No, I don’t mean that I AM single, but I couldn’t think of any better title for this post. For the past few days, a kind of a rage is brewing up in my mind against our hypocritical society. Let me explain. I know a lady who is a relative from my in law’s side. I have seen her few times in some of the family functions. She is 30 plus, pretty to look, works in a global financial bank. Yet, most of the family members ridicule her when she’s not around. Reason? She is 30 and single. Apparently her parents have been trying to hook her up with a suitable guy for the past few years and somehow these “suitable” guys just do not suit her. She keeps rejecting all proposals and that’s why the single tag is still dangling around her neck. Other members of our family just cannot digest this and have labeled her as arrogant and conceited.
I don’t know this lady personally so I can’t comment if she is snobbish or not. But what I do know and what I do object is, drawing up a conclusion just on the basis that she is single at an age of 30. I myself got married at a late age of 29, so I am not new to the kind of pressure that your family subjects you to, if you are unmarried and above the age of 25. I am not talking about immediate family members but your “concerned” uncles and aunts who come up to you whenever they set their eyes on you and start conversation somewhere on the lines like this: ‘Beti, you are already 29(or whatever god-forbidden-over-the-marriageable age you are), when are you planning to get married. Do you love someone else? Do not go for inter caste marriages. How will your parents face the society? You are already over and above your shelf-life. Who will marry you after 30? Accept the proposals you get and don’t keep your expectations too high’ and so on. Before you get a chance to insert your two cents reply they just move on to talk to your parents, no doubt to hassle them. And you sit in your seat seething and wondering what kind of retail product are you that you have a shelf-life too.
In fact I had completely stopped attending any kind of functions just to avoid the “over-concerned” aunts. But this did not stop the “well-meaning” advices from reaching me, courtesy my mom. Since these aunts couldn’t get hold of me they started pestering my mom who in turn pestered me. If the reason for delaying your marriage is your career or your professional ambitions then God help you, you will be in serious danger of being disowned by your parents. I was subjected to a lot of emotional blackmail from my mother. I loved my freedom a lot and wanted it to last few more years, but alas, it was not to be so…
The irony is, if the situation involves a guy well above the age of 30 and unmarried then the general consensus is that the “poor” guy is unable to find a bride who suits his and his family’s “requirements”. My face goes red with rage thinking of this gender prejudice. I know what I am saying may sound ridiculous or unbelievable to some, but I have faced this personally and know of lot of other girls who continue to face this kind of marriage pressure. I don’t know why there is so much fuss about getting married at a particular age. I feel we should get married, when we are certain that the person we are marrying is the one we want to spend the rest of our life with. Marriage is a serious and crucial decision in everyone’s life and nobody should be forced to compromise on selecting their partners.
Few days back I was watching a program on Zoom channel about single actors in Bollywood and amazingly all the single actresses were over 30-like Rani, Preity and Bipasha. The eternal bachelor of Bollywood, Salman Khan is around 45, but off course he is a male. And men are like wine, the older the better, right? NO. It’s time we changed our mindset and give women the freedom they deserve. Freedom to live their life as they wish, freedom to select their life partners and freedom to choose when they want to get married.