I am 31 years of age, unmarried and still continuing my studies in an average Indian family. It is generally expected that by this age I should have been ideally married and had children. Fortunately, I am part of a family which has not discriminated or differentiated between a son and daughter. I have always enjoyed equal liberty.
I have friends who are under huge pressure to get married. Sometimes I fear – is it wrong for me to expect the same atmosphere after marriage? Let me share my daily routine – I research for my PhD at home, cook meals in bits and enjoy my life. I don’t have the pressure of being the perfect daughter who is supposed to greet the guests or ignore her own studies/deadlines and personal life (with friends) for the sake of any family occasion.
Why can’t be life be simple – where each person can enjoy personal space and freedom, irrespective of their gender? I am in love with research and writing. A friend of mine told me that writing is the bread and butter of a PhD Scholar. I liked her description. I spend most of my time thinking about my next research article and sometimes taking inputs from friends on it. I am not someone who enjoys family gatherings quite often.
Life has given me an abundance of happiness in various forms – friends, well-wishers, mentors etc. Whats the point in entering a union when a person is not fully ready? Some of my friends who got married a few years back, sometimes crib about their lives. I tell my family and dear ones that God has planned marriage for me when I will be ready for it. One part of my bed is occupied by a couple of books and my soft toys. Right now, even my bed does not have space for my partner.
I cherish the fact that I was born and brought up in a family that thinks much ahead of times, in spite of being from a small town. I am thankful to my family that if my duty is to make sabzi and daal, it means only cooking not the cleaning of dishes. If my duty is washing and ironing clothes, it does not include managing the dried clothes. Our family has a strict division of labour – irrespective of gender. I am proud to share the household chores with my father and brother. I feel empowered and blessed to be raised as an independent woman who has the right to choose her hairstyle, her clothes, and her life-partner.
I can vouch that if a family lives in a small town it does not mean that it cannot be modern and liberal. Cheers to such parents and families.