how you convey the message.

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      • Sandhya, I am a vegeterian and what you describe would not be acceptable for me too. I also don’t like ‘tasting’ from someone else’s plate, as in use the spoon I’ve been eating with to take a bite from someone else’s plate. Neither do I like someone else bringing their well-licked spoon to my plate to taste what I’m eating. It’s not a caste thing – just a hygiene factor for me. I am upfront about this.

        In the example I’ve quoted, it was pure maliciousness – esp since it was a vegeterian restaurant.

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        • Sorry, Sumana, the last sentence of my message was not directed at you at all. I was just sharing my experience. And I am not supporting the guy. He should not have spoken like that.

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  4. Thumbs up! You did the right thing by walking out! More power to you and all those women who refuse to cow down to such ridiculous whims of men and society in general!

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  5. A youngster being this way? That is most depressing to me from this email – the boy, I mean. How horribly conditioned we are when we can efficiently mess up a 20 some year old!

    Bring dowry? Burden to family?! What?!

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  6. Bravo girl!! You did the right thing, a firm head on your shoulders!
    I would like to add one more thing, do not ‘commit’ to any guy however great he may seem till you are quite ready, as in educated, employed and confident of taking care of yourself.
    We need more examples like you.
    It’s a shame how boys are brought up in society, just when I seem to think that this generation is more open minded and liberal, I hear cases like this.

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  7. Way to go girl!! There’s this saying ‘Duniya jhukti hai, jhukane wala chahiye’. Young Indian girls and women far too often become the ones who ‘jhukti hai’ and hence become victims. Firmly rejecting and not giving in to any kind of domination and bigotry at the very first sign is the only way to handle the self righteous and self entitled folks in society – once they know that they will not be able to have their way, they back off.

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  8. bravo young girl , do one more thing , search out on matrimonial site , where he may have listed his profile and try to inform those sites . they will blacklist him and i am sure you can give the link of this post for reference .

    i know of a young girl whose marriage was called off at the last moment because of dowry and girls sister made it a point to inform the matrimonial sites { though they got the match from the matrimonial site yet }

    its important to not only protect our self but also as many woman around us as possible .

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  9. And this is why you don’t marry the first man that stands on your way.
    This is also why you need to know the person you want to be with long enough before marrying.
    Another proof that after initial phase of self-advertising the true colors of personality come up.

    It’s a great story!

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  10. *Bows deeply* Hats off to the succinct, yet eloquent reply you sent off to his nasty email. And for cutting off the jerk from your life so completely. We need more women like you.😀

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  11. I wish I’d had the courage at 18 that this person had. Even though my ex wasn’t as awful as her ex was, I knew that he wasn’t right for me but didn’t have the courage to end our relationship. It took 6 unhappy years of married life and meeting someone else who made me incredibly happy to finally gather the courage to walk out of that relationship.

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    • Broom,
      You are by far, one of the most courageous bloggers I have ever read. Cheers to you girl! I am an avid reader of your blog. I tried accessing it recently after a long hiatus, but, due to some domain issues, it is not visible.

      Like

  12. Congratulations also – on seeing something positive out on the blog too! Good energy, someone’s courage, little different acts – becomes lot of support for lots of other people.

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  13. Dear Girl,

    I really do applaud your courage and decision. A lot of times we know in the bottom of our hearts what isn’t going to work , but we sit on it , hoping it will turn out otherwise. And then sometimes we just keep procrastinating till it never happens. I am so glad you found the courage to break it off , and move on ahead with your life.

