13 February, 2014


Description: "Why is marriage considered to be such an important institution ? Why is a woman desiring a certain kind of life partner for herself and so staying single till she finds him or by opting out of a bad marriage for perfectly valid reasons, always looked down upon? Why are we accused of being selfish, picky, unaccommodating and un-adjusting when all we are doing is living “our” life the way we want to? I can still remember the strange and piercing manner in which my just-married younger roommate’s mother-in-law looked at me every time we crossed paths. 

Why do us 30 year old single women have to be glared upon in this manner? The answers to all these questions are never there and there are times when the lack of them weighs me down to such an extent that all I can do is weep with sheer misery. But then what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I wipe my tears and get on with my life." 

- Prashila Naik, writer.

I feel that marriage as a social institution in its traditional form has, or nearly has, failed. Communication network, women's education and empowerment, work opportunities, changing lifestyles etc have contributed to both enforcing the bonds of some nucleus marriages and also to fracturing that of many others.

As for 'happily married for decades' couples, I find most are living skeletons of their pre-nuptial selves. Various kinds of bonds and bondages other than love have been at work in several cases. Some probably did not truly enjoy the bliss of real togetherness even once. Give them a workable choice and so many would either compromise their 'fidelity' or take a divorce.

I live singly and am pretty comfortable. On the other hand I have many fond memories of married life as well. It is a trade-off. You gain some, you lose some. The challenge is to manage your attitude realistically and try and adopt to the situation you are in. Be the way you are comfortable.

Staying single, unfortunately, doesn't work that easily in conservative sections of the society - specially, not for single girls. They carry a greater risk of security, suffer unwarranted suspicion of society, the landlords don't let their houses, the employers consider them 'available', the 'gentlemen' feel obliged to 'patronize' them and so on.. Even the girls themselves sometimes get too suspicious of even genuine courtesy shown to them, while some get outright cynical.

If marriage and togetherness under duress are slavery, staying single is challenging, too. Neither is an absolute and undiluted bliss. One takes a call under one's own unique circumstances. We hope of the society only that it accept us as we are, as we choose to stay.

No comments:

Post a Comment