banno, dhanno and teja in bumm-bumm-bhole-land

lessons on womanhood while buying a car

If you earn a fair amount of money, you are in an equal relationship with your partner, you move in a social circle where almost everyone has a similar world view as you, you live in a city where you are not afraid to move around alone at any odd hour of day or night, you are likely to forget that you are after all, an Indian woman. Being an Indian woman these days is like playing a game of snakes and ladders. One minute you are climbing up, moving ahead, and the other, you come whooshing down right into the snake’s mouth. For years you can believe that you are free, empowered, emancipated, and then, be reminded sternly that after all, you are a woman, an Indian woman.

After several skirmishes with rickshaw-walas over faulty and rigged meters, an incident at night with a drunk rickshaw driver, and the rickshaw-wala’s general tendency to fly the rickshaw on the highway at night, I felt I needed my own car. I spent days dilly-dallying with Teja teasing me about being stingy, but I wanted to get all my calculations right, considering it was my hard-earned money that I would spend.

So there I was a few mornings ago, all bright-eyed and excited about buying my first car, an I10 Automatic. We’ve been using Santro cars since 12 years, and the reports for the Automatic version are good. Hyundai Motors are also offering good discounts in the festive season, and also a substantial loyalty discount to customers who already own Hyundai cars.

And then there it came, the steep, unexpected fall into the snake’s pit. The benefit of the loyalty discount can be availed by a customer’s parents, children and spouse. But. Only if the customer is a man or an unmarried woman. A married woman cannot pass on the benefit of her loyalty discount to her parents, because in the words of the company representative, “A woman, after marriage, belongs to another family.”

I argued, “What if my parents don’t have a son? What if, I as a daughter, want to gift my parents a car?”

The representative said, “Of course, you can, Madam. You can gift a car, Madam. But you cannot get the loyalty discount. Because after all, as a woman, after marriage, you do not belong to their family.”

And then, came the cobra with its lethal sting, heading straight at me. A look at my name, and he said to Teja, “Madam cannot get the loyalty discount, because she has a different name from you, Sir.”

Teja said, “So?”

He said, “No Sir, after marriage, the name should change. The company does not accept different names.”

Teja said, “Fine, we can submit a marriage certificate.”

“No Sir,’ he said, ‘that is not acceptable.”

I said, “But legally, I am allowed to have my own name. My passport, pan card, voter’s id, aadhar card, bank accounts are in my maiden name. So what is the problem if I buy a car in my name, and give you a proof of my marriage?”

“No, Madam, that is not acceptable. Because the company says that the name of the wife should change after marriage, why the person is using the old name? They will not accept, Madam.”

We said to him, “Why don’t you at least ask your company about this? We are sure that this cannot be the policy. We know so many women who have kept their maiden names.”

He said, “Yes Madam, even I know. We have so many cases, especially teachers, where they keep their maiden names to get some benefits, etc. But company does not accept, Madam. The name has to be the same in the RC book, Madam. They say, what is loyalty? “

I say, “If I don’t use my husband’s name, I am not loyal to my husband.”

He said sheepishly, “No Madam, but name changes, no?”

We said, “No.”

This was happening at Teja’s home in Baroda, with my in-laws pitching in with their arguments. Later, Teja called a dealer in Bumm-Bumm-Bhole-Land hoping to get a more enlightened response. The representative said immediately over the phone, “Oh, we will make the car papers in Madam’s marital name. It is easy, we will change her name. That should solve the problem.” Teja said, “But why? We don’t want to change her name. We don’t want the papers in that name. That is not her name.” “How can that be, Sir?’, he said, ‘Woman’s name changes automatically, no, after marriage?”

His tone implied, “What is the fuss about?”

