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For every woman just stepping out of her teens, and entering her twenties, there is always a marriage clock that ticks right above her head. Can we ask parents to let us be true selves and not ‘ideal’ templates?
Before proceeding, I would like to let you all know that the points here are completely from my own experience. I am not being generic here – while there a lot of people are now changing their thought processes, there are some people/parents who don’t want to change their views.
From my childhood, I have been listening to people/parents saying,
If you are a girl and have a brother (doesn’t matter elder or younger), then they say “Girl should get married first”, “Your marriage is your brother’s responsibility. So get married soon, he should save money for his marriage too after yours”, “Girl should not be there in parent’s home after this age, so get married and leave”, “Your brother will not contribute for your marriage once he gets his wife/kids, so get married when he is a bachelor.”
For some reason if your brother gets married first, then, “Your brother got married, people are asking about your marriage. Get married soon”, “Your brother cannot plan for kids until your marriage, don’t spoil his life. Get married.”
One more worse thing happens. Let’s say your sister-in-law becomes pregnant. Your brother and sister-in-law decide to not have a baby for sometime. So they choose to abort the baby. It’s completely their decision. You have nothing to do with it. You know what people call you? “A killer”. Yes, it is true. They say, “Your brother doesn’t want a baby because you are not married. He has chosen to abort the baby because of you. You have killed our grand-child”. I don’t know how to express in words how much it hurts in words!
To make things worse, if your brother gets a baby, then they start with “Your brother got the baby, still you are here. You should leave our home and go your husband’s home”, “If you don’t get married, your brother will not plan for a second baby, so consider getting married”, “Your brother is unable to answer his friends and colleagues about your marriage, don’t trouble him. Get married”, “Your sister-in-law’s family keeps on asking about your marriage, get married soon”, “We feel ashamed and cannot show our face to the public keeping you at home, please get married”, “We are unable to attend any functions and invite people for anything keeping you at home, so get married” and many more…When you sit, stand, sleep, eat, fall sick, do nothing, every time they look at you, and say, “Get married soon get married soon get married soon………….”
There is no END to it!
For girls and boys, the criteria to get married differs completely. Despite the fact that roles are being reversed in this modern day and age, where both partners seek to complement each other in their careers and at home the lines are still not blurred enough.
For a girl – a guy who has a good family, good looking, good job, good income, own house, car, properties and many other assets. For a boy – a girl who is very beautiful, educated, job (optional), good family, knows cooking, household activities and many other factors. They differ for each family.
Unfortunately, one doesn’t see through this nonsensical idea of the family where one generation passes the baton to the other, coaxing them to follow their footsteps and repeat the exact same life cycle. God forbid, if you break the cycle or even toy with the idea for e.g. choose to remain single, one is ousted immediately.
If ever a girl expresses that she wants to run a business, go for higher studies, join some course, go for a trip, attend a function, go for a movie, participate in a competition etc, it is met with the sneakiest of responses that goes, “Get a husband and then do the above.”
When parents pressurise girls to constantly follow a rule book knowing that she is and can be a lot more than just cooking and cleaning, little do they realise that it leads to an equally deceptive reaction from them. They turn to lying and hiding which eventually will makes the entire family sad. It’s time for us to value an individual more than rules. Let’s teach our girls to be their own people rather than being one amongst the crowd. Everyone has a right to dream and please don’t force them to kill their dreams.
The other obvious option that most people believe if we are not married till/after that ideal age is around the ‘horoscope’. It is one of the most pathetic things I have ever seen and am still going through. They go to many astrologers to know, “When will my son/daughter get married?”, “what to do make it happen?”. Most astrologers have some unique reasons and solutions which are followed blindly. We are told to visit many temples, do several poojas, wear rings with some magical stones, and follow many do’s and dont’s. Not being married becomes like a tumour that is treated by astrologers like doctors do. When did we become so insane?
Astrology sure seems like the best business model to begin with if I ever plan to start one. “No Investment, only Profit!”
I would like to say something to those parents who do this, “STOP! Please press pause on your thinking, and listen to us. Marriage is about partnership, about having a companion and not a transaction that needs to be done within a said date. What do we think about getting married, what we are seeking from the person whom we marry, what we want to do in our lives, when we want to get married…please think about these points before mindlessly thrusting these rules on us. Silently sit and listen to us. Understanding ourselves is a different thing, that never happens in most of the cases. But at least listen to us and try to understand. Respect our thoughts, decisions. It’s we who are getting married, it’s we who deal with whatever comes after marriage, it’s we who should be comfortable with those unknown people, it’s all about US (it’s all about ME!)”
“I really don’t want to get married because everyone else is doing it; because it’s mandatory in a human being’s life; because of the norms; because of the beliefs; I will get married when I find that person whom I feel happy to be with and share a life with. But if I don’t get, I will not get married and no regrets from my end.”
“First of all, who decided the age to get married? Who decided the reason to get married? Who has decided the requirements of the person with whom to get married? A group of people decided the norms of a family and marriage long ago. And what are we doing, blindly following them? At that point of time, their mind decided something based on the information they possessed, their circumstances, their lives, their places or whatever.”
“Don’t you see everything has changed now. Can’t you believe we own a mind and it has grown a lot in thoughts? Can’t you see the reality? Just come out of the illusion and beliefs. Erase the information fed into your mind. Sit and think by yourself. Start fresh and see the reality.”
There is no particular age defined to get married. One can get married whenever he/she wants, with whoever he/she feels compatible with. What does it have to do with age, caste, looks, assets, degrees, income, height, weight and other silly reasons? It is about the person we are getting married to. We stay with the person, not with what he/she possesses.
Dear parents! Why are we becoming a burden to you once we reach a certain age? It’s absolutely okay if you don’t support our passion, but let us do what we want to do. Marriage is not the destination, it’s just a part of life. Life is much more than marriage. A woman is not the destination for a man and the same goes for the woman. Each person has potential, let his/her inner-self come out and achieve something.
As I said earlier, these notes are not for everyone. There are some families who just don’t pay heed to the society and what people say. I respect them a lot. Even if they fail in life for being different, for not following the norms, for following their passion it doesn’t matter. Self-satisfaction is the greatest thing one can possess in life. Please think about it.
Honestly, we really love you Mom and Dad! We know your intention is not to hurt us. You always think of our good. You are our true well-wishers. We will not leave you for any reason. We want your happiness too. When we achieve something in our lives, you are the ones with whom we share the success first. We are nothing without you. To hell with the society, relatives or whoever. We always seek your approval. We need your shoulders when we want to cry. We need your hugs. We need you everywhere.
If you are unable to understand our views, just let us be. See where we will end up. Appreciate us when we succeed. Encourage us when we fail. Marriage is not our destination. Our journey is different. We will get married when we want to. Have trust in your kids!
Image source: a still from the film Tanu Weds Manu Returns
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