Shoot The Single Woman!

The life of the single woman is everybody's business, in India. My life is not incomplete without a husband, says this post.

The life of the single woman is everybody’s business, in India. My life is not incomplete without a husband, says this post.

There is a switch which goes on in everyone’s mind as soon as a single girl crosses 25. The light, which the switching on of this switch generates, manages to pale every other finer feeling in comparison. You know what I mean, much like the sun’s light obliterating every star’s.

So, I, who was once a “smart girl”, “slightly obese girl”, “the-one-who’s-studying-neurobiology girl”, “really funny girl”, “a short-tempered girl”, “oh-so-ambitious girl”, “the-one-who-writes-well girl” (ahem) is now reduced to only “not-yet-married-girl”. This light, which this God-forsaken switch casts, manages to make sure all my other epithets are wiped off. Although, the negative ones pop out at times when they discuss why I am “not-married-yet”.

So, since I am “oh-so-ambitious”, I decided that I needed to “study abroad”. I chanced upon a really nice course, and popped out to the United Kingdom as soon as I could. I led an extremely interesting year. A backpacking trip to Italy, bad scores on my assignments, night-outs which I don’t remember, writer’s block, enriching museums and conversations, a sprained ankle, being homeless for a while, staying with wonderful friends, and horrible bouts of homesickness. The last few bits and the cold, cold weather made me come back as soon as I could.
After getting back, I expected a hero’s welcome from all the sundry aunts and uncles and cousins (see that’s where I went wrong, I should’ve expected a heroine’s welcome). Anyway, point being, after coming back to the native land, the only welcome I received was a standard question “So, when are you getting married now?”. Imagine! No parties, no curiosity about my exploits in the First World, no “*wink wink*, how much did you drink?” questions. Just a cold, hard “when’s the wedding now?” stare.
…after coming back to the native land, the only welcome I received was a standard question “So, when are you getting married now?”
For years, I had seen my cousin brothers returning to India to parties and special sessions where people made them talk for hours about life abroad. I mean, these guys kept going and coming back for years, and each year there would be these “Oh my! He’s back” parties. Ok, some of these guys did get asked “when’s the wedding?”, but that was only if he was past 30 and if he seemed effeminate. Otherwise, the “let the party (I am thinking of a bad word here) with the firang babes be on!”
As I was saying, the singularity of thought of these numerous “aunties, uncles, and others” amazes me. A good career, a house-purchase, a car-purchase, the existence of an enriching life for a single girl over 25 are not to be lauded or spoken about unless accompanied by the mention of a marriage date.
 Me and so many of my friends are leading purposeful, productive, and happy lives. Some of them are even married. Observing this, and reading many other things I have come across so far have lead me to believe that humans strive to be happy (really!). And when we are happy, single or married, we should be satisfied and celebrate that, instead of basing our life’s happiness on some random incident in the distant future which may or may not happen.
I understand the importance of a good relationship or a marriage. But what I do not understand is this invalidation of my entire existence without the stamp of a husband. Incidentally, I happily exist.
This post was first published here.
Pic credit: Image of a girl with finger on her lips via Shutterstock.


About the Author

Swapna Kulkarni

Likes to write. Does it occasionally. Talks constantly.

1 Posts | 5,596 Views

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