I know that you care about your children especially your daughter very deeply. I know that I will always be indebted for the things you’ve done for me, the love you’ve lavished on me and the care you’ve given me. I know probably I’m the most prized possession for you on this entire planet.
I know, your biggest concern visibly since I turned 18 has been my marriage. And things started to change from then. Since the day I started college, your interests in my grades and scores, my job prospects, my ambition gradually started to wane and suddenly, just in blink of an eye switched to my marriage. It took me some time to realize that how you stopped bugging me if I performed poorly on a test and how a thing which mattered to you so much when I was back in school, suddenly was just another mundane routine issue. I wish things could go back to the days when I was asked to study, when contrary to today my education was the most important thing that mattered to you. I don’t know what changed and when it did?
And then, when the college was over, and I confided in you about falling in love and wanting to marry the man of my likes when the time comes. All hell broke loose. You didn’t want to listen to any reason or logic I had to offer, simply because in a secular country like ours the only thing that matters when it comes to marriage is religion and caste. I cried, I begged, I shouted, I did every possible thing I could as your daughter for getting that chance to have you listen to me and understand the plethora of emotions in me. But you simply refused. So I did what I could do, kept quiet, staying patient in hope that one day you will understand.
I always kept my ambition and my love for him separate. Even when I fell in love with him, I knew I will not marry until I become financially stable. Did you not teach my brother to become responsible and financially stable before even thinking about marriage? Then why the education suddenly became different for me? How come just because my age and now my confession the only solution you could find for me was getting me married to the next guy you could find for me? Wasn’t it you Ma, who woke up with me at nights when I studied during the board exams? Wasn’t it you Pa, who used to tell me I’m no less than a guy and my daughter will become an administrative officer? Then how? how every thing just went away and why? Was it just a statement you used to please me?
Years have passed and I feel the strong foundation of values you gave me are now something you want me to change because I have grown up, and now marriage and marrying within the bounds of your society is the only thing I am supposed to do. And if I don’t I will somehow dishonor you. I know I have crossed the “marriageable age” according to you, and the one man I love is not appropriate for your societal satisfaction, so I now have to make a choice. But my question is why is it have to be me to make that kind of a choice, when you always told me that my happiness is the only thing that mattered to you? Do you not see where my happiness lies?
I am sorry to both of you. It is not my intention to hurt you,to cause you pain or embarrassment. But I am an adult now and my life is my own. I take full responsibility of my decisions, marital or otherwise. I wish I could go back in time and show you how you used to protect me if someone used to say something wrong to me and now I feel lonely because you feel everyone do have a right to say anything to me just because I probably am the one who needs to understand.
I will remain your daughter, I will still love myself, and more than anything else, I will always love you. I do hope, I rise to the morning one day when you are proud of the daughter you’ve raised, cherish and respect her choices, her life and most importantly her dreams.
Always your daughter.