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Nearing 30: Tale Of An Indian Woman

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By NS:

I am among those ill-fated women on this earth who are nearing 30. I often get feelings of nearing doom. In fact, why nearing doom? Reached doom already. I see younger girls settling down and even attaining motherhood. I see younger blood entering my organization and the feeling of reaching doom only strengthens. I feel like I am nearing my end. Actually I am just 28. Just 28, any 45-year-old will say. Then why do I feel that I am running out of time? Why do I continuously get the feeling that it’s over?

My freedom, my identity, my say, and my goals — all seem to be nearing their bitter, unfulfilled end. Someday I will get married. I must not fly too high. I must keep my feet firmly on the ground. I must be aware of the responsibilities that have been earmarked for me since my birth, to be given to me when I reach ‘this age’. I must be ready to make sacrifices for the happiness of my family. I must be happy with whatever I get. Is this what all 28 years old women out there feel too? Maybe yes.

A 28-year-old professional today is an independent woman, with her own bank account, own house, own career and own dreams. Gone are the days, when the woman was supposed to dream her husband’s dream. Today, she has her own dreams, visions of future and goals. She seeks a life-partner who will walk with her on the journey of her dreams. She will feel fulfilled only if those visions come true.

We can’t see a girl striving on the life path alone. Unsettled, depressed, lonely, they call her. I call her passionate, brave and credible. We talk about freedom, equality and woman empowerment. Those are words said without knowing their meaning.

Where does equality go when a girl is not allowed to pursue her passions after marriage? What happens to freedom when a girl is expected to marry and settle down even before she understands herself and what she wants from life? Where is the freedom to allow girls to live and experience life on their own and make them stand up on their own? Why are women still not seen in creative, challenging roles like pilots, photographers and chefs? Because we don’t like to see them there. Because we are afraid to grant them this real freedom. The freedom that really matters. However open-minded parents are or the husband is, stereotype comes in. Women are still expected to be the ones making compromises. Parents still teach their girls to learn to compromise. Why? Why aren’t they taught to look up and dream high? Why aren’t they encouraged to love themselves and fight for their dreams?

I am an unmarried, single girl of 28. I have a lot of pressure from my family and society to marry and settle down. While my family (and their friends, too) are busy desperately searching for a groom, I am dreaming about shifting careers and starting my own freelancing work in various fields. My family would get a nice little jolt if they come to know about my plans. Wouldn’t they be dismayed to hear that their intelligent daughter, who topped in school, wants to leave her successful, Human Resources career for something unreliable and ridiculous like writing, photography and travel? Why should she be travelling like crazy and waste energy when she can easily marry a software engineer settled in US and enjoy life? Well, that doesn’t make me happy at all. Travelling around the world makes me happy. Going out with my girlfriends makes me happy. Writing makes me happy. Trying out world cuisines and photographing food makes me happy. Sad. They don’t see that.

The thought of burying my dreams scares me. I do not want spend a life of regret. I do not want to get the feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction at the end of my life. I would want a husband and a family who will support me in my travel expeditions who will let me go back to studies, who will feel happy if my aspirations come true and who will accept me with all the imagination, craziness and weirdness that I have.

Like any other man, who wants to be different, who wants to make it big, women today dare to be different, too. Given the right support and environment, they can create wonders too. There are many a talented and confident women out there, who can make the world a better place to live in, with their vision and talents. It would be such a waste to suppress them.

Do comment in the section below.

The writer is a contributor at Youth Ki Awaaz, a dreamy girl who is trying to create her own, little space in this big world.

You must be to comment.
  1. kalakuta27

    thank you so much for sharing this – i’m a 23 year old nigerian woman and i can identify with the exact emotions you expressed in this piece. it’s never easy to fly in the facd of tradition and expectations, but i firmly believe you can’t be someone else’s other half until you’re a whole person yourself. all the best of luck with your future plans – keep dreaming big!

  2. Deepak

    It is really a problem in society. If man can remain unmarried then why cant a woman with the same prestige.
    But one thing I want to express is that there is no question of equality between male and female because women are always at higher level in society than men. I know that there is a good number of examples to crush my thought she has the leading role to built future of society.
    It is right that a woman should be given all opportunities as men get but some contamination or some noise has been mixed and now some examples can be given in which women are indulge in addictions like smoking, drinking, drugs etc. just to get equality , if men can do these things then why can’t they. This should be stopped. I never mean that men are doing right. But there are some groups present where the bad practices are promoted for the sake of equality.

