In India death is better than Divorce

The trouble with
Divorce is that it is such a dirty word in India.  I know people who are divorced who prefer to say si they claim they are separated, when I know for a fact that they are divorced. I know people who were on the verge of divorcing their husbands and when the man contracted cancer and died, were told by relatives that this was the more ‘respectable’ option! Death is better than Divorce!!!

So too in this movie 7 Khoon Maaf. Each of Priyanka Chopra’s husbands starts acting like a Psycho and becoming impossible to live with. One is a drunk and a bully, another a drug addict, a third a bigamist, a fourth an S and M pervert, another a fortune hunter – I will avoid giving away all the surprises here. But each one turns highly undesirable and refuses to be reformed.

You get the picture, each one of them disappoints her. She makes an attempt to help each of the nut cases she marries to overcome his difficulty, or admit to it, or find a solution and then, when he does not reform his ways and continues to insult or belittle her she  takes the final step of doing away with him. Killing. Murder every time. No question of divorcing the guy – because in Indian society your crime of divorce is worse than your crime of murder. The movie is aptly name 7 Khoon Maaf – Forgiven Seven Murders. Do you think a movie called 7 Divorce Maaf would have been acceptable. Forgiven 7 Divorces? No way, that’s impossible. The suggestion is worse than pornography in our society. Murder is cool, and funny and a sign of strength, but divorce…Nooooooo – what a filthy suggestion.

What is a girl to do, when faced with a bigamist, a drug addict, a guy who wants to beat her to pulp every night? Grin and bear it – our parampara(tradition) says. Parampararara- just because women have done it for so long doesn’t mean they’re going to continue doing so. No, they won’t. Nor will they fear Divorce – because it takes at least 5 years to get a divorce and because getting one involves the most low down form of character assassination in the courts. People go through the process, they survive and the live to tell the tale. There are some lawyers who do not persuade their clients to tell a host of lies  about their former spouses. Most do, saying this is the only way that they can ensure you get your way in terms of child visiting rights or property shared, but some don’t. And it is possible to ensure the entire process is managed as decently as possible.

Of course, you will never be free from the stay-shackled-till-you-die pyschos who roam the face of this country. Their blinkered world view will come through in all their comments, but what the hell, you can’t keep everyone happy. And you shouldn’t even try.

If you have to get a divorce don’t let society stop you. They won’t come to your rescue when your drunken husband beats you, or your wife runs away with all your money. You have to help yourself.


About Kalpana

Trying to change the world one blog post at a time. I write. It's the best thing I can do. I am the Hanged Man, the Fool, the sometime Magician. Whether I travel in my imagination or in real life I write about it and show you pictures either through my photography or through the pictures I paint with my words. I read books and write fiction. During working hours I teach English as an Additional Language. I edit.

Posted on February 24, 2011, in abuse, Divorce, oppressive customs and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I loved your blog! I am from South Africa but my ancestors are all from India and I am Indian even though I was born in South Africa. I was married and divorced three times. Even in a modern Country, there is huge stigma attached to Indian females who are divorced. Its a curse to be divorced but I would rather be true to myself than to live in a marriage that would eventually destroy me.Women are always blamed for everything that goes wrong in a marriage. In my opinion, a women can only be blamed for continuously marrying the wrong men. What happens to us is that eventually we become bitter towards people for the way they ostrasized us.
    My life is difficult because of my marital status, but who gives anyone the right to judge me?
    Every human being deserves the chance to live in peace and yet we are constantly being critised buy the women in our society. They offer no support and often look at divorced women as a threat to their marriage!
    But to all you people who want to judge me, don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house, in other words, sort yourself out, become PERFECT before you judge, ME!
    I will live my life as I please, so long as I keep my respect and stick to my morals you have no right to judge me!

  2. Bad Indian Girl

    Hello DD,
    I am writing back to you now though I got your email a few weeks ago. Will be writing to you from work in a more detailed manner soon. Hope you remember who I am? 🙂 Thanks for your show of support. You know, in real life, very few people understand my decision to separate from my husband. Yeah, they say, so the man is a little conservative, self-centred, rigid and pretty much a mama’s pet. Is that a good enough reason to leave the poor soul? If it weren’t so amusing, I would be heartbroken that members of my own family are inclined to sympathise more with my “saintly” husband than me, the opinionated, strong-minded feminazi-shrew. These days I am finding it very difficult to believe that there are Indian men who don’t all think that it’s a woman’s job to make a marriage work, and to make her husband and his family respect her and care for her. I always thought that a man and his family should care for her simply because she’s chosen to be a part of their family. Apparently not, I’m told. This was a result of some very deluded thinking on my part. The right thing to do, apparently, is to win them over and then win their respect and love. Guess I have been inhabiting a different world all these days. Anyways, thanks so much for writing to me. I hope we can keep up our correspondence (I’ll do my part by ranting on your blog regularly) 🙂

