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What it was like to be shocked at your daughter's secret marriage

March 14, 2014, 8:24 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 677

By riazhussain

In the past, marriages everywhere were arranged or assisted by senior members of families such as parents and grandparents. Even in those olden days of the world, there were instances of autonomous marriages or love weddings. Then, with the advent of the modern era, the rate of autonomous marriages has increased in Western countries of the world. However, even today, most of the cultures of the world seem to have elements of arranged marriages. In South Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa, arranged and assisted marriages are common. In South Asia and the Middle East, for example, girls are expected to consider their parents’ preferences in accepting and rejecting a marriage proposal and there is a strong stigma attached to elopement. If the daughter of a person elopes or marries in court, stigmatic discourses of people around them set in making their lives living deaths. Therefore, in such cultures, clandestine marriages done without consulting parents or guardians and elopement episodes upset the moral order and the social equilibrium of the culture and lead to horrible consequences in the form of the suicides of distressed parents and the honour killings of the infatuated couples. This story recounts how parents in such cultures are hurt by independent love marriage moves of their children.

Azad was a young 'panel beater', otherwise referred to as auto body mechanic. He was well-known in the market for his excellent skills in repairing damaged vehicles. From morning to evening, he would remain busy in the workshop wearing boots, gloves, safety glasses and a welding helmet. People would bring to him vehicles damaged in collisions and with his dexterous use of steels, alloys, plastics and fiberglass, he would restore them to their factory state.

He was equally good at repairing cars, 4WDs, vans, trucks and other light and heavy vehicles. His automotive restoration fame attracted foreign auto dealers. So, one day, while working at the workshop his boss offered him a better salary abroad at a workshop in Qatar. Azad had six siblings. He wanted to help them get a good education and make their lives better.

He communicated the lucrative offer to his parents. They readily agreed. Now he had to leave for Qatar within three months. His parents wanted to arrange the wedding of their outbound son before he actually left for the rich country of the Persian Gulf. So, Azad married his cousin before he flew abroad for the new job. The wedding brought happiness to the poor family. The day of departure began to loom large on the newly married couple. At last the day of his departure came. Azad left for the foreign land amid tears and expressions of best wishes extended by his parents, wife and siblings.    

He joined his new job and there he found the work routine to be more systematic. He had to diagnose damages, write repair estimate reports and repair the vehicles. He had not only to repair the damaged vehicles but also maintain them aesthetically.

In return, he was getting a handsome salary which he regularly remitted home. Things were going well now. He had been working there for four months when he heard the sudden and tragic news of his father’s death. It all happened so suddenly that he could not fly back to attend the funeral ceremony. It was a big blow to his family. Now, being the eldest son, all responsibility was on his shoulders.

After a few months, his wife gave birth to a baby. The company allowed him to visit his family after one year.  He took five month-leave and came home. Even during these days of supposed rest, he did not have any. He helped his siblings get settled in their own businesses and jobs. Time seemed to fly, the five month-leave ended and he had to come back to work again. After some months, his happiness knew no bounds when he came to know that his wife had given birth to twin daughters.

Years went by and he kept remitting handsome amounts to his family.  His siblings settled down. He was now in his fifties. His thick hair began to turn grey. He was getting weaker day by day. He had spent the best years of life abroad. Now, his own children were growing up and he was worried about their future. He married his eldest daughter as soon as he received a suitable marriage proposal. He went home and attended the ceremony of her wedding. The marriage took off a burden from his shoulders. Now, they had to find a suitable match for the other daughter. He thought he would get her married the following year.  So, he once again came to Qatar for another year to contribute to the dowry of their young daughter. But one day, he was shocked to hear that the latter daughter had married somebody in a court. This news was too shocking. He felt pain and clutched his chest. He had actually sustained a heart attack. When he was discharged from the hospital, he went back to his home and investigated the whole matter. The man whom his daughter had married in the court did not belong to well-reputed family.  But he refused to give her a divorce. They went to the court and Azad spent a huge amount in pursuing the case. Finally, they won the case but all this affair had upset him. He again had a heart attack.

The cardiologists assessed the problem and told him that his heart disease had become severe. They suggested  that he should spend the rest of his numbered days with his family. He did not disclose his imminent death to his wife and children, and silently passed away after twenty days. 

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