ByÂ Ojaswini Srivastava:
If I ask what marriage is, someone from my generation may describe it as the commitment to spend one’s life with someone they love by being loyal, honest and loving forever. If I ask the same question to maybe someone form my father’s generation, the answer can be like, it’s a sacred bond, made in heaven, by which we are fated to be tied and live happily thereafter, together, in a union of two families and so on …
My question anyway is not what is marriage but why marriage? Why is marriage so inevitable? Why cannot one decide and declare to live one’s life without marriage? I am sure this question will enrage many. Well, if I ask single people generally, who all want to marry? I am sure 90% will say yes, and I am among those 90%. I too wish to meet someone special, get married and settle down. But what about the remaining 10%? Why are they seen as a great exception? Why do they seem so unreal to rest of the world? If someone believes they cannot marry, or they feel they do not want to marry, why pressurize them under the burden of tradition’s name? I guess it is a better option not to marry than get trapped in a marriage, then fall apart, take divorce and ruin lives. (I of course don’t say that every person who is married under family pressure falls apart later on, love happens, but many do fall apart, and many remain trapped in a loveless bond lifelong).
Just the other day I was having a conversation with my father when he said, “it is good for girls to get married early”. There came this thought in me. Why?
This superficial belief of our society that a girl should get married by twenty five years of age and a guy must get married by thirty (or whatever the so-called ‘ideal age’ is) sounds absolutely illogical. Why a girl who does not wish to get married at the age of twenty five but a few years later, or why a girl who wishes to spend her life looking after her family, has to get married, because it is essential for the society?
I have a friend who is the only child of her parents. She keeps listing the various things she wants to do for them. But just the other moment she regrets. She has to get married and go away to be a part of another family, so she won’t be able to always be around her parents and look after them. Only because she is a girl she cannot stay with them all her life, and love them and fulfil their each and every need like till now they have done for her. I ask why?
This entire debate around getting married, and that too at the ‘conventionally correct age’, kills me inside every day, (perhaps because I know I too am soon going to get shot with this bow). This concept is brim with the lack of logic. It is reflective of our hypocrisy.
My argument is twofold. Firstly, why a guy is eligible for marriage even at the age of thirty but a girl isn’t? Secondly, why everyone must get married?
I am sure with these thoughts of mine I am going to provoke a huge bunch of people, but at the same time it will also be something that another bunch of people will connect to. My point is, please don’t impose traditions. Yes, it does give us a sense of the past, a sense of who we are, but let every generation also make its own traditions, formed on their indigenous beliefs. It is high time we dare to break those conventions which we secretly know are illogical, and thus add a little more meaning to our society. Let’s get married by choice and not by force. Let there not be any irrational deadlines of the ‘ideal matrimony age’, or even the idea of marriage being a necessity. I agree marriage bonds people, flows love, leads the cycle of human life and progeny and all that, but don’t you agree it will be more sensible if all of it is a willing choice? Please don’t compromise on human dignity by forcing a fellow human into what is called the ‘sacred knot’. Let them make an independent choice.
As I earlier said, there are only 10% single people, who will not want to marry. Please allow them that space. And for the other part of my argument I conclude by requesting you to think over the logic of this ‘ideal age for marriage’ that we have and kindly make an attempt to reform your thought process.