Lately, along with my tight schedule of sleepless classes & clueless work, I have some new & weird things going on in my life. Like every other girl who successfully crosses the age of 23 without falling prey to the deadly knot, I too am a victim of You-are-the-next-bride-syndrome. While it’s fun to watch other targets fall prey (I love it :D. It’s like all others are being attacked by some monster while I’m unscathed.), I’m chased all the same. Everywhere I go, I see a huge monster that winks at me & says, ‘You are next!’.
In India, when a girl completes her schooling or grad or if she is lucky enough to get work, it is a cue for her to get married. People look at her like a product ready to be purchased in the market, her compatibility is checked on the basis of her region, religion, height, weight, beauty, education, wealth etc & a partner is picked randomly from a set of compatible sample & they are wedded. I’m not against the methods; I’m against the chasing mentality! At least wait until our parents say they want to give us away. My parents aren’t bothered, why are you?
In my case, it all started after my graduation. My cousin who is of my same age was a real support for me for sometime. When someone talks of marriage to me, I’d pull her into the scene & vice-versa. Our relatives had some time being the shuttle cork but finally she had to give in because she was employed. She is happily married since a year and then… Those dreadful eyes were all on me like some towering monster that was about to devour me & all the fingers pointed at me while I kept cowering under their glare. Now that’s my status. Switched from happily single to accused single.
Two days back I had been for a marriage. And that was when I realized that I wasn’t the only one suffering from this. Day after day, many girls (and probably guys, dunno!) go through this ordeal. Some of my old friends were also in the same state as me. They too seemed to feel bad about it though I’m not sure. I haven’t seen anyone feel terrible about marriages apart from my friend Ann Cherian Thomas and myself. Anyhow, they too were lamenting about the fear of falling prey to the knot anytime soon.
Sometimes I or my parents are approached by aunts & uncles who have ventured into voluntary bride/groom hunting, who say things like,
‘There is this guy, he works in Bangkok!’
‘This guy is absolutely a John Abraham!’
‘That guy from Bangkok I told you about… His mom wants to see you.’
*Damn it! Am I the only girl left on this earth?*
‘A handsome hunk working at USA!!!’
‘That Bangkok fellow’s mom keeps asking me for your Jathakam. He is a very nice bwoy’
‘Hi! What kind of guy do you want?’
Heck! I had gone to attend a cousin’s marriage & for a second I doubted if they have started opening up malls with prospective grooms from different regions, of different heights & jobs & whatever!? ‘Ma’am, what kind of groom do you prefer? We have different combos from which you could choose; supreme, deluxe, ultra deluxe…’
Why don’t you simply ask my parents or even better, myself whether I want to get married? If I say no, ask me the reason, I can give you plenty;
- I am still studying & I want to focus on my career. (Is that too much?)
- Yes, I have decided to get married only after I get a job even if that means I have to wait for years. I’d rather be self-sufficient for the future isn’t in our hands.
- I am simply not ready. What human beings are scared of is, change. Marriage means change. It means new people, new life style, new patterns, many more people to interfere in your freedom. For a girl who lives in this age it’d be all the more difficult. The change is inevitable but I’m not yet ready to accept it.
Probably above are the reasons I’d give those uncles & aunts but there are few more;
- This is logic which many won’t understand but I believe in it; As long as I’m single, I have a married life to look forward to. But once I’m married, I wouldn’t get my old self back. (Or that is what I believe). Again I’m not yet prepared to lose myself.
- Er… I don’t know cooking 😀 That’s important especially because men are foodies. And the 1st question – after dowry – is whether the girl knows how to cook. Ohh I don’t know (Mock sad face)
- I don’t want to leave my parents. (Why don’t the guys get to leave their parents? Why is it always the girls? 😦 )
- I am not done being single yet.
- I do have my own fears. Victims of unhappy married life are plenty, men with psychological problems, frauds & jerks. There might be a few good people here and there. But what is the probability of me getting one? I am happy now and I don’t wish to increase my happiness but I don’t wish to kill it either.
- I have friends & relatives who have stopped contacting after marriage. I fear I too will be the same.
- Friends not contacting is better. But friends behaving weirdly happy are all the more creepy.
Me: Hey! How are ya?
Friend: Fine da! You?
Me: Hey! How are ya?
Friend: I am so so so sooo happy da! It’s awesome!
*Rolls eyes. Sad for you…!* I genuinely hope that I won’t have to desperately try & convince someone that I am happy.
Finally, when all leave the wedding hall after a sumptuous feast, hale & hearty, some of us flee begrudgingly. For the next few days, we have nightmares about being chased for tying the knot & then slowly recover. By then, our uncles & aunts would have refreshed their list of grooms from UK, US & Bangkok to be presented during the next wedding.