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I am sure you would agree that it takes a really great husband to be better than no-husband-at-all. Isn’t it justified and advisable to wait for the man you can’t wait to marry, than marry anyone just because you can’t wait?!
“Siddhi, please see me in my chamber after the presentation is over”, said Sanjeev, with a poker face.
Throughout the meeting Siddhi was either tapping her feet or biting her nails. What is it that the manager would say? Her performance review had gone very well, rather, outstanding. It’s been only one week in the new project. There’s not a single interesting development that she could think of. What could it be? She could hardly focus.
“Will you be willing to visit New Zealand?” asked Sanjeev.
“Excuse me?” replied Siddhi in a startled tone. In that fraction of a second, all the picturesque landscapes of her dream destination flashed in front of her eyes. But wait, did she hear it correct?
“I don’t understand. I mean, yes, obviously. But why do you ask?” she was curious by now.
“Our other team handling telecom projects has recently cracked a massive deal with their largest telecom company, Spark NZ. Unfortunately, Nitin, your counterpart in that team has some family emergency and had to resign. His manager asked me yesterday if we could reshuffle some resources for immediately addressing this issue, and you were the first candidate to cross my mind since your experience and skillsets are very much like Nitin’s. I know you have some personal stuff going on. So, no hurry. Think over it and let me know by Friday”.
Siddhi smiled and said thank you but what she really wanted to do at that moment was to climb up on his table and jump like a child, clap and scream and announce to the whole world that her dreams are going to come true. Going on this assignment would open the doors for exploring one new country and who knows, may be much more than that. Australia isn’t that far from New Zealand.
She was chuckling inside. She spent most of her leisure time swiping through the pages of the travel websites. She would get fascinated by the stories of female solo travelers on social media and daydream of becoming one herself. But the cruel reality would wake her up. The reality of living alone by herself in one of the most expensive cities of the country, of paying her bills, fulfilling the dreams of her parents, having a successful career in the corporate world, and the most overbearing of all: getting married!
She walked out of Sanjeev’s chamber to get back to her workstation and her jaw dropped with amazement.
“Happy birthday Siddhi”. Everyone on the floor sang in chorus. There was a huge chocolate cake in the center with ‘Happy 30th’ written on it.
After the cake cutting and lunch, she sat back on her desk. Her mailbox reminded her of the long list of tasks to do before the end of the day. But the unexpected birthday gift in form of the exciting news from her manager had made her restless. She could hardly concentrate and somehow managed to pull herself through rest of the day.
On the way home, her phone beeped. “Beta, the date has been finalized. 20th of this month”, came a text message from her father.
That one sentence put a giant question mark on the face of all the dreams that she had just seen in the last few hours. Getting engaged to an NRI would mean stabbing all her ambitions to death. She would have to quit her job, while on the verge of getting a promotion. And her to-be-world-famous-someday solo travel book? That would be thrown out of the window before she even attempted writing it.
Her parents had had a hard time convincing her for this match. They had claimed that her would-be in-laws were well-off and wonderful, only that they could expect Siddhi to make few adjustments. The would-be-groom was a handsome young man, settled in the US with a six-figure salary.
“But who wants to be settled? Why can’t I be a nomad all my life? Free and flying like a bird, migrating from one country to other, soaking in all the rich experiences that I would gain from the different cultures”, she murmured to herself. According to her, finding a husband through an ‘arranged’ marriage was a deplorable concept. For the hopeless romantic that she was, she always fantasized of finding her man by chance. Oh, how she despised the planned dates in coffee shops with her would be fiancée and the many men before him. But as the ever obedient and ideal daughter that she was, she would give in every time.
But this dilemma right now was much bigger. Life had presented to her its best offer. How could she let go of it so inconsiderately?
Lost in these thoughts she didn’t realize when she had swallowed her dinner. She couldn’t even figure out the taste of the matar-paneer that she had so meticulously cooked last night.
That night she kept rolling on the bed from one side to the other but couldn’t sleep. After analyzing and evaluating all aspects, she thought “when, if not now?”
Writing was her favorite means of communication for she believed it allowed her to control her thoughts and present them most effectively. So, she got up and started typing.
I am writing to you regarding a major situation that life has thrown at me with the expectation that you out of all people would understand it the best. As you always say that there can be only two possible situations: one can either do this or that, and you either do it or do not do it, you will regret both.
So, I asked myself, not once but several times. Would my regret be greater if I walked away from this marriage, or if I get married and let go of my passions? I believe that marrying because you told me to, because I didn’t want to hurt your and his feelings, or because it just ‘seemed’ the right thing do would lead to second-guessing when I go through rough patches in my marriage in the future.
Also, I don’t want to get engaged because I can put someone on the lay-away plan while I am busy pursuing my dreams. I am sure you would agree that it takes a really great husband to be better than no-husband-at-all. Isn’t it justified and advisable to wait for the man you can’t wait to marry, than marry anyone just because you can’t wait?! Dreams that don’t work out are bummers but marriages that don’t work out are disasters that could scar a person for the rest of his life.
I am also not suggesting that getting married and pursuing one’s passions are mutually exclusive. For many couples, not only do their individual passions co-exist, but they also flourish. But Baba, in my case, I barely know the man. We have met only three times in extremely formal settings. For the introvert that he is, we barely have talked to understand each other well. I have no idea what his dreams are, his strengths, his insecurities, his vulnerabilities. Neither does he, about mine. At this juncture, this marriage seems only a gamble to me.
So, Baba would you set your daughter free? Would you help her choose the new assignment to New Zealand over her marriage? Would you let her travel the world, write a book, chase her dreams?
Love & Regards,
The next morning, even the barking-dog tone of the alarm couldn’t wake her up, even after the multiple snoozes. She finally woke up around noon only to discover twenty missed calls and seven text messages, half of which were from her father.
“I read through your email…” He paused.
“And…?” She became overly anxious.
“Your mother and I have been discussing since morning. We have decided to call off the engagement. Go, where your dreams take you. We love you and will always do”.
She almost fell off her chair and uttered a silent prayer of gratitude to have such understanding parents who encouraged her instead of tying her down by the conservatism of the society. She prayed that just like her, every girl got a chance to make her choice.
Image source: pixabay
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A full time professional based in Toronto, Canada. Takes keen interest in women issues. Bibliophile,
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