Dowry is Worse than Cancer, it Devastates Without Mercy!

The lion is the ‘protector’, the king, but his lionesses

Do the MAJOR work of hunting…among humans,

The distant cousin of bonobos, we are a civilised race.

With brains and all, just that here also something missing…

The women meant to be the better halves of men are often

 Considered the bitter halves in many cultures, to be used

And abused, burned alive or killed in the name of ‘honour killing’.


When it comes to dowry, in Africa the ‘lobola’ must be paid

 By the bridegroom. In case the husband does not honour this act,

The woman is brought back to parent’s house and married again,

In India, dowry leads to lifelong struggle, with the girl’s parents

Worrying on the exorbitant sums involved, resulting in many spinsters.


So many parents dump baby girls for fear of dowry or the foetus

Is aborted… the right to live is denied from the very embryonic stage.

And when she grows up, she is expected to be angelic,

 In brief to be Goddessy. But well, she can be ready to be Goddessy

For the husband who behaves lovingly and considerately as God.


If there is a price to pay to keep a woman in the house,

Why don’t parents spend this hard earned money to educate

Their daughters? To make them stand on their feet

And let them decide whom to marry?  Not getting her blindly tied

To a stake to labour for life, expecting her to give birth to males,

With no guarantee of being given the dignity of a human being.


Nowhere in any scripture it is stated that the woman is

A slave to be traded. Did Draupadi’s husbands demand dowry

From her? She was the cynosure of their eyes.

Nay, with a woman, the house becomes a home, she nurtures

The children, inculcates love, meets the needs of all in the family,

Is a bread earner and do we still need to extort a dowry from her?

No wonder, the marriage institution is breaking up nowadays!

. ©Pushmaotee Subrun 

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About Pushmaotee Subrun

Pushmaotee Fowdur Subrun was born in 1949 in Mauritius. She pursued higher studies in Delhi University where she graduated in English. For the past forty-four years she has worked in secondary schools, seven years of which she spent in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, teaching English in an army school. She completed her PGCE at the Mauritius Institute of Education in 1993. After her retirement, she was a member of the Council of the University of Mauritius for three years. She is currently a reader and editor in the Ministry of Arts and Culture. She has written one novel, one play and Short Stories and Fables. Her poems have featured in Setu Magazine, ‘Poetry and Creativity’ and in Atunis Poetry.

6 thoughts on “Dowry is Worse than Cancer, it Devastates Without Mercy!

  1. Jagdish Singh Ramana

    A beautiful poem. Thought-provoking. Dowry- a bitter reality that still exists in society. The biggest curse.


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