“Nisha, you need to stop wasting time. You are already 27. You have done MBA and now you have a job. It’s time for you to focus on getting married. Please start meeting boys as once you turn 28, no good rishta will come your way! In that case you will end up spending your whole life with your career and job and no one will be with you!”, my mother taunts me as I busily type a very important client email.
“Haan, Maa… that’s not even a bad idea. Why can’t I spend my life with my career and job if that gives me happiness? In the end, my career and education will never walk out and leave me alone, but a boy definitely can!”, I tell my mom without even looking at her. But I knew she must have made that particular facial gesture that says I am a loser and she is so highly disappointed in me! And, she hates my rebellious nature.
“Nisha, will you please start acting like a grown-up woman! I wish your degrees could have also pumped some sense into you! Sometimes, I wonder what wrong did I do while raising you! Is it our mistake that we gave you so much independence? Was it a mistake to make you study in good schools and colleges? …”,my mother wanted to continue but she was interrupted by a phone call.
This isn’t the first time we had this conversation. We are having this conversation since the time I joined my job. She is after my life to meet boys and get married. Frankly, I went and spoke to almost 10 men so far. And, my experience hasn’t been so great!
Someone wanted a well-educated wife who can give up her career and move with him around the world to build his career; Someone wanted a working woman but not very ambitious – someone who will earn but always chose family over her dreams! Someone wanted an educated woman, but not very strong and independent because the family believes strong women are difficult women; not easy to handle (what he actually meant: strong women won’t take the family’s abusive behavior!)
Frankly, after meeting such shallow men, I simply wanted to take a break from the marriage market. Because, after meeting these men and after looking at my sister and friends, I am losing faith in the concept of marriage. It’s not just me. There are so many women I know, who are scared of marriage.
With an increase in divorce rates, instances of cheating partners, the patriarchal mindset of in-laws, there are so many reasons that make marriage scary for Indian women!
No one could deny how many strong and independent women, feel that after marriage their wings are clipped. Sadly, they felt being tied down. They were devoid of the respect, love, and care that they hoped for. They were expected to make endless compromises and sacrifices while their partners refuse to make any! While they strived hard and invested so much in the relationship but later felt alone realizing that they deserved better!
It is sad how so many men still believe that they have a right to control women. It is heartbreaking when we hear instances of many people using marriage as a license to shatter women’s self-respect and dignity! While we expect women to be there for everybody, but there is no one for them!
How can one forget the problematic concept of the ‘ideal bahu’. Over years, women have evolved and many of us no longer find gratification in just being the perfect homemaker. Gone are the days, when the majority of women in our country would have only dreamt of finding a perfect life partner, making babies, and looking after them.
Now, women want so much more in their lives. They want equality, respect, independence and much more. But sadly, our society is still catching up with women and their changing aspirations. And, so does the concept of marriage.
Don’t get me wrong, we all want someone to call our own. We also want to come home to loving and caring arms after having a shitty day. We don’t want to be alone. While I continue my search for a man who accepts me with my dreams, aspiration, and self-respect, I am very sure about one thing – it’s better to be alone than with the wrong person!
So dear society, rather than cursing women for demanding equality and respect in marriage, please raise better men. Give up your patriarchal mindset that expects only women to make sacrifices. Don’t make us choose between marriage and our dreams.
Dear parents, no one ever died because of marrying late. But, so many died because of marrying wrong. So, please don’t pressurize your daughters! Let them live! Because marriage is not an end goal! Living a happy and enriched life is!