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My Parents Are Ready For Any Kind Of Groom: The “Crime” Of Being An Unmarried Woman At 27

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By Nikita Ahya:

“It’s a Baby Girl!”

These enchanting five words by the doctor put into my parents a perennial wish to get me married off with all gaiety as soon as they could. The web of imaginative constructs kept getting stronger with the passage of time as they saw me turn into a nubile would-be bride jettisoning my presence in the shaadi (marriage) market.

Image source: Asif A. Ali/Flickr
Image source: Asif A. Ali/Flickr

Today, at 27, I feel that it is a crime to be an unmarried woman at as it has ruthlessly shattered the dream of my marriage that my parents so dearly clung on. Their connect with others who hypocritically try to keep pace with the changing norms of society lead to a disconnect with me.

All of this social stigma is just an additional burden on the matured, meaningful existence of a self-made girl like me. To add to it, I have an additional garnishing in my life of friends who are married, with child and planning for the next. For me, the first rule of disaster management is just scrolling up faster when I see updates from their adventurous venture on some packaged honeymoon tour, not to speak of their selfies with babies and experience of motherhood. This entire ordeal when I am trying to steer my career to the desired destination is a sad celebration of my age. (I am now afraid of my birthdays; the cause is different, this time it’s for the increasing age and not pending bills)

The seemingly polite and diabetic aunties have their suggestion box unasked, yet open, whenever I bump into them.

“Why don’t you lose little weight?” My features are almost perfect, yet they get dull by the flab. Thin is in. Lean is better. All this is spoken by notoriously fat, overtly accessorized ladies, and it irks me.

The whole family circle sees my family with utmost sympathy as if we are going to miss a Government bailing package. The advice ranges from preferred astrologers to wearing some stones (none of them are cheap!), to some religious rites as and when told, not to forget the age-old renunciation by keeping a fast. My married colleagues talk about their bed-time experiences in the worst of expressions and auditory notes. I know it’s plain hoodwinking. The tragedy is that there is no bridge between unbridled girlhood and standardized womanhood except the institution of marriage.

The prophecy about an alleged affair that shall not get accepted gets a green signal at the sign of my grey hair. My parents are almost ready for any kind of groom now. My career has taken a backseat, and settling down connotes the inevitability of a union through marriage. My parents keep getting worried about having to cut a sorry figure in the smartly fashioned society. Besides, they always want to prove that their upbringing is correct. The poor me who has lived a quarter of her life already considers her existence as a burden. Occasional outbursts by parents are common.

To market this human sentiment, the online making of marriages, which was once the duty of heaven is just a click away. Match-making is a profession for some, habit for a few and hobby for all. The Indian mind is hard-wired into such magnetic arenas of employment with professional accuracy and street diplomacy.

In the marriages I attend (if I can’t escape attending them), my mother sees a prospective partner and the salaries and families more than the food or the couple. At the marriage, I am not even allowed to wear my favourite, best outfit because that’s well-buffered for the trousseau. I am supposed to engineer my lifestyle for those hours as appealing to anyone who could plainly consider me as addition to their family. Name same, titles changed.

In this drama, I am lost. No one ever asks me about what keeps me happy. I have earned independence from economic unleashing; let me not get divorced from my dear freedom. Grow up adults! My willingness not to marry is sufficient reason.

You must be to comment.
  1. Amlan

    People really needs to change the way they think and look at women. Every women has the right to decide if she wants to marry or not. A girl unmarried at just 27. I think thats not an issue at all and just a matter of choice. Mam, just relax and ignore these people. Just focus on what u really want and not what society wants. And being an ecomically independent girl and above the age of 18, u r the sole authourity of ur self and only Mam u urself have the rights to decide the course of ur life.Relax and ignore all these noise around u.

  2. Jigsaw

    My father got my brother’s marriage fixed without informing him, to a girl he hadn’t known or seen. It was a forced marriage.

    The “crime” of being an unmarried man at 29

    There are countless forced marriages of men in India.

