It always amazes and amuses me whenever I end up greeting someone very very different from my culture. Yes, I already had told you about my nothing less than a nightmare experience the first time I encountered a greeting with the kiss on the cheeks. So I found this video funny and can understand where he comes from although I haven’t been to Middle East / South East Asia yet 🙂 .
After my first experience , I have been to a few places in Europe and last year to Spain where I have had been greeted with kisses on each cheek, thankfully, nothing like three or more as is said in the video. But still, returning that favor is not yet in my cards. So I can say that I am sort of now immune to it, even though I still get a little stiff if some one hugs me (these young women in the fitness center do that at a regular basis. I wonder when that became a standard way of saying hi around here).
Made me smile amongst a very busy day.
She never thought that she will get married as soon as she would turn 18. If she had known she would have remained at 17 forever. You would think that being 18 years of age would have given her a wealth of knowledge about life. Psychologically, she was still a kid at that age, not interested in studies and hence dropped out of school very early, helping out her mother, who works as a maid, cooking for her family when required, playing with the kids in the apartment and taking care of them, helping out the elders with their grocery shopping (but never going alone anywhere, she is afraid of being alone). She hardly knew what entitles the bond of marriage and what responsiblities come with them. But when she was pursued by the other family in their home town, which is a small village, her parents were happy that they could settle down their first (though not the eldest) daughter soon inspite of their apprehension that may be it was too early. But what if they lose a good partner for her. After taking enough loans from everyone they knew, they had a wedding that would satisfy their villagers. She lead a very peaceful life for 4 months along with her parents, when her husband was searching for a better job in the same city where her parents were. But life had other cruel plans for her. When she had been to her husband’s place for a festival, little did she know that it will be the last festival for him. He met with an head on collission with a truck and ended up in hospital for almost 2 months, where he went into coma and finally left her to deal with the world, in his sleep. She is more shocked than sad that a life just went past by her even before she could register its presence. Not crying and always wondering what went wrong, there she is in her in-law’s place for almost 3 months without any clue as to how to proceed in life, playing with the neighbors kids. In the mean while, all her relatives and other people who knew her are wondering how to get her resettled. If she is pregnant , how to get rid of ‘it’ (how little a life means in some situations) so that she can be remarried to someone, not minding what her wishes are. Neither was she given the option in her marriage, nor will she be given for her yet to be born child. But then after much contemplation and discussion with the villagers, it would seem that her inlaws have decided that it will be better if she is married to her younger brother-in-law and if she is indeed pregnant at least their son’s child will be in their own family. Again no option given to her. Her life – it was earlier decided by her parents and other relatives and now by her in-laws and villagers.
When she understands and lives a little more, will she look back and think if she ever lead ‘her’ life or was it someone else’s that she had been living ? When she will ever be asked what she wants in life ? Would education have helped her ? The other person involved, the younger brother in law, was he given a choice in this ? Should we be happy that they at least decided to keep the child in their own family ? Should we be happy that there are so many people (the villagers and the distant relatives inclusive) taking care of this girl’s life ? Or are they playing God with a human’s life just because she doesn’t voice her opinion in anyway, because that is what she has been taught all her life ?
After seeing this girl’s life step by step, I am glad of that one day in my life, when I decided to voice my opinion , a little strongly and I stood by it. I wasn’t taught anything different from what this girl was taught, but then I chose to break the mold and my family, even though they didn’t get it stood by it. Not many are given that choice or freedom.
I did contemplate about writing this piece but it has been festering inside me for too long and every small information I get about that girl, I get upset a little more. So I decided to go ahead and put it out there and add it as part of the challenge by OM.