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30 and single. I realized how much this is hated by society when ‘well-wishers’ called me up on my birthday and spoke only of my biological clock!
Yes, ‘Age is just a number!’ but somehow I still remember the dread with which I was looking forward to this year (2016), as I turned 30!
But when you start looking around, you are bombarded with things like which anti wrinkle cream/oil to apply after thirty. I do not agree with the so called exaggeration and unnecessary hype that is generated when a woman is 30 and single, and without a child.
Several so called well wishers did wish me a very happy 30th birthday, but there was no doubt that big question was:- What next? In fact few were quite vocal about my biological clock/difficulty in conceiving the older I got/SINGLE status. Since they are the well wishers they would not want me to end up an old hag.
Discussion and more discussion – advice on which is the best matrimonial website, and several other things which don’t make sense to me still. I felt bad, perhaps a little sad too. Instead of having a celebration centred around my achievements, everything was centred around my age. Did I feel lucky or did I feel an outcast? Well neither.
I would sincerely want to express gratitude to those inspiring women out there, and my excellent professional network where I am an individual with strong credentials, barring my matrimonial status or ability to reproduce. But what about those hundreds or thousands women out there, who have neither the help nor support?
Do they succumb to the pressure and give up? Or do they struggle alone and feel miserable?
Emotional health is often neglected when we talk about wellness. I have been a victim of depression and have successfully fought the battle. No longer do the anti-ageing creams or biological clocks bother me. I love myself and I am totally comfortable in my own skin. However general perceptions and expectations which are outlined for females bother me.
I am writing this piece from somewhere in rural Tamil Nadu. I had volunteered to train a batch of final year girls on Employability Skills. The whole session it had been an eye opener for me. In my first session I asked these girls to write, “where do they see themselves in five years?”
To my shock, almost everyone wrote: – ‘married‘. A few wrote ‘married with children‘. These girls are between 18-19 years, in their final year degree. When I shared my age and my single status with them, they had this look on their faces – as if I had come from some other planet. Same country, such a big difference in the attitude.
I remember reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, wherein she does mentions how women all over the globe are brain washed/ brought up in a way that the whole priority is to get a husband. I realised it was the truth. I was confounded by the response. Where were their dreams? Dreams are what keeps us alive and moving. But how smart for the society that they bring up their daughters in such a way that their dream reflects what their society wants them to do? Nip in the bud indeed!
Alas, we are the country where we worship many forms of Durga and Kali but struggle, and had to design special campaigns to educate the girl child/stop female foeticide.
At times I am deeply disheartened. However I do hope that someday this root level discrimination will stop and we will not require special campaigns. Where marriage should be based on free will and love, rather than the ticking biological clock. Where sanitary pads will not be wrapped in newspaper and handed over as if buying some prohibited drug.
This is to our sisterhood. To each one of us who have chosen to tread on their own chosen path.
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