Thirty. Unmarried. An Indian. A woman.

I am a 30 year old unmarried Indian Woman and I enjoy writing as a hobby, however I am too shy to show my work to everyone because I am afraid that even though I am clandestinely proud of what I write, I may not be good enough for the world to praise. But to my utter astonishment, my mother absolutely loved my latest piece – Another Cinderella story. She read it on my blog and was super impressed by it (But in no offence, she teaches kindergarten and her English is as good as ABC). As soon as she finished reading the article, she spent the entire day calling magazines to find out where she could publish it. To be honest, I was secretly swelling with pride but managed to find my feet on the ground and appear half amused. With a wide grin on my face, I turned to her and said “Mom, you are absolutely adorable but seriously I have a long way to go before I can even start getting noticed”. She looked at me and said “Nonsense beta! Imagine the number of marriage proposals we will get for you from rich families once they see your name in newspapers and magazines”. I sighed. It all comes down to that one word – with a capital D – Doom. Did I say D? I meant M – A big fat M that points the cupid arrow straight through the hole in the number zero of my age.

For Indian parents, it starts and ends at the big three zero. Women at thirty in our culture don’t stay unmarried for so long, because it inevitably brings about the question – What is wrong with her? Nothing. Absolutely nothing is wrong with her. She is beautiful and talented. She has a professional career and she has her heart in the right place. But they persist – something must be wrong with her. Because why isn’t she MARRIED YET?!

Could it have occurred to them that perhaps the same woman is now choosy about her groom? She is taking her time to pick the right man. Perhaps 30 years of her life’s experience has taught her that maturity comes with learning to be patient and not to rush into things. But nope, all they wonder is, how could she have rejected the proposal of a well settled boy in Seattle from Microsoft who makes $120,000 a year (after taxes mind you and not including bonuses).  When said to them, “but mom we just don’t click!” she responds, “Hain?! Click! What do you mean by click?, he will keep you in a nice big house with perhaps a spare bedroom for us when we visit!”

 My mum always says “Pyaar Ho jaayega” (Love will happen) as opposed to you will fall in love. I rather like it when she says that actually, I mean, nobody really wants to use the word ‘fall’ in Love do they? Let’s just make it happen shall we. But nevertheless, the arguments continue and the various boys come and go. Someone is too tall (6’3!), someone is too boring; someone doesn’t want to have kids (seriously man! The alarm on the biological clock is the number one reason women want to get married). Of course, after all the rejections, my parents come up with one conclusion – “Dear Lord, there is some external force blocking the mind of our daughter and this is a fate we simply cannot afford to accept”. Fate rather Destiny is an excuse made up for when we have no other explanations for the things not going our way in our life. Similarly, my parents cannot understand that I am simply being picky about spending the rest of my life with someone but instead they resort to cursing the pseudosciences such as astrology, numerology and the time of my birth for such hindrances. But what is the one thing you know about Indian parents on a mission to get their daughter married? Yes, that’s right. They never give up.

The next day, I enter my house exhausted from work and I notice that my living room has turned upside down. My mother, making samosas in the kitchen calls out “ Beta don’t worry, I have moved the shoe rack to the balcony.” Say what?! “Oh it’s just that we called this astrologer home and he said we mustn’t keep the shoe rack near the entrance for it obstructs good things to enter the door”. I flared back at her and said “Do you mean it obstructs the rich sindhi families with eligible sons from entering our house?” She chimes back in, “Now, you mustn’t make fun, do not forget this astrologer has been in our family for years and he is the reason why your cousin Renu got married last year in the first place”. That was It.! Last straw, to be compared to my poor cousin Renu whose sole purpose in life was just to find a suitable boy and who never managed to achieve anything else with her life but the art of cooking to keep her in-laws happy and who with after a much rather long job hunt sorry groom hunt landed up marrying a guy based in Chicago only after her father promised him a large sum in dowry.! I sat my mother down and decided to speak from my heart “Mom, this has got to stop, why are you so worried?”  She replied plainly “I just don’t want you to land up alone”. I blinked. I understood now. She was just scared for me that’s all. I looked at her calmly and replied “Mum, look at me. I am not scared because I know everything will be just fine. Just learn to have faith and stop doing these silly things please, you are making my life miserable.” She hid a tear, gave me a hug and whispered in my ear “you’re right, I am so sorry. He will find you when the time is right, I know he will”. I smiled with a sense of achievement and walked towards my room just to hear her call out “But beta before you sleep could you please send me some good pictures of yourself because Yogesh uncle needs to send them to a suitable boy he has found for you in London”.

Oh well. What did I say? They just never give up.

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9 thoughts on “Thirty. Unmarried. An Indian. A woman.

  1. A very intriguing aspect to an Asian(Indo-Pak) family’s persepective. Where you would have an astrologer for an Indian family, u would have Molvi or Pir for a Pak family…

    Its refreshing and inspiring at the same time. I can’t believe im working with you 😛

    Good job!!!

  2. Love it! Good job babe … although im curious why did you name it 30? you still have a long way to go before you reach the big 3! 0! … write another one on Single. Pretty. Loving it. 🙂 🙂 ❤

  3. Excellent article, just came across randomly. It is soooo well written that I could actually live through each sentence and feel the emotions. Well done!!! 🙂

  4. Haha nice one ! well portrayed and truly said.though i am 27 but i have started getting these weird sentences from people(it includes a long list) beacause soon i will join your race:P.I liked your reply ” look mom i am not scared :P”
    i have some funny and irritating sentences by people which i would like to share with you:
    Oh god -Are you aware what are you going to do?
    Do you think you will get a guy of your choice at this age or at 30 or beyond it.
    Stop acting insanely!
    Don’t try to disrespect our great culture and tradition
    after a certain age the guy will choose you.. not you!
    I rejected some proposals- So Do not be too fussy about picking groom- Rehna hain to manana padea samaj key rirti rivazo ko manana padea( u have to abide by customs of hindu society)
    It does not happen in reality and don’t forget this is India,Come to ground and make some fruitful decisions.
    etc…
    I simply enjoy these remarks because i know i have made a right decision irrespective of what other says.

  5. Haha yes i know exactly what you mean and yes you did make the right decision because when its right you will know it!
    Thank you Mani_life 🙂

  6. Goo blog Dipti, just turned three O and oing through same process, sometimes its amusing, sometimes irritating.As long as we are in India and have nosy relatives and neighbors.We will have take it with grain of salt.

  7. This entire write-up has been made all the more amusing (and impactful) for me because of how well your current Display Picture complements it (according to me). ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events – The Bad Beginning’… The blurb on Goodreads (taken from the back-flap, of course) contains an author’s note that says: “It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.”

    Your choice of book kinda backs up your preference in this case. Put down something that interests us for something conventionally ‘happy’? Not us. We don’t prefer that sort of a thing, Mr. Snicket. 😉 😛

    Very nicely written article with a vein of humour running throughout, and Truth flowing like blood through that vein. 🙂 You have earned my not-so-humble respect, Miss. 😀

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