  3. Neha Bhandarkar

    Its A brilliantly written realistic article. 🙂

  4. Bonitovida

    Yes, we are much better off today than what we were a decade ago. But well, the real freedom is still missing.

  5. Anubhav3110

    This article truly reflects a section of narrow minded society, however quite a lot of women are confidently standing by their believes and are circumventing prejudices.

  6. ichakrab

    The Indian woman is indeed in a situation of great dilemma. It appears that they have adjusted to changes in the world faster than men have adjusted to changes in them. It is true that many people out there call themselves ‘progressive’ without realizing what it actually means. Like you, I also have the desire to travel the world but when I expressed this, the so-called person supposed to be my life partner went into panic mode and asked me whether I just intended to be a nomad with a family. Such lack of understanding is both frustrating and sad at the same time. Why can the people of our country not realize that a) The ‘responsibility’ to maintain the family is joint and not a single burden to be placed only on the woman’s shoulders? It is time everyone started taking their responsibilities seriously. b) If you feel unsettled because a woman is trying to be different, that is your own insecurity and you have to take conscious steps to deal with it.
    Thank you, Neha, for being the voice of millions of independent, talented women in India who have dared to dream.

  7. Saloni

    i am a 21 yr old gril but just a second year student..no no i din flunk, i just took time to realize mu passion. My family has already started seeking a groom for me and are waiting for me t just pass out. Is this the modern society?? We are following the conventional thinking regarding the status of women. Am i born on this earth just to get married? Don’t i have any dreams or don’t i have any right to pursue dreams?

  8. Satvik

    just because you’re nearing 30 doesn’t mean its the end of the road . Col. sanders created KFC after retirement. Mother Teresa had no retirement and changed her country. Capt. gopinath came up with the idea of Air deccan, again after retirement. You have a great life ahead. Go paint the town red ! fulfill your dreams and make the best out of it ! don’t lose heart !
    best wishes !

  9. Neha Saxena

    Hey Friends. Thank you for your opinions. I agree that though there are many pockets of narrow minded traditions, we are progressing and the society has matured. We still have a long way to go !!

  10. Shivasankarig

    I want to fly high .. 
    I want to touch the skies..

    Of course, come back to the earth to say the tales…

         Yes here I am a 24 year old girl in Italy doing what she wanted to – Research .. And I want to build an empire on my own. Trust me ” it is easy to rule ur kingdom, but it is not that easy to build one “. But nonetheless impossible. 

        There are many living examples, I am looking upto and would like to cheers the others venturing out there .. All the best gals .. And forget not I have had a lot of support from the guys as well .. And it is changing !! to get better .. 

     

  11. Maniac

    your brain is all messed up to ask wierd questions like this. After Marriage there are changes in guys life too in great way. But no one notices it. He does equal number of sacrifices as women will do. This is called FAMILY. To build one it takes hardwork. It’s not a joke. I guess self centered person like you will never understand this. Looser… 

    1. Aristea

      She is not a looser. She is a victim of our stupid social programming which only enhances fear. This is fear and it’s not even hers. I think.

  12. nikhil

    @Deepak: Deepak True freedom means freedom to be humans-Along with the freedom to get education and work, women need freedom to make mistakes too. Why expect them to be perfect decision makers?
    Vices or Virtues- Both men and women have them. If an individual wants to drink or smoke. Let them. They are grown up people who can make informed choices.

  13. Charulata

    Not agree. If woman of India dares to come out of her shell, she will reach to the top most position. She just needs to think big and dream a little.

  14. Bhavitakukreja

    I agree with her as once a girl completes her grad is that relatives people around you start to persuade the parents of the girl to start finding a groom as it will take atleast an year to find a good one. why don’t they realize that girls are ambitious and wish to be successful in life and independent too. Is marriage the only goal of a girl’s life?

  15. Aristea

    Girl. These are society’s CRAP. These things that you feel and say is how society has been programming us. Deep inside you know this. This theory that one must be married and at a certain age is proving itself wrong e v e r y d a y and you are seeing this around you. Please get real and BE REAL. Follow your heart. Go with yourself.

