Anonymous Story

I am 27 years old now. My parents have been actively searching for a guy for me for the past three years.
One thing has been common in all the matches they have found – dowry.
Back in 2021, I was introduced to my first match. Honestly, I was not ready or in the mood for marriage at
that time. But since my parents insisted, I agreed. The guy was working in Canada. He seemed well-
settled and good-looking, meeting all the standards one could wish for. However, when our families
met, things took a different turn. They demanded 50 lakh rupees in cash as dowry. This is a common
practice in the south, but 50 lakhs seemed too much for us. We declined, explaining that we did not have
that much cash. We only had 10 lakhs. Over time, my parents ensured we had assets. When the boy’s
parents found out, they suggested selling acres of our land to make up the rest of the cash. Then they
wanted me to move to Canada immediately, which wasn’t possible. My organisation could not arrange an
on-site opportunity right away. They suggested I pursue a Master's degree there, but at my own
expense. This seemed fair, but I wondered if they would help me once I became a part of their family. As
if that wasn't enough, they also demanded ‘Aadapaduchu katnam’  or ‘Sister’s dowry’. They said it is
customary for bride’s families to give this, especially since the guy had a sister. I was expected to provide
another 10 lakh rupees for that.
The discussion between our parents turned into an argument. Their demands seemed unreasonable and
disrespectful. I could not help but think, ‘Is this some kind of business deal? Am I being sold off?’ My
parents were almost ready to give dowry in gold and support us in the future. But was it worth it? I
called off the match and told my parents not to proceed.
I have met 10 matches so far. I rejected some, and for others, I was not considered suitable, mostly because
of dowry. And then there are the matchmakers, who always insist on a hefty dowry. ‘You need to give at
least fifteen to twenty lakhs in cash’ they always say. But why?! Maybe because they want some
My brother-in-law set a great example by not asking for any dowry when he married my sister. My
parents have realized how degrading this whole process is. After going through all this, I am determined

to marry a guy who will not ask for any money, land, gold, or assets. He should treat me like a human
being, not a treasure.

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