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“Sorry, I’m Not ‘Sanskaari'”

Posted on September 2, 2016

By Jyoti Sah:

When I was a kid, my parents always told me that I could study till I wanted to, that I could do whatever I wanted to. They said that I was free to chase my dreams.

I grew up thinking that I could do everything. I was ready to fight every obstacle that came my way.

Things changed when I turned 24. Extended family and neighbours said that it was time that I got ready to get married before I crossed the ‘right’ age. My career, my thirst for success – irrelevant & unimportant.

When I spoke with my friends, who were all turning 24 too, I realised that all of them were facing the same issue. This is not just my story. If I were to phrase what I want to say Ekta Kapoor style, I would say, ‘Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki’, (The Story In Every Household).

When we are about to turn 24, we think of where our professional life was heading. We are busy planning our next steps to success. Just then. Someone would tap on our shoulders to tell us, “Now that you know what you want, you should get settled and do whatever you want after that”. They actually mean, “Do whatever you want, provided you have permission from your in-laws.”

What’s the point of going to college, getting degrees when they’ll end up as souvenirs on the wall. I have known people who didn’t want to study and liked the idea of getting married early on in their lives. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that because it was their decision. They were the decision maker.

At the same time, I also understand our parents’ concern for us to get married and they know that societal rules which won’t let their daughters live in peace if she lives with her parents all her life.

I don’t get this. They are MY parents; this is MY house. How does it matter to the society if i live or die in this house?

When someone as successful as Sania Mirza could be asked, “When are you settling down?” then for me to expect the ‘question’ to not be asked to me is imagining the impossible.

But my question is, aren’t we the society? If as a part of society, we don’t start changing our mindsets then how are we as a society going to change?

And if parents won’t support their kids’ choices, then who will?

You might think that I have found a solution because of all the questions that I am asking. I haven’t. I’m going through the same phase that I know many of you are going through too.

What I’m trying to say is that we should have control over the choices we make in life, we should be allowed to take risks and be allowed to fail and learn from our mistakes.

At least I will be content in the end with the fact that this was my decision, and I’m responsible for where I am. I want to achieve success in life and want my parents, relatives and friends standing next to me, feeling proud.

I hope each one of us try and get our parents, friends and relatives to understand this before we sign up on