If you are an Indian in your twenties, you have to get married. Yes, it’s a rule; it is explicitly stated in our constitution, or so I have been told. All Indian citizens are expected to follow this rule without question. In fact, the only acceptable way to break this rule is to get married before the age of twenty. The law also goes on to state that if you don’t comply with this ruling, you will be subject to constant emotional torture and blackmail by your parents, relatives, colleagues, some friends, random people you meet on the street, people you thought you would never run into again etc. And there is nothing you can do about it because you deserve this punishment for daring to go against conventional wisdom. It is perfectly acceptable if people see you as a criminal for not wanting to marry; in fact, the only difference between you and a hard core criminal is that you don’t get jail time…umm, actually I am not even sure of that!
As a registered Indian citizen (I have a PAN card to prove it!), I too am expected to follow this rule. And to reinforce these expectations, the ‘society’ will ask ten thousand questions regarding my marital status. For you readers, I have collated a few for easy reference as seen below.
- ”When are you getting married?” – Frequency (and Irritation) increases in direct proportion to age.
- ”Are your parents searching for a girl yet?” – Mostly asked by friends to confirm if we are in the same boat
- ”Ohh you already have a girlfriend huh? You sly dog!” – Close friends or complete jackasses ask this. Sometimes the line is blurred between these two.
- ”Why are you not married yet??” – Nosy relatives who assume there is something wrong with you and would love to get brand new fodder for gossip.
- ”We were all married and had kids by the time we got to your age.” – Elderly folk romanticizing about their twenties back in the day….when child marriages were still common.
- “Love failure?” – A set of relatives who are married but are not much older to you.
- “What will we say to everyone when they ask about you??” – My parents. Apparently they are unwilling to reply “mind your own business”; something about that not being a socially acceptable answer.
- “When are we getting married??” – My girlfriend. In my dreams.
- “Don’t you want to have kids of your own?” – Says the lady with two bawling kids in her arms and a third one tugging at her saree. Nope, no thanks. Never liked kids anyway.
- “You are next!” – Some oldie during my cousin’s marriage.
- “Before I die, I want to see you get married.” – Another oldie. I have absolutely no idea who these people are! Not that I bothered to find out.
- “It will take you four years to find a girl and get married.” – Pretty sure this is a polite way of saying “You are so freaking ugly that it will takes ages before any girl agrees to marry you!”
- “You know <<insert random name here>> right? His/her daughter just passed out of <<insert random college>> and got a job in <<insert random company>>. She will a very good match for you.” – Random person
- “If you don’t get married, what will others think?” – Random guy #2. Umm, You ARE the others! Seriously, who are you people and where do you come from??
- “Sooner or later, you have to get married. So why don’t you do it now itself?” – Hmm, okay, by that logic, sooner or later you have to Will die. So why don’t you commit suicide now itself. (Kindly note that I am not equating marriage to suicide. Fortunately or unfortunately, I don’t have experience in either.)
The thing is, I do have a rich and glorious tradition of breaking rules (Ladies, please take note: I am a bad boy!). However, after resisting the incessant pressure from all sides to get married for such a long time, I may finally be relenting. Shh. Don’t tell my parents, not yet anyway.
Now, this is not a matter that can be looked upon lightly. We are talking about a lifelong commitment here. As someone who considers himself a logical & rational person (yes, I understand this can come as a shock to some of you), I have decided to put some serious thought into this matter. A plan needs to be thought out and that plan has to be cool. And whenever I need a cool plan, I turn to…well, myself.
So I came up with an awesome strategy. My strategy is to carefully consider about what I want and what my expectations are. For that I went about listing my awesomeness characteristics and extrapolating from that what my future wife should probably be like. Now I understand from experience (of watching movies of course) that you can make all the lists you want but you can still end up with someone completely the opposite. But hey, doesn’t hurt to try right? Especially since I am not doing anything else about the whole thing.
However, to keep my head on the ground, I should also look at everyone else who is getting married and see how they are going about it. And since all my friends are getting married left, right and centre, it is only natural that I talk to some of them about their opinion on this whole thing. Unfortunately, I got a myriad of opinions that leaves me even more confused than before. Again, for everybody’s reference, I have classified the different views into categories as written below:
- The friend who goes along with the parents’ wishes because apparently only parents know what is best for you.
- The friend who had a love marriage and paints such a rosy picture that it makes you want to vomit.
- The girl who staunchly defends the traditional marriage and is shocked to hear someone can even think of deviating from it.
- The dude who has absolutely no idea and quotes some random movie dialogue.
- That guy who wants to open a Chronic Bachelor club. Joey Tribbiani & Charlie Harper are honorary members.
- The friend who always wanted a love marriage but eventually caved because he/she was tired of listening to what the ‘society was saying’.
- The girl who talk up a storm about romance and love marriage but eventually gets married to her Papa’s choice. Happily.
- The friend who said “screw marriage, all girls are liars!” Fresh out of a relationship then. Married with kids now.
So the above are different opinions that I classified into similar groups. But then I got one which cannot be classified into any category whatsoever because it stands out as the best of the lot and I have rightfully saved it for the last. This guy gave me some insanely awesome piece of advice when asked about the ideal wife:
- Find the woman who makes you laugh and also laughs at your ‘jokes’
- Find the woman who is a great cook and makes your favourite dish
- Find the woman who is honest and open and who never makes you guess her thoughts
- Find the woman who loves to pamper you with all her love and attention
- Find the woman who is awesome in bed
- And the last but the most important thing, make sure these five women never EVER meet!!
He may or may not have been drunk at that time.