Thursday, August 15, 2013

For the sake of her marriage: Compensating for a gendered world

Kaleidoscope has experienced the presence of several domestic helps since his father could afford them. He has seen never ending complains from his mother about the bad performance of these maids. Last week one of  the old maids Tarulata, her now married daughter Krishna and granddaughter Ghutul who is only four months of age arrived when Kaleidoscope was reading Jonathan Glancey's Nagaland. He was quite unaware about the atrocities that people of Nagaland are facing as he has been unaware about Tarulata. Tarulata with her granddaughter on her lap smiles at Kaleidoscope and says "see, this is the reason I choose to work as a domestic help"

When Tarulata in late 1980s gave birth to Krishna, a girl child she was told by her mother-in-law and her husband that she is responsible for the birth of this girl child, and that she must arrange for her marriage. Tarulata cried with helplessness but slowly accepted the challenge and took up the profession of domestic help in many houses including that of Kaleidoscope's. Tarulata's husband over the years have done reasonably well in his shoe and chappal manufacturing business. In late 1990s Tarulata's husband repeatedly requested Tarulata to give up her profession and start relaxing for a while, but that request was futile. When Krishna comes up to sixteen she also accompanies Tarulata and finally in 2009 Krishna is married to a small business man. Over the year Tarulata buys the jewelry, pays off the dowry and now holds a smiling face with her granddaughter in her lap. After Krishna's marriage Tarulata gives up the profession and now helps her husband more actively in his business.

Kaleidoscope exhales and comes back to his room with a fear of unknown future of Krishna with her daughter.

[Reasons to worry:
Dowry related register death cases in India in 2010 is 8391 click here
The Hindu reports India looses 3 million girls in infanticide click here]


  1. I would rather see the brighter side of Tarulata. She is self confident and a powerful woman. Krishna must have learned it and will definitely respond to her challenges in her own way. Keep following the story Kaleidoscope. I happen to hop on your blog quite often and must admit I like your ways of writing. Keep it up.


  2. challenges... and aftermath. Micronarratives Kaleidoscope!