    “Bravo” is indeed an appropriate tag.🙂

    Like

  14. I’m noticing a disturbing trend with a lot of these emails that you are getting IHM. A lot of these stories are young women who are relationships chosen by themselves not their parents. But that seems to be the only point at which these stories differ from traditional marriages. For e.g.
    – There is immense pressure on these women to stay in those relationships, by their boyfriends, peers and even parents. In multiple cases in the case of breakups the women were treated like outcasts by their peers similar to divorcees in a traditional setup. This makes them wary of ending a bad relationship.
    – The relationship is expected to end in marriage and if it does not the woman suffer while the men do not.
    – The men try to control their partners lives in all aspects. The different emails you have shared all show abuse or varying degrees.
    – Most of the traditional concerns about caste, religion, background, language, dowry remain.
    I wonder why this is the case. Was I naive in thinking that once people were choosing their own partners these problems would go away? It seems to be the same set of problems with only the external construct of parents choosing the spouse loosened.
    I think Indian parents need to do a better job of instilling self-esteem in their daughters and respect for the opposite sex in their sons. In all these cases it seems that parents were tolerant of these relationships but the young people were not equipped with the skills to deal with them. Even when given the freedom to choose a partner they did not know what to look for in a relationship or how to navigate it.

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    • Totally! Dating is still an unexplored land for the most part. And Indian youth tend to get into really high stakes relationships. It’s like everything you do in a relationship comes with a huge cost attached to it. It’s also really hard for young people to get rid of this mindset that dating must lead to marriage, because that’s all they ever hear growing up.

      Like

  15. Great job. You couldn’t have done anything better.
    I wish every girl thinks sensibly like you. Really appreciate your bold decision. Good luck!!

    Like

  16. Well done, young lady. A similar story:

    An acquaintance’s daughter (their only child) was engaged to get married in the last week of May this year. She is a brilliant young woman just beginning her medical career.

    Everything was ready – wedding cards given, venue fixed, jewellery+ clothes done. The day before the wedding, the guy’s father asked the woman’s father to transfer all his property to the guy’s name – as ‘security’ for marrying her!! The father almost agreed but the young woman, totally outraged, put foot her foot down and called off the marriage.

    I still cannot get over the gall of the guy’s side. ‘Security’??

    Like

    • Asking for a dowry is illegal isn’t it?
      So you work around this law by asking for “security” instead!

      Hat’s off to this girl! She had real guts.
      It was a brave thing to do at the eleventh hour.
      But it has saved her life.
      I suppose the shameless boy’s family will go around telling everyone it was the boy’s family that called it off and not the girl and that the girl was trying to safe face.
      But people will know whom to believe.
      Regards
      GV

      Like

      • There is a Telugu movie Anand, where in the lead lady is an orphan (parents and brother die in an accident when she’s in her teens) and grows up to be an independent lady. She falls in love with a guy from another caste who is “hindi” ( as in, not telugu or south indian). His mother begins to dominate her even before they get married. (like wearing only sarees, pallu on the head etc.,). On the day of the wedding, the guy’s mother visits the girl in the green room and finds her wearing her mother’s saree, a typical south indian one. So she asks her to change into something like “theirs”, with the pallu in front. The girl refuses saying it’s her mother’s and she always wanted to wear the saree for her wedding ’cause it made her feel close to her mother. The guy’s mother doesn’t agree and leaves. The “older” ladies on the girl’s side convince her. She changes and goes to apologize to the would-be-MIL. She overhears the guy talk to his mother about the girl unknowingly making a mistake and how their family is letting her marry him, “uspe taras khaakar”.

        The lead lady breaks it off.

        It’s not a decision everyone can dare to make. But showing such positive stuff to people might bring such a huge difference.

        This is one of those few movies where the lead lady has a lot more to do than just dancing and the lead man has nothing much but the movie being named after his character.😛
        If anyone is interested to watch the movie, here’s the link. There are subtitles too, click on “cc” on the bottom right panel.

        The scene from 10:00 to 17:16 shows the pre-marriage meet and the talk between the girl and the guy.

        The scene from 22:55 to 38:11 is(are) the scene(s) that I described. (It start with a song😀 I like it) .

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  17. Loved reading this post.

    Well done, email writer! You’ve got one great head on your shoulders. B*lls to your ex. The very best to you and your guy. Live long, prosper, have a great life (I know I sound really old saying that, but yeah). Wish there were more people like you.

    Cheers!

    Like

  18. well done.. u did the right thing.. nobody can dictate how u should study, talk to or what kind of cloths u need to wear.. we have all right to choose our life style and u did good job by not choosing that guy who demanded dowry.. i know its difficult to break up a relation and i am glad that you overcame it found a good guy.

    all the best!!!

    Like

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