I’m of “marriageable” age apparently. So what?

Dear society,

Just WHAT is the matter with you?  When I say society, I’m talking to you, my mom’s friend, to you my doddamma’s friend and whoever else is going to come up to people who know me and ask them if I’m “available for marriage.”

I’m 23 and I’ve been receiving wedding proposals from everywhere. I don’t want to get married already! I know I’m awesome, but you can’t just choose me out of a webpage or a booklet. That’s how I buy clothes btw. Or books. Or gadgets. Go online, see the specifications and buy them if they suit me. I can’t do that with human beings. Cash on delivery or not.

I’m not writing this because this whole “marriage” issue has bothered me or something. It hasn’t. Even my parents aren’t bothered. It’s just a broad message to the society. But this post stemmed out of this discussion I had with my doddamma (aunt) last night. This is how it went.

Me: Doddi, just so you know, I’m never ever going to agree for an arranged marriage. I have to choose whom I want to marry.

Doddamma: Of course you have the freedom to choose whom you want to marry. Let’s say it’s 50% your choice. The other 50% is mine, your mum’s, dad’s, tatha’s, pati’s, su’s, etc. (Sure, because they are all going to have to live with my future husband, 50% of the time.)

Me (Amidst peals of laughter): Say, let’s make it 80% and 20%. (Sarcasm)

Doddamma: Whoa! You’re giving me 80% choice? Yayyy! You’re my favourite niece! I love you my fourth chinni! (That’s what she calls her kids/nieces. First, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh chinni.)

Me: Haha! You have high hopes! You’re lucky I even gave you 20% choice.

Doddamma (Absolutely, dramatically offended): HAW! Why not? I’m your doddi! I must have a say. Your husband should be a Brahmin, from a good family, handsome, earning well, famous. (Points at this guy on TV, whom she is a really big fan of.) Your husband should be like him. Hmmm… We don’t have any TV stars in the family. Marry a TV star.

At this point, I figured she was taking the discussion elsewhere, completely deviating from the point. My life isn’t a movie. I’m not going to marry a TV star and watch him act opposite some other pretty girls. Not happening. Ok forget such hypothetical situations.

In my real life, a few of my colleagues are going bonkers over marriage! I have one girl whose mum is worried that all her friends are getting married and having babies. She is least bothered. Or so I think. I have another colleague who, by herself, is worried sick about her friends getting married. She gets so worked up every time she sees some friend or acquaintance on Facebook put up wedding or engagement statuses or photos, she gets into a terrible, angry mood swing.

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I suppose that’s one way of looking at it

While I understand that people might be irked about not having found that perfect someone, it’s ridiculous for parents to force marriage upon their children. Marriage is something that is supposed to make the couple happy. Not the couple’s parents happy. Marriage is just a phase that a couple gets into when they are so sure that they want to be together forever. A thread around my neck would mean nothing to me. I don’t like wearing threads around my neck. I don’t even like rings on my finger. They symbolise nothing to me. Marriage is something you believe in. If you don’t understand or believe the seven rounds you do around a fire or the shlokas a diamond studded purohit says, then it’s pointless. I have already told my parents that I don’t want a fancy wedding affair. (That’s one less South Indian Iyengari meal you can expect.) Marriage, I believe, is something you settle into. It does not happen overnight, after you sign a register and kick a bit of rice and spill it onto the ground. That would feed four or five poor hungry instead.

Besides, if a girl hasn’t found that perfect someone and is worried about turning too old to have babies, she’ll adopt a baby! Or there are other ways of getting pregnant now! If it’s the parents who are worried about not having grand kids, tell them to adopt a baby! Gosh! I’m suggesting adoption because if you’re more worried about having a baby at the right age than finding that perfect someone, then you won’t bother about having the baby with the perfect someone. Ok I’m getting a bit complicated. Was at Purple Haze for a bit too long.

Let’s just put it this way. Think about it for a second. What do you want more? A baby or a partner? Whatever you decided within the first four seconds is your answer. I guess.

As for me, I’ve had enough of living according to the norms of the society to keep others happy. I studied well, be’d a good student, a non-spoilt, mature-ish girl all my life to keep others happy. Although I didn’t do engineering, as was the norm, I got into the best Journalism school there is in India, to keep others happy. It’s not like the steps I have taken so far in life haven’t been fruitful. I don’t regret those steps either. It’s just that there is always the question of “What if” in my head. “What if I had done everything I wanted to in my own way? Would my life have been completely different? Maybe better? Maybe more adventurous?” I have come to realise that I have done a lot to keep everyone happy. I’m not bragging about how I’m so selfless or anything. It’s just that a little bird told me that when you try too hard to keep the whole world happy, you end up compromising on your own happiness, even if making others happy makes you happy. You make one person happy about something and another might get pissed at the same thing. It’s not easy.

I’m done though. This is a question of a lifetime and we live just once. I’m not compromising on my decision to choose my own life partner. I’m not someone who’ll experiment with marriage or relationships. I’m old enough and thanks to living by the the norms, mature enough, to make my own decisions. If I get into something, I will stick with it forever. I trust myself more than anyone else with my own life.

That’s why I’m going to choose my partner, 100%. All you people who are trying to hook me up, save yourselves the trouble. Or if you insist on continuing, go ahead. Amuse me. I’m yours to be entertained!

PS: I’m not against people who want to get into arranged marriages. I’m just irked by the lack of freedom of choice that we often see in this society, even though we’re living in 2014. Peace. Cheers.

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17 thoughts on “I’m of “marriageable” age apparently. So what?

