30 and unmarried is such a taboo even today. Why can’t I have taken a decision and stood by it? Why do I need to constantly keep explaining it to everyone?
Amidst the outset of COVID-19, I was sitting on the terrace idly during a lockdown eve with some active thinking. I already had number of things in my mind- paintings, reading, and designing.
But owing to the urgency of lockdown, I went to my relative’s house leaving all my odds and ends behind. Now, carving out three possibilities, I was left with yoga, dance, cooking, and television. But the hours to kill are twenty-four.
And let me clear, adding spice to life, there is no wi-fi here to watch Netflix and network in my mobile runs according to its own mood. I was only going through the days and nights.
I was rolling in bed when I had a thought to share and pen down my experience on an idea of getting hitched. The thought occurred when I was exchanging daily affairs with my mother. She expressed her concern for my marriage.
The concern was put into her head by one of my aunts. She alarmed my mother saying that if the lockdown extends further, it would delay my wedding even more. And even said that a number of weddings were already being put off thanks to the lockdown. That my wedding wasn’t already fixed and would just further be delayed was the basic concern.
Which is why I am sharing my experience of the constant and perpetual response I’d have to provide after reaching thirty!
My cousin was getting married to the groom her parents had chosen and was very happy. There was a rush all around the house. All the relatives, including my parents, were running around making arrangements and preparing for her big day.
I was sitting with the bride, watching her get her mehendi done. “So, when are you getting married? Even all the younger cousins are done.” One of the neighbours, nearly two years older than I, asked. Before I could respond, a senior aunty took on a serious note, “Beta, everything needs to be done on time. Or else there are issues with delivery.” I was unaware of this and thanked her for adding it to my knowledge. Then, I pretended to take a call and left.
There could have been a number of reasons for me not getting married. Not having found a good match to my parents being against love marriages or even wanting to focus on my career! Or like in my case, I simply wasn’t ready for it. It was hard and practically impossible to explain to people. While not getting married may not be a big deal these days, in some small towns, it still is. There is only one person in thousands who takes such a decision.
Fortunately, there wasn’t a lot of pressure from my family. However, the villains were my friends- all already married and had kids! Even in my office, most of the people older than me, keep asking me to invite them to my wedding, repeatedly. And I constantly had to explain my mindset to them, which would end up in debates. So, instead of the explanations and debates, I’d prefer staying quiet or changing the topic.
The problem was not the question, the problem was having to explain the why. I was fighting several battles within.
First, I had resigned from my job and was not looking forward to do that kind of a job again. I was not satisfied with it. And I was blank as what to do next.
Second, I was recovering from recent heart break. I had had two futile relationships. I never wanted any relationships, but they happened anyways. Nevertheless this was never the reason for not getting married. Had my relationships been a success, I would still have never gone for it.
There was some incompleteness, I often felt like something was lacking. I had crossed thirty and my life still wasn’t anywhere close to being on course. There was a dream I had of starting my own business but I was unsure of the modality to accelerate. Neither did I have a lot of savings for the investment.
Undoubtedly, I had no one to back me up and leaving a job without anything else in hand was a suicide mission. Add to that, according to people, when I was supposed to ‘settle down,’ I was planning to kick-start a business. And business could be done after a marriage too.
People say at one particular age life partner becomes necessary. Some even claim that no-one would value you and you would gradually lose your importance. Is it that difficult to understand that the value I and my parents have for me is more important? I didn’t want to get tied to any relationship. All I wanted was to live my life, my way.
A lot of people also believe that decisions should be such that they benefit you in the long run. They believe that one needs to be practical and not reckless. While it is correct to some extent, I believe, if one has the ability to think differently, then they should take decisions and stand for those, even when there is no backup.
However, it isn’t only about taking decisions. It is also about being strong enough to face its consequences. There should be no confusion there. I was taking a decision here and I am not confused about it.
Am I any closer to helping you understand the ‘why’?
Picture credits: Still from movie Lipstick Under My Burkha
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