Two questions bother me the most, the first one being ” when are you going to settle ? ”
If you live in India you would have heard this question many many times, and you will also know that dust settles. It settles on everything from the plants in my balcony to the furniture and the window grills. I am very sure that I am not a dust particle and therefore I will never settle. I will soar, tumble, maybe fall maybe fly, but no sire no, I will not settle.
Yes, I am aware that they are asking me when I will get married, but I question their motivation. Most people who ask me these questions are acquaintances, distant relatives, fat and thin ‘aunties‘ at weddings who don’t really care about the ‘me‘ me but are checking a list in their head.
At a cousins wedding, my father and I were talking to a lonely old relative. After the initial niceties she looked at my dad pointedly and said, its your turn to give me a feast next, implying my wedding off course. Unfortunately she was the third or fourth person to bring this up and I was quick to retort that my dad owned a restaurant and she was welcome to eat a feast, free of cost any time. My embarrassed father tried to salvage the situation, and actually pinched me ! I am apparently old enough to be married but not old enough not to get pinched.
At work, we often pull a dramatic colleagues’ leg at tea time by bombarding her repeatedly with the dreaded question. She never fails, never disappoints. Yesterday she got of her chair, proceeded to do a complicated jerky dance accompanied with a strange howling that ended with her sitting on the floor. Then she said, I am settled now, thank you.
I have been begging her for a repeat performance that I can video record, but apparently she is camera shy.
Luckily I have never been asked the second question, because I am still unsettled, a dreamy particle floating about space. The second question is mostly a question nosy women ask, in hushed tones and secretive smiles ” when is the good news ? ”
Why is it acceptable in our society for random people to ask you when you plan to procreate, and assume that the logical next step to marriage is children.
The most worrying thing about the two questions, apart from their prying nature is their widespread acceptance. These questions are answered with smiles, maybe pained smiles or disguised grimaces, but they are still answered.
Then again, why does getting married signal settling down ? Isn’t it the beginning of a relationship, a tumultuous and exciting journey ? I think it is an insult to two people who decide spend their lives in love and tribulation. To call them settled is as good as branding them as boring, removing the excitement from their lives. Even if I decide to get married, I will still be unsettled, very very unsettled.
There seems to be a unwritten checklist, ingrained in everybody’s head. The parameters for happiness are; repeat after me please;
1. Marriage – to a suitable good looking (obviously fair, we may settle for wheatish, but dark is just downright unacceptable), well educated and rich candidate from a good family. This now makes me wonder what a good family is. Will my uncle who likes the bottle a bit too much and me unmarried and almost thirty tip the balance ? Oopsie !
2. Children – this is not the dark ages, two will do
3. Your own house – it is THE DREAM, and it is not acceptable if it is not your dream (GASP !!!, why would you want to travel or see the world ? ), living on rent is ridiculous, you need to live on EMIs
4. Cars that shine – Keep up with the jones, and you really don’t know the benefits of an I-Pad mini ????
Now that I am done ranting, I am just sad that so many of us have to struggle to be able to marry for love. Can any other reason to marry even make sense, even qualify ? It is even more disheartening to see young people today follow set parameters for happiness, entering the dangers of a dull monochromatic society blindly,without raising a question, buying houses and big cars and struggling to keep up, because they have been told so.
I can’t see the change coming, but I hope it is.