  3. G.L.

    If you are really self made, as you say, why aren’t you independant? Why don’t you live on your own? How can your parents force you if you, lets say, go and work in a metropolitan city, rent a place and finance yourself? Are you too used to the comfort provided by your family? You want equality, but arenot willing to sacrifice your privileges, like a man.

  4. B

    The entire article is a childish rant. The modern ‘abla nari’ who we are supposed to feel sorry for. At 27 you should have a job to support yourself. Stop living off your parents money if you have a problem with them.

  5. themaverickwoman

    Dont worry babes..me 34 ..not yet married , financially independent for last 10 years ….Enjoy my time,myself, my travel and my books much more than being “JUST” married…what you should think about is NOT to think about anything, Be unapologetic of how u r and what you think gives u happiness 🙂 If you which to marry anytime pls go ahead.. make sure thats on ur wish of companionship and no other factors involved! I have been there done that ..and compleatly understand what u mean here 🙂 All the best ,Keep loving living and Risking 🙂 Love

  6. RK Shukla

    Independence is an enigma. It can be attained if we don’t expect anything from society including family. It is a state of mind . if we want to be independent we should not care for what the society thinks. Not getting married is our own decision and thinking that society should think in our way is interference in society, s thinking

  7. Ruchi

    Gal,
    U just read my mind.. this is all same what I m going thru… i guess hiting d age of 27 was d worst b’day ever.. nd my mom occasionally announce me as burden.. although she dont mean it ever..
    Worst is I am being forced to quit my job nd shutter my well build career… 🙁

    1. G.L.

      Why don’t you go and live on your own? Because you don’t want to step outside your comfort zone. Stop blaming others. No one can force you to get married if you are independant, but that would mean having to work like a man. Of course, that is not possible.

    2. Anoop

      My sister has turned 27 and my parents also curse her from time to time for being a burden. I’m her 24 year brother. I defend for my sister all the time. As far as I’m concerned my parent’s life is almost over. But mine and my sister’s life is still pending.
      I would defend her to death. And I would make sure she won’t have to live with a person she doesn’t like. I almost hate this culture. My sister is the purest girl I’ve ever seen and it hurts me so badly to see her going through this misery.

      I am thinking up few solutions for this cruelty. I will make it work..

      Anyway, for one thing, I know for a fact that I will not marry another girl (Indian or anybody) unless and until I want it..

      I would rather stay single and strong than end up with a person who I don’t even like.
      I hope you all find the grit to make your own choices and live the life on your terms.

  8. Anoop

    We in India thinks that majority has power. And it’s easy to see saw. But genius is always the work of Individual never a crowd. Why is that ? Cuz Individuals can think for themselves. There is no doubt that our practices are out dated and it is slowing our country from developing in any other area. For many Indian men, like me, we’ve been taught to raise money just enough to get married. We look for “secure” jobs, we build “homes” to be eligible to get married, We negate any kind of innovation, entrepreneurship, arts or anything unusual thinking we won’t get married in future. It is hard to separate “our” life with these problems, I know. But what about the next generation? The ones who are in preschools and 3-4th classes ? What about them? Should they suffer what we suffer? Or should we become role models for them?
    Gandhi sure brought us the freedom. Isn’t it time for us to exercise that freedom?
    A young generation is coming up. Do you want them to have a divided mind with race/caste/religion/arranged marriage and lose out on what’s best in life?

    Or can we save atleast them from this BS!?

    Do not despair. Do not give in. Live your life and expect others to join you or die trying..

  9. ياء كرازبي ميكم

    Your attainment of independence and your assertion of autonomy are qualities that paradoxically make you over qualified for marriage especially as it is defined by your culture. I’m exactly one generation older, (my youngest son just turned 28) and as I look at the future of our world I think you have the ability to make extraordinarily long lasting contributions. Now I’m NOT on your parents side because I don’t agree with their motives. If you do have children with a partner who values your quality I feel you will truly be making the world a better place. I hope I’m not just another older nagging echo of your family and I wish you happiness.

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