You’ve barely entered your twenties. You still can’t buy a Breezer (let alone a beer!) for yourself in a bar nor have contemplated voting in the upcoming elections, but your parents befit you to start seeing good Indian IT professionals, surgeons, MBA professionals, NRI businessmen etc. But hold on, you’ve got your dreams and just because you’re born a woman in India does not mean you have to give up on them. Go pursue your dreams and keep these excuses handy whenever those family functions and parents’ anniversaries come around.
- You’re giving entrance exams:Be it the civil services or the CAT, our Uncles and Aunties are always approving of anything that involves mass participation and competition. Never shall you be dissuaded.
- You’re waiting for an older cousin to get married:There’s always an older cousin or a distant cousin in your extended family to pass the buck to. And tauba tauba should you be so disrespectful so as to upstage her chances.
- You have plans to study further:Ah, the great Indian respect for higher knowledge can always be relied upon. We still revere the pride of our Ph.D. titles and women with MBA degrees make great trophy wives.
- You can’t find a suitable boy for a match only made in heaven:But no one has responded to your specifications on Matrimonial papers or sites: Tall, dark, handsome, chikna, Gora Chitta, Brahmin but Caste no bar, Salary: 12.33 or 15.86 lacs per annum, Drinking: Breezer Socially, Smoking: Clove socially, Dietary Preference: Seasonally vegan and non-vegetarian.
- You want to travel:Just like Simran asked for freedom in a one month Euro trip in the 90’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, you ask for a year’s freedom to trip around Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. Tell them you’re also volunteering in village communities and NGOs as a part of your travel.
- You’ve signed a company contract:You are a valuable asset to your company and they cannot lose you to marriage or motherhood for the next three to five years while the profit margins are steadily increasing in the markets.
- You’re taking ‘skill building’ classes (like cooking, baking, stitching, knitting etc.):What’ll prospective grooms and families think when they come to your house and realize the walls are only covered with spotless glasses of framed degrees and photographs of athletic and co-curricular accomplishments and not a single hand made tatted flower pattern? All rounder like Dhoni on the field, you’ve got to be.
- You’re a feminist:You think marriage is the ultimate subordination to male chauvinism and the most Victorian idea of a civilized patriarchy.
- You ‘slut walked’ this year…In Montreal where women actually showed up in net stockings and lacy bras holding placards which read, “A Proud Slut!”
- You’ve taken a vow to marry only after the Lokpal is set in motion:You want to start your new life in a world that is apparently going to be more accountable, systematically functional and alcohol free. Imagine the cuts in the costs of the reception with no open bar! The wise ones will wait.
Makepeace is the Associate Editor of Halabol, and a weekly columnist at Youth Ki Awaaz.