Dear moji, please stop with ‘Pagah chui wariv ghar gasun’

Sameena (10) and her brother (12) were fighting over the remote when she heard her mother shout, ‘Sameena, kya chakh karaan. Pagah chui wariv ghar gasun.’

That is not the first time when Sameena had heard those lines. As far as she can remember, ‘Pagah chui wariv ghar gasun (Kal ko doosre ghar jana hai)’ has always been twirling around her. And not just from her mother, but from every other person. As if the girl is born only to go to her sasural.

Whether she talks loudly or disagrees with anyone in the family, the line is casually thrown upon her. Sometimes even followed by ‘Pagah wannai majji ous ne kihin hesnowmuth (Tomorrow, they will say, her mother didn’t teach her anything)’.

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Sadly, sometimes even the male siblings casually say things like, ‘Dekh ladki hai, ladki ban k reh, nahi to kal ko sasural se wapas bejenge’. The casual sexism towards female siblings eventually reflects in their married life too. All thanks to their bad upbringing.

As someone said, the only thing a son is supposed to do is to be born. Then it’s all a la la land for him. Rarely, mothers say anything to their sons except ‘wadan kyazi chukh, koor chukha? (why are you crying? Are you a girl?)’

The melodrama doesn’t end her. Sisters are expected to do their brother’s work. Be it making the bed, ironing the clothes, and similar other things. Those are basic chores that a human being should know how to do, but sadly, in the desi culture, it’s reserved for women.

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I once did the mistake of confronting my mother by saying why can’t my brother make his own bed? As is obvious, she said, ‘Pagah wankhe wariv ti yi? (are you going to say same thing to your husband?’ In my head, I was like yes, why not? But I didn’t say a word. That was the moment I realized how deeply ingrained are the words like ‘wariv and ‘koori mohniv’ for Kashmiri women. They just cannot see beyond it.

It’s so strange seeing all this come from a woman herself. She has been in the same position yet when she can make a change by raising a good son, she chooses the other way – controlling her daughter. I get it, sasural is a difficult place and our mothers are just preparing us for the battle ahead but things would have been a lot easier if men were taught a thing or two.

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If you are a mother reading this, change doesn’t come from outside. We all need to take small steps. And, as they say, charity begins at home, you need to start treating your sons and daughters equally. And stop saying, ‘pagah chui wariv ghar gasun.’

I really wish to see ‘pagah chui wariv ghar gasun’ as a show-off statement. Or even better, mothers telling their sons, ‘kal ko bahu ayegi kuch chezei seekh le. Izzat rakh humari’.