Girija, whose family I knew in Kerala, had a different story. Her alcoholic husband once banged her head against the wall and she developed an internal injury which was unnoticed for many days. It later developed into a tumour, which was diagnosed at an advanced stage, paralysing her. She died months later, leaving behind a cute little daughter and husband who married another lady when Girija was still bed-ridden.
Recently, the news of a `modern Draupadi going to hiding' in a northern state hit headlines. Her husband had lost her in gambling! The poor woman, the mother of two kids, ran away from home to safeguard her dignity.
These did not happen in the 17th century. These are for the21st-century parents of girl children to read. Marrying your child off should not be your ultimate responsibility. Educate them and enable them to stand on their own feet first. They deserve much better than the dark lives mentioned above.
* Names have been changed