This unsaid sentence has been the background of many conversations. When a census officer, a woman came into our home, to take a count for the census report, she raised a disapproving eyebrow at my name and my religion being different from my husband’s and also the fact, that officially she had to put me down as the head of the family, as I am older than Teja. When the courier came to deliver Teja’s credit card, he refused to hand it to me without proof of our marriage because our names were different. Dhanno’s college, despite several reminders, continues to send correspondence to us with a Mr. affixed to my name, because they cannot accept that a mother can be the legal guardian of the child, over and above the father. This was the case even with her school. When we needed a domicile certificate for Dhanno’s college admission, once again, we were subject to scrutiny. A lawyer friend of Teja’s even went so far as to say, that our marriage could not be considered legal until I change my name and my religion. To hell with the Special Marriages Act, which exists for people like us, because what the hell is a Special Marriages Act. After marriage, a woman’s name changes automatically, no? And her religion too?

All these people seem to say, even if they may not put it into words, “Why this name. why this fuss?”

Teja and I have become used to this silent disapproval, but we were not expecting it to be part of a consumer deal with an international corporate company.

Which is why, in Indian society they say, a daughter is someone else’s wealth. And a woman is someone’s daughter, someone’s wife, someone’s mother. Why does she need her own name?

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92 comments on “lessons on womanhood while buying a car

  1. Tin Roof Press
    October 20, 2012

    I love this post. but it also makes me furious.

  2. Tin Roof Press
    October 20, 2012

    After reading this ii’m trying to find ways around this glaring sexism, but I can’t. i try and consol myself with the only piece of sexism I know that works in my favour. The CCI gives membership to children of its members by default. Males only have membership until they turn 18, females until they marry. At first this used to annoy me, but then i realised I’ll never marry so I’m a member for life, for free.

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Tin Roof Press, It works for you. Only if you don’t marry. Same story. :(

      • Tin Roof Press
        October 23, 2012

        I know :( but what can I do except console myself with these small crumbs in the grand scheme of discrimination and oppression.

        • Banno
          October 23, 2012

          True.

  3. Rajashree
    October 20, 2012

    I could completely relate to your post. I don’t use a surname, so I’ve faced similar problems…

    Why don’t you write an official letter to the company and publish their response? Often, these assumptions / conventions change when they are subjected to a legal-sounding scrutiny.

    All the best!

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Rajashree, opting not to have a surname is even tougher than keeping your maiden name. I tried that when I was in college and a couple of years after that, but gave up. No one understood at all, and put the surname in, anyway. I have written to the company. I did get a call from another dealer saying they would find a way out, but am still waiting.

  4. Irene
    October 20, 2012

    I know, I even have problems with retaining my maiden surname as a middle name. And all the disapproval over not incorporating husband’s name into mine, my being older, etc, etc… I couldn’t open an account once because my PAN card reflected my maiden name!

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Irene, in a lot of situations people have been ‘generous’ enough to concede that they would be willing to concede my using my maiden name as a middle name, if I used my husband’s name as a last name. :)

  5. Aquatic Static
    October 20, 2012

    Ridiculous. I felt so frustrated reading this. Not surprised just supremely irritated. (Buy a Nano, TATA treats you really well and you get excellent mileage. Haha.)

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Ever since I’ve read about you getting a Nano, I’ve been OK about getting one. I like its size and the lovely colors. But I want an automatic. I’ve been so resistant to driving in Mumbai because of all the shifting of gears required in heavy traffic.

  6. Akshara
    October 20, 2012

    My god! Furious making because even changing one name after marriage is super difficult with huge amounts of red tape.

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Akshara, it does seem to me that a woman needs many more documents to prove her identity than a man does in most cases. So yes, much more red tape.

  7. Unmana
    October 20, 2012

    But this is horrible, Banno! Shame on Hyundai. And sorry that you had to deal with that — would have made me furious.

    Are you going to buy the car or go with something else?

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Unmana, I am waiting for their response. I do want an I10 automatic because we’ve looked at other options and this suits me best. But don’t want to go ahead until I get a satisfactory reply.

  8. dustedoff
    October 20, 2012

    This made me see red. I am in the same boat – my husband and I are of different religions, plus I have never let go of my maiden name – but somehow I’ve always managed to escape these nutters who seem to think that implies I’m not legally married or some such bull.

