Sharing an email.
Indian parents seem to face constant ‘peer pressure’ to parent in they ways that their great grandparents’ and their neighbours did. This often makes it difficult for them to let their children make sensible choices. What would be your advice to A Woman with a Flaw?
I have been reading your blog for some time now, though I have never left a comment. Your blog-posts encouraged me to write my story and I will be grateful if I can get your/ your readers’ opinion on the confusion I am going through…here goes my story:
I am a 29-yr old single female, living with my parents. I work with an MNC in NCR. I have an elder sis, she is married, stays/settled in US – both she & my BIL work and I have a cute nephew who is 4 now.
I will talk about myself a bit; I will go point-by-point (& have tried to be chronological):
– I have a rare congenital i.e., by birth syndrome (though its occurrence is random, overall it affects 0.03% of the population) which could have been a lot worse given what all people can have and they go through if they have this syndrome BUT for me it means the following – I have an eye disease for which I regularly use eye medicine(s), have to go for eye check-up once every quarter, have had quite a few eye surgeries till date though for the past 10 years or so my eye-condition has been stable and the check-ups have become more like a “ek baar aa kar dikhaa dena” routine. Though I am lucky I can use my eyes for pretty much everything, I work …I drive…..Even after having a pretty fucked-up eye-related incident (I almost lost vision of my right eye just 2 months before my board exams but I persisted and gave my exams that year & ended-up with a decent score and admission in a good DU college) when I was in 12th. In a sense, I have been lucky… I could have fared a lot worse as I could have had developmental/ growth issues coz of this syndrome.
– I have had a serious relationship with a guy about two years back, we worked in the same company then. We were in a relationship for close to two years, we had thought of getting married …and almost when the time came, he chickened out!! …. You may be wondering that he suddenly got to know about my eye problem but hell no, he knew about it from the beginning, I never hid anything from him, he knew all about what I went through when I was in 12th and my quarterly visits to the eye-specialist …and he was okay with it, we have had our discussions around it. I wanted to be sure that we both know what we are getting into. ……..But almost when we had decided to go further ahead in the relationship…..I don’t know what happened..??? He just couldn’t talk to his parents, he didn’t even say he will be (or, will not be) able to convince his parents…. we are from different communities too. All I know is he backed out, when I needed him……..I was broken and shattered ….but I guess life goes on, I just couldn’t bear to see his face everyday (we worked in the same team) and I left that company and found another job and Life went on. My family knows about it and we haven’t been in touch after that.
– Last year, I went to US for a few months, I met a guy there (not Indian) ….we were on the same project, same company. He seemed to be a nice guy and we did talk a lot …almost on anything other than work. And one day it happened, we slept together (and a few times after that) ….there were no talks about a serious relationship either from his or my side….or anything like taking it forward etc. We knew it was casual and when our trip came to an end we both went our ways….no talks of will try to keep in touch or let’s meet again or anything.
I told my sister about this. She went hyper and was furious !!………I told her I am an adult and I know what I am doing. My parent don’t know & thank god for that.
– I have loved investing. I always somehow had this feeling that I need to work to earn, I incur my own expenses & try to contribute in common household expenses too. I have this feeling that even if I get married some day or especially after I have kids (if I have any, that is) I will ever stop working…..I love the feeling of independence (& the associated perks) my job provides me, its like my identity…I think I will NEVER stop working at least not until I have saved enough for my post-retirement days.
– I have my own car & I an investing in a house, which is taking a huge financial toll on me……I have taken a home loan for it & may also require a additional interest-free loan from my parents to fund my house (which they are ever willing to give 🙂 ….I have told them I will repay them even if it takes me 20 years…..
– One more thing, we are two sisters, no brother…but our parents brought us up I think in the most gender-neutral environment they could have…..no talks of if we had a son, (agar beta hota toh) and even no talks of tum mere liye kisi bete se kam nahi ho (you are no less than a son to me)…………we were respected & treated for who we are – Two Individuals……… & yes, I have tremendous respect for my parents; I don’t think I would have been able to achieve half of what I have, if they were not there.
After all this rambling, I will come to the issue…..as all parents, my parents would also like to see me settle down (aka see me married)….now the problem is I haven’t been able to find “The Elusive One” for me….atleast not till now………. and, if I go by the arranged marriage system (all the damn matrimony sites…) the talks don’t proceed any further coz of (you guessed it right!!) my Eye Problem, after all who would want such a DIL for their son ??…..So my chances of finding a groom through the arranged marriage system seems very-very bleak…..I am not against marriage but I do believe I will hold out for the right guy …..As much as I would want to get married, I don’t think I will get married to any random guy just for the heck of getting married
My mother has taken the societal pressure (of me not married, in a community where the right age for girls to get married is 24-25 and if you cross that well only god can help you…..) pretty well till now, till I recently turned 29 !!………………BUT now, she is going all hyper, she is almost ready to fix me up with any guy (her minimun criteria seems to be – the person should have XY chromosomes)…………..the other day, my mother almost uttered If you were a boy, you wouldn’t have faced all this, I don’t know what to believe but she does seem to have a very valid logic here, isn’t it how the Indian society functions ??
I have tried to reason out things with my otherwise logical mom…..but it seems to be a losing proposition these days…………as she sees my younger cousins being engulfed by matrimony one-by-one !! and my generally by-my-side dad also have started seeing ‘some’ streaks of logic in her argument of getting me married ASAP. Though, thankfully my dad understands my side of the story too…….but for how long, I am not sure?? My sister supports me on this, if she had her will, I would have been in US staying with her and living life on my own terms….without any societal pressure.
I have thought of finding another job out of NCR and staying on my own but financially I can’t afford it right now L …unless I give up on my dream of having my own house.
It’s not like staying with parents has become a hell for me…..it sure has become a lot more difficult. I don’t understand how a simple topic about house can become a discussion-point about my matrimony……. E.g, ghar toh khareed rahi hai, gharwaala bhi toh hona chahiye ! I can only say, a few of my friends are still single so I am able to show them some examples that I am not the only one J……but then in the heat of the argument the comparison sets in, THEY are NORMAL, YOU are NOT.
What does the future hold for me ??……… I don’t know. Am I expecting too much out of a society which anyway considers that the only appropriate thing for a girl is to get married (And only then she will be considered happy & settled) but what if the girl is not perfect, has some “flaw” like me…..
Somebody, my parents went to with my rishta for their son, suggested, to my parents, “why don’t you get your daughter married to a divorcee/widower”. My parents felt insulted and were furious……………trust me, I have no problem in getting married to such a person if I like him, I will go ahead with the relationship…..but is it the only option left for me given my “flaw” because by this logic then I become a less-worthy person who should be happy with whatever she manages to get…….isse aur kaun shaadi karega-types (who will marry her anyway ??) , in a society which more often than not want their DILs to look like porcelain dolls…….
I have never been so confused, felt so helpless in my life before……Not even when I had almost lost my vision in my right eye just two months before my board exams or when I broke up with the only guy I ever loved with so much intensity, ….it was a trying time for my family but we stood together. Do I have a chance of getting married to a person of my choice or, my optimism is just a dream & all hogwash and the reality is very dark and very different, very different for a girl with a FLAW……..one like me.
A Woman with a Flaw
Yes I am single so? – Nirjharani
Why marry? – Careless Chronicles