The Knot…Or The Noose?

Another shouting match with my family. You know those scenes in movies where they’re trying to show a person who’s slowly losing it? They have this deep distorted voice booming all around in dingy gray surroundings. That’s how I feel now. And those voices are intoning…Marriage…Marriage…Marriage…

Wanna hear the spiel?

There is an age for everything…and you are at the right age now…
Its very important to have a life partner….to be happy…
Independence is good but you have to learn to adjust….your generation doesn’t want to do that
If you don’t get married now, you’ll lose out on the ‘good’ men
As you grow older, it will be harder to find a husband

I said, “And why is it a matter of life or death that I find one?”
They look at me like I’ve lost my mind.

When I took a vacation a fortnight ago my colleague asked me if I was taking leave to get married.
Last year when I quit my job, everyone thought I was getting married.
Friends, parents of friends, friends of parents, distant aunts and uncles, my 13-year-old cousin, my yoga teacher, my boss, colleagues….everyone wants to know about my ‘big day’.

Met S in Bangalore and she wanted to know what my ‘plans’ were. I told her, “I’ve drunk enough of coffee with strangers to put me off caffeine for life (and it has!). I’ve chatted, messaged, spoken to and met enough of eligible bachelors. I’ve dated men of all shapes and sizes and varying degrees of lunacy. Don’t talk to me about men!!!!!!!!!!!”

Recently, Dreamcatcher wrote about her cousin who got engaged to a guy she barely knew. I sympathize with the girl. A little bit. I’ve had enough of close friends giving in to this fight. And yes it is a fight. Ask any woman in this age bracket who isn’t fortunate enough to have a man in her life. Why fortunate? Because no matter who you are, it is drilled into you at every corner that you are incomplete without a man.

One of my friends had a rush marriage and pregnancy. Something hit me right there when she said, “Got fed up of everyone getting on my nerves. He’s as good as any guy I guess.” A close cousin with big ambitions that were all neatly folded away beneath those glossy kanjeevarams when she threw away a promising career in medicine to settle down in ‘matrimonial bliss’ with a guy she barely knows in a town whose name I can’t even spell…..a friend who graduated the same year I did and barely remembers anything of the corporate world on account of a forced marriage to a man who can’t make up his mind whether to live in India or the US and keeps her career on hold in the meantime….the number of such tales is staggering.

I really don’t see the point. I don’t have anything per se, against marriage. It is a social system, it has its uses, it works. But I don’t have to go out and drive myself bonkers trying to find someone to make it work with. What’s wrong with the alternate system of being single and content that way? Years spent trying to please everyone around with education and career and talents….being a twenty-something in this time is a nice balance of financial independence, modern thought and several options. But its a tough fight just to hold onto it all.

My best friend and I have this running joke that some day when we’re past this pressure, we’ll co-author a book about the weird experiences we’ve had in this marriage market. I am full of flippant remarks and the kind of observations that are should (I think!) put off any potential bahu-hunters. But no…..it isn’t about what I say after all, is it? It is about the fact that I’m female, 20s, of such-and-such family, employed here with XYZ degree. That’s what makes me eligible. That’s what makes me the nicely packaged, ready-to-cook meat in this bazaar.

I’m almost hoping one of those dowry-demanders turns up before me so I can do a nice whammy on them and put them behind bars. Tougher to shut up all the unsolicited advice, overzealous matchmaking and prejudices

Damn it all, I’m not going down without a fight.

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on June 7, 2006, in Hormone hangover, I'm An Indian Woman, Relationships, Times, they are a-changing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Hey its not just women who have to deal with this. I am a 20 something guy and the first question people (esp relatives) ask me is, “When are you getting married?”

  2. more power to u girl…

  3. What happens when you ‘win’ the fight?

    Knot or the Noose, either way, there is a ‘no’ in both of ’em. Hmmm…

    I’m not going down without a fight. Equivocal and a cry of desperation, as it also implies ‘I’m going down with a fight.’

    There was another person who said whatever you have said in this post; it’s not a radical thought. 2 months down the lane, would we be seeing a post titled, ‘Unbelievable, but True’ containing elements of ‘love at first arranged sight’, ‘an arranged connection never felt before’ etc.

    Don’t kill me later, I am just providing you with the ammunition for the fight.

  4. Fight hard. My sis kept it at bay till she was 28. she was in the US and every week the mater would ask and ask. Millions of emails were sent. and she came up with the most creative excuses to ward those guys away. I am sure its terrible pressure, but you’re so strong I am sure you wont bow down to it. Just do it when you want to 🙂 Take care.

  5. welcome to the club – trust me the parents are a formidable opponent! before you know there will be a guy next to you smiling at you and saying “bolo honey” 😀

  6. Seems I’m not the only one cribbing here!! he he.

  7. Well, I guess, your silence indicates a concurrence!

  8. hey its not just us gurls who face the problem… I know most of my boy friends (read as boys who are friends) have the same story unleashed on them too!

  9. Its the same for guys as well .. trust me on that.
    The whole sham of getting married coz u r on the wrong side of 25-26 is really maddening

  10. Hiya, i have seen your site when searching a few weeks ago and i really love the design! I just bought a new 3 character domain (cost me a packet) for a niche review blog, and i was wondering if your design is a free or paid one? I’m new to WordPress and about to set it up, and i would really like to get something with a similar look to yours. Any ideas where i could download or buy something similar? Thanks for your help! 🙂

  11. ///I said, “And why is it a matter of life or death that I find one?”

    Been zinging that for about 4 years now…
    hmm..currently it is not that.. it is just a job.. but guess it will restart soon enough..
    P.S: Me thinks i should either do the shitload of work i have or go to sleep… instead of commenting around…sheesh i am sick of seeing only my name on the recent comments list…

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