Dowry or Do-worry?

(Abdul Basit Shaikh, Karachi)

Dowry or Do-worry?

In our multicultural country having diversified beliefs to be followed which might support or might conflict with our logical reasons and sometimes religious grounds. Although these conflicts are not actually because of generation gap because still there are hundreds of traditions even our parents don’t follow. Let’s just not talk about any religious ground but our regional practices. In a same domain of norms we have concept of Dowry known as Jahaiz in which while tying a nod of relationship of a bride with her husband to be, parents of bride gifts a complete household package for a new married couple to continue their new chapter of lives as same as they had in their own houses ing as right of daughter. It’s not just a household package but a wedding jewelry, event expenses, gifts for special guests for who attended the ceremony and even gifts for those guests who were forced to visit that wedding just for a sake of relationship with family. But thing is getting serious day after day when parents have started getting loans against their only shelter, fathers have started begging on roads to get his daughter married, even if you won’t believe but parents have started selling their body parts to get money in order to get their daughter married in a way how society would accept. And if we are society, is this what we are asking for? I’m sure you don’t have any logical justification.
Since I was so occupied in scrolling news feeds so i wasn’t bothered about such topics till then I was getting married. But this time it was me who was getting victimized by my own parents for not to oppose or even discuss that why the hell this concept has been considered as mandatory formality to be full filled no matter what, no matter how ugly your own son looks like but dowry has to be there like Humayun Saeed in every film. With an un-necessary answer defends its not us who are asking for but it’s her parents who will gift their daughter.
Finally I decided to throw this topic on a dinner table with this conversation:
Me: Why, dowry is being practiced without any logic? In a developing country where we are spending on expenses instead of assets / investments to have reasonable returns.
Parents: It’s a Gift for a daughter from her parents so that she can assure a luxurious lifestyle in her husband’s place as well. Afterall she also has some rights on her parent’s property. And a gift is not a bad thing.
Me: So you don’t think her husband and his family are capable enough to afford this? Or might be you don’t trust if they can possibly make it for your daughter?
Parents: It’s not about they can’t afford, its about making her life better even after her marriage as a contribution from her parents so that she won’t feel as detachable member of family.
Me: And how about her husband’s self-respect? Having a thought that its because I can’t afford this in my younger age so she brings it up to contribute. Because if you have agreed to get your daughter married with him, so you must trust him emotionally as well as financially.
Parents: If someone is joining family and comes up with her own households than what’s the problem?
Me: So to make her comfortable should we provide her an Aero-Plane? So that she can easily travel the world? Without comparing lifestyle of her husband?
Parents: Obviously Not! that not a necessity. Nobody would present this, nor we can afford.
Me: Exactly that’s my point, you never know what an actual necessity of a husband is after marriage, and yes we never know how much one can afford to manage your gifts.
We never know by giving these gifts to our daughter, people would definitely compare this with any other family whose priorities and circumstances are completely different than ours.
We never know how much husband’s self-respect gets hurt while receiving those.
We never know how these gifts are being judged by others.
We never know if his parents are sleeping on a floor but a newly married couple sleeps on luxury bed so called gift from her parents.
Concluding this conversation by conveying a message, that its not bad to present a gift to daughter but its an immature or illogical practice of presenting gifts those are not even necessary and also forcing us to present without considering financial planning. By actual necessity I mean helping husband in his business so that he can earn more to have better lifestyle, by actual necessity I mean sharing a wedding expense on both ends instead of overloading single family. I hope you will be hearing and thinking things differently about a concept of Dowry now.

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About the Author: Abdul Basit Shaikh
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