Till date I remember an advertisement which I saw as a kid. It was a company selling a life insurance policy and the probable uses to which the policy amount could be put – if it is son then his education will be financed and if it is daughter then her marriage would be funded with that . It didn’t struck me at that time though. Why marriage is the obvious destination or goal for daughters? As I grew up I came across many instances be it in media or be it in real life around me where girls were raised with a constant fear of “be good to get married”. What “Good” is being referred here?
“Good” acquires an altogether a new definition when associated with a girl. “Good” here means a girl who can cook, do daily chores in a jiffy, never raises voice or question, and most importantly is good-looking (read fair). Education as a criteria still comes later. If a girl is not good in studies the immediate expected reaction would be “get her married”. Not even for a second parents or the guardians think she could possibly have an alternate interest other than marriage, sorry , I mean academics. Isn’t that irksome? Even if she is educated and highly qualified her destination is destined to be “change in family name”. It is still hard for a majority section of the society to imagine a woman in the driver’s seat of her own life.
Twist in the tale: It is quite amazing that not only girls are targeted by societal pressure on the issue called marriage. Boys have it too, believe me it’s true. By the time they start earning “when will you settle down?”, “your friends already are getting married and few have kids too”, “grandmother or grandfather’s only wish is to see you get married ” are few questions and phrases that do rounds and haunt boys too.
Thy good neighbour? Be it a boy or girl, neighbours have immense interest in their personal choices. Once they cross 25 years mark suddenly “emergency ” pedal is stepped upon. “Get married before it is too late”, “every occasion has a right time, it shouldn’t be surpassed “. And at 30th mark depression starts pouring in. Despite of all other achievements in life a single person is almost a gone case just because he or she is not married. It is truly a pitiable situation because your age to marry is decided by everyone else other than you.
If this was not enough desperate efforts are put in to make a marriage work. I don’t support fallout of a marriage because differences between two different persons and personalities is bound to happen but I simply don’t get the stubbornness to make it work despite of evident abuse – physical, mental and emotionally. And the worst part is a question and fear constantly hovering around “what would people say?”
It gives me immense pleasure to know few people from my circle who have clearly prioritized their goals and marriage is not the prime one. And more importantly they are being supported by their families. My friends are doing well career wise and most importantly happy which makes the perfect sense. But the sad part is that it is just a tip of an iceberg. Still there is a huge crowd there that projects marriage as the sole goal and achievement in life. For few it is a cash point (read dowry), for few it is a way to get rid of burden (this is how a girl child is looked upon, changing though but not yet changed), for few it is an impulsive action.
Marriage – by every description in every religion is very sacred hence should be a thoughtful decision of one’s life, not a business, not a formality and never under pressure. Parents should stop talking about marriage as an achievement in life. I mean they should stop threatening their kids with words like “if you don’t pay attention to your looks you won’t get married”, “if you question a lot you won’t get married”, “don’t tell anyone that you have been abused no one will marry you”, ” don’t let them know that you do sleep walk you won’t get married” and so on.
It is just a part of it and there’s much more to life. Just Relax! Because your neighbourhood is not the world and world doesn’t have time to care about your child’s marriage. Let them live.