    On a lighter note: an ex-colleague, who didn’t know me very well, once asked: “So, what does Mr Liddle do?” And I – knowing full well that he assumed my husband was Mr Liddle – replied innocently, “Oh, he’s been retired since 1996. He collects coins and does gardening, now.” :-)

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      So you have married outside your religion, and married a much older man. :)

  9. memsaab
    October 20, 2012

    Dear God. Well, if it makes you feel any better, we seem to be going backwards here. Binders full of women, voting for men who think they should be home to cook dinner for those children they are obligated to have. And even without them, sexism is still very much present. One of the blessings of having a Gori Mem card in India is that you are treated with marginally more respect although whenever I am in male company nobody talks to me but only to the man I am with.

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Memsaab, yes, isn’t that funny, when men just won’t talk to you even if you address them directly, and continue conversing with the man you are with. I used to get annoyed with that, now I just find it amusing.

  10. Lalitha
    October 20, 2012

    I fully understand your situation. Years back, ages back, really, I gave my official signature as just my name, and my bosses were horrified – “Oh, you belong to the Women’s Lib thing?” and so on. Later, I came to the US, and when I was opening a bank account, I was informed that I could not have a signature with just my name and no surname – women’s lib obviously did not matter even in this country. And even in India itself, it is different from one state to the next. I was born in Kerala and my birth certificate lists my mother’s name, and my father’s name is not mentioned anywhere. My sister was born in Delhi and her certificate asks for Father’s name, and Father’s father’s name, but not the mother’s name. I had to get an affidavit to prove that my father was indeed my biological father and my sister was born to my mother, so that I could sponsor my dad and my sister for green cards! And here’s the funny part – neighbors have been known to ask if hubby was a guest because they have never seen him in the yard, doing chores like watering the plants!

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Lalitha, the endless rigmarole of proving identities. Such a nightmare. As it is, paper work of this nature paralyzes me, and incidents like these only worsen my phobia.

  11. Broom
    October 20, 2012

    I am seething with rage. How does a company like Hyundai get away with misogyny like this?
    Can we start one of those annoying change.org petitions?

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Broom, should we? I’m game.

      • Rajashree
        October 25, 2012

        Hi!

        You can start a petition on change.org here: http://www.change.org/en-IN/start-a-petition

        Banno ji, aage badho, hum tumhare saath hai!

        With love,
        Raju

        • Banno
          October 30, 2012

          Raju, Thanks for this. I did check this out, but was flummoxed by the question about who I wanted to petition, there are only specific choices I can make. Anyway, I need to take out some time, and do this.

  12. kateshrewsday
    October 20, 2012

    Yes she sodding does!!!
    Sorry, Banno, uncharacteristic outburst. But having come to know you through your writing and your career, and your introduction to Indian films – I cannot help but seethe that you are seen as somehow a chattel, still, in this century, after all this time. Your name is your choice and your right. So hard when those around you do not see it that way!

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Kate, it is infuriating. I don’t have outbursts either, usually. But some times, it just gets to you, when it happens once too often.

  13. Nandita
    October 21, 2012

    Banno, can totally relate to your experience, having retained my maiden name myself. Really makes me seethe too. Had a most unpleasant experience myself some years back when I went to vote but some nitwits had happily changed my surname on the voting list. Didn’t match my voter card, of course. The polling officer said if none of the political party representatives (present at the polling booth) didn’t mind, I could vote. Only one party representative insisted on having a problem with that. No prizes for guessing which party! I had to go home to get my passport and only then could I vote. Grrr

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Nandita, unbelievable. With the low polling turnout, one would think that they would be happy to have one more citizen come in to vote, rather than harass the person.

  14. neha
    October 21, 2012

    Completely get your rage. I’ve had the High Commission in London telling me that I was breaking my in-laws hearts by not taking their name. Plus ICICI refused to open a joint account. Absurd, sexist and a very warped sense of what tradition is.

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Neha, this kind of ‘patient explanation’ is even more annoying. As if you are a stubborn child who can be won over by kind handling.

  15. rantingraj
    October 21, 2012

    I am not sure that rickshaw walas care if your a woman or a man. Their shenanigans dont discriminate in fact, you’d be surprised at what a man might have to endure from rickshaw gangs and it does not require a secluded place, you can be harrased in to paying more or what not because after all men are supposed to be “fair game” and women are not.

