Allow me to take you on a short journey into the world of an unmarried Indian female in her late 30’s. Be warned though: nerves of steel are required on this trip. It is also recommended you do not bring your firearms or any sharp objects along…. believe me, you might just be tempted to use them! Ready? Let’s go!
- First Stop: Yet another wedding where the bride is younger then I am. I bear no resentment and neither am I envious of her. I actually love attending weddings. So there I am, minding my own business and enjoying the proceedings …until someone comes along (usually an elder female) and, after exchanging pleasantries, asks me that dreaded question: “So, when are YOU getting married?” Despite being asked this question about a million times, I still don’t know how to respond. Maybe I should just confess that I’m waiting for the man I love (Salman Khan) to get over his phobia of commitment? Or do I get all philosophical and reply: “God is in control of my destiny. He knows when I will get married, I don’t. So kindly direct all questions to Him“? Most times though, what I really want to reply is: “Mind your own business!” But my conscience reminds me that I was raised by my parents to respect elders. So I don’t reply at all but smile like an idiot, as I endure the interrogation about my single status. However, in my mind, I have already plotted my revenge: yet another person who seems overly eager to attend my “big day” has just been struck off my wedding guest list! Oh, the irony…
- Next we encounter an interesting group of people. First, they ask my age. And then they proceed to:
- Either tell me about someone they apparently know who married older then I currently am. Indirectly, what they’re trying to say is “Don’t worry, there’s still hope for you!”
- Or they say things like “You’re better off single.” This translates to “there’s no hope for you. Ever”
- Moving on to the most eccentric of the lot. These people are convinced I have some “bad luck” or am cursed. They often share with my Mum details about prayers/fasts/rituals etc I should perform to “open my way”. They claim to know females who met their partners and got married soon after performing said prayers/fasts/rituals and are now living their happily ever after. Incidentally, it’s often these same people who attempt to play matchmaker and introduce me to “eligible” partners. Note, I am open to the idea of making new friends. If there’s someone I find particularly interesting, I will put in that extra effort to get to know him better… at a gradual pace, off course. But here’s what irks me: these matchmakers are so determined in their quest to marry me off that they think any single guy will do. I have nothing in common with the dude, so what? He’s much younger then me, who cares? The guy does not even have a stable job/is drowning in debt, he does not believe in God, he’s too much of a “social” drinker for my liking, he’s a chain smoker (I’m allergic to cigarette smoke)…all this does not matter to the matchmakers. I was even told that, at my age, I should not be so “fussy”! Pardon me, I’m not sure why I thought it was called “having standards”.
- Along the way we’ll bump into those folk who constantly ask when will they be served breyani. Ok, so am I expected to quickly get married just because some people are craving vegetable breyani? I suggested to my family that we cook a pot and distribute to these poor breyani-starved souls. My baby brother offered a better solution: “Order from Kara Nichas instead, it’s much cheaper !”
- Then there are those who believe I have to marry ASAP, as I need a partner to take care of me. Oh really? Should I remind you that I lived an independent life for 2 years and pretty much did everything for myself, by myself? I managed quite well, if I may add.
Ok, let’s end this journey on a positive note. Contrary to popular belief, I am not a miserable, unhappy soul longing for a husband. I have a loving family, a job I enjoy, a close circle of amazing friends…and above all, I have faith in God. Some of us are meant to marry much later in life then others… I’m OK with that. Some of us are destined not to get married at all and I’m fine with that too. Not having a wedding ring on my finger, the title “Mrs”, a new last name…all this does not determine my worth as a person. Where I am right now is exactly where my God intends me to be. And thankfully, I have the most supportive parents who share my sentiments.
Unfortunately, society can sometimes be cruel to single women. Fortunately, I have broad shoulders to bear the taunts and silly comments. I am blessed and I am happy. And until my Prince Charming comes along (& I still believe he will), I choose to embrace my single-hood. That’s not such a bad thing now, is it?