Just last month we had a function at our house. A big one. Relatives came from all over, shopping bags were strewn all across the rooms, and it was a blur of activities. There was utter chaos pervading at all times, it was confusing and disorienting to keep track of what was going on. Phone’s were ringing constantly and normal life was disrupted for a while. Indian Weddings, I know. No matter how much you decide to keep everything small-scale, you do end up stretching your budget or cramming a few more activities.
When you come of a certain age, people in your vicinity and relations ( Non-relations too ) start pounding you and your family with questions about Marriage. Enough has been written about this so I would not waste time chastising this seemingly ‘harmless’ ritual. No one really escapes from this, and if at all they are smart and rich, they escape to the US or UK or whatever land that will admit them. I planned to do myself but instead resigned from my job in order to pursue a new career along with a thought for a new beginning. The society is a double-edged sword, they are traditional and open-minded at the same time. One side you have much better opportunities which cater to the ambitious woman of today, and on the other hand they make your whole life about marriage. They take so much more interest in your status of single or double that they forget to ask you questions which actually need to be addressed. It could be ‘ When are you advancing in your career ‘ instead of when are you getting married. It can be ‘ What new are you learning ‘ instead of have you found someone yet ? It could be It’s positively the right age for you to take that step , take up that dream job or go pursue a new skill. They do not know what we have sacrificed to get up to here. How some of us have fought with our parents just to go after that one thing. How we take up odd tasks because we want to splurge on that new dress or been forever wishing to try that new dish. Instead we get asked, ‘ Its the right age for you to get married, when do we come for the food ? ‘
I swear I am not inviting any such food mongers to my marriage. Sorry I don’t care if you bring me a big gift.
We hate to admit this but yes I have been subjected to a lot of these questions. People society elders relatives have to understand that not all of us only dream about, or the ultimate fantasy is to get married. Yes I want to be with someone, who loves me and would like to spend the life with me. But this doesn’t mean I sit at my window day and night waiting for that day to arrive. Certainty not, Sire if you are expecting me to-day dream about it and gush every time you mention the word marriage. Like all others, I too am, upbeat about it, about being part of a tradition which is as old as history itself, being part of a new family. It DOES NOT signify the end of my ambitions, nor I am subjugating myself to the crazy illogical idea.
No wonder almost all of my friends are at their wit’s end. Almost all of them are doing wonderful, new and exciting things or simply discovering themselves by taking up a hobby. But I wonder how many of them get to shine and bask in the glory for what they are.
My point is ask us about our dreams, desires and passions before you confine us to your limited ideas. Be more curious and excited in our pursuits, than in the address of our future home. Wish us a successful career. Ask us about our travels, about our experiences. Ask us about our thoughts which we meticulously pen down in a blog or a diary. Advice us if you have a point or two to give which can help us in the long run as opposed to wishing us ‘ may you find a wealthy husband ‘.
Don’t encourage notions of marriage being larger-than-life. Empower us to have a fulfilling career, one or many, so that we can flourish in our personal and professional life.
If I am ever a mother to a girl ( Which is a wish really ! ) I’ll enroll her in karate and give her the freedom to punch anyone on the face who treats her career second to her marriage.
A very happy Women’s Day !