Wednesday, September 14 2016, 12:24:13
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  • She Says

Ayushi Agarwal

JWB Blogger

#SheSays: I Stood Up Against Dowry And Now No One Wants To Marry Me

  • JWB Post
  •  March 11, 2016


Most of the women who have come up to us with their problems have narrated their grievances over email or through a telephonic conversation. But, one woman had the courage to agree to a face-to-face interview at a popular hangout joint in Jaipur. She told us how she was forced to call off her wedding due to dowry issues at the age of 29, and how she is dealing with its consequences.

Censored is no joke. Censored is that part of JWB which enables a woman to reveal that hidden, sacred part of herself which society has been successful in tarnishing. It is a platform which empowers women to open up, share, and inspire thousands of our readers worldwide without facing the evil ire of societal condemnation.


“I used to think that all social evils happen to show their ugly naked faces in the society due to a severe lack of good quality education.

Yes, I used to think that.

Not anymore.

I am a single, working Marwari girl who is standing only a few feet away from the dreaded “30-year-old” milestone. The evil landmark never fails to mock me in one way or the other. I belong to a wealthy, big-fat joint family that knows how to strike a balance between traditional notions and modern times.



Almost a year ago, all my family’s concerted efforts to find a suitable groom for me and ship me off to a home I could call my own, finally bore fruit. The guy’s bio-data was so impressive that any typical Indian family would have loved to frame and preserve it for centuries.

An IIT graduate living abroad, and earning blindly in Dollars is like winning the lottery in an arranged marriage scenario. His parents refused to leave Jaipur, which was no doubt a bonus.

When I agreed to meet him in person, he flew down from whatever god-forsaken land he lived in. We met each other for 2-3 times, after which I was asked for my final answer. Like any other sane person, I wanted to take some more time to judge him before surrendering myself to their family on a diamond-studded platter.

Unfortunately, I ended up saying ‘yes’ because of the proverbial sword of marriage that hung over my head, threatening to slice me up in two halves. The big ‘three-zero’ was staring at me in the face, remember?



Once the “ladke-waale” said ‘yes’ too, gears were shifted and things started getting into motion. I quit my job and all we jumped into the preparations whole-heartedly. My family even threw us a giant engagement ceremony. Relatives from every nook and corner of the world were invited to the ceremony and the wedding as well, which was still five months away.

But after that, it all went downhill.

The first red flag was raised when my future in-laws asked us to return all the jewelry and clothes back, which had been given to me at the engagement ceremony. But, we let that slide and continued with the bookings and the shopping.



My “fiancé” and I rarely spoke to each other on the phone. There was minimal communication between us when he wasn’t in India, and whenever we would meet, he would only criticize the way I carried myself. He disliked the way I wore my hair, and absolutely hated my nose-ring. He would often say things like, “You should join a gym. Y’know, to stay healthy” or “I don’t know why Indian girls are so fucking fascinated with nose rings. Girls in my country have such an awesome sense of style.”

But, I never let his comments bring down my self-confidence. I took them positively and even got a hair-cut in the spirit of experimentation.



It was Diwali when the second red flag was inadvertently raised. The in-laws wanted us to cut down the number of guests from 2500 to merely 500. My parents argued how important it was for us to invite all our relatives and friends for the wedding but, for some reason they stuck to this odd demand.

The next day, my fiancé berated me about the way my parents had spoken to his parents. Just because they were ‘ladke-waale’, we were supposed to give in to all their demands? We held our ground.

Two months before the wedding,  we met with my future in-laws and our world fell apart. They handed my father a white-paper slip, on which an exact sum of money was written in bold letters. 2.5 crores. They specified how they wished to receive the amount only in cash.

I felt more like a property in the middle of a business transaction rather than a girl who was ready to leave her world behind and become a part of this greedy family. They expressed how they too had given a hefty dowry in their own daughter’s wedding, and so it was only logical that they got some from their daughter-in-law.



That’s the last thing one expects to hear from a well-educated family. What is the point of spending an inordinate amount of money on academic degrees, if they fail to make you a sensible human being?

I figured if things are already so chaotic before marriage, what would happen when they would have complete control over me? Who will save me when I’m sitting thousands of miles away from my family, crying silently over some other issue?

I was convinced that this marriage would just end up hurting my parents and me. And so, I called it off. I told my parents about these concerns, and they broke off the engagement. I did not care about my biological clock, or my age.

I just wanted to be happy, and not getting married at all is definitely better than getting married to the wrong person.

Once we broke off the engagement, my would-have-been-in laws officially hit rock bottom by spreading false rumors about my family, and emphasizing how they were the ones who called the whole shin-ding off.



Presently, my family is still trying to get me hitched to a “nice” guy. But as soon as these “nice” guys get to know about my failed attempt to get married, they choose to get vanished into thin air. Maybe because they wish to milk a bigger cow for dowry, or maybe because they don’t wish to get associated with a family who refuses to silently bow down just because they’re “ladki-waale“.

Random relatives do not hesitate to come up to my parents and provide their expert advice on the matter. They keep reminding my family how it’s going to be 10times more difficult to find a husband for me when I’ll be entering my thirties.

“We live in a progressive society”. Honestly, it’s getting harder and harder each day to believe that.”


YOUR story has the power to change someone else’s life for the better. So instead of letting your problems overpower you, give us a chance to empower you in any way we can. You can mail us at and we’ll guard your anonymity with all our might. 

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