    As for the second part, what a horror story! shame on Hyundai for being so close minded in this day and age

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Ranting Raj, no, rickshaw-walas or taxi drivers do not discriminate. I’ve never felt threatened as a woman. But just beginning to feel more unsafe in general.

      Yes, shame on Hyundai, and shame on these archaic rules.

  16. Jabeen
    October 21, 2012

    Totally infuriating, yes. And I’m in the same boat as you know. Constantly have to produce my passport with husband’s name to prove we are married. But in this case, it seems to me that Hyundai is just being cheap and using this ‘rule’ as a trick to avoid giving too many discounts.

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Jabeen, I know. I get fed up, carrying my papers around all the time. And as for Hyundai, why not be totally cheap and not offer a loyalty discount at all?

  17. Paromita
    October 21, 2012

    I’m not married and no one believes that my surname is not my own and I am not hiding Mr. Vohra under my bed

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Paro, :)

  18. Tess
    October 21, 2012

    I could relate so much to the beginning about this being like a game of snakes and ladders.. I had a similar moment of feeling ‘cobra!’ a few years back. I’m married, and hubby being away on work, i made a plan to go to korea and with everything ready from tickets to visa app, I was told at the last minute that as a married woman attempting to travel without my husband, i needed a NOC ( no objection certificate ) from my husband. I remember feeling a similar rage and helplessness, and finally just scrapped the whole trip ..

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Tess, that’s horrible. I can completely understand why you would scrap the trip altogether. I’d hate to go to a place where they needed a NOC from my husband. Yikes!

  19. Anil Zankar
    October 21, 2012

    If you have a lawyer friend, send them a legal notice TELLING them that this is nothing but discrimination. The lawyer would take care to point out the specific legal reference involved. Also explore whether this becomes a case for Consumer Redressal Forum. It just may, if it can be interpreted as deficiency in service. The bizworld understands the negative publicity and financial liability and not the progressive and humanitarian logic.Don’t waste time and adrenalin on it. Don’t spare them if you have a case legally.

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Anil, thanks for the advice. I will definitely do this, if it proves to be necessary.

  20. Anu Warrier
    October 21, 2012

    Banno, this is beyond archaic! I’m another person who has retained her maiden name, despite the fact that if I had changed my surname to my husband’s, with Kerala’s matrilineal system, it would still have been myname (and I had more right to that surname than he did, anyway). I’m shocked that it should be happening there, now, with a company that has customers across countries and cultures. (I’m shocked it is happening anyway!)

    In the US, I have had issues because everytime an insurance issue comes rolling around (even changing companies), I have to provide my marriage certificate as proof that I’m S’ wife. This, in a nation which prides itself on women keeping their surnames, hyphenating their last names with that of their husbands’, or even changing into a new family name altogether. I had a fight at one of the banks we had an account with earlier, because, as Lalitha pointed out, my signature didn’t have my last name. I’m routinely referred to as Mrs. (S-lastname) or sometimes, even Mr (my last name).

    Why don’t you send this post of yours (along with the comments) to the customer relations’ section of Hyundai? You are part of the media – use it. As Anil points out, negative publicity is something corporates understand – and do not want.

    As for daughters being someone else’s wealth, not among certain communities in Kerala. :) (Perhaps the men may argue that it is sexist in the other direction.)

    Laughing at Dustedoff’s response to the enquiry about Mr Liddle. :)

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Anu, the matri-lineal system works in such few communities, that it is admirable, even though as you point out, it is sexist in the other direction. I have written to the company and am waiting for their response.

  21. Ashtoreth
    October 22, 2012

    My sweet, what an invalid point Hyundai has raised. For their narrow vision, they can be sued. Twice. And then once again, on my behalf. Power to you!

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Ashtoreth, Thank you. :)

  22. Monish
    October 22, 2012

    This is terrible!. Agree with Anil Zankar – you should at least threaten them with legal action such as a Public Interest Litigation. Hyundai Motors policy amounts to non-recognition of the Special Marriages Act and so is a violation of the laws of the land under which all MNCs must operate. MNCs are scared of negative publicity!

