I met a lady yesterday. Very cheerful personality adorned by the innocence in her voice. As young as she sounded, the Sindur on her forehead baffled me as I skimmed through the correct salutation to address her.

Curious, I asked her age, she said, I’m 19. Unsure of what I heard, I asked again. She smiled and said, “I’m going to turn 20 this Shrawan 5.” She’s 19 and married for 5 months now and she explains her marital circumstances shyly, “It was a love marriage. My husband’s family pressurized us into getting married. My father-in-law is a doctor and my mother-in-law is a health assistant. We have our own clinic in Janakpur.”

Thankfully she’s still pursuing her Bachelor’s degree and plans to continue her studies.

What made me really surprised was how such an educated family coerced their children into marrying early. What could have been the rationale that justified early-marriage by such a well aware family?