The Great Indian Search For The ‘Sanskari Girl’
Priyanka Chopra ‘faltered’ by wearing a dress that revealed her ankles, shins and knees to the Prime Minister of India! This much talked about incident has made me realise a few things. Primarily being, we have forgotten our manners and morals? And definitely lost our senses.
That inherent desire to have a girlfriend / wife who will perform all duties, touch feet of elders, visit temples, wear ‘appropriate’ outfits at occasions, who will also wear short skirts to discos, drink but in limits (defined by who god knows!), and work and manage babies. This might even put the super woman definition to shame?
The “XX” DNA is to be dressed with sanskaars and good manners, because that is how one will get married into a good house, earn respect and live ‘happily ever after.’ Right?
A girlfriend can or has to be ‘easy’ and a fun person too, who is outgoing. Her determined nature is appreciated and her confidence is admired. But what happens when she becomes a wife? Her ambition becomes harmful to a man’s ego and her bare knees are the daggers that shred his reputation.
My parents are Alok Naths ideal of Sankars. They have taught me RULES since I was a child.
But ladies, here is a guide to become the ideal sanskaari girl. Our society refuses to become mature, so let us be the bigger person in the room. This simple, ten step guide will fetch you the richest household to help you realise your dreams of serving them.
- Skin tone-
In the crudest sense, dark skin is not appreciated by our dear patriarchs. Fairer skin is prettier and makes you worthy of being a trophy wife. Hence to lighten your skin tone, use lemon juice, face packs and pray to the Almighty!
My fellow ladies, please learn a lesson from the latest Priyanka Chopra- Narendra Modi trolling fiasco. You must not repeat this ‘disrespectful’ act. If you have reached the marriageable age, you should throw all the clothes that show your legs, arms, shoulders and cleavage. Opt for a salwar kameez, or better yet, a saree. Save the modern ones for your husband’s fancies.
“The way into a man’s heart is through his stomach.” You must know how to cook the most delicious food so that your husband is confident enough to call his friends over for a meal and boast about your skills. Since you will be taking care of a man who will not even know how to turn the gas on, you need to learn the skills of survival. Hail Darwin!
You must be updated on the latest bhajan trends, keep a track of all the mata ki chowkis and have the fanciest mandir in your house. Your mornings should start with an invocation to gods and then distribute the Prasad to all the members of the house. Please bathe before doing all this. (CAUTION- this point is not applicable if you are ‘sick’)
- Art of Speaking-
Modesty and coyness is key. Work your jaw muscles to always smile and only nod when asked for your opinion.Remember to avoid asking for things and never raise your head in front of elders. If you are asked to talk, whisper softly so that only your husband or brother can hear. This is a mark of respect; don’t question if the same isn’t offered to you.
- Love life-
You must not have one. And if you even had one, forget about it. Your husband (to be) should be the only man in your life. You must be a virgin when you get married even if it means that you will have to sleep with an almost stranger. Having sex before marriage attracts all demons and you don’t want that, do you?
After talking with some young unmarried women, I realised that such norms are not taught but socialised
Bring water for guests and sit with crossed legs when asked to. (Become a mermaid maybe. No legs, no risk grr) You must greet with the best bow to touch your elder’s feet. Let the men eat first and grace yourself with their leftovers.
The catalyst of our behaviour, your aim is to please them and maintain their image as perfect. You should ask for their permission before doing anything, even if you have to meet your own parents.
The other aspect, is to ensure that you are attractively dressed for the right occasions. Your man’s attention is your fuel and you must work hard to have a perfect physique.
- Bad habits-
You must never smoke anything, neither actively nor passively. You must be inches away from the table where the alcohol is kept. You can attend a night party only if you are accompanied by your brother or husband and adhere to the deadline.
- Family over career-
You must quit your job after getting married, otherwise you will fail to maintain the ‘balance’ in your family. And if you are lucky to keep your job after marriage, your luck will fade after getting pregnant. If you keep your job, your children will be neglected and more importantly your husband will think that you are trying to be equal to him.
After talking with some young unmarried women, I realised that such norms are not taught but socialised. Meghna Bharucha, a 26 year old said, “Even though I am independent, in all aspects, I still get a call from my mother whenever she sees something scandalous on my Facebook. She warns me of the dangers of judgement and losing on a good rishta.”
Another girl, who chose to remain anonymous said, “I got engaged a month back and my mother has started my kitchen training. I get to hear a lecture of sorts from my father on how to adjust and deal with the new changes. I am guided by aunts during shopping and tips on pleasing my new family is being subtly included in my regular conversations.”
Ashima Saxena, an event manager from Delhi said, “I got a lot of backlash for getting a tattoo, and I usually go out at nights during weekends. My parents are completely fine with it, but the people around us love to gossip about me and question my family’s ethics. How does the ink on my body have anything to do with ethics?”
“My parents are Alok Naths ideal of Sankars. They have taught me RULES since I was a child. I am now 36 with a daughter who is just 8 and I am expected to teach her the same rules. It’s not easy to shrug away the centuries old traditions and morals,” said Rina Sehgal, a teacher from Kolkata.
All these statements bring out the grave situation our society is in. All these impositions are disturbingly exemplified by the statement made by the father of the PhD scholar who committed suicide in IIT Delhi after pressure from her husband- “It was a mistake to educate my daughter and send her to IIT. I should have saved all the money for her dowry.”
Unfortunately to the dismay of many, I deviated from most of these points. I dared to go out for a party, wearing an off shoulder dress and my boyfriend dropped me home at 1 am! (I’m still scared for the society police to blacken my face.) I am now patiently waiting for my future husband to judge my character by checking the fitting of my clothes. I hope you will now be more careful than you were earlier.