These sentences really stood out to me:
I am more concerned and nearly fearful about how things would pan out
if I am constantly badgered and forced-fed the idea of how important it
is to become a wife before anything else that I actually aspire to
become. Maybe it’s just me, but a hasty decision is something I am
always wary of. And when it comes to the whys, whens and who’s of
marriage I would like to tread that path with utmost caution.
As per my observation, most Indian marriages are unfulfilled,
frustrating and alarmingly unequal. Women and men are under pressure for
the most trivial things that aren’t necessarily to do with their
marriage itself. While women are under pressure to be a good wife, a
good bahu, dress traditionally, cook well, be a good mother and
give birth to a son; men are under pressure to work long hours, earn
enough, be a good husband (only as much as the mother approves), be a
good father (but not a primary caregiver) and so on.
Wedding ceremonies are not fun! They’re a trivial affair, which are
only meant to be a parade of how much wealth one’s family has gathered
over the years. And if you ask the bride and groom, a very small
fraction would actually come out and say they enjoyed their own wedding.
Any society that demands of one’s marital status to be affirmative to be ‘accepted’ in is not worth being a part of.
Most abusive marriages have had a woman fall victim to exploitation by
the family in the name of dowry, childbirth (for a male child) and so
on. Wife beating and domestic violence are, again, very real and issues
one can’t overlook. A woman can be far more secure, happy and stable
staying away from these.
In most Indian marriages, women are discouraged from working or having a
life that is different from what is supposedly prescribed by elders.
Financial stability and equality can be better established when both
partners are breadwinners and one doesn’t rely on the other for support.
Moreover, if I don’t have liabilities that need my financial support
and earn enough to have a disposable income, I am in a better financial
position than I will be having to account for every penny I intend on
The only reason (bad) marriages in India last long no matter what is
because of the social stigma that divorces go through in India. I’m not
saying it’s always a good thing, but a bad marriage in the West is
nipped at the bud and there isn’t a painful and frustrating need to go
through the ordeal just because ‘people will talk’.
If divorce wasn’t that big a deal in India, we would’ve had two happier people for every unhappy couple.
If people in India stopped seeing their daughters as paraya dhan,
future brides, and burdens, most problems in this country
regarding gender would miraculously disappear. If people raise daughters
to be financially independent and successful human beings and not
future daughters-in-law, then half the population of this country would
be living a more fulfilling life without having to depend on anyone for
giving them support or stability.
So, to all those well-meaning folk at weddings out there, I’m not a
burden, and getting and staying married is not the only goal in my life.
I will (or will not) get married in my own time—a time that my partner
and I feel comfortable with.
All in all, somehow our lives are governed by how others think – first
people want us to grow up and go to college, then get a job, then get
married, then they want us to have a baby, then we are asked to have
another baby and amidst all this, life just passes by without you