  3. i have gone through your blog……loved every bit of it……in fact we have forgotten the basic philosophy of BASUDAIVA KUTUMBAKAM and NARI SARVATRA PUJYATEY which was taught to every Indians by their ancestors and have incorporated all the non senses in the name of PARAMPARA, Rituals Sanskaras and so on…..i dont know how long the females of our country have to live in an illusion that they are “Low Born”…Great effort Madam……Go ahead….
    visit me at

    • Mysticspirit

      Hmmm. Thanks for the appreciation. Of course its nice for women to be revered but we must be careful not to fall into the trap of woman as goddess. She is an equal. Thats what she wants. Deifying women has its own problems.

  4. nolongeraslave

    I used to struggle a lot on whether divorce was becoming acceptable in Indian society. Some people say, “Who cares? Times are changing,” but just as many people say there’s stigma.

    If divorce is worse than murder, it makes me wonder how a woman being married twice will be viewed. I wrote about this in my blog “Living a lie: The stigma of remarriage.”

    It looks like there are strong Indian woman that could care less about what society thinks. Some ignorant Indians say divorce is a sign of weakness, but taking of yourself and not allowing someone to disrespect you in the name of culture is strength.

  5. Getting divorced was one of the best things I did for myself. I don’t regret it even for a micro second.

  6. Where is that psycho you mentioned in your comment here http://girlsguidetos​​m/2011/02/22/1079/#c​omment-1144 ??? Leave the comment here for everyone to see and then block him out. Those commenting here need to blast him.
    DG has gbuzzed and FB your request.

    Not seen the movie but will try to.

    Marrying seven pieces of work one after another and then eliminating them is no biggy, to DG the issue is didn’t the queen bee see a pattern there???
    This is exactly what happens in real life people date or marry people they already broke up with or divorced. It is like they are on a look out for same cuisine in a new platter. She is definitely a piece of work… instead of fixing the scumbags she needed to fix herself…

    You said it sista, bless her stars DG was abroad and in hospital when he filed divorce. Had she been in India she would have continued wishing every morning when he left work work that he may be run over by a truck. Now this is one reason she doesn’t want to live in Des. She saltues all you brave women in Des who are divorced and kicking asses.

    Desi Girl

  7. oh yes the stigma …and the lenghty process of getting divorce …I have been through one and frankly if i dont marry again , it will be because of the fear of another traumatic divorce …it takes ages to get one and then u have to explain it to 100 ppl what went wrong.
    In the end everyone has a right to live in healthy relationships.. divorce , single , married or live-in whatever keep you happy and safe , go for it .

    loved your fierce attitute..and can’t tolerate piggy chops in 7 avatars 🙂

  8. “you can’t keep everyone happy. And you shouldn’t even try.”
    That says it for me.

  9. Hmm!! Haven’t seen the movie as yet.
    But your post is of one spirited woman that you are. Fierce and strong.

  10. I haven’t yet seen the movie but will soon.

    Loved this post. Completely agree about the divorce stigma. Unhappy marriages are welcome, murders are forgiven, divorce is not seen as a way to make new beginnings but as an act against Parampara.

  11. Hey I noticed that people who’ve heard tell of the movie have somehow got hold of the version that its about a woman who’s a psychopath… kind, sane educated members of society and they wouldn’t dream of going to see it, of course : highly avoidable.
    Little do they imagine that the sado-masochist, the pervert, the addicts, the gold-diggers and the bigamists are from their own ranks. Its easier to imagine that its the woman who needs to be labelled and created the problems in the first place.
    That’s why I rather liked Vishal Bhardwaj’s clear look at this twisted but hard reality.
    As for divorce, the other unthinkable… it doesn’t seem to be an attractive option to the average Indian, not an option at all, though it could be the less violent one for many….I think its the inability to have one’s voice heard and the feeling of being chained down that makes some people take steps that mirror their own experience… of being snuffed out or non-existent.

  12. no comment about the movie. but you are absolutely right about the status of divorced women in our society.they are considered as easy lay, of loose character , out to break families, easily available etc.
    i know of cases where women are suffering by the hands of their husbands but are reluctant to opt for divorce just because of fear of society and family.
    they are ready to tolerate the humiliation and ill treatment by their husbands but are not ready to face the society alone.
    death of husband and the tag of a widow gives them status and earns them sympathy of the society THE POOR WOMAN
    whereas the divorced words give the impression that the fault must have been of the the lady only that is why her husband left her.
    even separated is better than divorce because there is always this anticipation that she may unite with her husband
    regarding the movie the less said the better it is at least i dint like the movie

  1. Pingback: Indian brides told to reduce mobile phone use. « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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