This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Anna Singh. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

27 And Unmarried: My Life Must Be Going Down The Drain

This is what it finally comes down to! The rebellious ones get away with almost everything, while the slightly-sincere ones become victims of emotional distress caused by your very own people – your family, and to be precise, your parents. You need to be a rebel, strong-minded and clear about what you want and what you don’t. If you are not, they will lay an entire plan for you, which sounds absolutely perfect when they hear about it themselves.

A small price that we pay for being their children, their life-long projects. The constant nagging, the pressure to do things that seem perfect to them, because you are not an individual who has the capability to learn from life by yourself.

You need directions. They cannot be optional ones. In fact, these need to be mandatory directions, if you are to have a perfect life – never mind the fact that your ‘perfect life’ may be made up of ‘perfect lies’. If you follow the step-by-step instructions given to you, you are bound to lead a smooth life ahead. Not even you yourself can hamper it (well, you better not!).

No matter how old you grow, you will always be a child to them. This is great if it means that their love for you is unconditional and that they are your solid support system who will always let you make your own decisions and support you if you trip or fall.

However, if being a child to your parents means that the relationship is a one-sided flow of instructions, expectations and their unfulfilled dreams, it becomes a liability. In such a case, your biggest support system becomes a burden that you either suffer living with, or, take radical steps to cut ties with. This is where it hurts – it’s an extreme relationship where there’s either too much or nothing at all. Moreover, it’s difficult to find one person to blame in such cases. After all, they too were brought up by their parents (who saw the same things in life) in a similar way.

If you look at life from your parent’s point of view, that’s their little world. That’s all they have seen – there is nothing beyond it. However, if you have a larger experience of life, you can give that space to your child to develop into the person that he/she is meant to be. In fact, I have seen many ‘cool’ parents of my friends. My parents were also ‘cool’ and relaxed until I grew up. This was the time I had to stop doing everything else and only do the things that were ‘socially acceptable’. You know, things like getting married, in the first place. Isn’t this a hard time in every girl’s life?

I am 27 – well, technically not – but who cares if I am 26 or 27! My life is going to end if I don’t get married. I can’t start anything new, can’t think of new career options or a new business idea and can’t travel (on my own) because I should do that with my husband. In fact, there are no second thoughts about these issues.

If I don’t get married now, I will become very strong-minded and I won’t be able to adjust with anyone. From then on, my whole life will be a disaster. Then I start wondering, what if all this is true? Will my life really go down the drain if I don’t get married? Is that the escape I need to get away from the constant drama? Maybe. Maybe not…

So how does this work? You follow one instruction after the other, because it’s absolutely never-ending. Indian society is generally so repressed and so accepting that we don’t see the wrongs in anything. Once the ‘marriage mission’ is over, the family gears up to indulge in domestic problems, because well, that’s a part of marital life.

Whether you live happily ever after or not is not the issue, any longer. If your marriage takes care of your socio-economic needs, the other ‘smaller issues’ can easily be dealt with. The other ‘smaller issues’? You mean, the most critical of them all – like getting along with your partner and his family?

It’s not an easy task to deal with any of this on a day-to-day basis. It spoils your relationships with people at many different levels. It destroys you, and you start questioning your worth and your place in the family because you are never ‘asked’ or ‘heard’. You are only ‘told’! And no one wants to be told what to do.

If I had to get married, I would have. If I have to, I will. Till then, if you accept me as your daughter and an equal member of the family – great! If not, I will not surrender and be a part of this sort of ‘getaway’. Thanks, but no thanks!

A small note to all the women out there who are living a life of uncertainty regarding whether to get married – get over the whole fiasco once and for all! Do yourselves a favour and build your own career. Put your heart into it, because no one can take that away from you.

Once you start seeing marriage beyond the social and economic fulfillments, think about it only when you want your physiological and psychological needs to be fulfilled. As Sadhguru says, “Marriage is not a social prescription.” Not all of us have to do it. Not all of us have to live without it. Choose the time that is best for you. The clock is not ticking for this. You marry only when you are ready!

You must be to comment.
  1. Aditya Tanwar

    Its the same for some men too mam. Even I face pressures of the society, family and unfortunately, in my case, profession
    too, for marriage only because there is supposedly “the right time” for things.

  2. Aditya Tanwar

    It’s the same for some men also Anna. There are men also who face pressures of society, family and in some cases, even their own profession for getting married as per set templates. In the end, if one decides, then obviously that person cannot be dragged towards their wedding venue. But the consequences of choosing an unconventional life are what we as today’s youth of India have to put up with.

More from Anna Singh

Similar Posts

By Heena Shah

By Hemant Thakur

By India Development Review (IDR)

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below