Like it happens in an arranged marriage, my parents had invited a guy and his family to our house to meet us. The guy and I spoke about our jobs, hobbies and other general stuff in front of our parents. The meeting between the two families went well.The guy was leaving the country in 15 days to join a firm outside India, so I met him at a restaurant. We spent a couple of hours talking about each other. He admitted that he’d loved a girl, but they’d broken up because of some reasons, and he mentioned that he was in search of an understanding and independent partner. I was okay with his past as it was over now; he was impressed by my reaction. And then he brought up the topic of dowry by mentioning that his parents had “some dreams” about his marriage.
Meanwhile, even after he went abroad, we kept in touch; we used to chat almost every evening. Our families also started interacting and things were going fine. One day, his family came up with their dowry demand: either 20 lakhs in cash, or my parents register our house in their son's name, or in my name - in addition to gifts worth 5 lakhs. Why on earth would my parents register their house in my name or my husband's name?!While all the discussions about dowry were going on between our parents, the guy asked me to convince my father to meet their demands. He explained the reasons he needed the dowry – all of them were rather selfish. He just wanted to recover his education loan, the money he’d spent on his sister's wedding (including her dowry), etc.The whole dowry discussion went on for almost four months, but still they didn’t come to any conclusion. The guy told his parents that he was willing to marry me, and the pressure for dowry started building up. My father couldn’t afford to give 20 lakhs for my dowry. And even if he could, I knew I would never allow him to agree to such an unreasonable demand. I want to marry a man, and not BUY him.So, finally, I took the stand and told the guy that my father couldn’t give the dowry. He still tried to convince me with his “reasons”. But I’d had it with this and I asked my father to end it - because obviously the guy's priority was dowry. He was ready to give up on a girl whom he liked for money. I would never marry a man who wanted access to a girl's bank account but not the responsibilities that come along with spending a lifetime with that girl.