Wednesday, 24 May 2017

I Do? Do I?

For the past one and a half years, on an average, I seem to have got the news of at least six or seven of my close friends and acquaintances getting married. Marriage is a beautiful thing and I cannot even begin to express how happy each one of these updates make me…However, that bubble of happiness just bursts a couple of moments later when the next question pops up by the so-called well-wishers, “So, when are you going to tie the knot?”

I have had people give me such horrific looks of disdain when I explain to them that I don’t want to get married until I fulfil some of my career aspirations. They find it so unbelievable that some of them have the audacity to ask in return, “Are you sure that’s what you really want? Wouldn’t you want your family to find you a nice boy? Your parents are getting old; don’t you want to fulfil your responsibilities towards them as a daughter?”

It takes centuries for mind-sets to change. How do I actually answer the question: but, is that what you really want? 

Answering that question has now become obligatory, instead of voluntary especially because these questions aren’t hurled anymore from just aunties and grannies. Women younger than me are asking this question to me and to their little sisters and peers. 

If we study the theory of human evolution, centuries ago, cave-women were called gatherers – their instincts compelled them to find the toughest, strongest man (the hunter) who they knew they could have a family with, and who would provide for them and protect them. We live in 2017 in a modern world, and while we still respond highly to our primitive instincts, do we still need to rely on a man to complete us? Of course, to add to the noise, we have the biological clock ticking on us. We don’t want to be too late! 

Love makes us do crazy things. Usually, for most of us, logic fails miserably when our instincts call. Within seconds I have seen independent, fierce young women becoming this timid, soft person who needs to be looked after. 

But we’ve evolved so much with time – why are we still letting our instincts get the better of us? I know of women who are highly-qualified still having a closed mind-set when it comes to marriage. Don’t we have enough societal pressure to last us a life-time – waist-size, sexuality, college, religion, work-life balance – didn’t we get enough choices to make growing up that now we have yet another one pushed our way. The lavish way a family celebrates marriage, why can’t they celebrate achievement of career goals in the same manner?

A few days ago, I met a beautiful twenty-five year old girl who told me she’s never been in a relationship, and now she is too scared to fall in love because it could be years and years till she finally finds ‘the one’, instead meeting someone pre-approved by parents and hopefully adjusting according to his whims and fancies seemed the smart thing to do. I did not know whether to give her a pity hug, or to just tell her that she’s got it all wrong. 

Unfortunately, she isn’t the only woman who thinks that way. I know so many of them who follow the same mantra. Ladies, what happened to living life one day at a time?

Surprise yourself for a change, take a shot. Even if it does not work, at least it was a good learning experience. Fall in love with yourself and spare the pressure. What you cannot find in yourself, you will never find it in another person, so don’t go forging a relationship just to fill some void. It won’t ever get filled that way. You are beautiful now, and you’ll still be gorgeous ten years down the line. 

I am not against the institution of marriage, but I believe it should be for the right reasons.

Let your soul-mate find you. You will know when the time is right. Silence your instincts and use that energy to build an empire you can, perhaps, later cherish. 

Regular life is boring, why force it on yourself? Surely, you did not take birth to experience monotony. No one knows for sure what lies after death, and while there are many fascinating theories floating around, the truth is that you just have this one life. Do you want to waste it by being boring and scared? 

Silence the noise around, and listen to your heart – you are just 1 in 7.3 billion people. Be sure to leave your mark. Remember this the next time you are forced to bow down to the wishes and expectations of others. 

You can always do better.