  16. SafireVision

    Thank you for sharing. I hope you achieve your dreams and find love along the way that will enrich your path. Blessings

  17. Divs

    Neha.. The problem in our society is men mindset.. Women changed but men who are well educated even from standford or oxford still thinks that women is women who is to do all the household work and take care of his parents n kids even she is a CEO of any company.. Parents always support their girls specially but how many husband support their wives..men are scared of independent women but they love their salary.. You can see in todays world..both are working but men expect women take care of everything even both reach home at the same time or women late as well…husbands have problem with everything starts from Fb to her friends, her relatives ie sisters brothers etc n list is endless.. Your article is amazing..most women think alike..all the best n achieve everything in your life n make ur dream come true.. Yeh article padh ke lag raha tha ke mere soch likhe hai tumne.. Love happiness n hugs…muah

  18. bobman

    dont worry darling… just follow your dreams …. most marriages are living death .. so better to be happy and single than married and sad.. enjoy ur freedom … enjoy ur singleness… cheers bob.

  19. Natsumi Okizawa

    Dear girl, you’re so strong! You must trust your guts and follow your heart. All over the world there’s no real freedom for women, even the feminists don’t want to see women truly free. It’s their narrow mindset!
    It’s the world’s loss! It would’ve done much better with women and men as equals!

  20. Ssff

    Add 5 years to your situation and you’re looking at her! I’m beginning to feel dismayed by the disappointment I see from my family and at my wits end n how to handle it!

  21. Simran

    I think, words expressed here not just as the outcome of marriage pressure from society but also from missing that person in life who will support you in your dreams. Everyone needs company and we seek for the GOOD company and here fear is to get good company. Professional life and personal life both are different things and have to balance together. Wish you good luck. We both are sailing into same ship 😉
    – Simran

  22. Martinique

    I’m 27, single, female, Indian and loving it. Enjoy your singlehood if you’re the marrying kind. That’s all I can say.

  23. Ramesh

    @ NS

    You have expressed yourself …your thoughts are very true.. Iam just an ordinary guy, i never knew this…. if you can talk to ur family in language which they can understand with strong backups for your decision they can be convinced.. they also want to see u happy.. we are in a closed society just to impress and makeup and maintain a social life, your aspirations will remain the same if you regret and wait for things to happen at its due course… rather fight till death to make your dream happen…. we tend to assume a lot of things in life which can be thrown away with strong urge and commitment….. never marry in hurry… guys and girls have same aspirations… find a soulmate who can understand your dreams and be a part of journey….. !!!

  24. rock

    It’s simple every woman and man on earth should not get married or reproduce.Then in a million years some Aliens will be digging human bones from the depths of the Earth just like we dug out Dinosaur Bones.

    Only reason is the Dinosaurs went extinct cause of external factors but Humans will go extinct cause of their own idiotic stupid moronic notions of independence and freedom and equality.

  25. Meg

    You just spoke what my heart wanted to say this whole time. I am 28 and I’m in the same boat. Guilt and fear keep getting injected in me because I refuse to adhere to Any norms. But I’m glad that women like us stand up and voice our opinions. It’s been driving me crazy but now I have found a voice just like mine in you. Let’s tear this norm apart. Thank you for speaking the language my heart was trying to translate for so long

  26. Akanksha Singh

    Comment * The way men can have certain bad habits so can women. Its not about men and women. Its about that what you want to do you can do without the society pointing fingers on you because you are a women.If I like alcohol then I am having it. Its not bad unless its harming anyone.This stands true for both men and women

  27. Chandrima

    I'm 30 plus and still unmarried. My parents, relatives, friends, colleagues feel that I'm frustrated and my frustration has attributed to my ill-temperament. I feel outrageous at times by people's comments, and honestly, these comments discourage me to the core. I like staying alone, I travel to places alone. I don't like the concept of marriage, I don't like taking responsibilities of babies. My life experiences made me afraid of commitments, after failures, I chose the path of remaining emotionally unattached with anyone. I felt there is no value of morality in today's world. Loyalty has also lost its value. So I have become liberal now-a-days, and I don't get emotionally attached to anyone, so that I don't get hurt. If someone likes me, I do not mind getting physical with him, I know, it's a social taboo, still. Career-wise I'm quite successful, and I'm ambitious, I like continuing with further studies along with my job. But the response I get from society is really upsetting. Why people have only one cliche idea of “goodness” of women? I have seen many married people getting unfaithful to their partners, they are not treated with contempt! Then why people judge me so easily and call me “bad”?

  28. John

    It’s because you had a false sense of entitlement in your late teens and early twenties thus feeling you’ d never age now you are bitter because you don’t look as hot as your younger competitors since men don’t find you as attractive anymore

  29. Parul Sharma

    I read this and I read it again. it’s like the writer entered my mind and types my thoughts.
    I am a 28 year old practicing dentist, unmarried and single. The pressure from family to get married is one of the many things putting me into a state of mental and emotional instability.

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