“I cannot come over, behna. I am so sorry”, he said on the phone guiltily.

“Why bhaiya? You promised me you’ll be coming home and meeting me this time”, she asked innocently with hope in her eyes.

“I cannot tell you the reason, behna. I am so sorry”, his voice shaking, trying to control a sudden outburst of emotions, which were dying to come out.

“Bhaiya, why can’t you come? You have to tell me the reason”, she persisted, and continued asking the same question again and again. Finally, the brother gave in.

“Mother has forbidden me to meet you.” He was filled with shame and disgust at the same time.

The brother-sister duo were not real siblings, they were cousins, but they were very close, even closer to each other than real siblings are. They had an age gap of 7 years, the brother being the elder, but it was no barrier. They shared each and every detail of their life, of what was happening, they knew each other inside out, and talked of shit unimaginable. They were more of best FRIENDS. She was his maternal uncle’s daughter, who had gone through a divorce. Now she stayed with her mother. Nobody in the family talked to her mother, except for him, only due to his deep attachment to her younger sister, who would sometimes behave as if she was the elder one.

His mother was strictly against the sibling relationship, only for the sake of the society, and so she prevented him to even talk to his beloved sister. The beautiful relationship was shattered to pieces, they were barred to talk to each other, all because her parents were no more together. And who was suffering? The innocent child, who didn’t even have a clue as to why she was not being permitted to meet her brother she loved and cared for so deeply.

This is just one incidence, where the separation of just two people killed so many bonds, separated so many others. Why is DIVORCE considered such a stigma in the society? Why is the mentality of the society so low, that they are ready to give their daughter to somebody she doesn’t even know, in some cases hasn’t even seen, to spend the rest of her life, and refuse to accept her if she isn’t happy with him? A bigger question is, why are their children made to go through this humiliation?

Why are Indians so resistant to separation? Marriages CAN fail. Relationships DO turn sour. Is it still necessary for a couple to stay together only for the sake of the society? We seriously need to ponder so much. We still lack that basic sense of judgement, that open mind-set. Yes, we need to stay close to our culture and heritage, but we should not be resistant to the better things we can learn from other societies.

There are so many questions, unanswered questions, which frustrate you, which discomfort you, which baffle you, and all you can still say is “MERA BHARAT MAHAAN!”