…rather, why I’d prefer dying an old maid!
No, I’m not going to talk about any woeful love affair, heartbreaks or losing the one person that I loved dearly. Neither am I planning to give tutorials on easy methods of dying an unmarried and vicious old woman.
So you still want to read it? Considering the possibility that you might feel the same then after? You’re sure?
All right! Welcome aboard, my friend.
Bring your drinks out! We might need them to gulp the bitter doses of reality.
So quite some time back, I attended an Indian wedding. The air spoke glory! Lights that could illumine every soul, colors that could paint the occasion with happiness. Ladies shone like a picture, ornamented with a hundred jewels, graceful men in suits added hue to the charm of their ladies!
…and thus time rolled on like it does in heaven.
I live in a country where marriage means much more than just a word. Where vows are kept, where love exists for the sake of love, blind to any material concern or consideration. Where one weeps because the other has tears in the eyes.
The very idea of a bond of something as beautiful as marriage is all lovely to me. Yes, you heard me right. I love knowing that there’s a stash of memories that two can share together. I find a lot of meaning in building a life together with the special someone. Here’s the problem- I value individualism.
With all the things that are priceless in this beauty called marriage, there are practices that are irrational and things that I can never relate to. I can, by no means, understand certain rituals and their significance. Probably in a way that’s maybe unique to myself. I identify myself as an individual and I, just the same, respect the others’ individuality. After all, marriage is not about me or it’s not about you, it’s about us.
Shall I start from the beginning? You’re ready with the drinks?
How do you suppose any rational, thinking person to agree to the evils of the “dowry system” that is still prevalent in the corners of our society? When a marriage is fixed, along with it is fixed the dowry that the bride must get along. I’m doubtful whether I should laugh or not. But the one thing I’m certain of is that I’d prefer dying an old maid instead.
Now pour me a double, I possibly cannot go any further without another.
The Indian marriage is a grand celebration, celebrated for several days. Not a luxury is spared! Even the basic of all tries to portray the grandest. Quite a huge fortune is drained away in the process. If we could only invest money in our daughter’s education rather than in their marriages, that’ll be great.
Then there is this endless list of guests, and you know what we are doing there? Simple. Giving more to the ones who already have plenty! No, I don’t have a word against that. All I feel is sheer disappointment when I see piles of wasted fries that could have been somebody else’s happy meal.
Then comes superstitions and irrational customs. Performing the rituals which have little or no significance at all. Amongst the many, this certain ritual “Kanya Daan”, with the direct English translation meaning “daughter donation” is the most detestable of all. Like seriously? Are we that big now that we donate our daughters away?! And you know what follows next? The bride has to leave her own home, go to the groom’s place, change her name and adopt her husband’s name instead.
Bring those eyebrows down, the custom is only normal and absolutely acceptable. But believe me, and I can say this one for myself- I cannot and will never change the name which gave me an identity, which made an individual.
I’d happily die a nasty old maid instead!
They say that a marriage is a little compromise. And all the compromises thus made are a little price to pay for a priceless relationship like this. That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Compromise willingly.
So it appears mighty fine to me; but see, aren’t these compromises gender biased? A female has to leave her house. A female has to adopt another name. A female has to accept her husband’s home as her own. But the very thought of having it the other was around is disturbing and absolutely unheard of!
But when you love someone, you just don’t give up on them, right? So I don’t really have to give up on that one person who would be mine without sharing my piece of mind, right? No, I’ll never understand the people who just shut down and push their feelings aside, and just the same, I can never push aside my own feelings. I am stubborn. But I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to compromise that part of my being to be with the person that I love. Because can I give in myself so entirely, make that compromise, and repeat the cycle over again?
I don’t think so!
Therefore, the conclusion:
I’d rather die an old maid than repeating that same old cycle once more.
The bottle is empty, I’m drunk. I must now get to bed!
(First published two years ago.)