This is for your Own Good…

“Justine, whenever someone says “this is for your own good”, it’s a guarantee they’re about to cause you some kind of damage” – Lisa Klepyas

She kept pounding on her bedroom door till her hands started to bleed. She could still feel the stinging feeling on her cheeks where her parents slapped her.

She soon heard a scuffle of someone near the door. She knew it was her brother. Hope filled her heart as she screamed his name. She heard the retreating footsteps trace back to her room. Before she could say anything, he repeated the sentence created by words that felt like knives tearing through her heart; “This is for Your Own Good.”

She committed a crime unforgivable by the ones she thought loved her unconditionally. She fell in Love. Through her tears, she smiled as she thought of him.

But the crime was not just that she fell in love, but that she fell in love with a ‘wrong’ man. A man, who is well educated, looked alright & whose best feature was his big, beautiful heart. He has a smile that could melt the hardest of hearts. He loves her as though she was the only one person he ever knew in this world. But he was ‘wrong’ because he belonged to a caste lower than hers.

She thought back to what her parents & uncles said; each word like bullets to everything she believed in.

“You are superior by caste, how dare you even ask to get married to someone below your stature. What will the society say? This is an insult beyond all imagination. Just because we gave you the freedom to study & work, this is what you give us in return? You fall in love?

These aren’t the values we brought you up with. We always taught you to be a nice girl. One who does everything we say. What happened to you suddenly? We sacrificed so much for you, how could you say that you would get married to someone of your own choice!

We gave birth to you so we are the ones who will decide who you can get married to.

You have brought shame to our family. We were so proud that our only daughter has studied this far & is working. Mr Rathod was so jealous that so many good & rich families were asking your hand for their sons, even NRI boys.

Now who will get married to you?

You better get married to someone we say otherwise you will have to walk over our dead bodies before you reach the wedding mandap…”

She was so scared. One moment she was a free, independent young woman, who along with the others in her other world, fought for equal rights for every individual human being & here she was fighting once again but this time for her own life. She couldn’t even believe that she was in a situation like this. This was beyond all rational judgment. And the fact that her own brother was supporting them was something she couldn’t digest.

Did she really bring her family shame? Did she really commit such a horrendous crime? Did she deserve every slap & whip she got?

What did she do wrong?

She thought of this, days later, as she walked into the room she was to spend the night with the stranger her parents forced to get married to. This is all just a bad dream she tried consoling herself carrying the customary glass of milk inside.

She saw a big lump of her ‘husband’ on the bed & was about to sleep when she felt a breath of hot, moist air on her neck. She pushed him away out of spite, anger & anxiety & he responded by slapping her which shocked her beyond anything she could comprehend.

She just let go, as he rolled on top of her, waiting for the all the “good” in her life to begin.

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