    • Banno
      October 23, 2012

      Monish, thanks for pointing this out, I’m going to use all this if need be.

  23. Gayatri
    October 25, 2012

    WOW, just WOW! I think it speaks volumes to the lack of training and knowledge with these people. Hyundai is not a desi company following arcane desi laws! I think the Sales Man was making up the whole “company will not accept it”. If a dealer is providing a special deal, they should have a written document supporting the discounts…
    WOW!

    • Banno
      October 25, 2012

      Gayatri, thanks for dropping in. At first we thought it was the sales person too. But we’ve tried 2 other dealers since then, and it’s the same story. They insist that it is the manufacturer’s policy. I still haven’t heard from Hyundai.

  24. Gayatri
    October 25, 2012

    PS< I stumbled here from themadmomma's blog…

  25. suniti133
    October 25, 2012

    Wonderful post. Raises a lot of questions, This needs to be addressed publicly. This is a proof that a woman’s life is not her own.

    • Banno
      October 25, 2012

      Suniti, yes, it would be great if this issue was brought up in the media. It is so ridiculous, in this day and age, that it is almost unbelievable.

  26. dipali
    October 25, 2012

    This is beyond idiotic. We have a farily sane constitution which all and sundry can apparently ignore with impunity. This really needs a huge awareness campaign, at the very least.

    • Banno
      October 30, 2012

      Dipali, ‘idiotic’ is the word. You are right about the awareness, most people don’t even know that such things happen, unless they are ‘special cases’ like us.

  27. harveypam
    October 29, 2012

    FURIOUS! REALLY FURIOUS!
    This in 2012!!!!!!!!!!
    Shame on you Hyundai and all the people concerned!

    “Name should change, no?”
    No, it shouldn’t! These people are backward then the laws that govern them! Normally it is the other way around!
    Any petition thing or so, I’m game. I wish more men would support this as well!

    • Banno
      October 30, 2012

      Harvey, it’s really a shame. I need to get down to writing a petition.

  28. Sukanya Bora
    October 29, 2012

    Another classic example of how draconian we are still as a society. This is absolute idiocrisy. Hyundai Motors should be banned! You should write to the CEO of Hyundai International (cc the head of India) and see if you get a response.
    Sadly, all the growth and expansion the country has had, has been nothing but superficial, almost illusory.

    • Banno
      October 30, 2012

      Sukanya, I have written to Hyundai International. And to Hyundai India. Their website does not give out any corporate contacts, only a standard customer feedback form. Which I’ve filled in, and got an acknowledgment of receipt. But no answer as yet.

  29. DANIAUD monique
    November 1, 2012

    This reminds me of my own story, but it was 40 years ago in France. When I got married, we were allowed to keep our maiden name but no body did it except artists. And at work , I was registered under my husband name until I divorced, just because one silly girl in the administration would not allow it !!!!
    it will take some years in India, but it will come, one day…….

    • Banno
      November 3, 2012

      Monique, Yes, I hope, in 40 years. Sigh!

  30. allytude (@allytude)
    November 3, 2012

    Banno, I think you need to tweet this, with a #Hyundai hashtag. Should help.
    But omg think of the children- all of us women keeping our own names and getting educations and so on, getting extra degrees in our maiden names…..no wonder Hurricanes are striking and so on.

    • Banno
      November 3, 2012

      Allytude, :) Instantly reminded me of an old woman after the Gujarat earthquake, she said things were going wrong, because girls had started wearing baseball caps and going out on two wheelers.

  31. Anu Warrier
    November 5, 2012

    Banno, any further progress on this issue? Do, do make that change.org petition? Send this post to one of the many print media available… use the power of the media for this, Banno. Don’t let’s just take this lying down. It affects all of us.

    • Banno
      November 5, 2012

      No, none. :( I need to buckle up and move this on.

