This is a heart wrenching essay from the ever beautiful Sammy.
A single girl in her thirties is pretty much labeled. By everybody around. If not verbally, silently so. But definitely labeled. Period.
It’s never really got to do with the fact that how she’s behaving, how she talks, how she perceives things or for that matter she’s sane or crazy already. The Indian society has a very well regimented age old criterion for not only declaring her mental state but a genuinely articulated rationale to turn anything she says towards a single school of thought. It’s an art mind you, and after all it’s our moral duty to breathe down her neck and remind her of her ‘oh-so-sorry’ single status!
These glorious connotations start even before her day starts. ‘Getting late to work? You should get married, routine set ho jayega.’ It will invariably never have anything to do with the midnight oil she burned for the never ending nincompoopish presentations.
‘Thinking of changing a job? You should get married first!’ Yes, cuz her husband will come with a package deal of full time occupation in family service. Zero pay, full productivity! Sounds fun. She’s stupid to not consider it.
‘I know why you love animals so much. Thinking of getting a dog? Get a husband instead! N oh those puppy pictures you like on Facebook is a sign you are ready to have babies!’ Duh! I never knew the biological clock came with such a loud alarm system. Utter genius! I fail to know why people waste degrees on psychology when we have such amazing in-house mind readers.
Some try to sheepishly sugar coat it…’You seem pretty good at your work. But haven’t you thought about settling down? After all, that’s the essence of life. Karogi kya itna kama ke’. While others are downright blunt pleasures served hot to you anytime of the day without any context or solicited advice. ‘Things should happen at right time. Why waste your prime years working. Your job is making you snobby. You think no one’s good enough for you!’ Of course they’re right. They always are
‘She dresses nice.. She needs a man in her life’ Yes Einstein! She owns 70 Mac lipsticks and hundreds of designer wear only to get a lusty grin from tobacco stained teeth of pot bellied middle aged men. You nailed it!
And God forbid if she has a past. Friends and family will not only be a gentle sweet reminder of the buried carcasses but also will quickly relate and conclude any present problem she may have to her inability to move on from the past. In case she doesn’t have any skeletons in her closet ,the hidden Sherlock in everyone around comes to front in digging her past. Or present. Or a desperate attempt for any possible link up to justify this oh-so-insane decision of delaying the inevitable-marriage!
We all know the scrutiny a single girl has to undergo to get accommodations. Even if she manages to get one, the beloved neighbors can beat the best of watchdogs in moral policing her. No matter how civilized or old fashioned the girl may be, it’s their birth right to bring up the ‘M’ word and find reasons for this crazy single life she lives. ‘Character to theek Hai na ladki ka?’
The intent here is not to degrade the sacred bond of marriage or the pleasure of companionship. It’s the most pristine and puritine form of socializing known to humans. The intent is to only let our girls be the same they have been for last 30 years. Because they are still the same at heart.
She’s not asking for a dog because she misses a man.. She might genuinely like the felines
She is not praying day-in day-out to get a good husband… she does so as she loves her current family and friends more than anything in the world and wants to see them safe
She’s not changing her job as she doesn’t have a purpose in life.. She’s changing it to grow, to justify her education, and may be cuz you’re incompetent enough to keep her mind productively engaged. Ever thought of that?
Lastly, she’s not crazy. Like you, she’s also doing her best to keep up and survive in the world. If you can’t bring a smile, don’t be the reason of another sigh she takes.
Can relate to this ? Share your thoughts below.
Thanks Sameeksha for this amazing essay. You are awesome !