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Being rejected in the arranged marriage market is not the end of the world. Here's an account of living alone, living strong.
Being rejected in the arranged marriage market is not the end of the world. Here’s an account of living alone, living strong.
Several times, I hear people discussing why girls like me find it difficult to get married. A girl like me – who is twenty-eight, living in a city all by herself, and running her own little business. I have cried at times, (yes, I accept it here) after I went through rejections. After I heard lots of nasty comments directed at me by my so-called relatives, I too broke down. I too did not have the courage to look up and see the mirror. Perhaps I convinced myself that a girl like me is not good enough.
But after six months, I am writing this. I write this now to tell everybody that a girl like me can bounce back and face the world. This is the one life I have got, and I am going to live it. I am not going to hide, nor am I going to escape. I am going to face each one, and would request them to speak to me directly instead of troubling my parents with the rude and sarcastic comments – that having a feminist daughter who is single at twenty-eight is a curse.
Let me say this to all the well-wishers: being independent, strong-headed, and smart does not mean that I am Anti-Men. It just implies that I too deserve equal opportunity and treatment like men. Simple! Is that a lot?
Why the taunt – wish you were a son? Would we then have been spared the unending insults from society? How many times I was reminded that my dream of getting a Master’s degree is useless, since the fee money for that could be used as dowry! How many times I have been reminded that even if the boy is of my choice, the wedding arrangements and every cost that would be incurred by the bride’s side is not to be equally split between two families!
I still am an unmarried girl with dreams and sky-high hopes. I still convince myself that I will manage. I still smile and start my day. I still go around and work. I still refuse to enter the arranged marriage market. I still laugh when my mother desperately calls only those people who have mentioned “no dowry” on their marriage advertisements.
I still am an unmarried girl with dreams and sky-high hopes. I still convince myself that I will manage.
No, I am not against marriage. I would love to get married, have two babies, and cook exotic dinners for my husband. But I would rather marry the man who could be my partner, who could be the one who does not demand respect but commands respect. I still enjoy karwachauth and teej and all the rituals; not because I am superstitious, but it is just another opportunity for me to rush to the nearest Salon and get a manicure done. Sounds greedy, but then that is how girls like me are. We want more from life and refuse to settle for anything less. So, is this a crime?
Craving for a perfect life with an imperfect set of relationships is fun at times. Every moment is worth it. I do feel sad that nothing seems to change. Social stigma around unwed girls approaching thirty still remains. Dowry is still practised despite several strict laws and fair is still considered lovely. This is the country I was born in, but then c’est la vie (such is life)! I try to fit in. I remind myself of Steve Jobs’ very famous lines and smile. Perhaps he (unknowingly) referred to girls like us:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Pic credit: Image of confident woman used for representational purposes only, via Shutterstock.
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An Engineer by Education, Classical Dancer by passion and Writer by Choice.
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If you want to get back to work after a break, here’s the ultimate guide to return to work programs in India from tech, finance or health sectors - for women just like you!
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend related to personal financial planning and she shared how she had had fleeting thoughts about joining work but she was apprehensive to take the plunge. She was unaware of return to work programs available in India.
She had taken a 3-year long career break due to child care and the disconnect from the job arena that she spoke about is something several women in the same situation will relate to.
More often than not, women take a break from their careers to devote time to their kids because we still do not have a strong eco-system in place that can support new mothers, even though things are gradually changing on this front.
A married woman has to wear a sari, sindoor, mangalsutra, bangles, anklets, and so much more. What do these ornaments have to do with my love, respect, and commitment to my husband?
They: Are you married?
They: But You don’t look like it
Me: (in my Mind) Why should I?
Why is being married not enough for a woman, and she needs to look married too? I am tired of such comments in the nearly four years of being married.
I believe that anything that is forced is not right. I must have a choice. I am a living human, not a puppet. And I am not stopping anyone by not following any tradition. You are free to do whatever you like to do. But do not force others. It’s depressing.