  32. Manjushree Abhinav
    November 6, 2012

    Banno, dont buy a Nano, its a milage car but its really delicate. I banged mine on a swift, and the swift dint even get a scratch, while mine was badly damaged. Bumper gone, A C gone! Insurance covered expenses, but I still had to shell out 12 k. Secondly, if you can afford it, do buy an automatic, and please let me know how much it costs. I have got knee pain because of changing gears, and I drive only on sundays in bangalore! :) .
    I am a south indian woman these days. the censor guys had come home to note down name and age, and they made one single remark about the ulta age difference, opposite also exists! :) .

    • Banno
      November 6, 2012

      Manju, Yes, I think a Nano is too delicate. I’d be scared in Mumbai traffic. And I wanted an automatic for the sheer ease. But for now, I’m back to rickshaws. A couple of years ago, was having a look at old, old FTII ID cards, and I think they transformed all South Indian names to Kumar and Kumari. :)

  33. Satish
    November 6, 2012

    Ridiculous. You could try writing directly to the Hyundai India / WW head. We had some credit card related issues in the past, and sending an email to the CE0 worked. Should not be too difficult to find someone in Hyundai and get the relevant email IDs.

    • Banno
      November 6, 2012

      Satish, I have written to the Hyundai people, India and abroad, but was not able to find any direct corporate email ids on their websites. Just a custom-made customer feedback form.

  34. Swapna
    November 8, 2012

    Blood-boiling inducer… I get even more riled at the custom of women changing their first names after marriage in some cultures. Grr.

    • Banno
      November 8, 2012

      Swapna, Yes, that is even more ridiculous.

  35. rashmi
    November 23, 2012

    hi! had gone for the adhar card submission today but was told that my form is not acceptable as my pan card is in my maiden name. can anyone pease tell me if it is necessary to change to my married name for the acceptance of the form.

    • Banno
      November 27, 2012

      Rashmi, what a nightmare! For the Adhar Card, I did not face any problem, as all my documents are in my maiden name. So it depends what the status of your documents is. If some are in your marital name, and some in your maiden name, you may need to synchronize everything.

  36. M
    December 9, 2012

    GRRR! Am catching up on your blog on a day when I’m grounded with a head cold and this made me angry enough to unbock my nose. You’ve gotten lots of good suggestions, just one more to add: if the school creates issues again about your being the legal guardian for Dhanno, cite the Gita Hariharan case at them.

    • Banno
      December 9, 2012

      M, Well, that post did some good. :) No one really creates issues about my being the legal guardian, it’s just sort of .. ‘oh, how can that be?’ and the system just assumes it must be the father.

  37. bawa
    December 12, 2012

    I have come to this late (and gotten really very angry) and want to know if you have had any response.

    In my husband’s country, surnames have by tradition and law, never, ever changed. Male or female, you are born with your surname(s) and those are written in stone. So everyone has two surnames, with no hyphen, one from their father and one from their mother. To practical purposes it used to work out that the father’s name prevailed but now equality laws have decided that you can choose which surname goes first: hence, you decide which surname prevails.
    Indian consulates do not have problems dealing with parents with two different surnames each, and kids with their own particular combination. So when they want to, they can do it.

    My mother-in-law talks about all those women-could-do-anything-without-male times in Europe during her younger days. I think we really have to make a collective effort and keep plugging away until we get things to change.

    P.S. One of the cutest bits of paperwork I like in Spain is that when you get married, you are given a “family book”. In this the marriage details are listed (nowadays also partnerships, if they want, who have not got married, neither religiously nor civilly) and your names written down- one in each page. Then, when you have children, next page(s) get filled in for each new addition. So all these people with different surnames are shown to have formed a “family” through showing this book (or a photocopy). Really sensible!

  38. Banno
    December 13, 2012

    No, Bawa, I have not received any response yet from Hyundai on this. Incredible, isn’t it? Specially since, I did get a call from a sales representative who said what I had decided about buying the car I was looking at.

    I like the idea of the family book. It must be so useful, particularly these days, when presumably children don’t meet their extended families as often as we did while growing up.

