I am a 26 year old, unmarried Indian girl (at that point of my life, where I am contemplating to type the word ‘woman’ instead)
In India and many other countries, 25+ aged girls are expected to get married – or at least be sure of who we’re planning to marry in the next few years, and by ‘the next few years’ I mean before the BIG 30! Basically, our families want us to be in a stable relationship. Like it is THAT simple..!!
Now, thankfully my parents are the normal liberal Indian parents who never question who I date and who I want to marry. So, that’s sorted! However, it is the relatives and the family friends that don’t stop asking questions. “Why aren’t you seeing anyone?”; “When do you plan to get married?”; “Should we recommend a few boys we think could make a great match?”; “Till when do you plan to stay single?” The questions don’t stop and I have made peace with them. What’s amusing though, is the long list of ‘why they think I should get married’. If you are sailing on the same boat as me, you’d know what I am talking about.
“All your friends are getting married” – Yes, and..?
“You’ll have someone to go home to” – After a long day at work, I want to go home to my bed – not to share it with another, NO!
“You won’t find any suitable match after a few years” – WHATTT…!! WHYY..?? Are the men dying??
“You need someone to take care of you” – WHATTT..!! Am I dying..??
“You might have issues in having a baby if you marry late” – Okay, let me have a baby now when I am still young and healthy and get married when I find someone!
And like this was not enough to interfere in my personal space already, the curious crowd also has an opinion on HOW I should get married..!!
I am from a Hindu Rajput family and our traditional marriage is nothing less than a 5 day to a week affair. I have attended a lot of these weddings and yes they are pretty fun – for the guests!! I have NOT ONCE witnessed any bride or groom tell me how amazing they feel (unless they have downed a few drinks or are on pot that day). They are exhausted with the extravagant celebration, lack of sleep, smiling ear to ear for the million pictures, the never ending rituals, the heavy wedding outfits, the list goes on and on. The bride’s parents are running around all the time – it is usually a sorry sight (if you really look at them).
With all of these observations over the years, I decided to keep it simple (Very simple). I told one of my aunts that I only want to sign the marriage papers in a court room rather than having a week long wedding. Have you tried saying that to anyone in your family, my Indian reader? There’s another list to why this is NOT a good idea according to them. I am beginning to think they have a long list for everything!
“People will think you eloped and got married” – I actually want to elope RIGHT NOW!
“Every parent dreams of the wedding day of their child, you shouldn’t take that away from them” – No, they dream of their child’s happiness and wearing an expensive outfit that is twice my weight and which by the way will be thrown away in a box somewhere never to be seen again doesn’t make me happy at all..!!
“It is not for you to decide, the groom’s parents will never be ready for this arrangement” – But isn’t it supposed to be my day?
“You have attended so many weddings, wouldn’t you return the favor to invite all your friends and relatives now?” – Favor?? THAT is what my wedding is to you?
It’s a never-ending discussion.
I am not against people who get married in the traditional Indian way. If you love it – I’m happy for you because you don’t have to go through all this drama that I have to. To be honest, I don’t get the point of inviting 500 guests to my wedding day, 80% of who are basically my parent’s friends and relatives, who I have never seen or met before. I don’t want to invite people who I don’t know and also half the people I know (we all have relatives and family friends we don’t love very much)..!! To this, my aunt gives me a sharp look and tells me not to be mean, she lectures me at length on the importance of family bond and how we all need each other always. She, by the way is talking about the relatives who don’t even know what I do for a living – but I don’t comment and drop the discussion – because there is no point!
It is impractical for me to buy those expensive wedding outfits which I won’t ever wear again, or wear the makeup that costs a hundred thousand rupees only for it to be washed away after a few hours in the basin! The exhausting long rituals that make everyone sleepy are beyond me. Then there are guests who attend the wedding only to complain about the food, the decorations, the venue of the event, the return gifts and even the choice of partner! No, thanks but I would like to pass.
I wished it was simple and I wished people understood that the wedding day is very special for the bride and groom, it is the day they take vows for a beautiful future – It is NOT a PARTY that you look forward to dance to!! It is a day I would want to celebrate with people who actually care about me, not with people who want to judge the precious occasion like some art exhibition!! I want to be able to look back at the day and wish to live it one more time.
And it is also a personal choice to decide when or if I ever will get married.
Thanks for stopping by! Let’s focus on our own lives now 🙂