  1. No food in your wedding :o dudeeeeeeeeeee this ain’t fair. It’s OK not to get married but please organize a fake ceremony and serve food atleast.

    And btw, you have mentioned purple haze in ur article. I am gonna tweet this, showcase you as a badass “western culture” girl (whatever that means) and get more followers. Jai hindutva :D

    Like

  2. swaths,Nice take on this Indian conundrum of social pressure-For the girls: family Friends and parents want girls to run for early marriage and achieve less in life as an Individual and for guys it ll be late marriage and achieve more(ps:personal take)

    Like

  3. Love this piece. Being a 22 year old Iyengar girl myself, I completely related to it. Thankfully, my family still looks at me as a kid so I will not have to deal with this for a few more years. But it does get me unreasonably worked up when I see this happening to all my friends. There are some points in your post that are so uncannily similar to my ideas that I felt like I was listening to the voice in my head while reading this! For example – “I’m not compromising on my decision to choose my own life partner. I’m not someone who’ll experiment with marriage or relationships. I’m old enough and thanks to living by the the norms, mature enough, to make my own decisions. If I get into something, I will stick with it forever. I trust myself more than anyone else with my own life.” – I nodded vigorously at this. I don’t know why they think it’s a sign of rebellion, it’s only because we’re absolutely serious about it working out that we’re so choosy and particular about finding the right person ourselves. Because who knows better than us about what we wanna live with, right?

    Great piece. Here’s wishing you all the luck in finding a great partner for yourself :) Cheers.

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  4. Good read like always Swathi, I have been married to this adorable person for 5 years now and still say marriage is only a part of life, it isnt the whole of life itself :-P.This read reminds me of the times when I used to hate going to weddings coz all people wanted to know is when I was getting married. Anyway on my wedding night I stood their posing at the camera’s and thinking in my head that some where in this very wedding hall.. some aunties are pestering some nieces…about their marriage :-P

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  5. Worth Reading…

    I am so pissed of the Wedding Bells CRAP, its like oh now you are 23 you need to marry”” is like my baby is 3 and need to join Kindergarten””, there should not be any compulsion and fuss on the verse “Beta.. Log kya kahenge…?..”

    Trust me this makes me throw up…
    10 of my Class mates got married this year and for what, just a fancy lehenga, gifts and jewellery… Dude its like 4 din ki chandni phir Kali andheri RAAT…!!! Now people back at my home are freaking out “2 Mahine mein 24 ki ho jaogi… Bol do koi hai toh, hum baat karte hai na…”

    This article was like my Soul Twin wrote it…. Nice

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    1. Well.. guess the marriages you’ve seen are all andheri RAATs… (sry… you asked for it!)
      But marriages I’ve seen seem to have worked pretty fine. You should stub the negativity and see if you are capable of supporting yourself first, then another individual… and only then agree for marriage.. else you’d just b ruining yours’ and his’ life… which i hope you intend to spend together, once married. It’s not about age… it’s about maturity.

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  6. Quite contrary to the theme of the piece at hand- I DON’t think Marriage is about finding that perfect Some1 at all. If you put the Concept of ‘Perfect someone’ at scrutiny- since you’re into Journalism, I trust you to respect every pov- How long could you wait for that perfect someone- what if there isn’t one like that ? (I mean.. with all due respect- Grow Up! come out of the fantasy world where a prince will come find you- You have to choose among the available only)
    And if That’s what you’re gonna do… then the sooner, the better you’ll get along.. WHY ?
    Arranged marriages at an older age are mostly ones of convenience- a general statistic.
    At < 25 – i believe we're just kids in the form of adults- everyone needs sm1.
    Marriage is more giving each other a shoulder- learning to share each other's lives.. not just bedroom. This will happen best when young. Later, you'll just seem to lack the instinctive generation of true love for sm1… it'll just be camouflaged desperation or decisions of head.
    Presently, there is a scope- Marriage is no longer 'Just for kids' – your kids are your decision.
    Just as you are your parents'. They too want you to have smbody for yourself, just before it's too long. I am 23. I'm a guy. I soon won't have time for girls, nor will I be on the lookout. Career First.

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  7. wow!! very nice article… being an iyer girl (very close to iyengar) i get every bit of what u said… wonderful… many lines resemble what i want to shout out to that crazy, marraige obsessed society… more than wanting to sound “cool” i think your article had a lot of morality….who said the youths are experimental and non committed??!!!
    enjoyyed your article.. bring up more
    cheers :)

    Like

  8. wow! master piece :P
    the best i have ever read..
    now i must make my mom read this. *wink*
    pinnnraaae swats!

    wish you all luck in finding a great partner for yourself :D

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  9. @swathichatrapathy: Please blog about your marriage and post marriage situation.I am curious about how you are going to work out everything alone.Love marriage is not everyone’s cup of latte. By the looks of it, it seems as though you are going to scream your love from the terrace top whenever you find one. I am sure, he would be surprised by your gesture. Your article is too filmy. I wouldn’t advise it unless you are sugarless candy flossed butterfly.

    Love,
    Mania Aunty

    P.S: Life isn’t a Hide N Seek. Play safe. Live Once. Live Thorough.

    Like

  10. haha a nice read..I can totally connect wid it as I’ve got friends running away and putting off this since ages..n wid their families constantly behind dem its only few months untill they get hitched..being a guy I kinda feel unfair, another beauty fished out of the pond..c’mon giv Love a chance or atleast a thought! :D

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  11. Hey! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Carry on the outstanding work!

    Like

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