  39. rantingraj
    December 13, 2012

    Wow I can’t believe how popular a feminist u are dhanno

    • Banno
      December 25, 2012

      Ranting Raj, yes! Though that’s me, Banno.

  40. Shoma
    December 24, 2012

    Hi,
    I am a first-time visitor but to your web address but it hit an instant chord with me-the retaining your maiden name part. So here comes my little story, apart from the glares, stares, raised, raised eyebrows that I witness every now and then in bank, pathology clinics, gyms etc. So en route to our Vaishno Devi trip, we have to make a few-hours-long stopover in New Delhi. And as per ‘security’ regulations,all the hotel reception desk asks for ID proof for each individual. Fair enough. Just that the moment we book into the same room, the second level of requirement pops up “Sir, a copy of your marriage certificate” , with a wry smile and statement written all over their face that says “we don’t allow anything close to illicit in our premises” :) . Mind it, this ‘security’ is never reasoned for the couples accompanying us, with same surnames.

    I just have one realization and one question:

    Realization: may be immoral, but extramarital or any other relation beyond the ‘recognized’ marital status is easy to establish. Just borrow the surname of your male partner.

    Question: how come a couple with different surnames can pose a threat to the security of the nation and not ones who share the same? :)

    • Banno
      December 25, 2012

      I know, it’s funny how if you would just submit, and give a false name, which you don’t use, as long as it fits with what people expect, you would not be asked for any proof. After all, most transactions have to be conducted by the man, anyway. Women don’t pay bills, or book hotels, or buy cars with their own money.

  41. Tejas Dinkar (@tdinkar)
    December 24, 2012

    What makes this especially interesting is that Hyundai is a korean company, and in Korea it’s traditional for women to keep their family name after marriage.

    • Banno
      December 25, 2012

      How strange!

  42. A
    December 24, 2012

    I emailed them here with the url for this blog post

    http://www.hyundai.com/in/en/CustomerCare/CustomerContact/FeedbackSales/index.htm

    take 30 seconds to do the same. Just put in random phone# and other info

    • Banno
      December 25, 2012

      I have done that, A. Also written to their head office. And posted on their FB page. But guess what, no response.

  43. yetanothersinglegal
    December 24, 2012

    Interestingly, I have just finished a unit in my 8th grade English class that looked at this idea of an Indian woman “belonging” to her husband’s family after marriage. A part of me wondered if I were teaching my students stereotypes based on biased news articles written by western journalists. This entry has been quite eye opening. I appreciate your analysis of this tradition in your country. I have been to India twice myself and have had a hard time wrapping my brain around the narratives about womanhood that are so entrenched in your culture. I hate to self-promote, but please take a moment to check out my blog: yetanothersinglegal.wordpress.com. As a western woman, I can identify with fighting against societal narratives. The U.S. has its own version of what you have described here.

    • Banno
      December 25, 2012

      I can imagine that, Single Gal. From what we see in Hollywood and American TV shows. Thanks for your blog link.

  44. Joshua
    December 24, 2012

    I am torn between how deeply sad it makes me to learn that there are still these absurd remnants of patriarchy and how pleased I am to read of strong, educated, cosmopolitan women like you who are living the egalitarian ideal.

    Thank you for sharing the story. Is there any chance we can shame the company into joining – at least – the twentieth century even if they aren’t ready for the 21st?

    • Banno
      December 25, 2012

      Thank you, Joshua. I am still waiting for a reply from the company.

  45. Prakash
    December 25, 2012

    Sue the company, it will make an example of them and others like them will amend their rules. At the least it will start a public debate/discussion about the issue. You may even become rich/richer if the company decides to settle.

    • Banno
      December 25, 2012

      I wish I had the time, Prakash.

  46. varunparikh
    January 2, 2013

    The sad but true state of affairs. Just as a way to address your immediate problem, I would suggest you to tweet the link to this article to @CarsHyundai. Overall, this country really needs to have a strong hard look at how it treats it’s women.

    • Banno
      January 3, 2013

      Thanks for the tip, Varun, will do that.

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2012 by in Banno, of rickshaws and cars, real world, Teja and tagged , , , .
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