Let live, for love's sake

Published - January 26, 2011 02:35 pm IST

When in love: Honour is never an issue. Photo: K. Ananthan

When in love: Honour is never an issue. Photo: K. Ananthan

After a hectic haul into my compartment, I sat on my precious seat, which I'd thought would never have been possible after the sweaty, crowded pavement of the Chennai Central. Packed with howling children and crazy vendors or even worse porters, who try to grab my attention the moment my eyes graze in their direction.

Two youngsters sat on the seat opposite me. They did not look more than 25 or so it seemed; but they definitely looked uncertain about whatever they were up to!

But isn't this how most of our Indian elders look upon young couples these days? On Valentine's Day, we have the belligerent police force arresting young lovers, while I still wonder why they almost did nothing when there were crazy meaningless riots by college students majoring in a fickle field in India: law!

Honour comes first

My thoughts then wandered to those victims of honour killings in my own apparently free country. The thought that a mother can bring herself to kill her own ‘ flesh and blood' for the sake of living an honourable life is rather appalling.

When I searched my mind for a good reason on what exactly would drive the most protective 'mother' race in the universe, regardless of what species she belonged to, I came up with only one: 'survival of self'. Drawing a parallel to the human mother, this phrase would convert itself to the benefits of living a typified 'respectable' life in society and to please her patriarchal counterpart, as she is dependent on his already meagre or (in some cases) extensive resources or in danger of her life itself. The more reasons I imagined, the more inexcusable it got and I saw red!

As Henry David Thoreau would put it, “There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.”

I honestly can't figure out how anyone can kill just because someone does not fit into their perspective of what is right. If mothers and uncles can go about killing daughters and pretend they did something to be proud of and if they can sleep peacefully or let's say, pretend to close their eyes tight, pretending to shut away images of their daughter's murder or hushed up cremation, then it's time for the world to end.

Being a girl myself, it is alarming to know that there are girls out there who are terrified to be in their own homes and that there are girls who are thankful every single day to wake up alive in their own premises, while I feel secure in my room, with parents to look up to.

Shame over blood

I earnestly hope parents, especially fathers, bear with the ‘shame' than opting to live with blood in their hands. You'd rather listen to all that the already ridiculous community has to say than kill your own apparently disobedient daughter and someone else's prodigal son.

And in the case of a few independent young women, do have the audacity to let your only best friend and mother know that you've found your special someone. In case your parents revolt and their reactions turn out to be rather alarming then think no more, call a women's helpline or the police. If you don't have the gumption to do so, tell your neighbour or a friend.

Most honour killing cases are either never reported, listed missing under the ‘girl gone missing' cases with a million suspects fished out by our brilliant panchayat or council to cover up what really happened.

First, the world opted to extinguish baby girls, abuse them when they struggle to grow up with all the tribulations in a male chauvinistic society and now ‘ honour killing'. I wonder what else is yet to come up down the road to a capricious and rather inexcusable future.

MARY SRUTHI VIJAYAKUMAR, III Year, B.A English, Women's Christian College

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