“Ma, I don’t want to marry.”
“Honey, you are growing older! Where will we find guys for you?”
“But I’m not ready for this!”
“Honey, I wasn’t ready for it when I married your father. Tell me, who on earth is ready for marriage when they enter it?”
Approaching 25? Happen to be a female member of species Homo sapiens? Do you live in India? You don’t need my confirmation that your fate is sealed by the golden age of 25!
But hold on, repeat this exchange with your father!
“Dad, why is it that girls are forced to marry at a young age?”
“Well, that’s because they lose their beauty after a point of time. Oh..and their ‘biology’ changes.”
“Its not like men are handsome forever. Look at you.”
“What are you trying to say? That I look bad (wounded male ego)?”
“Dad, I am kidding. You look fine! The thing is, guys aren’t forced as much as we women are, right? Why is this exclusive to women alone?”
“Then don’t marry!”
What a smart way to end an argument! Frankly, the Finance Controller of the house can get a lot of things off his chest by not getting his daughter married off: gold jewellery, dowry, gossip from relatives who never existed, societal status issues and whatnot! Its funny how this rumbling, authoritative man can become nothing short of a wreck when his wife asks him to buy gold for their (thirteen year old) daughter’s impending marriage.
Thankfully, the movie ‘Queen’ was an eye opener. It was a much needed take on what life can be like if a woman is given the freedom and familial support to go ahead with life her way. I imagine that Rani would have fared poorly in such an unequal marriage. The movie depicts how marriage is merely a means to a social end. It seems more contractual and shallow this way.
Assuming that a girl has been pushed into such a contractual relationship well embellished by wealth and social prestige, what is the guarantee that there is love in it?
“Oh, we care for your happiness. That’s all!” is the answer a parent may offer. “Well, if you care for my happiness you would let me be.”
“So, you want a live-in relationship, huh?” says the now sanskari parent.
“Wait, but can I not be single a happy for a little longer?”
“Listen , you will be all alone. Who will take you to hospital when you are sick? What of you are in trouble? At one point in life, you will long for company and a husband will come in handy!”
Hold on! Just like a woman is not a kitchen appliance, a man is clearly not a handyman’s kit to be used for situational repair. Give the sexes their dignity!
A friend of mine once confessed that someone said this to her”Marry a wealthy man and you can go to America (USA)!”. She mentally replied “All I need to go to America is a passport, money and a visa.”
So, see how shallow our society has become by marketing men as well as women! Sorry humanity, you deserve better.
Its difficult to convince any member of my generation to get married. Truth be told, we see the ugly side of things everyday and wish to be proactive and cautious about every step we take in life. If we spend a considerable amount of time pondering over which University to study in, why wouldn’t we spend months or even years over choosing the right partner or choosing to be single for a lifetime? Marriage, as we see it is a lot of hard work to get into. (Ben Affleck was right!)
If relationship insiders have been talking of its complexities, why is it portrayed as a must have candyfloss element in life? Why is it viewed as a rite of passage for most women? Most importantly, why are individuals pushed into relationships that are heavy on commitment and care that they are not equipped to handle?
Wisely has Clint Eastwood said “‘They say all marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.”
Its sad how society victimizes women right from the beginning of their lives. Look at all the negativity hurled our way! Being born female, being too short, too tall, too large, too small, too curvy, attaining puberty too early, too late, attaining puberty at all, not finding a match, studying badly, studying too much, being unmarried, being married, getting divorced, being a single mother, dying childless..all of these are vices. And yet, we women live to face everyday for what its worth believing fully that we can make the world a better place.
A very respectable elder of my acquaintance said very recently “I really don’t know why I got married in the first place. It’s not that our marriage is a bad one at all. If not for it, I would have travelled the world and read all the books I wanted to.”
Give a woman her money, her books, her food and her freedom. She’ll blossom into a confident individual who can tackle anything. Why force her into a marriage she is not prepared to take on? Pushed into being a member of Club 25 is nothing to be proud of.