Manisht.

Sixteen Days. Sixteen stories about Her from my diary.

Day 3: Manisht.

Manisht’s story I hold very close to my heart. She belonged to a family of four sisters and five brothers. Manisht’s love for a relative was innocent, and pure. They would meet in family gatherings, as she tells me he was handsome, educated and had a strong presence. Years later, as she recalls her love for this man, her eyes twinkle just a little. Love, she has taught me, at times does not know how to die.

Art work by Raz Xaidan, you can find her here and here

The exchange of looks, and a few innocent discussions in the presence of family members and relatives ignited emotions from both sides. After a few months, Manisht’s relative came to ask for her hand in marriage. excited, infused with love, and passion Manisht was living a fairytale with a Prince Charming. Just as in fairytales, the couple exchanged rings, celebrated, took photos, and could visit each-other occasionally, on the condition they were not alone together.

Throughout these visits, Manisht’s fiancé would sometimes bring his sister for the visits to Manisht’s house. During which, Manisht’s brother fancied Manisht’s fiance’s sister. That is, Manisht’s sister-in-law to-be. For various months no one knew of this. As she recalls, “out of the blue, my brother asked me to tell my future sister-in-law that he will ask for her hand.

She refused.

The clock society had put on Manisht for marriage, for children, for love… had passed

It just happened with fate, that Manisht and her brother loved two other siblings. Manisht’s sister-in-law to-be was not interested in the marriage with Manisht’s brother. In return Manisht’s brother decided Manisht too, could not marry her fiancé. Overnight, without Manisht’s knowledge her brother had called the husband-to-be to come the next day and collect the jewellery they had bought.

Four years later, the brother married to someone else. Manisht was still communicating with her now ex fiancé in the hope that an approval from the eldest brother can be granted… one day.

Twelve years later, Manisht refused to marry anyone else. And the eldest brother, still refused to approve the twelve year love. The ex fiancé travelled outside of the country and resettled elsewhere, they lost contact.

Fourteen years later, Manisht learned he had married abroad. Society questioned why she was ‘still single.’ The clock society had put on Manisht for marriage, for children, for love… had passed.

“love killed me alive” she says

Today, Manisht lives the pain of a victim, “love killed me alive” she says. In the diaries of love, fourteen years is a lifetime to wait for a single approval. I thought many times what would have happened if Manisht married without an approval. These were two lovers who respected their families, who wanted to abide by the books and the rules of society.

Man does not just victimise a woman, but sometimes victimises another man too. I wonder if Manisht’s brother regrets it? Could one’s ego be this big?

#16DaysOfActivism #16Days #CombattingViolenceAgainstWomen

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